One of the worst things that can happen to anyone is the manifestation of HIV symptoms. To most, an HIV infection is an automatic death sentence. This fear is the main reason why many people don’t get tested, even though they know they are at risk. Perhaps the strongest weapon used to combat this hesitance is information. There are a lot of myths circulating out there regarding HIV symptoms and AIDS symptoms. And until these are negated, a significant proportion of adults will remain uneducated.
First of all, HIV isn’t AIDS, but rather AIDS is a stage in the HIV infection. An HIV infection progresses through three main stages: acute infection, chronic infection, and then AIDS. While HIV symptoms tend to be vague, especially in the first two stages, a few key conditions are night sweats, severe weight loss and swollen lymph nodes.
There is no guarantee that a person who has been diagnosed with HIV, and is showing the classic HIV symptoms, will ever develop AIDS. In persons who do progress, the first AIDS symptoms typically become evident within 10 to 15 years of first contracting the disease. In a small percentage of individuals, the onset of all AIDS symptoms can be as short as 3 years after infection. Sadly, the initial stages of HIV often exhibit no symptoms so by the time a patient shows all AIDS symptoms, their immune system has already been compromised.
AIDS symptoms’ is itself a misleading term as there is no one set of signs that can be used to make an accurate diagnosis without a blood test. That being said, there are some conditions that may point to a possible case of AIDS. They are similar to those of a stage 1 or stage 2 HIV infection but tend to be more acute. All AIDS symptoms include fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, a fever lasting more than 10 days, unexplained weight loss, purplish spots on the skin, shortness of breath, severe or chronic diarrhea, yeast infections in the mouth or vagina, easy bruising or unexplained bleeding and the most well known of all AIDS symptoms, night sweats.
It is clear that all AIDS symptoms are debilitating, but some can be explained by other conditions, such as food poisoning or even heart disease. Therefore, there is generally no reason to worry if you’re just running a fever or you’ve been tired for the past few days. However, if you’re exhibiting three or more of these symptoms, much less all AIDS symptoms or HIV symptoms, and you haven’t been tested, you need to get yourself to a doctor. Even if you have none of the conditions listed and you know that you may have possibly been exposed, get tested. It’s the only smart thing to have done.
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