WARNING: Early signs and symptoms of HIV you should never Ignore
What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection. There is currently no effective cure for HIV. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. Some groups of people in the United States are more likely to get HIV than others because of many factors, including their sex partners and risk behaviors. This section will give you basic information about HIV, such as how it’s transmitted, how you can prevent it, and how to get tested for HIV.
Over time, HIV infection damages the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off infections and other diseases, including heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and cancer. Left untreated, HIV infection can lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). AIDS is the most severe phase of HIV infection.
People with AIDS have such badly damaged immune systems that they get severe infections that don’t normally infect healthy people, called opportunistic infections, and eventually the infection leads to death. No effective cure exists, but with early diagnosis and proper medical care, HIV can be managed and controlled.
Early symptoms of HIV infection may include cough, body aches, headaches, nasal congestion, and sore throat. These symptoms usually go away on their own and can be mistaken for flu-like illness. Some people may have no early symptoms at all and may feel healthy.
HIV can cause a dry cough and other symptoms that affect the lungs and respiratory system. A dry cough may occur because HIV reduces the body’s ability to fight off infection and other diseases.
Recurrent or persistent fevers may be one of the first symptoms they experience. Their fever may also be accompanied by additional symptoms, such as: swollen lymph nodes.
Headaches are a common complaint in HIV positive patients attending emergency services. A thorough understanding of the differential diagnoses, initial investigations and empirical management of this presentation is essential for the assessing physician.
The reasons why people with HIV are prone to these infections is not clear. However, some research has suggested that HIV infection may cause changes in mucus clearance within the nasal passage, which is one of the primary defenses for the sinuses. Stripped of this protective barrier, the sinus tissues may be more prone to infection and inflammation.
In its acute stage, HIV can cause a severe sore throat to develop. The sore throat may make it difficult to eat or drink without feeling pain and discomfort throughout your entire esophagus.
Feeling tired is common if you have HIV, especially if you have had the virus for many years. Being severely tired can affect your ability to work, take care of yourself, and enjoy your life. There can be many reasons why you are tired. It is important that you and your doctor try to find the cause. Many of the things that cause fatigue can be treated, and you may feel better.
How can I prevent getting HIV after a recent possible exposure, like if a condom breaks or I’m sexually assaulted?
There is medicine you can take to prevent getting HIV after a recent exposure.
Talk to your health care provider, an emergency room doctor, or an urgent care provider right away about PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis).
• PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure.
• The sooner you start PEP, the better. Every hour counts.
• If you’re prescribed PEP, you’ll need to take it daily for 28 days.
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