HIV is a known thing too many of us and all thanks to various initiatives to create awareness among the masses about it. HIV is not a disease instead it is the name of the virus. Due to this virus, one can suffer from AIDS which is the acronym for Human Immuno Deficiency Syndrome.
Even AIDS has not been considered as a disease. It is a physical condition that makes the body vulnerable to various diseases. It is a potentially life-threatening physical condition which affects the overall immune system of your body. In simple words, it reduces the strength of body organisms to fight against the causes of various diseases.
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is known as a sexually transmitted infection. However, it can also spread in various other ways. Blood is the carrier of this virus. Hence, if infected person blood comes in contact with blood or other persons, those other persons will have AIDS as well. However, it does not spread through normal contacts. It is perfectly safe to touch a person who is affected due to AIDS.
The symptoms of HIV have been divided into different sections. The early stage is generally mild and occasional occurrence of the diseases can be noted. In the following section, symptoms of HIV infection at various stages have been discussed.
1. Early Stage
When a person becomes HIV infected, it is expected that the person will suffer from chronic diseases. Different types of diseases could occur in a short span of time. At the early stages, these following common symptoms are noted.
- Fever on a regular basis and difficult to treat fever.
- A chronic headache.
- Skin rashes.
- Joint ache and muscle pain.
- Painful mouth sores and throat soreness.
- Lymph gland soreness.
It is quite clear that all these diseases can commonly occur among men and women under any normal conditions. So, diagnosis of AIDS becomes difficult at the early stage, as people tend to believe that these problems occur commonly. However, there is a sharp difference between a normal scenario and AIDS.
The difference is that frequency of these diseases. Since HIV affected person experiences continually decreasing immunity level, they face frequent occurrence of the diseases as mentioned above.
2. Clinical Latent Infection
In this stage, people suffering from HIV infection generally suffer from swelling of lymph nodes. Apart from this, no other specific, as well as significant symptoms, are noted. Usually, this stage of HIV has been found to last around ten years. With antiretroviral therapy, the progression of this stage can be made slower.
However, for that diagnosis of HIV at the right stage is essential. Nevertheless, this therapy works with irregularities. Some people’s body responds well to this treatment, and they seem to get relief. What some people do not respond to this treatment and HIV starts destroying white blood cells inside the body quite rapidly.
3. Symptomatic HIV Infection
The next stage of HIV starts showing harmful impacts on the body of the person. People, suffering from AIDS, will face various complications as the virus begins increasing its count into your bloodstream. With increased virus level and lowering the immunity system, people start facing the following issues.
- Frequent fever becomes quite a common thing at this stage of HIV infection.
- Diarrhea happens to most of the persons at this stage of HIV.
- Unexplained weight loss can also be noted.
- Physical fatigue and increased mental anxiety are the common aftermaths.
- Oral yeast infection and infection on other parts of the body can be noted.
4. Progression to AIDS
With effective antivirus treatments, most of the people in the USA do not reach this stage of HIV infection. The final stage is known as AIDS. At this stage, people start losing their immunity quite rapidly. As a result, different sorts of physical infections are noted. People start getting a liver infection, lung infection and different other symptoms. Rapid weight loss can also be pointed out with the enhanced presence of HIV into your bloodstream.
Now, the million dollar question is when you should visit a doctor? Well, this is a matter that cannot be explained so easily. Since early stage of AIDS shows up mild symptoms, people do not perceive it as HIV infection. They tend to ignore such conditions and generally go for a regular medical checkup. Occasional fever and mouth soreness along with rare headache issue do not bother anyone. As a result, people waste much precious time.
It is often said that HIV symptoms should be understood at the early stage so that medications can start at the early stages. With the effective drug, much relief can be provided, though it is not possible to treat the physical condition completely. Progression of HIV infection can be made drastically slow with effective medicines. So, it would help if you visited the physicians at the earliest under the following conditions.
- Visit your physician if you had unprotected sex with someone of late. After having the physical intercourse if you face different physical disorders, it is always good to see a doctor at the earliest.
- If you are facing frequent fever, you can undergo medical tests for HIV diagnosis.
- If you are facing lymph nodes soreness issues or throat infections quite frequently, you must undergo an HIV diagnostic test.
- Skin related problems, frequent skin rashes, and other issues also suggest that you should undergo medical test for diagnosis of HIV infection.
The bottom line is that early diagnosis of HIV infection is important. If not diagnosed at the early stage, it can eventually lead to various complications. If appropriately diagnosed at the early stages, it is possible to make a person suffer a lot lesser in later stages.
