Risky sexual behavior can land you in dangerous situations, with HIV being the worst! 3 out of 10 people end up with no knowledge of the fact that they are infected, until the symptoms start showing up. These symptoms appear in the form of acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) and are experienced by approximately 80% of people within a month or two of the HIV entering the body. As we approach World Aids day on 1st December, let us pledge to control aids by taking timely measures.
Following are some signs that you may be HIV-positive:
- Fever: This is one of the most initial symptoms of ARS. The fever is normally mild, up to about 102 degrees F. One may also experience other mild symptoms along with fever and that is fatigue and weakness.Muscle and Joint pain, Swollen Lymph Nodes: Some of the symptoms of ARS are similar to that of flu. Hence, people often mistake it for flu. Pain in the joints and muscles, along with swollen lymph glands could symptoms of HIV.
- Skin Rash: If the appearance of a skin rash seems unexplained or if it is not getting treated, then it is suggested to get an HIV test done. These rashes on the skin can appear late or in the early course of HIV/AIDS.
- Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting: Some of the early stage symptoms of HIV include short-term nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms that do not respond to usual therapy could be an indication of the presence of the HIV virus.
- Loss of weight: This could possibly be a sign of an advanced stage of illness, and could also be an outcome of severe diarrhea. If a person has had a weakness or diarrhea lasting for more than 30 days, and has lost around 10% or more of body weight then he/she may be experiencing “AIDS wasting” or wasting syndrome.
- Pneumonia: A weak immune system is prone to various infections, and Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP), aka AIDS pneumonia. The symptoms of AIDS, PCP can eventually land the infected person in the hospital.
- Night sweats: These night sweats can be intense, with the ability to soak your bedclothes and sheets. It is experienced in the early stages of HIV infection and is not related to exercise or the temperature of the room.
- Yeast infection: This type of infection is caused by Candida, a common fungus that is also responsible for causing yeast infection in women. Another common fungal infection is Thrush that is caused by the same fungus and appears in the esophagus or mouth, making it difficult to swallow.
- Confusion or inability to concentrate: HIV-related dementia results in confusion, inability to concentrate, and may also cause memory problems and behavioral issues, such as anger or irritability. These problems occur late in the course of the disease.
- Numbness and tingling sensation: At a later stage of HIV, an individual may experience tingling in the hands and feet, along with numbness. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy and may also be noticed amongst people suffering from diabetes.
- Genital herpes or cold sores: Both of these could be a sign of ARS as well as late-stage HIV infection. In addition, genital herpes can result in ulcers which may spread HIV to a non-infected person during sex. It is a high risk factor for contracting HIV.
- Irregular menstrual cycles: HIV in its advanced stage can result in menstrual irregularities, such as lighter and fewer periods. However, this could be due to failing health of women with late-stage infection.
Like mentioned earlier in the article, many people fail to recognize the symptoms of HIV. Many times, the symptoms of HIV and AIDS don’t appear early and may not surface sometimes even after a long time. However, if the individual is aware of the involvement in high-risk sexual behavior or sharing of needles, then it is important to get tested for HIV without fail. It is essential to understand that medications are available for treatment of HIV. These treatments are designed to fight HIV and its related complications, and to keep your immune system as healthy as possible.