HIV and/or AIDS: Stages of HIV Symptoms

HIV symptoms

For the most part, the symptoms of HIV are the result of infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and/or parasites.

Stage 1: Symptoms of early HIV infection

Many people with HIV have no symptoms for several months to even years after becoming infected. Others may develop symptoms similar to flu, usually 2-6 weeks after catching the virus.

The symptoms of early HIV infection may include:

• fever

• chills

• joint pain

• muscle aches

• sore throat

• sweats (particularly at night)

• enlarged glands

• a red rash

• tiredness

• weakness

• unintentional weight loss

Stage 2: Asymptomatic HIV

In many cases, after the initial symptoms disappear, there will not be any further symptoms for many years.

During this time, the virus carries on developing and damaging the immune system and organs. Without being on medications to stop HIV’s replication, this process can take up to 10 years on average. The infected person often experiences no symptoms, feels well, and appears healthy.

Stage 3: Late-stage HIV infection

If left untreated, HIV weakens the ability to fight infection. The person becomes vulnerable to serious illnesses. This stage of infection is known as AIDS.

Symptoms of late-stage HIV infection may include:

• blurred vision

• diarrhea, which is usually persistent or chronic

• dry cough

• fever of above 100 °F (37 °C) lasting for weeks

• night sweats

• permanent tiredness

• shortness of breath (dyspnea)

• swollen glands lasting for weeks

• unintentional weight loss

• white spots on the tongue or mouth

During late-stage HIV infection, the risk of developing a life-threatening illness is much greater. Life-threatening illnesses may be controlled, avoided, and/or treated with proper medications, often including HIV treatment.

HIV and AIDS myths and facts

There are many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. The virus CANNOT be transmitted from:

• shaking hands

• hugging

• casual kissing

• sneezing

• touching the unbroken skin

• using the same toilet

• sharing towels

• sharing cutlery

• mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

• or other forms of “casual contact”

Diagnosis of HIV and AIDS

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimate that about 1 in every 8 HIV-positive Americans is unaware of their HIV-status.

HIV blood tests and results

Diagnosis is made through a blood test that screens specifically for the virus. If the HIV virus has been found, the test result is “positive.” The blood is re-tested several times before a positive result is given to the patient.

If a person has been exposed to the virus, it is crucial that they get tested as soon as possible. The earlier HIV is detected, the more likely the treatment will be successful. A home testing kit can be used as well.

After infection with HIV, it can take from 3 weeks to 6 months for the virus to show up in testing. Re-testing may be necessary. If the moment a patient was most at risk of infection was within the last 6 months, they can have the test immediately. However, the provider will urge that another test be carried out within a few weeks.

Conclusion

HIV infection can cause AIDS to develop. However, it is possible to be infected with HIV without developing AIDS. Without treatment, the HIV infection can progress and, eventually, it will develop into AIDS in the vast majority of cases. Once someone has received an AIDS diagnosis, it will always carry over with them in their medical history.

Should People With HIV Date Individuals Who Are Already Infected?

When it comes to dating, people who are infected with HIV have two choices – either date a person who is already infected or date someone who is HIV – negative.

Over the years, as people studied the Human Immunodeficiency virus, they got to know about various techniques that can be employed in order to prevent the spread of the virus. These methods can be very useful in cases where a HIV – positive individual is in a relationship with a person who is absolutely clean. In the field of medicine, such couples are known as serodiscordant partners.

Nevertheless, people are still very skeptical about dating while infected. There are several questions that pop up, some of which are as follows –

  • Should infected individuals date only those who are infected too?
  • If they have begun dating someone who is HIV – negative, when is the ideal time to reveal the medical condition? During the initial stages of dating or when mutual interest is established?

Opinions of people remain split on the issue. While some believe that it would be wise to make things clear in a couple of dates, leaving no space for surprises, others feel that it would be better to let things go at their own pace before confession about having HIV.

Engaging in Sexual Activity With Other HIV-Infected Individuals

If you are under the impression that unprotected sex between two people who are already infected with HIV would cause no harm, then you are mistaken.

In such a case, there are chances of occurrence of a super-infection. This situation arises when an individual already infected with a particular strain of the virus is again infected with a different strain. A recent study reveals that being infected with more than one strain of the virus, potentially leads to development of resistance against certain type of medications.

