Monday, January 12, 2009

SYMPTOMS OF HIV+: Everything you didn't know

Sorry guys for taking quite a long while before now. I have received many emails asking this post not to protract any longer. However, I regret to say, I was rather indisposed whereof.

I noted earlier on the Facebook group (Blogs With Weird And Strange Articles) that I shall be introducing amazing facts concerning HIV-AIDS. Therefore, we shall go through amazing information you didn’t know in serial clips.

Today we shall first of all be introduced to a checklist of the signs and symptoms both clinical and ordinary of HIV+

I shall tell you that erstwhile, the sex life of my paddies was quite adventurous and that made them very susceptible to catching the dreadful epidemic. After they were kept abreast of these signs and symptoms, their attitudes henceforth towards new partners became one of prime vigilance and prudence. That did not make them prejudicial or stereotype in anyway when they came across someone possessing one or more of these symptoms. They just became abstinent and thankful and behaved as if there was a wicked emergency elsewhere compelling them to skip the date or something. It seems - though not quite relevant – akin to a common joke; the blind date which goes thus:

“After being with her all evening, the man couldn't take another minute with his blind date. Earlier, he had secretly arranged to have a friend call him to the phone so he would have an excuse to leave if something like this happened.

When he returned to the table, he lowered his eyes, put on a grim expression and said, "I have some bad news. My grandfather just died."

"Thank heavens," his date replied. "If yours hadn't, mine would have had to!"

LOL. Well, you know, that joke couldn’t be better. Nowadays I can always use this sort of excuses just to escape clear-cut situation without being stereotype or obvious in the course. They have really helped me, I admit. Indeed!

Another thing very interesting about the knowledge of these signs is that it increases your self consciousness towards any health deterioration on your part. One of my friends is a blood donor, which implies he takes the laboratory investigation more than three times a year and he is so cautious when it comes to sex sprees. But alas, whenever he experiences one of these signs on him even though it wouldn’t resemble the real thing actually, he gets very anxious and would visit his doctor to check if it couldn’t be related to HIV. This implies, greater awareness and the urge to precipitate in various frequencies, laboratory investigations to determining one’s HIV status. For it becomes better to know earlier than later, the saying goes.

Before we go directly to the first sign, please allow me to warn you that although these signs and symptoms are basically relevant, they however must not be treated as an overt indication of the disease or to supplant in any degree the laboratory diagnosis. Laboratory diagnosis remains the only determinant to adequately confirm your HIV status. Any of these symptoms may be caused by diseases other than HIV-AIDS and this makes self-diagnosis difficult. However, if such symptoms persist or several appear at the same time, you must suspect exposure to HIV and should immediately see a physician familiar with the disease.


Within about three to six weeks after first exposure, some HIV+ persons develop a 7- to 12-day illness with enlargement of the lymph gland (A Lymph gland or node is an organ consisting of many types of cells, and is a part of the lymphatic system found throughout the body. They act as filters or traps for foreign particles and contain white blood cells. Thus they are important in the proper functioning of the immune system), sore throat, fever, muscle aches, headache, and a skin rash that in some cases, looks like measles. HIV can be detected in circulating blood lymphocytes at this time, but tests for antibodies to HIV seldom become positive until six weeks to six months later. This early form of illness usually disappears or often is so mild that it is not even remembered. However, the infected person is now contagious for the remainder of his or her lifetime and can transmit HIV to other persons. There is also evidence that HIV becomes more infectious to other as time passes since a person does not know if he or she is HIV+ without a test.

A few people develop brain infections severe enough to require hospitalization during the early stages of HIV infection. The usual signs are severe headache, drowsiness, pain in the eyes when looking at a bright light, fever, stiff neck, painful muscles and a general state of collapse. This painful form of virus encephalitis or meningitis is usually transient and goes away without special treatment.

Subsequent months or years may pass without any overt symptoms in an infected person. However, during this time HIV is being actively produced thereby weakening the immune system. Although this period is called the incubation or latency period, it is clinically not latency at all. Rather, it is a period during which replication of the virus in the lymphatic system continues but there are no overt symptoms of the disease. Hence, it is an apparent latency period rather than a true latency period. It is most realistic to think of this process as HIV sickness, a progressive sickness that ultimately culminates in AIDS, when multiple opportunistic diseases eventually cause death. The precise period of HIV sickness before the development of AIDS for any individual is presently unknown. Some researchers are predicting that this period may be as long as twenty years. Be that as it may, once AIDS appears, death will usually follow within the next few years, even though improved forms of treatment are prolonging survival.

At least, 80 percent of those infected with HIV will eventually die from AIDS or any AIDS-related condition. (many researchers suggest that over time, 100 percent of such persons will die from the sickness).

As HIV sickness develops, the following symptoms are likely to appear, singly or together.

One: Loss of appetite with weight loss in two months or less

Two: Swollen glands (lymph glands) in the neck, armpits or groin that persist for three months or more.

Three: Severe fatigue not related to exercise or drug use.

Four: Unexplained persistent or recurrent fevers often with night sweats.

Five: Persistent unexplained cough (not from smoking, cold or flu) often associated with a shortness of breath.

Six: Unexplained persistent diarrhea

Seven: Persistent white coating or spots inside the month or throat that may be accompanied by soreness and difficulty in swallowing.

Eight: Newly appearing persistent purple or brown lumps or spots on the skin. On white people, they look like small bruises; on African people, the spots appear darker than the surrounding skin.

Nine: Nervous system impairment including general dementia, loss of memory, inability to think clearly, loss of judgment and / or depression. Other problems such as headaches, stiff neck and numbness or muscle weakness may occur.

I repeat any of these symptoms may be caused by diseases other than HIV-AIDS and this makes self-diagnosis difficult. The law warns against breech of confidentiality in the case of one knowing another’s HIV status. Stereotype and discrimination must never be the rule of thumb but however, let’s all use his information to protect ourselves and create a quick response whenever we experience one or more of these symptoms.

This information has been brought to you thanks to Jack W. Shields and other materials published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) USA.

My next post shall discuss the symptoms of AIDS: Everything you didn’t know.

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