More people have become aware of HIV and understand more about it. The only way that you will know if you have HIV is by being tested for the infection; you cannot just rely on knowing about the symptoms of HIV. Unfortunately, most will not show any HIV symptoms at all, even though they are infected. This leads to many people searching for the answer to what are the symptoms of HIV?
It takes years for symptoms of HIV to show
When looking into the answer to ‘what are the symptoms of HIV?’ it is important to look into how long they will take to show. The virus can take years to develop and it is unlikely that you will show any symptoms early on. The good news is that this means that the infection is less likely to affect the things that you can do in the early stages.
However, it is important to catch the virus early so that treatment can be administered. While there is no cure, there are drugs that can be taken to help slow down the process of the infection spreading and developing into AIDS.
What are the symptoms of HIV in the early stages?
While it will take some time – sometimes up to 10 years for the HIV symptoms to show – there are some that are more common than others. The most common symptom, and something that can show up within six weeks of exposure, is “the flu”.
Some patients complain of the flu symptoms, including aching muscles, headaches and a fever. The signs of HIV will usually disappear after just a few weeks, so many will believe that they just have another illness.
Unfortunately, this is when someone is more likely going to pass on the infection. The level of the virus in the system is much higher than at any other time because the immune system has not started to fight against it and treatment is not being administered.
Swollen lymph glands, diarrhea and fatigue are also noticed in the early stages of the virus. The virus will start to attach the lymph nodes and they will need to do a lot more work so the body will not be able to digest correctly. The fatigue symptom usually comes from the body having to do more work – especially the immune system as it tries to battle the virus.
What are the symptoms of HIV in later stages
As the virus progresses, there are more HIV symptoms that show up. Night sweats and weight loss are among the most common as the body attempts to fight off the disease. At the same time, neurological problems, such as depression, may hit.
The body will start struggling to fight off other diseases too, since it is trying to fight off HIV so much. This usually leads to yeast infections, like thrush, and more common colds and flu-like symptoms occurring. Of course, this will depend on the treatment administered, when the treatment started and how effective it is on the body.
Bruises appearing easily and red or purple blotches on the skin are also extremely common later symptoms of HIV. Finally, the adaption into AIDS will occur. However, there are many who now manage to live for some years before AIDS is developed and more tests are being done to help with the treatment of the disease.
If you believe that you may have been exposed to HIV, you need to get yourself tested. This is the most effective way of finding out whether you have caught the virus instead of looking into “what are the symptoms of HIV”.