7 Early Stage HIV Symptoms One Must Know to Plan a Quick HIV Testing
Knowing what HIV is and its early-stage symptoms is crucial for timely detection and treatment. Identifying the early-stage HIV symptoms: rash, headache, fatigue, weight loss, and diarrhea helps an individual consider testing at a reliable STD center. It is helpful for a quick HIV diagnosis and consultation with a qualified physician. HIV symptoms can be misleading as these are not uniform in each case. Keep reading ahead to discover early-stage symptoms to speed up HIV detection.
Swelling of lymph nodes
The human immune system comprises lymph nodes as the main components. Lymph nodes are present in the neck, armpits, and groins. Swelling of lymph nodes is a common symptom of early-stage HIV, causing pain in these areas of the body. It may persist longer than other HIV symptoms. Most infections cause lymph node swelling, which is not unique to HIV. It helps physicians suspect HIV after correlating with the individual’s sexual history.
HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections can affect the person simultaneously. The physician recommends an HIV test if an individual has a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). The HIV-infected person is more likely to get a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) than a healthy individual, as HIV targets the body’s ability to fight infections.
Unexplained skin rash
Among most early-stage HIV symptoms, rash is common, occurring in every 4 out of 10 HIV-infected individuals. The rash appears within or after 2 to 3 weeks following the entry of the HIV in the blood. It stays for up to two weeks and disappears. An HIV rash is extensive, appearing on the face legs, trunk, hands, arms, and feet. The HIV-infected person may experience pink and itchy rash or boils.
HIV may cause digestive issues during its early stages. These may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Late-stage symptoms of diarrhea are because of the weak immune function of the body. Drinking enough fluids is necessary for HIV-infected persons. Problems of the digestive system are also common in late-stage HIV infection or AIDS.
Sudden loss of weight
Unexplained weight loss is an early HIV sign one must not ignore. The weight loss occurs because of the loss of lean muscle and fats, which may be over ten percent of the total body weight. Physicians refer to the unexplained weight loss as HIV wasting syndrome. It is common in HIV-infected individuals who do not receive anti-retroviral medication.
Fungal infections are opportunistic as these affect people with weak immunity. An oral thrush or other fungal infections are classic symptoms of HIV appearing in the early and late stages. Oral thrush is among the most common HIV symptoms. It spreads from mouth to throat and requires anti-fungal treatment. Untreated oral thrush can potentially spread to the lungs. Seeking proper treatment to prevent the spread of the infection is essential.
Excessive sweating during the night
Night sweats are among the early HIV symptoms. One must approach a physician for further investigation if there is a drenching of bed and clothes because of sweating. Night sweats may be because of menopause in ladies. The physician will examine other signs to determine the cause of night sweating.
Importance of HIV testing
Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is the preliminary cause of AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), a severe health condition that destroys the body’s defenses, exposing the individual to common infections. HIV is a progressive infection with the first stage of acute symptoms, second stage of latency, and third stage of AIDS. Unprotected or unnatural sex are the main causes of HIV, besides sharing of needles during substance abuse and exposure to HIV-infected blood.
Detecting HIV is challenging, as the acute stage symptoms of this infection are vague. These symptoms vanish when HIV enters the second stage. The virus continues to target and destroy the immune system in this stage till the individual reaches the third and most severe stage of AIDS. Knowing how to get tested for HIV in Arlington is crucial, as HIV tests will facilitate detection and treatment.