Symptom : Nausea Vomiting And Diarrhoea
Many people experience digestive system problems as a symptom of the early stages of HIV. However, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can also appear in later stages of infection, usually as the result of an opportunistic infection.
It is important to stay hydrated. Diarrhoea that is unremitting and not responding to usual therapy might be an indication of HIV.
To 28 Days After Exposure
The exception: a symptom called lymphadenopathy, the sometimes painful swelling of lymph nodes in the neck, behind the ears, under the armpits, or in the upper groin region. Even when the other symptoms have disappeared, lymphadenopathy may continue for months or even longer.
“The important thing to remember is that the resolution of symptoms does not mean the infection is gone,” says Dennis Sifris, MD, an HIV specialist with the Lifesense Disease Management Group, located in South Africa. “HIV is not like hepatitis, which can spontaneously clear. HIV is forever and is better treated sooner rather than later.”
Latency Causes A Break In Symptoms
After initial exposure and possible primary infection, HIV may transition into a stage called clinically latent infection. Its also referred to as asymptomatic HIV infection due to a noticeable lack of symptoms. This lack of symptoms includes possible chronic symptoms.
According to HIV.gov, latency in HIV infection can last for 10 or 15 years. This doesnt mean that HIV is gone, nor does it mean that the virus cant be transmitted to others. Clinically latent infection may progress to the third and final stage of HIV, also referred to as AIDS.
The risk for progression is higher if a person with HIV isnt receiving treatment, such as antiretroviral therapy. Its important to take prescribed medications during all stages of HIV even if there arent any noticeable symptoms. There are several medications used for HIV treatment.
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How Do You Get Hiv
HIV infection can occur in the following ways:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse, especially receptive anal intercourse
- Multiple sexual partners
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections increase the HIV transmission risk by three times syphilis raises the transmission risk by seven times and genital herpes raises the infection risk by 25 times during an outbreak
- Sharing IV needles or injections
- Receiving HIV infected blood products
- Needle-stick injuries
- Maternal HIV infection : The risk of transmission can be reduced at birth by practices like cesarean delivery and prenatal antiretroviral therapy in the mother, and antiretroviral therapy in the newborn immediately after birth
Is There A Period When The Virus Isnt Transmittable
HIV is transmittable soon after its introduced into the body. During this phase, the bloodstream contains higher levels of HIV, which makes it easy to transmit it to others.
Since not everyone has early symptoms of HIV, getting tested is the only way to know if the virus has been contracted. An early diagnosis also allows an HIV-positive person to begin treatment. Proper treatment can eliminate their risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners.
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What Are The Tests For Detecting Hiv
Various tests may be used for HIV detection:
- HIV antibody test: This test detects the antibodies produced in the body in response to HIV.
- Antigen test: This test can be done at an earlier stage than an HIV antibody test. It measures a protein called p24 antigen, present in the virus and produced in high amounts after the infection.
- Nucleic acid test : It is also called an RNA test. It is a very specific test that looks for the virus itself and can detect HIV as early as about 10 days of infections.
- In-home test kits: Although less accurate than the laboratory-based tests, home-based kits have the advantage of testing in the privacy and comfort of the home. Only FDA approved home-based kits should be used.
- Viral culture: This involves using the patients sample and growing the virus in the lab. It takes longer to get the results and is not the most preferred test for HIV.
When Do Symptoms Occur
Some people have flu-like symptoms within two to four weeks after infection, but others may not feel sick or not develop symptoms at all until later.
See a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of HIV and think you may have been exposed to HIV. Getting tested for HIV is the only way to know for sure.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly through having anal or vaginal sex or sharing needles or syringes with an HIV-positive partner. Anal sex is the highest-risk behavior.
You can prevent HIV by using condoms correctly every time you have sex pre-exposure prophylaxis, a prevention method in which the HIV-negative partner takes daily HIV medicine to prevent HIV and treatment as prevention, a method in which the HIV-positive partner takes daily HIV medicine to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load.
Only antigen/antibody tests or nucleic acid tests can diagnose acute HIV infection. NATs look for actual virus in the blood, and antigen/antibody tests look for HIV antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when youre exposed to viruses like HIV, and antigens are foreign substances that cause your immune system to activate.
