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Early symptoms of HIV

HIV-SWOLLEN-LYMPH-NOLESEarly symptoms of HIV

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Early symptoms that you may experience a month or two after becoming infected may last a couple of weeks. These include:

· Rapid weight loss; ·Dry cough; ·Recurring fever; · Night sweats; ·Extreme, unexplained fatigue Swollen lymph nodes in armpits, neck, or groin; ·White spots on the tongue or in the mouth or throat; · Headache;

· Discomfort from light Rash Depression and · Irritable mood

 Advanced Symptoms of HIV

After the initial symptoms are gone, there may be no symptoms for months to years. Then, the following symptoms may occur over the course of one–three years: Swollen lymph glands all over the body; ·Fungal infections of the mouth, finger-nails, toes; ·Repeated vaginal infections (yeast and trichomonas); ·Development of lots of warts; ·Exacerbations of prior conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, herpes infection; ·Shingles; ·Night sweats; ·Weight loss and ·Chronic diarrhea

These HIV symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month and are often mistaken for those of another viral infection. During this period, people are very infectious, and HIV is present in large quantities in genital fluids.

More persistent or severe symptoms may not appear for 10 years or more after HIV first enters the body in adults, or within two years in children born with HIV infection. This period of “asymptomatic” infection varies greatly in each individual.

Some people may begin to have symptoms within a few months, while others may be symptom-free for more than 10 years. Even during the asymptomatic period, the virus is actively multiplying, infecting, and killing cells of the immune system. The virus can also hide within infected cells and lay dormant.

The most obvious effect of HIV infection is a decline in the number of CD4 positive T (CD4+) cells found in the blood-the immune system’s key infection fighters. The virus slowly disables or destroys these cells without causing symptoms.

A healthy, uninfected person usually has 800 to 1,200 CD4+ T cells per cubic millimeter of blood. If the HIV infection goes untreated, the amount of these cells in an individual’s blood progressively declines. When the CD4+ T cell count falls below 200/mm3, a person becomes increasingly vulnerable to the opportunistic infections and cancers that typify AIDS, the end stage of HIV disease.

As the immune system worsens, a variety of complications start to take over. For many people, the first signs of infection are large lymph nodes or “swollen glands” that may be enlarged for more than three months.

 

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    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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