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HIV Symptoms in Women

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Posted by on Monday, September 20, 2010, 2:14
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HIV Symptoms in Women:

Introduction:

HIV also known as the human immunodeficiency virus is an infection of the immune system that causes a person’s system to be unable to fight off diseases and infections. Although HIV is not aids it is directly linked to aids and will cause this infection to develop over a period of time.

HIV in Women
HIV in Women

Although HIV symptoms in women may not always be present in the very early stages they most commonly show in ways that may not be directly associated with the HIV virus. In many cases the symptoms that present themselves a short time after exposure to the HIV virus are so subtle that they are not immediately detected. Some of the most common symptoms that may be exhibited in this early stage of infection may include abnormal pap smear exams, recurring or extreme vaginal infections and difficult to treat infections of the pelvis region also known as PID or pelvic inflammatory disease.

Even though these are some of the most common symptoms of HIV infection in women they are not the only symptoms that may manifest in relation to this condition. Some other symptoms that may also be present include yeast infections that keep coming back, ulcers or warts of the genital area as well as severe herpes infections.

HIV symptoms in womenOther HIV symptoms in women that are commonly found may present themselves as symptoms similar to those of the flu. These symptoms may be noticed within weeks of infection or may not surface for many years.

In addition to these symptoms some other signs that may be seen in relation to infection of the HIV virus may include things like loss of appetite, diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, fever with night sweats, white spots in the mouth and swelling of the lymph nodes particularly those that are located in the neck, under the arms and in the area of the groin.

In order to determine if you have been infected with the HIV virus it is very important to be tested for the virus. Even if you do not have the HIV virus it is still a good idea to be tested on a regular basis in order to detect any future infection at the earliest possible moment. This is especially true if you are in any of the increased risk groups for becoming infected with the HIV virus such as being diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases as well as tuberculosis or hepatitis. Receiving blood transfusions or clotting agents during the years of 1978-1985 may also put you in the increased risk group for being infected with the HIV virus because this was before these bodily fluids were regularly tested for the virus.

Although HIV symptoms in women as well as men are often similar these symptoms that are specific to women in many cases are not always immediately noticed as being symptoms of HIV infection because they can also be caused by other conditions as well. This is one of the reasons regular testing is so important to detect the presence of HIV infection.

Symptoms of primary HIV infection may include:

* fever,
* sore throat,
* tiredness,
* joint pain,
* muscle pain,
* swollen glands (nodes), or
* a blotchy rash on the chest.

These early symptoms are often very mild, so it is easy to mistake them for another condition, such as a cold or glandular fever.

After the initial symptoms listed above, HIV will often not cause any further symptoms for many years. This is known as asymptomatic HIV infection. During this time, the virus is still reproducing and damaging your immune system.

Late-stage HIV infection

Left untreated, HIV will lower the number of CD4 cells in your body to a dangerously low level, and your immune system will stop working. It normally takes 10 years for the virus to damage the immune system in this way. A damaged immune system will inevitably result in you developing a serious infection.

Possible symptoms of a serious infection caused by a damaged immune system include:

* persistent tiredness,
* night sweats,
* unexplained weight loss,
* persistent diarrhoea,
* blurred vision,
* white spots on your tongue or mouth,
* dry cough,
* shortness of breath,
* a fever of above 37C (100F) that lasts a number of weeks, or
* swollen glands that last for more than three months.

AIDS-related illnesses, such as TB, pneumonia and some cancers, may appear. Many of these, though serious, can be treated to some extent and some are likely to improve if you start treatment and your CD4 count increases.

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1 Response to “HIV Symptoms in Women”

  1. [...] with HIV and AIDS is never pleasant. These two horrible diseases are perhaps two of the scariest in the [...]

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