However, no test can detect HIV immediately after infection. NATs can usually tell if you have an HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure, while antigen/antibody tests can tell 18 to 45 days after exposure.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers or sores
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What Are The Early Symptoms Of A Hiv Infection
There are several possible symptoms. Not every patient will develop every symptom. Everyone will have a different combination of symptoms. The possible symptoms and the frequency in which they appear include:
Many patients ask me questions like How high is the fever due to HIV? How long does the fever last for? What does the HIV rash look like? How does the sore throat due to HIV feel? Is it like any other sore throat?
Because symptoms are non-specific and variable in frequency and severity, there are very few studies to detail the symptoms. This fact makes such questions impossible to answer. Because the answer is simply, it is different for everybody.
Furthermore, these symptoms are not to assist Doctors in making a diagnosis. It is for Doctors to be aware. So that if we notice such symptoms in patients, we will ask for more details on any activities that might put them at risk for HIV. If there are none, Doctors will look for a myriad of possible other diagnoses that may cause such symptoms like influenza or mononucleosis .
So if even Doctors cannot determine your HIV status from your symptoms, it is very likely you are also not able to. So my best advice to all my patients is to get tested regardless of the symptoms.
What Does An Hiv Rash Look Like
Usually HIV infection leads to a brief period of symptoms shortly after infection occurs. Not everybody notices these symptoms, and theyre easy to mistake for a cold or the flu. One of the symptoms may be a rash.
The most common HIV rash occurs shortly after infection. It is an itchy rash that usually appears on the abdomen, face, arms, or legs and features a flat, red area covered in small red bumps.
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What Do Studies On Early Symptoms Of Hiv Tell Us
- Patients with HIV ARS fever have a body temperature ranging from 38.0°C to 40.0°C. In one study the average temperature was 38.9°C.
- Developing enlarged lymph nodes is common. These enlarged lymph nodes are usually non-tender and develop in the neck, armpits and back of the head. They often develop 2 weeks after infection. The enlarged lymph nodes subsequently decrease in size but may not return fully to normal size.
- Sore throat is a common symptom of HIV ARS. Usually the tonsils not enlarged. But in some cases one or both tonsils can be swollen or enlarged.
- Developing ulcers is one of the most distinctive and most telling signs of an acute HIV infection. There are shallow painful ulcers with a white base surrounded by redness found in the mouth, penis and anus. However other STDs like herpes and chancroid can cause similar looking ulcers.
- The HIV ARS rash comes on 48 to 72 hours after the onset of fever. And persists for 5 to 8 days. The face, collar and upper chest are the areas most involved. Although the rash can also affect the scalp, limbs and even palms and soles. The rash is described as 5 to 10mm well-circumscribed, oval or round, pink to red spots. It is either not itchy or mildly itchy.
- HIV ARS is causes nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite with an average weight loss of 5kg
- The headache associated with HIV ARS is described as a pain behind the eyes made worse by eye movement
What Are The 3 Stages Of Hiv When Does Hiv Infection Transition To Aids
There are 3 stages of HIV infection.
- Stage 1: Flu-like symptoms after initial HIV infection
- Stage 2: Clinically latency may last for 10 or more years in some individuals
- Stage 3: After HIV reactivation and/or HIVs progressive attack on the immune system, the damaged immune system has a reduced or an inability to protect the individual from serious infections and other illnesses. This stage is termed AIDS. In this stage, lab testing reveals high viral loads and CD4 counts < 200 cells/mm3.
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Treatment Of Acute Hiv Infection
Acute HIV infection is treated with antiretroviral drugs , which are drugs specially designed to treat retroviruses. People with HIV are prescribed a combination of antiretroviral drugs, which together are known as antiretroviral therapy .
Antiretroviral therapy reduces the amount of virus in the body. It does not cure HIV infection, but, taken correctly, it can slow progression of the condition from one stage to the next. For example, one recent study showed that a person diagnosed at age 20 who has appropriate treatment now has a life expectancy very close to that of a person without HIV.
Antiretroviral therapy should be started as soon as possible after diagnosis. It is very important to take antiretroviral medication correctly. Missing doses or stopping and restarting treatment can lead to drug resistance, which can reduce future treatment options.
Side-effects of ART may lead some people to consider stopping their medication. However, the long-term benefits of ART exceed the difficulties posed by some side-effects. It is very important not to stop taking ART without speaking with a doctor, who may be able to prescribe a more comfortable combination of antiretroviral drugs. More recent developments in ART mean that intolerable side-effects are fewer than in the past.
