5 symptoms of HIV Infection

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that can lead to AIDs if left untreated. This dangerous and contagious disease has killed 1.2 million people, as of 2014. Nearly 37 million people are now living with HIV. The virus attacks the immune system of the body, allowing opportunistic infections to develop gradually. People with AIDS need medical treatment to prevent death.

(1) Pain on swallowing

Pain, when eating or swallowing especially in the throat, is a common presenting problem in people with symptomatic HIV disease. This is caused by the oral sores or thrush. This can lead to ulceration and inflammation of the throat/ esophagus.

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(2) Sores or infections in the mouth

This is caused by a common opportunistic infection in patients with AIDs. The infection is called thrush when it occurs in the mouth. It looks like white patches similar to cottage cheese, or red spots. Moreover, it causes a sore throat, pain when swallowing, nausea, and loss of appetite. Thrush can also cause cracking at the corners of the mouth.

(3) Diarrhea

Bowel changes and digestive problems appear during the later stages of the disease, once it has progressed to AIDs. People with HIV/AIDs have chronic diarrhea that lasts over a month. It may be accompanied by cramps, nausea, and vomiting. The loss of fluid from diarrhea can be life-threatening as it causes dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss.

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(4) Weight loss

This symptom is present in both the early stages and later stages. Patients have no appetite and no matter what they eat, they do not gain any weight. Instead, they continue to steadily lose weight. The weight loss is more prominent during the later stages.

(5) Flu-like symptoms

This occurs within 2-4 weeks after being infected by the virus. People in good health may not experience these symptoms, or are more likely to ignore them. These symptoms include fever, chills and night sweats. Patients generally treat these symptoms with over-the-counter medications and dismiss them by thinking they have a common cold. They may also get rashes, a sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

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Source: Viral Ventura



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