It also shows that super-infections can lead to increased viral loads and therefore aggravate the condition. An increase in viral loads can cause a significant deterioration of immunity, meaning that more copies of the virus are formed. The best way to reduce the chances of a super-infection is to use protection such as a condom. Minimizing the number of sexual partners can also lower the risk of a super-infection.

Finding Your Soul Mate

There are several dating websites operating today that cater to people with STD. Standard Membership on most of these websites is free and users can participate in discussions held on the forums section. There are many such website that aim to help people with STD connect and find friends or romantic partners. In addition to this, it also helps people get more information about the condition and how to deal with it.

Early Symptoms of HIV & AIDS

Based on just symptoms, you can’t tell if you really have HIV. You can find this out if you get tested for HIV. Once you know your status, making healthy decisions will be easier for you. Different people show different symptoms of the disease. Moreover, the symptoms also vary based on the stage of the HIV. Given below is a description of some common symptoms of this disease.

Early Stage of HIV

Typically, 9 out of 10 people with this disease show flu-like symptoms within a few weeks of infection. Some people don’t feel sick at this stage. They have acute HIV infection. Common symptoms include fatigue, mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, muscle aches, night sweats, chills, rash and fever, just to name a few. If you have these symptoms, chances are that you have HIV. For confirmation, however, we suggest that you contact a good doctor.

Clinical Latency Stage

If left untreated, the patient may move onto the next stage known as the clinical latency stage or chronic HIV infection. At this stage, the disease is active but the reproduction level is very low. The symptoms are also mild.

If you don’t take medicine to treat the disease at this stage, you may move onto the next stage within 10 years or so. In some people, the disease gets worse a lot faster. However, if you get treatment, this stage may last longer since the drugs can control the growth of the virus giving you more time.

Here, it’s important to keep in mind that you can still transmit the disease to people around you at this stage even if you show no symptoms. However, if you are on ART, you are not as likely to get the disease transmitted to others. So, you have to be careful and get the required treatment as soon as possible.

Progression to AIDS

If you don’t take meds for HIV, the virus will make your immune system a lot weaker. As a result, you will get AIDS, which is the last stage of this disease. Below are some symptoms of the disease:

  • Weight loss
  • Night seats or fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Inflammation of the lymph glands
  • Prolonged diarrhea
  • Pneumonia
  • Sores of the genitals, anus or mouth
  • Depression, memory loss or neurologic disorders

However, keep in mind that the symptoms listed above are not necessarily the indicators of HIV. They may also be related to other common diseases. Therefore, we suggest that you run some tests in order to find out which disease you have. The tests won’t cost you much and help you know the disease you have.

Most of the severe symptoms of the disease appear because of the opportunistic infection, which is the result of weakened immune system.

So, if you have been experiencing the symptoms listed in this article, we suggest that you get in touch with a doctor for your medical checkup. The doctor will prescribe some tests that can confirm whether you have HIV or not.

The Nature of HIV

The contagious nature of HIV places it in a different class than other chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and so forth. The contagious nature of HIV has a more debilitating psychosocial and psychological impact on the ill person’s mental and emotional state than non-contagious diseases and often leads to self-imposed isolation and a feeling of being totally inadequate.

HIV medications can help the body of the infected person but that person’s feelings of self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence suffer from a staggering blow that must be attended to just as directly as the treatment of their physical body.

Healing the mind of the HIV infected person goes a long way in healing the body of that person because the healthy mental state of the mind will produce far more antibodies to combat intrusions than a mental state that is depressed and dispirited about the condition of its physical health.

The most dangerous mindset that a person who is infected with the HIV virus can allow themselves to fall into is that of denial. Denial is so dangerous because it refuses to accept the existence of the disease which hinders the infected person from taking the necessary actions to treat the virus and also places other people in grave jeopardy.

Denial also has the side effect of confusing the brain where it will send wrong or mixed signals to the protection mechanics of the body and weakens the responsiveness of this system to both positive and negative external and internal stimuli.

A person can live a long reasonably healthy life with HIV, but that is not good enough when that person is living in a despondent mental and emotional state because of their constant awareness that a deadly plague is actively resident within them.

The powerful human nature of sexuality becomes a burden and a curse for those who are infected with any sort of sexually transmitted disease, and being infected with the HIV and Aids virus also has a good deal of shame and embarrassment that comes attached to them.

