HIV is a condition, commonly associated with drug abuse and sharing needles.

However specialists say that human immunodeficiency virus can spread from infected person to the healthy one not only through the blood, but also through the semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk.

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So, the risks are high for people, who practice unprotected sex with many partners. Anal sex brings more risks for those, who have intercourse with HIV-positive partner.

Human immunodeficiency virus is actually a mutated form of the virus, which affected chimpanzees decades ago. In the 1970s, it appeared in individuals, who lived on the African continent. And nowadays ill people with immunodeficiency live all over the world.

HIV attacks person's defensive mechanisms, kills immune cells and occupies the whole body. It invades into the DNA, telling the body to produce virus-contained cells.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

With time, infected organism loses ability to fight off different disease and health issues. This condition is known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Unfortunately there is no way to eliminate immunodeficiency virus from the body at all. However it's completely possible to keep viral load under the control, reducing amount and activity of the virus.

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Medications, designed to suppress HIV, work better, if they are taken in the early stage, when virus isn't too active.

That's why making early diagnosis is an extremely important part of effective treatment.

The problem is that HIV may cause non-specific symptoms, common for high number of health disorders.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

Ladies, pay attention to your health and get tested on HIV infection, if noticed any of these symptoms:

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#1. Flu-like symptoms – in the early beginning of immunodeficiency, infection may look like mild influenza. In the case of HIV, fever, unexplained fatigue and headache usually go away after several weeks.

#2. Swollen lymph nodes – lymph nodes represent a part of immune system, which store immune cells and filter foreign substances. If HIV attacks your body, lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and groin may become enlarged and stay swollen for a long time.

#3. New rashes – it's not uncommon that HIV-positive people have skin problems. They become dramatically sensitive to sunlight and chemical irritants. HIV-associated lesions usually become apparent in flakiness, reddish bumps and sores in the mouth, genital area and anus.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#4. Low-grade fever – when HIV enters person's body, immune system tries to cope with this infection. While these protective mechanisms work hard, your body temperature may increase and stay slightly elevated for several months.

#5. Night sweats – you probably know that hot flashes and night sweats are common symptoms of menopause. But be aware that in some cases, profuse night sweats may have nothing to do with your hormones. The reason may be in life-long immune-suppressing infection.

#6. Frequent yeast infection – our bodies normally contain certain amount of fungus called Candida albicans. When immune system fails to regulate body's microflora, Candida may start to grow too fast, causing vaginal yeast or mouth thrush. People with HIV often find it really difficult to treat this annoying disorder.

#7. Weight loss – sometimes rapid inexplicable weight loss is nothing to be glad about. When HIV infection progresses, moving into the AIDS, patients often lose weight without trying.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#8. Changes in menstrual cycle – immunodeficiency may lead to irregularities in menstrual cycle. Some women have unusually severe premenstrual syndrome, while other have no menses at all.

#9. Difficulty focusing – cognitive problems often go hand-in-hand with HIV infection. Changes in memory and behaviour commonly appear on the late stage of the illness, when immune response is extremely suppressed.

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#10. Pelvic inflammatory disease – gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and other sexually transmitted infections cause inflammation in woman's reproductive organs. This may be very hard to treat in people, who have weak immune system. It's also completely possible that infection returns after effective treatment, if your body's protection can't work right.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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