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Symptoms of HIV in Men

by admin July 27, 2015

HIV in men can have a range of signs and symptoms which include fatigue, flu-like symptoms, weight loss, and dementia.

The symptoms that appear in men infected with the HIV virus will not vary differently from women. Other than menstrual and vaginal changes all the signs and symptoms will almost be the same in both men and women.

Between two patients, there can be an important variation in HIV symptoms. Two HIV-infected men will not have the same experience.

Taken generally, this is the usual pattern that occurs in an HIV infection affecting men:

  • Flu-like illness: This may or may not happen. If it happens, most likely it will occur 1-2 weeks after infection. The symptoms would include chills, sickness, and fever.
  • Latency phase: A very long asymptomatic period that could stretch to 10 years.
  • Final phase: The highly weakened state of the immune system is unable to ward off many different infections.

Flu-like sickness

A serious flu-like sickness would be the earliest symptom that will be manifested by HIV-infected men. It is also referred to as the ‘seroconversion illness’. At this point, it is where the blood of the infected person is being converted to HIV positive. This conversion makes the infected person experience flu-like sickness that will have the following symptoms:

  • Significant loss of weight
  • Painful headaches
  • Diarrhea and sickness
  • High- grade fever
  • Extreme muscle pains and aches
  • General weakness and fatigue

Rashes and ulcers

Odd skin problems can happen either on the early phase or late phase of an HIV infection in men:

  • There may be a development of painful ulcers in the throat or mouth which does not disappear causing difficulty in eating.
  • There will be an appearance of rashes in the moist parts of the body such as the anus, groin, and penis.
  • The rashes may either be painless or itchy.
  • They may also appear on the palms of the hands, neck and face, and body or chest.

Latency phase

 

The latency phase is an asymptomatic stage that may take up to 10 years after infection. This is the time when you feel perfectly fine and healthy and may even look well. Yet, this is also the busiest time for the HIV virus as it takes over the white blood cells of the body and in the process destroys the immune system.

Some HIV-positive men have complained of severe swelling of the lymph nodes in the groin or neck or both during this phase. This is the only symptom in men that has been noted for this stage.

Full-blown AIDS

It may take years of being symptom-free, but the infection from the HIV virus will eventually devastate the immune system. This leaves the very weak immune system open to all opportunistic infections that could normally be warded off by a healthy one. These will be the symptoms:

  • Impaired motor skills accompanied by dementia and confusion.
  • Fungal infections that cannot be healed despite application of numerous anti-fungal medication.
  • Recurring viruses, colds, and flu.

If any or all of the symptoms is being experienced, the best to do is to have an HIV test done as early as possible so treatment can still be applied before it is too late.

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Symptoms of HIV

by admin July 27, 2015

The retrovirus of Human Immunodeficiency Virus or popularly known as HIV slowly replicates and, if left unchecked could become severely damage an individual’s immune system thereby progressing to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. The last stage of an HIV infection is AIDS where the person having it will have a difficult time warding off some cancers and other diseases. Tests for HIV should be done to determine the presence of unique antibodies and they may be in the form of urine, saliva, and blood.

The HIV virus comes in two types, the HIV-1, and HIV-2. HIV-1 is the term commonly used in the United States while Africa has predominantly HIV-2.

These two types of HIV show the same manifestation in which the CD4+T cell levels are lowered and infected. Declining numbers of CD4+T that could reach critical levels could make the opportunistic infections invade the body. The quick mutation of infection in HIV-1 rapidly jumps to AIDS compared to HIV-2 which has made it the number one infectious agent in the world.

An individual becomes infected with HIV through genital fluids and blood which includes breast milk. Having unprotected sex and sharing of needles with an HIV-positive person could also lead to acquiring HIV.

Getting an accurate result from an HIV testing could take a little time. The reason for this is because the blood tests done are not to determine the presence of HIV but more on the antibodies that the body produces to fight off the infection. This is why many people do not know that they are already infected with HIV.

The antibodies that a person produces when infected with HIV may be seen after 2 weeks although there are cases when it was after 6 months that a positive result was determined. In the period that the body is still on the process of producing the antibodies, testing could actually bring in a negative result.

It would be prudent on your part if you and your partner undergo HIV testing before having sexual relations for the first time. In the case of pregnant women, it is imperative that HIV testing should be a routine exam in every pregnancy so measures can be done to avoid infecting the baby with the virus.

The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of commonly known as ELISA is the usual blood test done to determine the presence of HIV. The Western Blot Test would be the second confirmation right after the ELISA test is done. An ELISA test cannot report it as ‘positive’ when it has not been confirmed by the Western Blot Test. There are newer kinds of HIV testing with some using mouth swabs to get saliva samples that could give quick results within 30-40 minutes. Yet, this type of testing still needs the Western Blot test to confirm the results.

