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What are the symptoms of an HIV infection?

Posted by Administrator on January 24, 2011

It costs about Sh10,000 per year to manage opportunistic disease associated with those with the HIV virus if they know their status compared to Sh250,000 for the same case for those who are not aware of opt to hide their situation. Photo/LIZ MUTHONI

It costs about Sh10,000 per year to manage opportunistic disease associated with those with the HIV virus if they know their status compared to Sh250,000 for the same case for those who are not aware of opt to hide their situation. Photo/LIZ MUTHONI

What are the symptoms of HIV infection?

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Due to the nature of HIV infection and the resultant destruction of the immune system, HIV and AIDS may present themselves in widely varying ways.

Many of the symptoms do not result from the HIV infection, but from other infections that opportunistically occur due to the lowered immunity. To simplify the clinical picture, symptoms are classified in different syndromes:

1Acute Retroviral Syndrome — Soon after infection (6 to 8 weeks)

  • May have no symptoms
  • May bear mild to severe flu-like symptoms
  • Mononucleosis-like Syndrome
  • Fever
  • Swelling of lymph nodes/glands
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat)
  • Skin rash
  • Joint and muscle pains
  • Non-specific symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, fungal infections (either of the mouth or vagina) or nerve disorders.

2Asymptomatic Infection

May only present with persistent swelling of lymph nodes in different parts of the body.

3Symptomatic Infection (Usually long-standing symptoms, or recurrent ones, despite treatment)

  • Fever for more than one month
  • Diarrhoea for more than one month
  • Persistent vaginal thrush (fungal infection)
  • Various cancers
  • New onset or persistently recurrent genital or oral herpes (cold sores)
  • Herpes zoster (also called shingles)
  • Blood disorders
  • Persistent pelvic inflammatory disease (infection of the female reproductive tract)
  • Heart disease
  • Renal disease and/or renal failure
  • Skin disorders such as seborrheic dermatitis

4AIDS Defining Opportunistic Infections (When one presents with these, they are said to be having AIDS)

  • Cryptosporidiosis (fungal brain infection — headaches, fever, altered brain function)
  • Cryptococcus (fungal infection of brain, lungs or skin)
  • Cryptosporidiosis (fungal infection resulting in abdominal pain, prolonged diarrhoea, fever and weight loss)
  • Cytomegalovirus (viral infection affecting the liver and brain)
  • Herpes simplex (viral infection)
  • Histoplasmosis (bacterial infection affecting the lungs, liver and blood)
  • Isosporiasis (lung infection)
  • Mycobacterium infections (for example, Mycobacterium Tuberculosis or Avium Complex that affect any organs in the body)
  • Fungal pneumonia
  • Recurrent severe typhoid blood infection
  • Brain toxoplasmosis (parasitic brain infection)

— This is Part One of a three-part series on HIV/Aids. Catch more on the subject next week. Send your other medical questions to nation@askadoc.co.ke

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/DN2/What%20are%20the%20symptoms%20of%20an%20HIV%20infection/-/957860/1095038/-/mv4lagz/-/index.html

One Response to “What are the symptoms of an HIV infection?”

  1. mommafran said

    good information!! Thank you

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