According to WHO data, there are 37 Million people who are infected with HIV currently. In Year 2015 alone, 1.1 Million People died due to HIV/AIDS and related complications, this number is expected to decrease significantly due to the onset of new generation of antivirals. The most of these deaths are in Africa region due to the inaccessibility of treatment and proper education regarding these diseases. Indeed the fight against HIV and AIDS is global.
HIV and AIDS are related however they are very different. HIV refers to the human immunodeficiency virus. This is a type of retrovirus that if not checked causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV infects helper T, dendritic and macrophages cells. These are critical cells in the body’s immune system. Such infection reduces the number of these cells. The reduction makes the body highly susceptible to opportunistic infections.
Transmission of HIV from one person to another is through infected blood, vaginal fluid, semen, and breast milk. Symptoms of infection with the virus become evident between 3 to 6 weeks after infection. The following are the 12 early signs of infection with the virus.
This is often the first symptoms of HIV infection in many females. The fever serves as an indication that the body’s immune system is in the process of fighting the infection. Although there are other illnesses and infections that cause fever, the fever associated with HIV infection remains persistent. You are also most likely to experience chills in a case of HIV infection.
2. Sore Throat
While some women infected with HIV experience fever as the first symptom, others experience a sore throat as the first symptom. You are most likely to experience some level of pain in your throat when you swallow anything. It is also possible to develop mouth ulcers.
3. Skin Rashes
Skin rashes are the other early symptoms of HIV infection. Unlike other skin rashes, the rashes associated with HIV infection appear to be reddish and scaly. They remain inflamed and can be itchy. Most areas of the skin affected do include the facial, chest and on the scalp. Some women also experience rashes in pubic region.
4. Night Sweat
HIV infection can make it difficult for you to have quality sleep. Infected females are most likely to experience sweating during the night. The sweating can be profuse to a point where it drenches your clothing and bedding’s.
Like with fever, a feeling of nausea serves to indicate that your body’s immune system is fighting an infection. HIV infection, therefore, causes the feeling of nausea, which can be intense to a point where you vomit. Unlike feeling of nausea and vomiting associated with other diseases and conditions, that which is associated with HIV infection remains persistent and is on a regular basis.
6. Primary Headaches
Females are bound to experience primary headaches when infected with HIV. Such headaches include persistent migraines and tension headache. These two differ from such secondary headaches as a sinus headache caused by other diseases.
7. Body Fatigue
A feeling of exhaustion and general body weakness can be because of various factors. However, persistent feeling of exhaustion and lack of energy to perform simple tasks serves as an early symptom of HIV infection. It makes it difficult for you to focus on doing anything. It is also possible to always lose your patience with everything that you do.
8. Swollen Lymph Nodes
It is from your lymph nodes that your body’s immune system cells get distributed. The primary locations of the lymph nodes are in the groin area, neck and under your arms. Because HIV targets cells of the immune system, it attacks cells in these areas. The lymph nodes react by swelling and you are bound to feel some level of pain in those areas.
9. Joint/Muscle Pain
HIV infection causes pain in the joints and muscles both at the initial and later stages of the condition. The pain can be severe or moderate. You are bound to experience the pain before it subsides only to reoccur again after several hours.
Diarrhea is one of the most common early symptoms of HIV infection. The fact that you develop diarrhea simply means that you have either a bacterial or fungal infection in the gastrointestinal tract. It may be a signal that the virus has lowered the capacity of your immune system.
11. Mouth Sores
Although there are health conditions that also cause mouth sores, mouth sores associated with HIV infection are different. You are also most likely to experience soreness in the anal and genital areas.
12. Neurological Disorders
Unexplained neurological disorders should alert you to the possibility that you have been infected by HIV. Some of such disorders include the feeling of depression and loss of memory.
These are the 12 early symptoms of HIV infection. The symptoms do not present themselves at the same time. A symptom can occur only to pave way for another symptom. This is why it is important to go for the necessary testing done in good time before the condition develops into full blown AIDS.