Symptoms of HIV in Men and Women that you don’t know

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that attacks your immune system and makes it harder to fight infections and diseases.

How does HIV spread?

It can be spread through sexual contact, needle sharing, blood transfusion, and vaginal fluids that contain the virus. It can also be transferred from mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.

It is a deadly virus that can affect anyone. Knowing the symptoms can help you get tested and treated early, which can improve your health and prevent transmission to others.

Symptoms may vary from person to person and depend on the stage of infection.

There are 3 main stages of HIV:

Stage I: Acute infection.

This is the first stage. It occurs within 2 to 4 weeks of being infected with the virus.

About 2/3 to 4/5 of people in this stage will experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, fatigue, sore throat, rash, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, night sweats, muscle aches, or pain in the mouth.

These symptoms are caused by the immune system’s response to the virus and can last from a few days to several weeks.

Stage II: Chronic infection.

This is the second stage. It can last for many years without any symptoms. This is because the virus replicates slowly and the immune system keeps it under control.

However, during this phase, the virus can still damage the immune system and make you more susceptible to other infections and diseases.

Stage III: AIDS.

This is the final stage. It occurs when the immune system is severely damaged by the virus and cannot fight infections and diseases. This is also known as stage 3 HIV or advanced HIV infection.

People with AIDS may experience symptoms such as weight loss, chronic fever, cough, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, sores, or lesions in the mouth or on the genitals or skin.

They may also develop opportunistic infections or cancer that are rare or more serious in people with healthy immune systems.

Also Read: Understanding Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Prevention.

Symptoms of HIV in men and women

symptoms of hiv

HIV symptoms in men

It is a virus that affects the immune system and can lead to AIDS, which is a life-threatening condition. It is important to know the symptoms in males, as they can vary from person to person and stage of infection.

Early symptoms of HIV

The initial symptoms of HIV usually appear within 2 to 4 weeks of exposure to the virus. This is the early stage of the virus. The signs are similar to flu or common cold symptoms, and may include:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Tiredness
  4. Sore throat
  5. Skin rash
  6. Swollen lymph glands
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Night sweats
  9. Pain in muscles or joints
  10. Mouth ulcers

These symptoms are caused by the body’s immune response to the virus, which tries to fight the infection. However, not everyone who becomes infected with HIV will have these symptoms.

Some people have no symptoms at all, or only mild symptoms that go unnoticed. This is why it is important to get tested for HIV regularly if you are at risk of being exposed to it.

Later symptoms of HIV

Late symptoms of HIV appear when the virus weakens the immune system over time. This condition can last for years without treatment, and may not cause any noticeable symptoms. However, without treatment, the virus will eventually turn into AIDS, which is the final and most serious stage of infection.

Some of the late symptoms of HIV that can affect men are:

1. Low sex drive.

This is a sign of hypogonadism, which means the testicles don’t produce enough testosterone, the male sex hormone. Hypogonadism can also cause erectile dysfunction, depression, fatigue, infertility, and decreased hair growth.

2. Wound on the penis.

These are painful open ulcers that may appear in the mouth, esophagus, anus, or penis. They are often caused by other infections that take advantage of a weakened immune system.

3. Pain or burning sensation while urinating.

This could be a sign of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, or a prostate infection called prostatitis. These conditions can cause inflammation and irritation in the urinary tract and genitals.

4. Weight loss.

This may be due to loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other infections affecting the digestive system.

5. Extreme tiredness.

This may be caused by anemia, which is low levels of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body.

6. Cough and difficulty in breathing.

These may be symptoms of respiratory infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis, which are more common and severe in people with HIV.

Also Read: Multifocal Pneumonia Icd 10: What It Is, Causes And Treatment.

7. Fever, chills, and night sweats.

These may be signs of a systemic infection that affects the entire body, such as meningitis or sepsis.

8. Rashes, ulcers, or sores on the skin or mucous membranes.

These may be caused by fungal, bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections that affect the skin or the mouth, nose, genitals, or anus.

9. Prolonged swelling of the lymph nodes.

These are small glands that filter harmful substances from the blood and produce immune cells. They are located in different parts of the body, such as the neck, armpits, waist, and chest.

Now let’s take a look at some of the symptoms in women.

HIV symptoms in women

Symptoms of HIV in females may vary depending on the stage of infection and other factors.
Here are some common symptoms in women that you should be aware of.

1. Fever and chills.

Low-grade fever (99.5 to 101 F) with chills is one of the early symptoms of infection. This may last for a few days or weeks and may be accompanied by other flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, swollen glands, headache, and fatigue. This is because the body is trying to fight the virus, but it cannot completely eliminate it.

2. Night sweats.

Some women may experience excessive sweating at night, causing their sheets and clothes to become drenched. It is also a sign of the body’s immune response to HIV and may be accompanied by fever and chills.

3. Skin rashes.

Many women suffering from HIV develop skin problems such as rashes, bumps, wounds, or changes in skin color. These may be caused by the virus itself or by opportunistic infections that take advantage of a weakened immune system.

Some common skin conditions associated with HIV are ringworm, herpes, molluscum contagiosum, and Kaposi sarcoma.

4. Yeast infection.

Women with HIV have a higher risk of getting yeast infections in the mouth (thrush), vagina (vaginal candidiasis), or esophagus (esophageal candidiasis). These are caused by the overgrowth of a fungus called Candida, which normally lives in small amounts in the body. Yeast infections may cause itching, burning, discharge, pain, or difficulty swallowing.

5. Menstrual irregularities.

HIV can affect the hormonal balance in women and cause changes in their menstrual cycles. Some women may experience heavy or light periods, missed periods, spotting between periods, or early menopause. These changes can also affect fertility and increase the risk of pregnancy complications.

6. Pelvic pain and pain during sex.

Some women with HIV may develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries. PID can cause pelvic pain, fever, abnormal vaginal discharge, and pain during sex. If left untreated, PID can lead to infertility or even ectopic pregnancy.

7. Other symptoms.

As HIV progresses to AIDS (the final stage of infection), women may experience more severe and persistent symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, cough, shortness of breath, swelling of Lymph nodes, memory loss, depression, anxiety, and neurological problems.

If you have any of these symptoms and think you have been exposed to HIV, you should get tested as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help you live longer and healthier with HIV.

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