Though it is not possible to diagnose HIV or AIDS on the basis on symptoms alone, some symptoms are clear indicators of the infection. If these symptoms are found prevalent in the patient for long, an HIV test (http://www.testhiv.de/
Symptom free period:
Being infected with the virus and suffering from AIDS are two different states. In most of the cases, a person develops the symptoms of AIDS post many years after being infected with the virus. In some cases, people give up soon, while in others, people do well especially when treated properly. However, in any case, there always exists a symptom free period during which the infected person shows no symptoms of the disease. This period is often more than ten years. Hence, pertaining to two different states, there exist two different time periods when a person can show the symptoms of the disease.
Most of the people do not show any symptoms initially when they are infected with the virus. However, in some cases symptoms of flu are visible post three to six weeks of the infection. This state is referred as the Acute HIV syndrome and includes symptoms like fever, nausea, headache, diarrhea, enlarged lymph nodes, and tiredness. However, mostly, this syndrome is vanished in a week and is mistaken as a normal viral infection. The level of virus is very high during this period and spreads rapidly to various parts of the body, mainly, the lymphoid tissues. It is during this period that the virus is transferred most easily from the infected person. Soon, the immunity system of the body comes on the forefront and the virus levels drop.
However, the most severe symptoms do not surface for many years after the virus infects the person. In case of a child born with HIV, the persistent symptoms surface mostly after two years. This period is referred as the period of "asymptomatic infection" and varies from person to person. While a person can show the symptoms in just few months, other may remain symptom free for more than ten years. During this period, the virus multiplies actively and kills the immune system cells.
As soon as the virus enters the body, it gets itself attached to the white blood cells referred as CD4. These cells are the main fighters of disease causing germs and protect the body from getting sick. As the virus damages these cells, the general health of a person starts depreciating. After getting itself firmly attached with the CD4 cells, the virus puts the RNA in the cells. This RNA is attached to the DNA of the cells and becomes a part of the genetic material of the cell, thereby virtually taking over the cell. The virus now starts multiplying and creates thousands of copies of its own, which enter the blood stream, and the process continues. However, the person might remain symptom free but the battle between the virus and the CD4 cells continues on the back front. Hence, it is always suggested to have a HIV test done for reliable diagnosis of the disease.
The main symptoms of the infection are:
· Rapid loss of weight
· Recurrence of fever and night sweats
· Production of dry cough
· Swelling of the lymph glands
· Existence of diarrhea for more than a week
· Existence of white marks on tongue, mouth or throat
· Neurological disorders like loss of memory and depression.
If these symptoms are found in a patient, a HIV Test is carried out for a trustworthy analysis of the disease.
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