HIV infection can be caused due to many reasons, but in general, it is considered as a sexually transmitted disease. That means this HIV transmits from one body to another body via sexual intercourses. It can happen in case of sexual interactions with equal gender as well as opposite genders.
It is to be noted that having multiple sex partners could bear the risk of HIV infection. However, sexual interactions with different persons are not the reasons behind the occurrence of HIV. It can only transmit when a person has HIV infection, and another person was involved in unprotected sexual interactions with that person.
Apart from sexual interactions, HIV can spread in different other ways. Those ways have been discussed in the following section.
HIV can transmit through blood transfusion. For example, if HIV infected person’s blood is transferred to the body of an HIV negative individual, the virus infection will occur in the body of the blood receiver.
Sharing needles can increase the risk of HIV transmission. It has been found that drug-addicted persons used to face HIV infection, as they had the habit of sharing the needles. So, if HIV affects a person’s needle is shared with another person, the second person will become HIV infected.
HIV can propagate through pregnancy. If a mother has HIV in her pregnancy period, the toddler will take birth with HIV infection.
HIV does not spread through normal contacts. If somehow infected person’s blood come in touch with the blood of another person, the second person is likely to become HIV infected in 99% of cases.
HIV infection has many aftermaths as well as complications. The infections that happen commonly due to HIV or AIDS have been listed in the following section. All these infections are noted when HIV infection reaches the AIDS stage.
TB or Tuberculosis:
A common aftermath of HIV is Tuberculosis or TB. This is the most prevalent infection or the aftermath of HIV. For the death of most of the AIDS patients, Tuberculosis has been noted as the common reason.
This is a virus infection that can occur when the immunity system is down. Due to HIV infection, immunity system becomes weaker for human beings. With a weak immunity system, disease related to body fluids takes place. Body fluids, like semen, breast milk, saliva, and many others will be affected.
This is another common aftermath of HIV, and it can happen due to many reasons. This is an infection that occurs in the mouth and genital areas. A thick white coating on the tongue as well as outside the vagina can be found
This is a deadly infection which occurs due to the attack of parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii. With high body immunity, this parasite can be restricted to function. However, low body immunity will not give protection against it. This parasite can penetrate muscles and reach to your head or brain, resulting in an internal brain hemorrhage.
Not just these common infections, AIDS can lead to various other complications. HIV affected people have been found to be vulnerable to different kinds of cancer diseases. However, two types of cancer diseases are the common aftermaths of AIDS.
Those diseases are listed below.
As the name suggests, this is cancer that happens with the lymph gland or lymph nodes of human beings. Painless swelling of lymph nodes has been noted as the most frequent symptom of this cancer.
This is a tumor that you would find a blood vessel wall. This is a rare type of cancer for those who are not affected by HIV. However, it is quite common among the HIV infected patients. So, AIDS patients always have the risk of facing this kind of cancer which is life-threatening.
Apart from these things, there could be some other complications that have been noted as aftermaths of HIV infection. Among those problems, kidney infection has been found to be quite common. Not just kidney infection, one may face lung and liver infections as well. In many cases, the multi-organ infection can be noted, and it results in multi-organ failure. As a result, the patient dies.
Till the present day, medical science has not been able to find any medication for AIDS. Once a person is affected by HIV, he will have to suffer from immunodeficiency syndrome. Since the immunity level goes down with AIDS, people become vulnerable to different sorts of diseases.
Diseases due to virus or bacterial attacks can be found commonly. Though there is not curing medications for AIDS, there are some medicines that can dramatically slow up the process of AIDS. That means immunity decay will occur, though at a slow pace. In the following section, detailed information about AIDS will be provided.
Since there is no cure for this disease, prevention has been considered as important. To prevent transmission of HIV, the following tips can be kept in mind.
Using Condom for Sexual Interactions:
Using a condom is important when you are getting into sexual interaction with someone. But, it has to be kept in the brain that condoms can only give 80% protection or safety from HIV. Getting intimate with multiple partners, knowing the medical history of the partners is important, if possible.
Use of Needles:
Needles should be disposed of safely at the clinics or health care center. Through them, HIV can propagate. Using the same needle for different people is always a risky thing, and it could spread HIV infection.
Medical Checkup after Pregnancy:
After pregnancy, an immediate medical checkup is suggested as HIV positive mother passes the infection to the baby. If you receive treatment at the early stage, the risk of HIV transmission to your baby’s body will be minimized.
In conclusion, it is needed to be stated that HIV infection is fatal and it bears a significant amount of lifetime risk for the infected person. It is important to know possible prevention measures for HIV. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the symptoms, health risks and possible treatments for HIV infection. Though HIV infection cannot be treated, the adverse effects of this virus infection can be slowed down significantly with proper applications of medications.