Side-effects associated with taking antiretroviral drugs include:
How Is Hiv Spread
The most common way HIV is spread from person to person is via unprotected sexual intercourse with a person who is infected with HIV and not on any treatment. HIV can also be spread via sharing of contaminated needles most commonly seen in people who abuse intravenous drugs. There was a time that HIV was spread via contaminated donor blood or organs. But with the introduction of strict screening protocols for donor blood and organs in place these days, I have not heard of HIV spreading this way for many years. There also have been isolated reports of HIV being spread via contaminated dental and medical surgical tools.
Importantly, HIV is not spread via casual contact like hugging and kissing. It is also not spread through sharing toilets, sharing food or sharing towels. You will not catch HIV from living or working with a person living with HIV.
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What Is The Treatment For Hiv
Individuals who are HIV positive will likely need to see a specialist. As with many other conditions, early detection offers more options for treatment. Today, there are medical treatments that can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system. However, there are other treatments that can prevent or cure the conditions associated with HIV. Anti-retroviral drug therapy may be given to a pregnant woman, which has proven to greatly reduce the chance of an infant developing HIV. A cesarean section may be recommended to reduce infant transmission from the birth canal. In the U.S., where other feeding options are available, an infected mother should be discouraged from breastfeeding her infant. Consult your child’s doctor for more information regarding various drug therapies.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Aids
Having an infection with the HIV virus does not automatically mean that the patient has AIDS. As the HIV virus infects more and more CD4 cells and makes more copies of itself, the patients immune system gets overwhelmed and begins to falter. When the immune system breaks down due to HIV infection, opportunistic infections like fungal infections, pneumonias, and cancers can occur. When this level of HIV infection occurs, it is called AIDS .
Some of the signs and symptoms of progression of HIV to AIDS are:
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First Year Hiv Symptoms
The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that is transmitted via the blood and bodily fluids 2. HIV attacks the CD4+ T cells, which are blood cells that help the body fight diseases and germs. It may lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, which occurs when HIV reaches its final stage and the body can not fight off diseases. Many patients do not have any symptoms for up to 10 years 1. However, some patients may develop many symptoms shortly after being infected 1.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
How To Identify An Hiv Rash
This article was co-authored by Dale Prokupek, MD. Dale Prokupek, MD is a board certified Internist and Gastroenterologist who runs a private practice based in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Prokupek is also a staff physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and an associate clinical professor of medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles . Dr. Prokupek has over 25 years of medical experience and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the liver, stomach, and colon, including chronic hepatitis C, colon cancer, hemorrhoids, anal condyloma, and digestive diseases related to chronic immune deficiency. He holds a BS in Zoology from the University of Wisconsin Madison and an MD from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed an internal medicine residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a gastroenterology fellowship at the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 87% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,852,350 times.
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To 14 Days After Exposure
Known as acute retroviral syndrome, or ARS, the acute stage occurs immediately after being infected, when the immune system has yet to control the virus. During this time, an estimated 40 percent to 90 percent of people will experience mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, whereas the rest wont experience any symptoms at all.
Although these signs typically appear within 7 to 14 days of exposure, they can also crop up as early as 3 days. Around 30 percent of people with ARS will develop a maculopapular rash of pink to red bumps, usually on the upper half of the body. The rash will gradually converge into larger, raised hives.
Other common ARS symptoms include:
Other Symptoms Of Hiv Ars
Other symptoms such as headache, lethargy, joint aches and muscles aches are unfortunately much too non-specific for me to comment on. As you know, these symptoms can be caused by almost every illness or disease. In fact, these symptoms can also be caused by a hard day at the gym. So I am unable to provide much more information on them.
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We Know That Men Who Have Sex With Men In Illinois Are At Higher Risk For Hiv What About Women Who Have Sex With Women
It is not a personâs gender, sexual orientation, race or class that puts them at risk for HIV. People are at risk for HIV when they practice risky behaviors. Women who identify as lesbian or gay can be at risk for HIV by practicing any of the behaviors that place women at risk. Lesbian women have become infected with HIV by using injection drugs or having unprotected sex with male or female partners who are already infected with HIV. Women who have sex with other women should follow guidelines in this fact sheet to protect themselves, and can call the Illinois AIDS/HIV/STD Hotline at 800-243-AIDS for specific information.
Treating The Rash At Home
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