HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This virus destroys the CD4 cells, also called T cells, of the immune system.
It poses the threat of progressing to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) if not medically treated.
AIDS is a deadly disease affecting the immune system to the point of failure, leaving it unable to fight fatal infections and cancers.
HIV is most commonly transmitted through blood, vaginal discharge, semen, pre-seminal discharge, and anal discharge.
High-risk sexual behavior and exposure through injection or infusion are the most common ways the HIV virus may enter the body.
It’s not possible to get rid of HIV once a person is infected.
But an HIV-positive person can lead a long and productive life once its common symptoms are identified, properly given with medical treatment, and the patient chooses to live a healthy lifestyle.
Two to six weeks after it is contracted, symptoms of an HIV infection may start presenting themselves.
Here Are Early Sign And Symptoms Of HIV That We Must Know
In HIV-positive patients, a sore throat is likely accompanied by a fever.
Many patients suffer from a sore throat before the onset of fever. They may experience pain in swallowing food, water, and saliva. This sore throat may last up to 2 weeks at a stretch and may be accompanied by mouth ulcers.
Fever is the most common primary symptom of an HIV infection.
During the initial HIV stage, a fever likely to be recurrent and persists for 2 to 4 weeks at a time. This infection-associated with fever is often accompanied by night sweats.
Too much sweating, which makes you unable to sleep, might be a cause for concern.
HIV-induced night sweats occur persistently and without exertion. They may drench your sheet and clothes and may be nearly impossible to sleep through.
In HIV patients, night sweats usually accompany a fever.
Rashes and Seborrheic Dermatitis
Sebaceous glands are mainly located in the chest, head, face, upper back, and groin area. These regions may have red, inflamed, itchy, and flaky skin as an indication of HIV symptom. This may last 2 to 3 weeks or more.
Patients also have rashes, which was the second most commonly reported symptoms of HIV.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
One of the primary locations for the distribution of the immune system cells in the lymph nodes, which are found in the neck, under the armpits, and in the groin area.
Since the main task of HIV cells is weakening the immune system, they identify the key immunity-boosting parts of the body and attack them. This includes the lymph nodes.
When your lymph nodes swell, it means that the immune system is working hard to minimize that damage caused by the HIV infection. It becomes painful and tender to touch. They can frequently appear and disappear. It is a cause for concern if swelling persists longer than 2 to 4 weeks.
Nausea And Vomiting
Because the HIV infection compromises the immune system, the patient’s body may contract viral, bacterial, and fungal infections even in the initial stages.
Nausea is your body’s way of letting you know your system is under attack by these infections.
Diarrhea is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract caused by bacterial, viral, and fungal infections attacking when the immune system is weak and reeling under an HIV infection. It severely damages the quality of life of the patient and interferes with his or her routine activities.
Lack of energy and feeling of exhaustion are often felt by HIV patients. It may be constant and occur without physical exertion, thus affecting the patient’s ability to perform a chore, exercise, work, walk, and engage in other activities.
Fatigue may also induce depression and anxiety.
The most common and persistent form of pain experienced by HIV patients are headaches, which hinder the patient’s day-to-day activities and severely deteriorate his or her quality of life.
Primary headaches, like migraines, tension-type headaches and headaches occurring on one side and persisting for weeks are recurrent headaches not associated with any underlying illness. They may signify that HIV is in its initial stage.
Secondary headaches, like headaches from meningitis or sinus headaches, are associated with other illnesses that develop in the later stages of HIV when the immune system further weakens, therefore allowing for opportunistic infections to thrive.
Due to these secondary illnesses, tension-type headaches often exacerbate and combine with secondary headaches.
Muscle Pain (Myalgia) and Joint Pain (Arthralgias)
According to a 2002 study published in The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, musculoskeletal disorders (those affecting the muscles and bones) are often the initial symptoms of HIV.
The patient may experience severe pain in two or more joints and this will last between 2 and 24 hours.
These symptoms intensify as the disease progresses.