The symptoms of HIV can vary from person to person, and some people may not have symptoms for years. Without treatment, the virus will worsen over time and damage your immune system. There are three main stages of HIV infection with different possible effects.
Stage 1: Acute Primary Infection
About one to four weeks after becoming infected with HIV, some people have symptoms that are similar to the flu. This might not take a long time (a week or two) and you could introduce some of the symptoms of influenza, if any. Experiencing these symptoms alone is not a reliable way to diagnose HIV.
You should always consult your doctor if you are afraid to be at risk of HIV infection, even if you do not feel sick or do not have the following symptoms. They can then test you for HIV.
Symptoms can be:
- Fever (high temperature)
- irritated neck
- swollen glands
- a headache
- Pain and pain in the joints
- Muscle aches.
These symptoms can occur because your body reacts to the HIV virus. HIV-infected cells circulate in your bloodstream. Your immune system then tries to attack the virus by producing antibodies against HIV. This process is called seroconversion. The weather varies, but it may take a few months.
It may still be too early to get an accurate HIV test result at this stage (depending on the type of HIV testing, HIV may take a few weeks to a few months), but the levels of the virus in the blood are very high weak. raised at this stage. Condoms are the best way to protect yourself from HIV if you have sex. Using a condom is especially important if you think you have been exposed to HIV.
Step 2: The asymptomatic stage
Once the seroconversion phase is over, many people feel better. In fact, the HIV virus can not have any other symptoms for 10 or even 15 years (age, provenance and overall health). However, the virus remains active, infecting new cells and multiplying. Over time, this will cause a lot of damage to your immune system.
Stage 3: symptomatic HIV infection
In the third phase of HIV infection, your immune system has been severely damaged. At this point, you are more susceptible to serious infections or bacterial and fungal infections that you can fight. These infections are called “opportunistic infections”.
Possible symptoms during this time can be:
- weight loss
- chronic diarrhea
- night sweats
- persistent cough
- Mouth and skin problems
- regular infections
- serious diseases or diseases.
What is AIDS?
It is important to understand that HIV and AIDS are not equal. AIDS is not a virus or disease in itself; It is a certain set of symptoms. When a person develops certain infections or severe opportunistic infections (as a result of immune system damage due to advanced HIV infection in Stage 3), it is said to have AIDS. There is no test for AIDS and you can not inherit it.
If you have advanced HIV (with symptoms that define AIDS), it is very important to get the right treatment as soon as possible. With treatment, it is still possible to recover from infections and diseases associated with AIDS and the fight against HIV.
The sooner you start diagnosing HIV treatment, the better your long-term health.