Each of us knows that having unprotected sex with new partner increases risks of sexually transmitted infection. But do you know that it can also lead to immunodeficiency? Human immunodeficiency virus is infection, which destroys person's immune CD4 cells and affects his or her ability to fight off diseases.
This virus can spread from one person to another through blood, semen, vaginal or rectal fluids and breast milk. That's why having many partners without using condoms, sharing needles and syringes can significantly boost your personal risks of getting HIV infection.
Owing to numerous investigations, scientists made a great progress in understanding and controlling HIV. We still don't have ability to eliminate this virus totally from the body, but we have ability to keep disease in dormant condition for a long time (even for the whole life).
Actually there are three main stages of HIV infection
The first one is called acute retroviral syndrome. It can stay symptomless or can be felt like severe flu infection.
This early stage manifests within a month after transmission of the virus and can last from a couple of days to several weeks. The most common symptoms include:
· Low-grade fever, which commonly doesn't rise higher than 102F
· Inexplicable fatigue, which doesn't go away after normal sleep and rest
· Enlarged lymph nodes, which occur as immune response of the body to infection
· Muscle aching
· Sore throat
· Night sweats (not related to menopause)
· New rashes, which can range in severity and become apparent in reddish itchy bumps on the face and chest
· Non-healing ulcers in the mouth and/or genital area
People usually don't pay much attention on these non-specific symptoms, confusing them with flu or common cold. After that HIV runs into the chronic stage, also called clinical latency stage. During this period virus becomes less active, but it still continues to propagate and can be transmitted to other people.
Those, who take antiretroviral medications properly, have ability to keep disease at this dormant stage during many years.
If left untreated, HIV progresses more quickly that leads to extreme decrease of immune cells. When immune system fails, disease moves into the final stage, called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
In this last phase person's organism is unprotected from dangerous agents and becomes opened for opportunistic infections like pneumocystis pneumonia, toxoplasmosis, yeast infection, hepatitis C etc. Late symptoms frequently include abrupt weight loss, diarrhea, depression, memory troubles, nausea, vomiting and profuse night sweats.
It's a good idea to get tested, even if you don’t have any symptoms, in order to know your HIV-status exactly. Remember that early detection can help control this life-threatening disorder and improve quality of life.
Sources: HIV, Healthline, Medicalnewstoday, Emedicinehealth
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