HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV doesn’t show any physical symptoms. It is not possible to know if someone has HIV/AIDS by looking at him or her. Any person who has contracted HIV may present with symptoms within a few weeks of infection. The symptoms are very common – Fever, fatigue, rash, headache, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes.
These symptoms might not show for many years. That’s why many patients get to know about their HIV infection in its last stage i.e AIDS. AIDS is Advanced Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is the last or advanced stage of HIV infection.
Symptoms of AIDS
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When a person is infected with HIV, his or her body's immune system starts to weaken (immunocompromised). Treatment is available for HIV-positive infection. Timely treatment of HIV positive reduces the risk of developing AIDS and a person can live a normal life by taking regular medicines. If not early diagnosed or controlled on time, it may lead to AIDS. When a person reaches the advanced stage, the body becomes susceptible to more opportunistic infections. These infections are caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Normal people having good immunity are strong enough to fight back these infections. But HIV infected people with lower immunity are easily attacked by these infections making them weaker. An HIV-infected person whose immune system has been weakened by opportunistic infections will eventually develop AIDS.
HIV is transmitted through body fluids such as blood, breast milk, semen, pre-ejaculatory fluids, and vaginal fluids. Some common ways are
1. Blood transfusion
2. Sharing same needles
3. Engaged in unprotected sex
4. From mother to her baby
If you suspect that you might be at risk of contracting HIV infection, it is better to get tested for HIV. HIV antibody test is the only test for HIV. If infected with HIV, treatment is available which can help you to continue to lead a healthy life. This way you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be taken as professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other health professionals for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.