12 Signs You May Be HIV-Positive

When it comes to HIV infection, it’s crucial to know what early symptoms to look out for. Early detection of the virus is what helps ensure that you receive the right treatment to control the disease, and possibly slow down its progression to AIDS. While it’s true that the only way to confirm that you have HIV is by undergoing an HIV screening test, there are still some possible symptoms you can watch out for to see if you’re really infected with the virus.

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1. Fever

According to health experts in Singapore, one of the first sighs of HIV is a mild fever up to around 102 degrees F. It is often accompanied by other mild symptoms like sore throat, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. During this time, the virus is moving into the bloodstream and is already starting to replicate in large numbers. As this happens, an inflammatory reaction in the immune system may occur.

2. Fatigue

Apart from generating an inflammatory reaction in the immune system, the virus may also cause you to feel lethargic and tired. Fatigue is known as an early and later symptom of HIV. This symptom causes you to suddenly feel winded even if you’re just walking. Individuals diagnosed with the disease also shared that they usually feel out of breath in everything they do. Fatigue may be a clear sign, but it may not be so obvious during the acute or earlier stages of the disease.

3. Joint Pain, Achy Muscles and Swollen Lymph Nodes

HIV is often mistaken for a flu, mononucleosis, or another infection like hepatitis and syphilis. This is not surprising though, since most of its symptoms that you can read from http://www.mlamclinic.com.sg/std-testing/ in SIngapore are the same including the joint and muscle pain, and swollen lymph glands. Our lymph nodes fall part of our body’s immune system, and they tend to get inflamed when a virus enters our body. Most of these nodes are located in the groin, armpit and neck area.

4. Headache and Sore Throat

As with its other symptoms, headache and sore throat is often associated with HIV in context. If you’ve recently engaged in a high-risk behaviour, then getting an anonymous HIV test may be a good idea. Health experts recommend to get tested not to only for your own sake, but for the others’ as well since the virus is most infectious during its earliest stage.

Also, keep in mind that your body hasn’t produced antibodies to HIV yet, so getting an antibody test may not be a good idea. Instead, consider getting test options that detects viral RNA just within nine days of infection.

5. Skin Rash

Rashes occur in the earlier or later stages of HIV. This symptom may appear like boils with some itchy pink patches on some parts of the body. While a skin rash may just be a symptom of a cold or an allergy, consider taking an HIV testing if you have a hard time treating it, or if it appears out of the blue.

6. Diarrhoea, Nausea, and Vomiting

Anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of people diagnosed with HIV suffer from diarrhoea, short-term nausea, and vomiting during its early stages. However, these symptoms may also be caused by the antiretroviral therapy, or an adaptable infection. Still, diarrhoea that’s unremitting and isn’t responding to the usual treatment may be an indication of HIV.

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7. Weight Loss

Also known as AIDS wasting, weight loss can be a sign of a more advanced illness and could be caused by a severe diarrhoea. If you’ve started losing weight even if you continue to eat as usual, then that means you’re immune system has fairly depleted.

A person is usually considered to have a wasting syndrome if he or she loses 10 percent of his or her body weight, and have experienced diarrhoea, fever or weakness for more than 30 days. Luckily, this symptoms became less common due to the antiretroviral therapy.

8. Night Sweats

About half of the people infected with HIV experience night sweats in the early stages of the disease – and it can become even more common in the later stages of the infection. Similar with the hot flashes that menopausal women experience, night sweats can also be hard to dismiss since they soak your sheets and bedclothes.

9. Confusion and Concentration Problems

Cognitive problems is a known symptom of an HIV-related dementia, which occurs in the later stage of the disease. Other than concentration problems and confusion, AIDS-related dementia also involves memory behavioural problems like irritability and anger. In fact, it may even include motor changes like clumsiness, lack of coordination, as well as problems with tasks using motor skills.

10. Genital Herpes or Cold Sores

Genital herpes and cold sores are both signs of late-stage HIV infection – and having herpes also serves as a risk factor for contracting the virus. It’s because genital herpes cause ulcers that make it easier for the virus to enter the body during intercourse. People infected with HIV tend to experience more severe herpes outbreaks since the disease weakens their immune system.

11. Weakness and Tingling

Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet are also considered as symptoms of HIV. These symptoms occur as soon as the nerves have been damaged by the virus. Fortunately, it can already be easily treated using anti-seizure medications like Neurontin, and some over-the-counter pain relievers.

12. Nail Changes

Another physical symptom to look out for are nail changes, such discoloration, clubbing, and splitting of the nails. This is often caused by fungal infections like candida. Health experts in Singapore explain that people with depleted immune system are more susceptible to experiencing fungal infections.

Now that you know what symptoms to check on to, determining whether or not you’ve been infected with HIV is now easier even without immediately undergoing HIV testing.

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