What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The HIV virus attacks the immune system which further weakens the body’s ability to fight infections and diseases.
A cure or method of treating HIV has not been found. However, the progression of the disease can be slowed by undergoing certain treatments so that the sufferer can lead a normal life.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection, which is when the body’s ability to fight infection no longer exists. With early detection and treatment, PEOPLE with HIV will not be classed as AIDS.
The spread of HIV
HIV can be found in the bodily fluids of an infected person. Body fluids in question are spe**rm fluid, vagi**nal fluid, anus fluid, blood, and breast milk. However, HIV cannot spread through sweat or urine. HIV is a fragile virus that cannot last long outside the human body.
Generally, the spread of HIV virus occurs through unsafe se**xual inter**course and takes turns using syringes when taking drugs. Other ways of spreading include:
- Transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, during childbirth or lactation.
- Through oral se**x.
- Through the use of se**x aids used alternately.
- Through blood transfusions from infected people.
- Using needles, injections, and other injecting equipment that has been contaminated.
Learn more about How Do People Get HIV: Myths and Facts
What is HIV Symptoms?
Symptoms of HIV sometimes do not appear for several years or even a decade after being infected. But within a month or two after HIV enters the body, 40 to 90 percent of PLWHA (People Living With HIV / AIDS) will experience flu-like symptoms, known as an acute retroviral syndrome.
Although the disease is capable of causing serious health problems, unfortunately the early symptoms of the disease are less known. So this disease is only known when it has entered a severe stage. Symptoms you should know such as:
Early symptoms of HIV include a mild fever, sore throat, and swelling of the lymph nodes. This is a sign that the virus has entered your bloodstream and damaged your immunity.
When the virus enters your body, it will attack healthy body cells. So it can cause fatigue and weakness in your body.
The inflammatory response produced by the immune system can cause you to feel weak and lethargic. Fatigue can be an early sign of HIV.
#3. Muscle pain
This muscle pain occurs because of inflammation in your lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are part of the immune system and can be inflamed in the event of infection.
These glands are usually located in the groin, neck, and armpits. This pain can also strike in the joints and groin or knees.
- Skin rash
- Nail changes.
- Weight loss and nausea.
- Weight loss and night sweats.
Learn more about HIV infection early symptoms, and Stages of HIV Infections
How do I know if I have HIV or not?
The only way to find out your HIV status is by doing an HIV test. Knowing your HIV status is very important because it will help you make the decision not to contract or transmit HIV.
Some people may have flu-like symptoms after 2 to 4 weeks after being infected with HIV (stage 1) but most people do not have any symptoms at this stage. Common flu-like symptoms include heat, chills, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throats, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes or sore areas of the mouth.
These symptoms will persist in a few days or a few weeks. At this time HIV testing may not show positive results, but people in this phase are very easy to transmit the HIV virus to others.
If you have symptoms like the one mentioned above, it doesn’t mean you’re infected with HIV. The above symptoms may be other diseases. But if you have any of the above symptoms after doing activities that are at risk for contracting HIV, immediately consult your doctor and tell them about your risk factors. The only way to find out is by doing an HIV test.
Thank you very much for reading What is HIV: Definition, Spread, 7 Symptoms, and How To Know If I Have It, hopefully useful.