AIDS, as we all know, is a contagious disease but how many of us really know about AIDS and AIDS symptoms.
Actually, AIDS stands for “Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome”.
It is the last and most severe stage of the HIV disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus.
You get AIDS only when HIV destroys your body’s immune system.
Moreover, you need to understand that the term AIDS pertains to the most advanced stages of HIV infection.
Also, being diagnosed as HIV positive doesn’t mean that you are with AIDS because there is a possibility of being HIV positive, and not having AIDS.
Becoming infected with HIV and becoming ill from AIDS are two different things.
Mostly, it takes several years for the HIV virus infection to develop into AIDS symptoms.
Mostly, the AIDS symptoms are the infection’s results that usually do not develop in you with healthy immune systems. Moreover, you may experience no symptoms in the early stages. You can live with AIDS for years not even knowing of its presence in your body.
But if AIDS symptoms appear, then you will experience severe cough and shortness of breath, painful swallowing, mental symptoms such as confusion and forgetfulness, diarrhea, fever, vision loss, nausea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, weight loss and extreme fatigue, severe headaches, coma.
Generally, in women, the AIDS symptoms may appear within a few months or may be symptom-free for more than 10 years. However, in children the AIDS symptoms appears within 2 years after getting HIV infection.
Although you do not experience AIDS symptoms, the HIV virus in your body actively multiplies, infects, and kills the cells of the immune system.
Moreover, there will be a decrease in the number of CD4 positive (CD4+) T-cells that resides in the blood. Actually, CD4+ T-cells are the immune system’s key infection fighters.
Moreover, the HIV virus slowly destroys these cells without developing symptoms. Thus, with the decrease in the CD4+ cells count, the immune system deteriorates and unable to fight against certain bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes. Therefore, you may acquire infections and cancers.
Know the AIDS Symptoms with Your CD4+ cells count
So, if your CD4 count is below 350cells/ml then the AIDS symptoms would be Herpes simplex virus (causes ulcers/vesicles in the mouth), Tuberculosis, vaginal thrush (yeast infection of the mouth or genitals), Kaposi’s sarcoma (cancer of the skin, lungs, and bowel, associated with a herpes virus (HHV-8)).
When CD4+ cells count is below 200 cells/ml then AIDS symptoms are Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, Candida esophagitis (painful yeast infection of the esophagus), and/or Bacillary angiomatosis (skin lesions caused by a bacteria called Bartonella).
When CD4 cells count is below 100 cells/ml then the AIDS symptoms are Cryptococcal meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain by a yeast), AIDS dementia (worsening and slowing of mental function, caused by HIV itself), and/or Cryptosporidium diarrhea (extreme diarrhea)
Finally, when CD4 count is below 50/ml then AIDS symptoms are Mycobacterium avium (a blood infection by a bacterium related to tuberculosis) and/or Cytomegalovirus infection (a viral infection that can affect almost any organ system).