Your immune system normally protects your body from infection, harmful chemicals and other agents. If this system gets affected, the body loses ability to overcome diseases and fight infection.
Human immunodeficiency virus is a dangerous infection, which kills CD4 immune cells and makes you more likely to suffer from infection and cancer. You can become infection through blood, pre-seminal fluid, semen, breast milk and vaginal fluid.
Specialists say that those, who have many partners, prefer unprotected sex and share needles, have dramatically high hazards of HIV. Unfortunately, if virus has penetrated to your body and has begun to propagate, you're not able to eliminate it completely. Nevertheless powerful antiretroviral therapy has ability to suppress viral multiplication and prevent progression of the disease.
If left untreated, HIV naturally leads to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which means that your body can't struggle with dangerous infection. It's also a problem that HIV usually doesn't cause any symptoms on the early stages.
Actually the first manifestation can occur after 2 to 4 weeks after infection. But almost nobody get examined in this period, as the acute stage becomes apparent in flu-like symptoms and lasts for several days.
After this initial stage life-threatened disease goes to so called «clinical latency». It means that the virus exists in the body, but multiplies too slow to cause any symptoms. The last stage of this disorder is AIDS, when the body becomes susceptible to opportunistic infections like cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis and cancers (Kaposi's sarcoma).
The earlier HIV is detected and the earlier special treatment would be prescribed, the higher chances of long-term remission and successful cure. Check out these warning signs of HIV infection:
#1. Fever – your body temperature may be increased because of numerous reasons. Actually fever is a normal response of your immune system to foreign agents and infection. However mild fever is one of the earliest symptoms of HIV.
#2. Fatigue – chronic lack of energy can be caused by various conditions, including immunodeficiency.
#3. Rashes – HIV makes your skin more vulnerable to irritation, damage and rashes. Non-healing lesions, sores and flaky spots can indicate low levels of immune cells in your body.
#4. Enlarged lymph nodes – these formations store immune cells and help you get rid of harmful agents. If your glands are swollen for a long time, it's worth to get examined.
#5. Night sweats – night-time heavy perspiration can disturb your sleep and be a warning sign of HIV infection.
#6. Irregular periods – there are numerous factors, which can influence on your menstrual cycle. Specialists say that absent menses, shorter or longer cycle can be a result of affected immune system.
#7. Yeast infection – it was found that HIV positive women experience candidiasis more frequently than others.
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#8. Muscle ache and joint pain – we all have experienced these symptoms, when had a flu. We've said that acute retroviral infection usually looks like a common cold. That's why it's difficult to catch it on the early stage.
#9. Sore throat – together with other nonspecific symptoms, sore throat appears within the first weeks after getting HIV.
#10. Ulcers in the mouth and on the genitals – those, who suffer from immunodeficiency, often have sores in the mouth and/or on the intimate organs.
In the majority of cases these symptoms are caused by other health issues. Nevertheless it's a good idea to get tested, if you're suspected to have problems with the immune system.
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