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HIV Symptoms and Diagnosis

HIV Symptoms Image

HIV Symptoms and Diagnosis

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that is known to attack a person’s immune system thereby weakening her/his ability to fight germs, infections, and diseases. HIV attacks the CD4 or T cells of the immune system. When the cells of the immune system get destroyed, the person becomes susceptible to AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Once a person has acquired the HIV, it is impossible to get rid of it. This means that the person affected by HIV has it for life. However, with timely medical interventions, it is possible to control HIV.

HIV infection in humans can be attributed to a particular type of chimpanzee from West Africa. When these chimpanzees were hunted for meat humans came in contact with the infected blood through which the HIV was transmitted to humans. HIV is transmitted when a person comes in contact with the bodily fluids such as vaginal and anal fluids, semen, blood, and breast milk of an infected person.


Symptoms of HIV

It is impossible to rely on pure symptoms to confirm whether a person is infected with HIV. Many people do not exhibit any symptoms of infection at all for more than 10 years. However, some people do exhibit flu-like symptoms about 2-4 weeks after being infected. The common symptoms of HIV infection are listed below:

Other symptoms can include joint and muscle pain and tiredness. Once the immune system has been seriously compromised, the person might experience weight loss, night sweats, chronic diarrhea, recurrent infections, and life-threatening diseases.

These symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks. When a person is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, the HIV infection might not show up on being subjected to the HIV test. However, during this stage, the person is highly infectious and can even spread the infection to other people.


Diagnosis of HIV

Testing is the only fool-proof method of diagnosing whether a person has HIV infection. Delaying of testing might cause the HIV to become more aggressive. Some common types of tests for diagnosing HIV are listed below:




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