There is nothing that hinders a person infected with the HIV and Aids virus from living a productive and rewarding life if they do not wallow in the mindset of a defeatist. Being HIV positive may seem like it’s the end of your world, but it is not, it is merely one of life’s many obstacles and challenges that must be faced with a determination to overcome it.

Self-pity and denial are psychological contraband that must be removed from the mind and replaced with goods and services that are reinforcing and empowering personally and societally.

The nature of Hiv is silent and deadly. It feeds upon the cells of the body like and leech.

Hiv is: “Definition By Mayo Clinic Staff “

“Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause disease.

HIV is a sexually transmitted infection. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.

There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications that can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations. But HIV continues to decimate populations in Africa, Haiti and parts of Asia.”

The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.

Primary infection (Acute HIV):

The majority of people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within a month or two after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary or acute HIV infection, may last for a few weeks. Possible signs and symptoms include:

· Fever

· Headache

· Muscle aches and joint pain

· Rash

· Sore throat

· Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck

Although the symptoms of primary HIV infection may be mild enough to go unnoticed, the amount of virus in the bloodstream (viral load) is particularly high at this time. As a result, HIV infection spreads more efficiently during primary infection than during the next stage of infection.

Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV):

In some people, persistent swelling of lymph nodes occurs during clinical latent HIV. Otherwise, there are no specific signs and symptoms. HIV remains in the body, however, and in infected white blood cells.

Clinical latent infection generally lasts around 10 years if you’re not receiving antiretroviral therapy. This phase can last for decades in people taking antiretroviral medications. But some people progress to more severe disease much sooner.

Early symptomatic HIV infection:

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you may develop mild infections or chronic signs and symptoms such as:

· Fever

· Fatigue

· Swollen lymph nodes – often one of the first signs of HIV infection

· Diarrhea

· Weight loss

· Oral yeast infection (thrush)

· Shingles (herpes zoster)

Progression to AIDS:

If you receive no treatment for your HIV infection, the disease typically progresses to AIDS in about 10 years. By the time AIDS develops, your immune system has been severely damaged, making you susceptible to opportunistic infections – diseases that wouldn’t usually trouble a person with a healthy immune system.

The signs and symptoms of some of these infections may include:

· Soaking night sweats

· Recurring fever

· Chronic diarrhea

· Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth

· Persistent, unexplained fatigue

· Weight loss

· Skin rashes or bumps

When to see a doctor:

If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, see a health care provider as soon as possible.”

For more on this go to: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hiv-aids/basics/definition/con-20013732

Everyone say that there is currently no cure for the HIV and Aids virus and widely promote medicating the virus. This is great advice for the benefit of pharmaceutical companies but falls far short of the mark for those of us who are HIV positive.

The cure for the HIV and Aids virus is with those of us who are infected by forming our own independent research and development groups that are solely interested in finding and releasing the cure for HIV and Aids and not making money by only developing medications for it.

By monkeys or by man, however, HIV and Aids reared their hideous heads is a lukewarm topic compared to self-reliance, corporate action, and creative initiative that we who are HIV and Aids positive must undertake as a formidable unified body to cure ourselves of this plague and not depend on others to do it for us.

Your starting point for making your personal stand for life is by becoming a member of http://hiveaid.org. Join Now and reassert your individual and collective independence and humanity.

We must not allow HIV and Aids to be relegated to being just one of many treatable illnesses because that will be like abandoning the ship before it has hit the iceberg. We are the pioneers of our own health and destiny and will forge ahead until we are safely at anchor within the docks of the new city.

Our enemy gropes in the darkness attacking our immune system by using the corridors of our life-giving blood to assail us. There should be a way to induce our quiet enemy to feed upon itself and in so doing annihilate itself.

The cure for HIV and Aids is in the creative energies of women and men and can be developed, if it has not already been, and dispersed among HIV and Aids infected individuals free of charge. There is no such thing as being no such thing as far as human imagination is concerned. The ability to achieve is a gift that is embedded within all of us, some having more of this gift while others less, but we all have this gift if we are willing to cultivate and exploit it.

Our hands are not tied to the whims and the goodwill of others, therefore, we muster our collective forces, pool our resources, and get busy with the job at hand, taking our lives back and dislodging our silent enemy from the tables of nations.