HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making the person infected susceptible to other infections and illnesses, which can lead to AIDS. HIV symptoms can differ from person to person, and range from mild to deadly.
Some people experience no symptoms at all when they are first infected with HIV. For others, the first signs may appear months or even years after infection. That’s why it’s important to get tested for HIV if you think you may have been exposed to the virus, even if you don’t have any symptoms.
Here are five silent symptoms of HIV that you should not ignore:
Swollen lymph nodes
One of the most common symptoms of HIV is swollen lymph nodes. This can happen soon after infection, and the lymph nodes may stay enlarged for many years. Swollen lymph nodes are usually a sign that the body is fighting off an infection. In people with HIV, however, they may be a sign that the HIV virus is damaging the immune system.
Swollen lymph nodes can occur anywhere in the body, but they are most commonly found in the neck, armpits, or groin. They may be painful or tender to the touch. In some cases, they can cause other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, or weight loss.
Fever is one of the most common symptoms associated with HIV. Up to 85% of people living with HIV will experience a fever at some point during their illness1. For many people, fever is one of the first symptoms of HIV infection.
Fever can also be a symptom of other illnesses, such as the flu or a cold. However, if you have a fever that lasts for more than a few days and is not accompanied by other common cold or flu symptoms, it could be a sign of HIV infection.
Other symptoms that may accompany a fever include:
– sweats (particularly at night)
– body aches and pains
– fatigue (extreme tiredness)
– swollen lymph nodes
– mouth ulcers.
HIV-related fatigue is a common symptom of the virus and can be caused by a number of factors. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, which can lead to a general feeling of fatigue and weakness. HIV can also cause anemia, which is a condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues. This can make a person feel even more tired. HIV can also disrupt a person’s sleep patterns, leading to fatigue during the day.
Headaches are a common symptom of HIV. They can be caused by the virus itself or by opportunistic infections that take advantage of a weakened immune system. HIV-related headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, and body aches. If you’re HIV-positive and experience unexplained headaches, it’s important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Unexplained headaches may also be a sign of meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. HIV-related meningitis is often accompanied by a stiff neck, fever, and sensitivity to light. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
HIV can also cause headaches by affecting the blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to a condition called vasculitis, which is marked by inflammation of the blood vessels. HIV-related vasculitis often causes other symptoms, such as stroke-like symptoms, seizures, and vision problems. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
In some cases, HIV-related headaches may be a sign of Something more serious, such as a brain tumor or an infection of the brain tissue (encephalitis). If you experience any sudden or severe changes in your headache patterns, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.
Strange skin rashes usually occur within the first two to three weeks after HIV infection, and they are often one of the earliest symptoms. However, rashes can also occur later in the course of HIV infection. HIV rashes generally last for a week or two and then go away on their own. However, some people may experience recurring rashes throughout their HIV infection.
HIV rashes can vary in appearance. They may be flat or raised, and they may be blotchy or have a definite pattern. The rash may also be itchy or painful. HIV rashes often appear on the trunk of the body, but they can also occur on the face, neck, arms, and legs. In some cases, HIV rashes can cover large portions of the body.
HIV rashes are often mistaken for other skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis. If you have a rash and are concerned that it may be HIV-related, it is important to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away so you can get tested for HIV. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for managing HIV and reducing the risk of complications.
What blood tests do you need for HIV?
There are a few different blood tests that can be used to test for HIV. The most common is the HIV antibody test, which looks for antibodies that your body produces in response to the virus. Other tests include the HIV viral load test and the HIV p24 antigen test. Your doctor will likely order one or more of these tests if they suspect you may have HIV.
Can you talk to an HIV Specialist online?
Yes, you can speak to an HIV Specialist online through telemedicine.
This is a great way to get the specialist care you need without having to travel or take time off work. Telemedicine allows you to consult with a specialist from the comfort of your own home. HIV specialists are experts in the field of HIV and can provide you with the most up-to-date information on treatment options and care. They can also help you manage your HIV medications and monitor your health. To find an HIV Specialist near you, search our directory of telemedicine providers.
Does The VIOS Clinic have an HIV Specialist who can help me?
If you are looking for an HIV specialist, we encourage you to consult with Dr. Leslie Johnson, MD. She has years of experience diagnosing and treating HIV patients and can provide you with the guidance you need to manage your care.
Dr. Ismail Sayeed
Dr. Sayeed is the Medical Director of ViOS, Inc. He is a deeply committed physician entrepreneur & medical blog writer. While building the global infrastructure of the VIOS Clinic, he is dedicated to educate people on the potential of specialist telemedicine for managing chronic diseases.
Read more about him in his author bio