Only your immune system knows, how to fight off infection, harmful chemicals and foreign cells. It makes everything possible to protect you from dangerous influence of environmental factors and to maintain proper functioning of your body. However problems can occur, leading to insufficiency of body’s immune response.
Human immunodeficiency virus causes life-threatening disorder, killing specific CD4 immune cells and reducing your ability to overcome infections and diseases. Without specific treatment HIV may result in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which is recognized as the last stage of this infection.
Unfortunately, nowadays we don't have a method or drug to cure HIV completely. Nevertheless scientists make a great progress, finding effective medications to prevent progression of the disease and to sustain sufferer's well-being. The good news is that you can't catch HIV in public transport or in the cafe.
Remember that HIV can be transmitted only through blood, semen, breast milk, rectal and vaginal fluids. In the US people mainly get virus, having unprotected intercourse with HIV-positive person or sharing needles and syringes.
It's not so easy to detect HIV on the early stages, as it usually manifests like common cold or flu. Acute retroviral syndrome becomes apparent in two to four weeks after getting infection. After that virus passes into the latent stage, it can exist in the body during many years, without causing any symptoms.
Though early symptoms are nonspecific, and can indicate numerous health issues, it's worth getting tested, if noticed these signs in yourself:
#1. Fever – long-lasting mild fever is a first sign of acute retroviral syndrome. It shows that virus has started to replicate intensively in the bloodstream.
#2. Fatigue – your tiredness doesn't certainly mean that you have the HIV. However inexplicable exhaustion is one of the earliest symptoms of the immunodeficiency.
#3. Rash – about 90% of those, who have HIV, notice skin changes at any stage of disease. The reason is that virus makes skin more sensitive to UV radiation and irritants.
#4. Ulcers – weak immune system may result in non-healing sores in the mouth or/and genitals. In addition to this, HIV sufferers have dramatically high risks of herpes and shingles.
#5. Enlarged lymph nodes – being an essential part of the immune system, lymph nodes store immune cells and support removing harmful agents from the body. That's why they react on the HIV penetration primarily. Swollen nodes can be found in the neck, armpits and groin.
#6. Night sweats – excessive perspiration may be not only about menopausal fluctuations of sex hormones. HIV can also be a culprit of night sweats and sleep disturbance.
#7. Menstruation irregularity – your cycle may be changed because of numerous reasons. Women with HIV often complain of too heavy or, conversely, scanty menses, their absence and irregularity.
#8. Weight loss – it sounds not so bad, isn't it? But be aware that unintentional rapid weight loss is an adverse sign of immunodeficiency progression.
#9. Yeast infection – it was found that HIV-positive people experience candidiasis more frequently. It may be also difficult enough to treat yeast infection, if having problems with immune system.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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