What changes can you see in your body if you are infected with HIV?
HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus is one of several but more severe infections that can infect humans. HIV transmits from infected person to healthy individual through the exchange of body fluids (like blood, seminal/vaginal fluids etc).
Following are the major reasons for transmission of HIV:
- Unprotected penetrative (vaginal/oral/anal) sex with infected individual(s)
- Sharing of needles between infected and healthy people (to inject medicine or drugs)
- Oral sex can also transmit HIV if there are any open cuts, wounds or sores on lips or around mouth. Even kissing can transmit if the body fluids (except saliva) come into contact.
- Infected mother can transmit HIV to the baby if she is pregnant.
- Pregnant mother can transmit HIV to the baby during labour/delivery.
- Lactating mother can pass on HIV to the baby through breast milk.
Getting into the actual topic, here are the changes you can expect to see and when if you are infected with HIV:
- Many people will not see any symptom after getting infected with HIV, but most people will see some symptom or other. If you have had unprotected sex with a new/unfamiliar partner, you should see and let your sexologist or general physician know and start PostExposure Prophylaxis Treatment to be safe (than sorry).
- The first symptoms of HIV can show up between 2 to 4 weeks after getting infected. This is the primary stage when body knows that it got infected with some pathogen and starts fighting.
- During this stage, ‘swollen lymph nodes’ may be seen in the neck area, underarms, groin. They may be tender to touch. The swelling can remain for a week after which it subsides a little but takes a long time to get back to normal size.
- Some people may see flu like symptoms that include fever, sore throat, headache, joint and muscle aches. These symptoms may show up even before the swelling of lymph nodes or along with swelling of lymph nodes.
- Other important symptom is ‘rash’ on the body, face or near the genitals. This may not happen in many people.
- Sore throat and/or ulcers may be seen in some people. You can check this yourself in a mirror when you open your mouth wide, you should be able to see sores inside your mouth.
- Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea can be seen. Appetite may also get affected that can lead to weight loss. If you lose 10% of your body weight for no apparent reason, you should be worried and see a doctor if you are already not taking any medicines.
- Dry cough after few weeks after HIV infection can show up in some individuals.
Most of these symptoms will subside in 6 weeks time. You may be symptom free for many weeks, months or even years depending on how effectively your body is able to fight the virus. However, you should know that it is a losing battle for your body to fight against HIV.
Long term consequences of HIV
- You may see swollen lymph nodes as the disease progresses into AIDS. This is when your immune system is compromised and gives way to opportunistic infections. Even a tiny and weak bacteria or fungus can wreak havoc in your body as your gaurd (immune system) is let down by HIV.
- Yeast infection in white colour may be seen on the tongue. Creamy coloured patches may also be seen on the tongue and some may even bleed.
- People who were infected with Chickenpox when they were young can see similar blisters on their skin. The blisters may be painful and can cause vision loss.
- HIV causes long lasting inflammation in your body. Body can become prone to heart, liver, bone or kidney diseases. You can even get diabetes and cancer.
- As HIV infection transitions into AIDS, you may see night sweats, chronic / long term fever, weight loss, brown or deep blue spots on the skin, memory loss etc.
How can you live a normal or near normal life after getting infected with HIV?
- The very first thing you must do after having unprotected sex is to see a good sexologist and start PostExposure Prophylaxis (PEP) treatment within the first 72hours of infection. Don’t get scared and assume that you are safe, just see a doctor immediately. PEP can help you in removing the virus from your body in the very early stages (if you were infected).
- If you are diagnosed with HIV, don’t lose hope. You will be put on ART (Anti RetroViral Therapy) that can put the viral load in your body under control. This will give you a long life just like a normal person for up to 15 years or longer. Who knows, by then due to the advancement in technology and medicine, someone may come up with a cure to HIV, right?
- As long as you are under ART, your body will be like a normal healthy person but be sure that you don’t infect other healthy individuals. Always follow safe sex practices even when you are having sex with another HIV partner. Unprotected sex between two HIV partners can lead to transmission of other sexually transmitted infections, adding more burden to your body to fight it off.
If you are an individual who is super active in sex and willing to take risk by having unprotected sex with unfamiliar individuals, you can go for PreExposure Prophylaxis Treatment (PrEP) that can help by reducing the odds of getting infected with HIV. However, this doesn’t prevent you from getting other Sexually Transmitted Infections like HPV or Herpes.
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Sir maine 25 may ko prostitute ke sath bina protection ke sex kiya and 27 ko mjhe fever a gya maine medicine li thk ho gya abhi aj phir fever halka halka hai to kya hiv exposure ke turant baad ho sakta hai please help me in this. Ya ye fever viral ki wjah se bhi ho sakta hai test to mai karaunga hi but bus ye puchna hai ki kya exposure ke do din me hiv ke lakshan a sakte hai.
dude, you must use a condom when having sex with an unfamiliar person.
Get tested immediately.
Doctor All hiv test how much
Please call our front desk to know more information.
Sir can I know the did hiv transmit from giving oral sex to women (cunnilngus)
Possible but very rare. don’t worry.