HIV Symptoms in Men that all Women Need to Look out for before sleeping with their partners.
HIV is a virus that affects the immune system, specifically the CD4 cells. The CD4 cells help protect the body from illness. Unlike other viruses that the immune system can fight off, HIV can’t be eliminated by the immune system.
The symptoms of HIV can vary greatly from person to person. No two people with HIV will likely experience the exact same symptoms. However, HIV will generally follow this pattern:
- acute illness
- asymptomatic period
- advanced infection
Approximately 80 per cent of people who contract HIV experience flu-like symptoms within two to four weeks. This flu-like illness is known as acute HIV infection. Acute HIV infection is the primary stage of HIV and lasts until the body has created antibodies against the virus.
The most common symptoms of this stage of HIV include:
- body rash
- sore throat
- severe headaches
Less common symptoms may include:
- swollen lymph nodes
- ulcers in the mouth or on the genitals
- muscle aches
- joint pain
- nausea and vomiting
- night sweats
Symptoms typically last one to two weeks. Anyone who has these symptoms and thinks they may have contracted HIV should consider scheduling an appointment with their healthcare provider to get tested.
Symptoms specific to men
Symptoms of HIV are generally the same in women and men. One HIV symptom that is unique to men is an ulcer on the penis.
HIV may lead to hypogonadism, or poor production of s ex hormones, in either s ex. However, hypogonadism’s effects on men are easier to observe than its effects on women. Symptoms of low testosterone, one aspect of hypogonadism, can include erectile dysfunction (ED).
After the initial symptoms disappear, HIV may not cause any additional symptoms for months or years. During this time, the virus replicates and begins to weaken the immune system. A person at this stage won’t feel or look sick, but the virus is still active. They can easily transmit the virus to others. This is why early testing, even for those who feel fine, is so important.
It may take some time, but HIV may eventually break down a person’s immune system. Once this happens, HIV will progress to stage 3 HIV, often referred to as AIDS. AIDS is the last stage of the disease. A person at this stage has a severely damaged immune system, making them more susceptible to opportunistic infections.
Opportunistic infections are conditions that the body would normally be able to fight off, but can be harmful to people who have HIV. People living with HIV may notice that they frequently get colds, flu, and fungal infections. They might also experience the following stage 3 HIV symptoms:
- persistent diarrhoea
- chronic fatigue
- rapid weight loss
- cough and shortness of breath
- recurring fever, chills, and night sweats
- rashes, sores, or lesions in the mouth or nose, on the genitals, or under the skin
- prolonged swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, or neck
- memory loss, confusion, or neurological disorders
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