AIDS Symptoms in Men
When an HIV infection is far advanced, it progresses to AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, a phase where the immune system cannot protect the body from invasions of cancer or other infections. It could take a few months or ten years or more for an HIV disease to progress to AIDS.
HIV/AIDS has no cure, but a retroviral therapy could prevent the HIV virus from replicating which could be described as the latency period.
Some men may display symptoms, but most are asymptomatic. This is the main reason for the widespread infection as men would be unaware that they carry the virus. Symptoms may appear from two weeks to three months after a person becomes infected and they may manifest the following:
- Night sweats
- Rashes on the stomach, arms, face, and legs
- Vomiting brought about by nausea
- Sore throat
- Joint pains and muscle aches
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck, groin, and armpits
- Painful headaches
- Ulcers in the genital area or mouth
After the flu-like symptoms comes the latency period. This is the time when men will feel perfectly fine and may even look and act healthy. If the infected person is still untested and untreated, the latency period will be the time the HIV virus replicates until extensive damage is done to the immune system.
When this happens, the HIV now progresses to full-blown AIDS and these will be the symptoms that infected men will experience:
- Rapid loss of weight
- Symptoms of other diseases and infections
- Swollen lymph glands in the groin area, neck, and armpits
- A Persistent cough with shortness of breath
- Distorted or blurred vision
- Extreme and unexplained fatigue
- Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
- Bumps, skin rashes, and lesions on the tongue
- Night sweats, fever, and chills
It has been noted that the key to a longer life span is early treatment. Fighting off the HIV virus at the early onset will give men a better chance of survival. Studies have shown that a near-normal life could be possible even when diagnosed of HIV. The start of a treatment can give the immune system a bigger chance to fight off the HIV virus before it gets compromised. Early treatment is also the key to containing the infection as men are now aware that they have the infection and take the necessary steps to stop contaminating other uninfected partners.
Yet, the treatment could not be started if an HIV test is not taken to confirm the diagnosis. A research done in 2008 found that only about half of the men who consulted a doctor following symptoms experienced were correctly diagnosed. The other half was informed that they probably had something else and were only recommended for an HIV test after they went back two or three times to the doctor.
The scenario shows a deplorable state of missed opportunity for the men to have themselves tested as soon as possible. There are cases where men who became acquired late testing progressed to AIDS after a year of being diagnosed with HIV.