HIV means human immunodeficiency virus and has always been considered as a terrible disease to contract as it is incurable. The symptoms of HIV are dependent on the person and which stage they are in. A person should always get tested if they have been in a situation which puts them at risk for contracting HIV. Symptoms are not a sure definition of HIV. You can also visit our top article on test. With each stage of HIV the symptoms would be more profound except for the latency stage where there are no symptoms at all.
Early Signs of HIV
There are a few symptoms which would be present within 2-4 weeks in a person who has been infected with HIV:
- Swollen glands
- Muscle and joint pain
- Sore throat
The first sign of infection is however the primary HIV infection which is the flu and is the body’s first response to the infection. The systems can last from a few days to a few weeks. Even though there are early HIV symptoms some persons can actually not show signs for up to 10 years.
The Clinical Latency Stage
The clinical latency stage comes after the early stage of HIV infection. The term latency means that the virus is living in the person’s body but not producing any symptoms and this stage is also sometimes called “chronic HIV infection” or asymptomatic HIV infection”. Even though the virus is still active, it will reproduce at extremely low levels during the latency stage and this is the best time for a person to take the antiretroviral medication as they can help a person to stay in the latency stage for longer.
Progression to AIDS – Symptoms
Without antiretroviral medication, HIV will eventually progress to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) which is incurable and weakens the immunes system of a person’s body. The symptoms of AIDS include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Memory loss
- Sores in the mouth, genitals or anus
- Unexplained and extreme tiredness
- Purple, pink or red blotches inside the mouth, nose or eyelids or under the skin
- Profuse night sweats
- Recurring fever
- Swelling of the lymph glands in the neck, groin or armpits which is prolonged
- Diarrhoea lasting for more than a week
Even though there are several symptoms associated with the last stage of HIV they can all also be related to other illnesses and therefore again testing is the only way to know the true HIV status of someone.
Regardless of the stage at which HIV may be a person can never rely on symptoms only to know whether or not they have HIV. A HIV test should always be taken if a person suspects that they may be HIV positive so that the correct course of treatment can be taken as soon as possible. Symptoms are only a minor part of HIV diagnosis and a test is the only true defining factor. If you need more information you can visit this site. Many of the symptoms which are associated with HIV can also be attributed to other illnesses and so they are not tied to HIV.