The Dark Menace of HIV
Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is the name given to the infection that could eventually lead to AIDS. It is a slow replicating virus that weakens the immune system that can allow entry to the body of life-threatening infections.
Hugging and kissing as long as it does not produce tissue cracks are not the ways to get HIV. Here are the risky activities that could certainly infect you with HIV should your partner is positive with it:
- Born into it. HIV- infected mothers have a big chance of transmitting the disease to their newborn.
- Unsafe and unprotected sex. Body fluids are exchanged during sex and not using any barrier such as condoms can give the HIV infectious agents to enter the bloodstream.
- Sharing of needles. When needles used to inject drugs into the body are shared, the HIV virus is shared too.
- Blood transfusions have become safer ever since donated blood are tested several times to rule out STD yet it could still be possible.
Stages of HIV
HIV in its early stage could be undetected since the body has not produced antibodies to combat the virus. However, flu-like symptoms may be experienced which is often called retroviral syndrome or ARS. It starts with low-grade fever accompanied by swollen lymph glands, headache, sore throat, and fatigue.
The most common early sign of HIV is fatigue that is accompanied by joint pains and sore muscles that could easily be mistaken for flu symptoms.
Swelling of the lymph nodes around the neck, armpit, and groin area is one of the sure signs of HIV since its presence inflames the immunity system of the body.
When the infection is far advanced, a depleted immune system will make an infected person lose weight even when food intake is at normal levels. It is also called as the wasting syndrome according to the Department of Health and Human Services due to the over a month continuous fever and diarrhea that easily takes off 10% of the body weight of an infected individual.
Skin rashes can either take place in the early or late stages when HIV is present in the body. It usually grows on the trunk or the arms and looks like pink boils that are itchy.
Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting have also been observed in people with HIV. It could also be accompanied by racking dry cough that could be due to the presence of infectious agents like pneumonia cytomegalovirus, a herpes virus.
In the later stages of HIV, mouth thrush brought about by yeast infections together with fungal infections in the fingernails that result in discoloration or splitting, and flash sweats are manifested.
Irregularities in the menstrual period, disorientation, cold sores also called oral herpes, tingling and numbness in the hands and extreme fatigue are the signs and symptoms of late stage HIV.
If you suspect that you or a loved one show all the discussed symptoms and signs, a visit to the doctor and screening tests must be done immediately or it may be too late.