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Signs and Symptoms of HIV in Women.




1. Early, flu-like symptoms

In the early weeks after contracting HIV, it’s not uncommon for people to be without symptoms. Some people may have mild flu-like symptoms, including:

.fever

 .headache

.lack of energy

.swollen lymph glands

.rash

These symptoms often go away within a few weeks. In some cases, it may take as many as 10 years for more severe symptoms to appear.


2. Skin rashes and skin sores

Most people with HIV develop skin problems. Rash is a common symptom of HIV, and many different types of skin rashes are associated with the condition. They may be a symptom of HIV itself or the result of a concurrent infection or condition.

Sores, or lesions, may also form on the skin of the mouth, genitals, and anus of people with HIV.

3. Swollen glands

Lymph nodes are located throughout the human body, including the neck, back of the head, armpits, and groin. As part of the immune system, lymph nodes fend off infections by storing immune cells and filtering pathogens.

As HIV begins to spread, the immune system kicks into high gear. The result is enlarged lymph nodes, commonly known as swollen glands.

It’s often one of the first signs of HIV. In people living with HIV, swollen glands may last for several months.

4. Infections

HIV makes it harder for the immune system to fight off germs, so it’s easier for opportunistic infections (OIs) to take hold.

In general, people with HIV are also more prone to infections of the following areas:

.skin

.eyes

.lungs

.kidneys

.digestive tract

.brain

5. Fever and night sweats

People with HIV may experience long periods of low-grade fever. A temperature between 99.8°F (37.7°C) and 100.8°F (38.2°C) is considered a low-grade fever.

Sometimes, night sweats that can interfere with sleep may accompany fever.

6. Menstrual changes

Women with HIV can experience changes to their menstrual cycle. Their periods may be lighter or heavier than normal, or they may not have a period at all.

HIV-positive women may also have more severe premenstrual symptoms.

7. Increased outbreaks of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

For people who already have another sexually transmitted infection (STI), HIV can lead to worsening symptoms.

Human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes genital warts, is more active in people who have HIV. HIV can also cause more frequent — and more intense — outbreaks in people with genital herpes. Their bodies may not respond as well to their herpes treatment, either.

8. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.

9. Advanced symptoms of HIV and AIDS

As HIV progresses, symptoms can include:

.diarrhea

.nausea and vomiting

.weight loss

.severe headache

.joint pain

.muscle aches

.shortness of breath

.chronic cough

.trouble swallowing

In the later stages, HIV can lead to:

 short-term memory loss

.mental confusion

.coma

The most advanced stage of HIV is acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).


At this stage, the immune system is severely compromised, and infections become increasingly hard to fight off. A person receives a diagnosis of AIDS when their CD4 cell count falls under 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (mm3).

At this point, the risk of certain cancers increases. These so-called “AIDS-defining cancers” include Kaposi sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cervical cancer (which is specific to women).

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