Can You Tell If You Have Hiv – Although there is no cure for HIV, early detection and proper treatment can enable a person with HIV to lead a normal life. However, if HIV is not treated, it can go through four serious stages. That’s why it’s important to get tested for HIV if you think you might be at risk.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects a person’s immune system, affecting its ability to fight infection and disease. Therefore, without treatment, HIV can be life-threatening. Early signs and symptoms of HIV vary from person to person and can be confused with other diseases. Regular HIV testing helps reduce the long-term health effects that HIV can have.
Can You Tell If You Have Hiv
If left untreated, HIV usually progresses through four stages. With the availability of treatment, most people with HIV will stay healthy and never experience late stage disease. It really depends on early detection of HIV and how well a person responds to treatment, among other health factors.
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The first stage of the disease lasts only a few weeks, during which the person experiences flu-like symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, pain or muscle aches. About a fifth of people are too sick to see a doctor, but HIV is not diagnosed by that alone.
At this point, the immune system begins to respond to the virus by producing HIV antibodies and cytotoxic lymphocytes, a process called seroconversion. A third-generation HIV test taken before the end of this process is inaccurate and inconclusive.
Other than the swelling, the person is asymptomatic at this stage and often begins to feel better. On average, this asymptomatic stage lasts about ten years, but can last up to 15 years. HIV antibodies can be detected in the blood and therefore the HIV test will give a positive result.
HIV is now active in the lymph nodes, infecting new cells and replicating itself. A viral load test measures how little HIV is left in the lymph nodes. This knowledge is very important in the treatment of HIV.
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Over the years, the immune system is severely damaged by HIV. Lymph nodes and tissues are damaged or destroyed. The body cannot continue to replace the T-helper cells that have lost their strength and become more resistant to HIV.
Symptoms develop when the immune system fails and can include weight loss, diarrhea, night sweats, and fever. Symptoms are more common when the immune system is activated. This is when so-called “opportunistic” diseases and cancers occur.
When the immune system is severely damaged and infections increase in frequency and severity, a symptom of AIDS appears. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, a life-threatening disease. The body’s ability to fight disease and illness is greatly weakened due to damage to the body.
Whether you test for HIV alone or as part of combined screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is your choice. Testing for certain STIs provides a more complete picture of your current sexual health.
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Offers different HIV tests that can be done at different times, depending on how long it has been since your last exposure.
You may also choose to be tested for HIV as part of screening for other STIs. Tested for many diseases, our screens are designed to give you complete peace of mind.
If you want to get tested for HIV, it can help. We can arrange a confidential appointment at one of our clinics around the country, or you can try it at home with one of our home test kits. Our dedicated team of health advisors are available on the phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week or you can send a message via our live chat. Talk to us confidentially. Medical Review by Cameron White, M.D., MPH – By Ann Pietrangelo and Kristeen Cherney – Updated March 29, 2022
Most people are probably familiar with HIV, but don’t understand how it affects the body.
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HIV destroys CD4 cells (also known as T cells or helper cells), which are important in the immune system. CD4 cells are responsible for maintaining health and protecting them from common diseases and infections.
HIV infects cell types that normally fight an invader like HIV. When the virus replicates, it damages or destroys the infected CD4 cell and produces more viruses that destroy more CD4 cells.
Left untreated, this cycle can continue until the immune system is compromised, leaving the person vulnerable to severe illness and disease.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of HIV infection. At this time, the immune system is very weak and there is a higher chance of getting opportunistic infections.
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However, not all people with HIV develop AIDS. The sooner you get treatment, the better the outcome.
The immune system protects the body from getting infections and future diseases. White blood cells protect the body from viruses, bacteria and other organisms that can make a person sick.
Within days of getting the flu, a person with HIV can develop a flu-like illness that lasts for several weeks. This is associated with the first stage of HIV infection, known as HIV infection or HIV infection.
HIV may not have serious symptoms at this stage, but they usually have a lot of the virus in their blood because the virus spreads quickly.
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The next stage is called cancer. It can live from 10 to 15 years. A person with HIV may show signs or symptoms during this period.
Kaposi’s sarcoma, another problem, is a cancer of the blood vessel walls. This is rare in the general population, but is more common in people with advanced HIV infection.
Symptoms include a red or purple rash on the mouth and skin. It can affect the lungs, digestive tract and other internal organs.
HIV and AIDS put people at an increased risk of developing lymphomas. An early symptom of lymphoma is swelling of the lymph nodes.
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HIV makes it harder to fight respiratory problems like the common cold and flu. In turn, an HIV-infected person can develop related diseases, such as pneumonia.
Without HIV treatment, a person with HIV is at greater risk of complications, such as pneumonia and a fungal infection called pneumocystis pneumonia (PJP).
The risk of cancer increases with HIV. This is due to weakened lungs from respiratory problems associated with a weakened immune system.
People with HIV can develop high blood pressure. HIV infection also increases the risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). PAH is a form of high blood pressure in the arteries that supply blood to the lungs. Over time, BAH puts stress on the heart and can lead to heart failure.
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Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that affects the lungs. It is the leading cause of death in people with AIDS. Symptoms include chest pain and a strong cough in blood or sputum. A cough can last for months.
Because HIV affects the immune system, the body is more susceptible to infections that can affect the digestive system.
Problems with the digestive tract can reduce appetite and make it difficult to eat properly. As a result, weight loss is a common side effect of HIV.
The most common infection associated with HIV is oral thrush, which is a fungal infection that causes inflammation and white patches on the tongue and inside the mouth.
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Another disease that affects the mouth is oral hairy leukoplakia, which causes white lesions on the tongue.
Salmonella is transmitted through contaminated food or water and causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Anyone can get it
This disease affects the bile ducts and intestines and can be very serious. It can cause cancer in people with AIDS.
Although HIV does not usually directly affect nerve cells, it does affect the cells that support and surround the nerves in the brain and throughout the body.
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Although the relationship between HIV infection and neurological damage is not entirely clear, it is thought that immune system cells have been implicated in nerve damage.
Advanced HIV can cause nerve damage, called neuropathy. This often leads to pain and numbness in the feet and hands.
Small holes in the nerve endings can cause pain, weakness, and difficulty walking. This disease is called vacuolar myelopathy.
There are major neurological complications of AIDS. Both HIV and AIDS can cause HIV-related dementia, a condition that severely impairs cognitive function.
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Having an impaired immune system predisposes people with AIDS to increased brain and spinal cord damage caused by this parasite. Symptoms include confusion, headache and seizures. It can be blocked due to certain nervous system diseases.
In extreme cases, hallucinations and psychosis can occur. Some people may experience headaches, balance or coordination problems, and vision problems.
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