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Watch out for these Early Signs of HIV Infection!


An estimated 10-60 percent of individuals with early infection HIV may not show any symptoms. But some patients who have acute symptomatic infection may start showing signs from as early as two to four weeks to as late as ten months after getting infected. Dr Ambanna Gowda, consultant, internal medicine, and diabetologist, Fortis Hospital shares some of the earliest symptoms of HIV infections.
 
Fever: In the early phases of the infection, HIV patients may experience recurrent and persistent fever of unknown origins. It could be a sign of opportunistic infections.
 
Lymphadenopathy: In the initial stage of the infection, HIV patients may find their lymph nodes on their necks swollen. The condition is known as lymphadenopathy and it is caused due to the body’s response to the infection.
 
Sore throat: A chronic sore throat is a classic symptom of HIV infection. Early infections make the person susceptible to opportunistic infections such as oral thrush, which affects the mouth and throat.
 
Rash: Another early sign of a possible HIV infection is rash on the trunk area of the body. Consider getting an HIV test done if the rash doesn’t respond to treatment.
 
Joint and muscle pain: Aches and pains in the muscles and joints could also be a sign of HIV infection. It is often a result of the ongoing inflammation in the body.
 
Diarrhoea: Gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and diarrhoea are also seen in HIV patients. The weakened immune system causes bacterial overgrowth and infection inside the intestines. Sometimes, HIV itself could affect the gastrointestinal health.
 
Weight loss: A combination gastrointestinal problems and other infections raging in the body contribute towards weight loss in HIV-infected people.<
 
Headache: Immunosuppression in HIV patients could cause throbbing headaches such as migraines, cluster headaches, tension-type headaches.
 
We all know that having unprotected sex with an HIV positive person can spread the HIV virus. But there are few ways that most people think HIV virus can spread but it doesn’t. The common being kissing. Here are few ways HIV virus does not spread. Do not miss the last one.
 
The HIV virus doesn’t spread by touching an HIV-positive person as the virus cannot stay active in open. Hence, shaking hands with HIV infected person doesn’t increase your risk of HIV
 
It is a common misconception that if a mosquito bites an HIV positive person and then bites a healthy person, it can cause HIV. Be it mosquito, ant or any other insects, this is not a mode of transmission of HIV.
 
Most people think that kissing an HIV-infected person can spread the HIV virus. Sexual transmision is the most common one and kissing most not a cause of concern. However, in rare cases,if you have mouth ulcers then the chances of transmission is high.
 
Sharing clothes or sharing cutlery with an HIV infected person is not a possible way of HIV transmission. It is a common myth and must be debunked.
 
Another common misconception is that using the same washroom or toilet seat as used by an HIV infected individual might put you at risk of HIV infection. The HIV virus can spread through blood, saliva and bodily fluids like semen.