What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV human immunodeficiency virus /AIDS acquired immunodeficiency syndrome . The virus can be transmitted through contact with infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. Within a few weeks up-to 2 months of HIV infection, theses early signs and symptoms may appear. Flu-like symptoms (Seroconversion period). Many people will have flu-like symptoms which is your body’s immune system natural response to the virus. Your viral count is very high and it is very important that you get tested to make sure you have or do not have HIV during this time. Fever that is often may include sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes (glands). At this time the virus is in the blood stream and starting to replicate in large numbers. During this time, your immune system will induce an inflammatory reaction. Fatigue and head ache. The inflammatory response symptoms can cause you to feel tired, lethargic, and winded. Fatigue are symptoms of early and late stages of HIV. Swollen lymph nodes (glands), joint pain, and achy muscles. Lymph nodes are major sites of B and T lymphocytes, and other white blood cells. Lymph nodes are important for the proper functioning of the immune system, acting as filters for foreign particles and diseased cells. They are located in your neck, armpits, and groin. They are part of your immune system protecting your blood by getting rid of viruses and bacteria. During an infection they may get inflamed which can result in aches and pains in the lymph node areas. Rashes and Seborrheic Dermatitis. During the early or late stages of HIV seroconversion rashes may appear similar to boils with itchy pink breakouts. Sore throat and dry cough. A sever dry cough that does not go away even with antibiotics and inhalers is a sign that you may have HIV. Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea. Appear during early and late stages of HIV because of the result of an opportunistic infection. Diarrhea that is not responding to typical medicine might be an indication that you may have HIV. Night Sweats. Common during early and late stages of HIV infection. They are not related to the temperature of the room or your activity. HIV is usually asymptomatic until it progresses to AIDS. AIDS symptoms include weight loss, fever or night sweats, fatigue, and recurrent infections.
If you have been exposed to HIV, have had sex regardless of whether you have or don not have symptoms of HIV, it is important to get tested as soon as possible to ensure a proper diagnosis.
How it spreads
By blood products (unclean needles or unscreened blood).
By mother to baby by pregnancy, labor, or nursing.
By having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
*** There are three stages of HIV infection:
***First stage. Acute HIV infection is the earliest stage of HIV infection, and it generally develops within 2 to 4 weeks after a person is infected with HIV. During this time, some people have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, and rash. In the acute stage of infection, HIV multiplies rapidly and spreads throughout the body. The virus attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. During the acute HIV infection stage, the level of HIV in the blood is very high, which greatly increases the risk of HIV transmission.
***Second stage. Chronic HIV infection (also called asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency). During this stage of the disease, HIV continues to multiply in the body but at very low levels. People with chronic HIV infection may not have any HIV-related symptoms, but they can still spread HIV to others. Without treatment with HIV medicines, chronic HIV infection usually advances to AIDS in 10 years or longer, though it may take less time for some people.
***AIDS is the final, most severe stage of HIV infection. Because HIV has severely damaged the immune system, the body can’t fight off Opportunistic infections ( infections and infection-related cancers that occur more frequently or are more severe in people with weakened immune systems than in people with healthy immune systems.) People with HIV are diagnosed with AIDS if they have a CD4 count of less than 200 cells/mm3 or if they have certain opportunistic infections. Without treatment, people with AIDS typically survive about 3 years. *** aidsinfo.nih.gov
No cure exists for AIDS, but strict adherence to anti-retroviral regimens (ARVs) can dramatically slow the disease’s progress as well as prevent secondary infections and complications.
Newly Diagnosed with HIV AIDS
Staying healthy while living with HIV AIDS
HOW DO YOU GET AIDS/HIV
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS