7 Signs That You May Have HIV: Only an HIV test can determine whether or not someone has HIV. There are no specific signs or symptoms that indicate someone has HIV.
However, there are some indicators that someone may be infected with HIV. The symptoms can differ depending on whether a person is experiencing an acute (Initial) or chronic (Recurring) stage of infection.
When the virus first enters the body, the immune system mounts a defense against it, causing acute symptoms. Early symptoms of the virus are caused by the body’s response to the virus, and they are collectively known as acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).
In any case, Infections can spread throughout the body as a result of the virus’s ability to compromise the immune system. The majority of these symptoms are non-specific, which means that they could be caused by any number of factors during the chronic stage.
This article discusses seven signs and symptoms that can be easily overlooked if you have HIV or have recently been diagnosed with HIV, as well as how to recognize them.
7 Signs That You May Have HIV
1. Unusual Rash(Flu-Like symptoms)
Even though only two out of every five newly infected people develop a rash, it is a common symptom of HIV infection.
There are large areas of flat, reddened skin with tiny bumps on it, which distinguishes it from the rest of the body. The rash may be itchy or even painful at times. Symptoms matching the flu are also common.
Two to six days after the start, the rash usually begins and will disappear within one to two weeks of the onset of the symptoms. It is most common on the chest and face, but it can also affect the arms, legs, hands, and feet in rare cases as well.
The possibility of HIV infection should be considered if you develop a sudden rash and flu-like symptoms two to six weeks after having sex with a partner who is not known to be infected with the virus.
2. Swelling of the Lymph Nodes
A condition known as lymphadenopathy can manifest itself in the early stages of HIV infection as the body attempts to eliminate the virus.
Armpit lymph nodes, neck lymph nodes, groin lymph nodes, and the lymph nodes behind the ear are the lymph nodes that are most commonly affected. Painful and even unsightly swelling can occur as a result of this condition.
In fact, the presence of swollen lymph nodes in some people can last for several weeks or months after the rest of the symptoms of acute infection have subsided.
Lymphadenopathy is also common in patients with opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis, as well as in those who have HIV-related cancer.
3. Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is one of the early opportunistic infections that can occur in HIV-positive individuals. It is referred to as opportunistic because it takes advantage of the fact that the immune system is weak to infect the host.
It is caused by a fungus that can infiltrate the inside of the mouth and throat, and it is also known as oral candidiasis. Despite the fact that it can affect people who are otherwise healthy, it is still a sign that the immune system is in decline.
Also, Itching and burning in the mouth are signs that your immune system is breaking down as a result of being infected with HIV.
If the immune system has been severely compromised, the fungus can spread into the windpipe, lungs, and even the bloodstream, causing serious complications.
It does not always indicate the presence of HIV, but it may indicate that you are at risk of infection and should be tested for the virus.
4. Excessive sweating at night
Excessive night sweats, also known as sleep hyperhidrosis, can occur during the advanced stages of virus infection as the body fights the virus or during the chronic phase as a result of an opportunistic infection, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
A night sweat is when your dress and bedsheets are completely saturated with sweat, often soaking through and causing shivers. This is, in contrast, to simply being sweaty. It is never considered normal to be sweating at this level of intensity.
Even though night sweats can occur for a variety of reasons, some of them are not life-threatening (such as menopause) and others are potentially dangerous (such as diabetes) (like cancer).
If you are experiencing drenching night sweats, don’t hesitate to have it checked out.
5. Sudden and unexplained loss of weight
Weight loss, on the other hand, can be intentional, as a result of dieting and exercise, or unintentional, as a symptom of an underlying medical condition.
People with HIV who are in the latter stages of the disease are more likely to experience unexplained weight loss. This isn’t about shedding a few pounds.
This is defined as a sudden, unexplained loss of ten percent or more of one’s body weight or more, where both fat and lean muscle are dropped.
Antiretroviral drugs, which keep the virus suppressed while allowing the immune system to rebuild itself, have made this condition, also known as HIV wasting syndrome, less common in modern times.
Wasting is most commonly observed in HIV-positive individuals who have not received HIV treatment.
HIV wasting is difficult to diagnose because the exact cause is not known. However, it is believed that the constant inflammation caused by HIV increases the rate at which energy is burned and lowers testosterone levels, both of which are necessary for the development of lean muscle mass.
The most common other causes of wasting are malnutrition, chronic diarrhea, tuberculosis, and cancer. Each one of these conditions necessitates prompt diagnosis and treatment.
6. A sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
In the event that you have STI, there is a chance that you may also have HIV. It’s possible that your chances are better than you think.
Some STIs such as syphilis and herpes, cause open sores that make it easier for HIV to enter the body. Others, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, cause inflammation in the genital area, which attracts the very immune cells that HIV prefers to target and infect. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are two such infections.
Being infected with syphilis can increase your risk of contracting HIV by as much as 500 percent. Other STIs can do the same. This means that if you test positive for any STI, you should be tested for HIV as a precaution.
7. No Visible Symptoms
In reality, the most common HIV symptom is asymptomatic. This is especially true during the advanced stages when as many as two out of every three people will be completely unaware of the severity of their health condition.
It is also possible that the disease will be “silent” for a long period of time during the chronic stage, and any symptoms you experience may be nonspecific or misdiagnosed as other health problems.
Never make the mistake of assuming that the absence of symptoms indicates the absence of HIV. Although you may not be experiencing any symptoms, this does not imply that your condition is “mild” or that your immune system is not being compromised. Yes, it is.
Getting an HIV test is in your best interest if you are at risk of contracting HIV and want to be sure.
All people between the ages of 15 and 65 should be tested for HIV as part of a routine doctor’s visit, according to the World Health Organization.
While only an HIV test can definitively determine whether or not you have the virus, there are some symptoms that may indicate you have contracted it. These are Signs That You May Have HIV:
- Flu-like symptoms accompanying an unexplained rash
- Lymph nodes that have swollen
- Oral thrush is a yeast infection that affects the mouth.
- Night sweats that are unbearable
- 10% or greater weight loss that has no apparent cause
- Having an STI is a serious situation.
It’s possible that you’ll have no symptoms at all. The absence of symptoms, on the other hand, does not imply that the disease is mild or that your immune system is not being compromised. If HIV is left untreated, it can lead to severe complications, which can be life-threatening.