HIV is no longer the death sentence that it once was. You need to take the right medication and you can still live a long life. However, you need to get diagnosed and you need to start taking medication for that to happen. Undiagnosed HIV can still end up killing you. That is why it is important to know the early signs of HIV and get tested if you are exhibiting these signs.
The signs begin to show up after a month
Most of the time these signs aren't visible right after a person is infected. It takes about 40 days for most visible signs. However, if you think that one of your recent partners was a bit too sketchy it always helps to go and get tested anyway.
Symptoms vary person to person
Another important thing is that the symptoms vary. Some people look like they are dying while others seem perfectly fine. If you have doubts about any of your recent sexual partners you should go and get yourself tested just in case.
Lymph nodes may get swollen
One of the first signs for most people is that their lymph nodes start swelling up. Lymph nodes are present in your neck, your armpits, and your groin. If you feel any swelling or any sort of lump in these nodes you should get tested immediately.
You can pass an HIV test during early infections
One of the most worrying aspects of getting tested is that the infection may take some time to be detectable. So it is possible for a person to have HIV but still come out clean on the test. If you get tested and still have doubts make sure you get tested a week or two later.
You may have persistent flu like symptoms
Some of the early signs of HIV are exactly like flu. If the flu doesn't go away in a couple of days you should go and get tested. HIV starts affecting different systems in your body, which is why it has symptoms that match with so many different diseases.
People without symptoms can still infect others
Remember how we told you that sometimes there are no visible symptoms? People with no symptoms can pass on HIV as well. This is why it is always better to practice safe sex. You can forego the condoms with a long term partner, but for everything else make sure you are protected.
Another symptom of HIV is a dry cough that just will not go away. If you don't smoke but still have a persistent dry cough you should go to the doctor. It may be something simple, but why take the chance?
More than half of HIV patients report night sweats in the early stages of the infection. If you have suddenly started having night sweats you should get yourself tested. It may be due to a change in your environment as well but you should still get checked.
You get sick more often
HIV makes your body's defenses weak and fragile. Your body is so busy trying to fight HIV that you catch other diseases easily. If you are suddenly sick, all it may be because your immune system is compromised by HIV - the deadly thing.
You start having trouble focusing
As your body weakens, so does your brain. You will find it harder and harder to focus on your work or studies even though nothing else has changed. This is because your brain isn't working at full capacity anymore and your body is tired.
Your motor skills start weakening
Your reaction times will slow down. You will get worse at sports or any other similar physical activity. All these are the signs of a weakened body which is exactly what happens in HIV patients. If you feel weak all the time then you need to get tested.
Have you started losing a lot of weight? That's great - if you are dieting and exercising. If you are just losing weight for no reason this is great cause for concern. Rapid weight loss is linked to not just HIV but cancer as well. Make sure you go to a doctor immediately if this is happening.
If you feel nauseous all the time it may be time to get tested. This is all due to your body's immune system going haywire which happens in HIV patients. You will feel like everything can make you vomit. Food tastes bad, and life is not worth living.
Testing is easy
Do not be intimidated by HIV testing .The tests are all painless. Remember, not getting tested is the worst thing you can do. If you feel any of the symptoms we mentioned go straight to a doctor and tell them you need to be tested for HIV.
HIV is manageable
HIV is no longer a death sentence. Many HIV patients live long and fulfilling lives thanks to modern science. Get tested and manage your disease and you'll live to your 90s. If you don't, it's on you, and be prepared to die young!
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