HIV, a Destroyer
Symptoms of HIV and AIDS
HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS.
picture from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HIV-1_Transmission_electron_micrograph_AIDS02bbb_lores.jpg
First, we have to say that the symptoms of HIV may be different for every person. It also depends on the stage of the disease. The first stage of the disease is the early stage. It appears 2 to 4 weeks after you get infected. At this point, you may get an acute retroviral syndrome (ARS), which gives you symptoms that are similar to a really bad flu: fever, swollen glands, sore throat, rash, fatigue, muscle and joint aches and pains, headache, mouth or genital ulcers and diarrhea. These symptoms can last from a day to several weeks. By this time, the viral charge in your blood is very high, so you are highly contagious.
After this stage, most people get into the clinical latency stage. In this stage, you are feeling very well and you have almost no symptoms. The only sing you have that you are infected is that your lymph nodes are continuously swollen. But even if you feel well, that doesn't mean that everything is fine because the virus is still living in your body. It reproduces at a very low level, but it is still there, so you can still transmit it. This stage can last for over 10 years.
Before your HIV virus had destroyed your immune system so much that you get AIDS, there are some signs that you are leaving the clinical latency stage, you get some mild infections of choric symptoms. They include fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, weight loss and cough or shortness of breath.
Then, HIV really transfers to AIDS. At this point, you immune system had been defeated, your symptoms are bigger and more numerous. Some of them are rapid weight loss, pneumonia, extreme and unexplained tiredness, memory loss, depression and fever over 38 ℃ for several weeks.
But the most important to remember is that if you receive antiviral therapy (ART), it helps delaying the transfer from HIV to AIDS and it lowers you viral charge so that you are less contagious.
"Signs & Symptoms." Aids.gov. n.p, 19 december 2013. Web. 20 April 2014.
"Deseases and Conditions HIV/AIDS." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Aducation and Research, 2014. Web. 20 April 2014.