After 6 months and tests still show negative results, it is recommended that an individual get a final check after another 6 months to make sure that he/she is not infected especially when exposed to unsafe sex practices.

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HIV – Symptoms in Men

by admin July 24, 2015

Most of us are aware that the HIV virus weakens the immune system which is responsible for protecting our bodies from harmful infections. The mode of transmittal for HIV virus is either through body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids or blood transfusion of infected blood. If left untreated, HIV could eventually process to AIDS. The virus cannot live without a host body but it will certainly thrive with a healthy one that has been infected through the delicate membranes of our genitalia such as the vagina, penis, rectum, and urethra.

The signs and symptoms of early onset of the HIV virus are different for men and women. For the men, the initial stage of the infection will manifest flu-like symptoms such as periodic headaches that may be mild or moderate accompanied by fever. The headaches that will be experienced will not be different from the usual headaches that we normally experience. The difference would be the swelling and inflammation of the various lymph nodes in the body. Glands will have firm and raised indurations in the armpit, groin, and neck. No pain or discomfort will be felt with these swellings which could be blamed for different conditions.

The dramatic changes will occur in the energy and stamina levels. The tiredness and general fatigue felt will be unexplainable and worrying. If exercises are done during this period, it may give a little boost of energy that men usually conclude that the fatigue felt was due to work-related stress.

Statistics shows that there are more men infected with the HIV virus than women. If, despite the alarming initial signs and symptoms, the infected individual does not undergo HIV testing, outwardly he may look healthy but the virus inside is already busy attacking the immune system. A long asymptomatic period usually occurs after the flu-like symptoms appear which could make the infected person think that it was just a passing infection that has already been overcome.

The sad part comes when the untreated disease now progresses to the last stage and becomes full-blown AIDS. This time around, it’s too late to do something about it. AIDS has almost eliminated the immune system which is open to all types of infections even the most harmless ones like the common cold.

Unexplained recurring bouts of diarrhea and nausea will rapidly deplete weight, fever, and joint pains will also be manifested. Extreme fatigue will attack the body and some dormant diseases will now be activated such as certain types of cancers, kidney, and liver problems. The flu-like symptoms are the body’s final defense against the attack of the virus.

Getting an HIV test should be made a requirement for every annual health check-up ensure good health not only for you but also for your partner. The key and emphasis should always be on safe sex which is by using protective barriers such as a condom. If you are manifesting early onset of the disease, the best way is to seek medical help and have yourself tested.

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Can HIV Be Cured?

by admin July 24, 2015

HIV Eradication is the goal name from the numerous research findings that brings closer a cure for HIV/AIDS. Zinc finger nucleases or ZFNs and gene therapy are the explored avenues to find out if people infected with AIDS can be cured. A patient with the AIDS virus was deemed cured of the infection when a bone marrow transplant was received from a donor that had a chromosomal deletion resistant to HIV. It is this idea that has encouraged the pursuit of gene therapy as a means to a cure. It is hoped by medical practitioners that even if the gene therapy cannot completely eradicate AIDS, the disease can be stabilized to a certain point where the infected individual doesn’t have to be dependent on medicines.

As in the case of ZFN, it is seen as a disruption process in the CD4 cells’ co-receptor of the HIV virus which will stop it from infecting the cells. The following hypothesis should be answered by the research in their attempt to use ZFN: Will modifying the CD4 cells of an HIV patient lead to future HIV-resistant cells? This particular avenue has interested researchers because of the presence of actual people who have immunity towards HIV. It has been discovered that around 2% of those having a lineage from Northern Europe display a CCR5 receptor gene deletion that has made most of them almost immune to infection from an HIV virus.

To test this theory out, donor cells were taken from a person with this unique genetic mutation and used as a stem cell transplant to an HIV patient that was also sick with leukemia. A stem cell transplant is the usual procedure for patients that are sick with leukemia, but it was the HIV of this particular patient that interest was focused on. It was successfully done because that stem cell transplant cured that HIV positive patient of the infection. After several years, the patient was tested again and still showed to be free from HIV. This astounding discovery never made it big. Only a handful of people know about this medical miracle.

The most remarkable breakthrough in the field of science is the HIV gene therapy that can eventually lead to a functional cure to an HIV infection very soon. The exploration of a unique genetic mutation possessed by a tiny population in the entire world which can finally pave the way for an HIV cure that could totally eradicate this deadly virus would be the greatest news for all mankind.

Yet, despite this wonderful news that gives hope to millions of HIV positive people, more tests, experiments, and research has to be done before it could be declared safe, reliable, and affordable to all afflicted people coming from all walks of life. Research and tests do not come cheap and the only thing that could stop this promising breakthrough, the first to happen in a long quest for an HIV cure would be the needed funding. It will be an opportunity lost if financial support for this is not forthcoming.

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AIDS Symptoms in Men

by admin July 24, 2015

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
  • Fever

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.

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