The common, early HIV symptoms are fever, skin rash, swelling of the lymph nodes and fatigue. However, these HIV infection symptoms may only appear days or weeks following the initial infection. They typically only last a few days or weeks and then may disappear.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the virus which eventually leads to the AIDS disease (Acquired Immunodeficiency Virus).
AIDS is technically the eventual secondary diseases that occur due to the immune destruction caused by HIV.
The initial lag from time of infection to appearance of HIV infection symptoms is important as the individual is soon able to infect others even though symptoms may not be detectable.
- skin rash
- swollen lymph nodes
- weight loss
- thrush (mouth fungus)
- memory loss
- general dementia – concentration and cognitive deficits
- balance and locomotion disruption
- increased infections
Individuals can live comfortable, normal lives for years or decades sometimes without treatment. Routine HIV level monitoring in the blood is standard practice for infected individuals.
However, an individual with HIV, although seemingly healthy, is still infectious to others.
The most common routes of transmission are through unprotected sexual contact, or high risk activities involving bodily fluids (sharing of intravenous drug equipment).
HIV infection is treatable, and controllable, though not curable. Advances are continually being made in treatment procedures.
Detection and protection are keys in controlling the spread of HIV. Simple, cheap practices such as sexual contraception, or elimination of high risk practices (sharing of intravenous drug equipment) would greatly reduce the epidemic spread of the virus.