Are you always feeling sick? Wondering if you may be affected by the immune attacking virus, HIV? Although the only way to be sure if you are HIV positive is through medical screening, there are a few symptoms of HIV infection that you can keep an eye out for. Learning more about HIV symptoms and treatment can help spread useful information so that more people can get treated sooner and more effectively.
What is HIV?
No doubt, there are many misconceptions that surround HIV. Commonly, it is believed that HIV and AIDS are the same thing. HIV, or immunodeficiency virus, is actually the beginning stage of the virus. Without treatment, HIV can transform into AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, which is the most advanced stage of infection. HIV is an infection that attacks T-Cells, necessary components of the immune system. With an immune system with reduced functionality, those diagnosed with HIV are more susceptible to become and remain ill. Those affected by AIDS are at increased risks for developing numerous illnesses, known as opportunistic infections, because of the increasingly damaged immune system.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for HIV or AIDS. In fact, once a person contracts the virus, it is evident in the body until death. But, with treatment, less T-Cells are attacked by the immune system, causing the advancement of the infection to slow. This, in turn, allows individuals diagnosed with HIV to live longer and healthier lives. Additionally, slowing the infection’s progress helps to keep individuals from transitioning into the final stage of infection sooner.
About HIV Symptoms
Because treatment of the HIV virus can help to slow the infection’s progress, it’s important for people to know the identifying signs of HIV. Since HIV is an immune system illness, the body is less able to fight off illness that otherwise would not get an individual sick. But, there are a few common effects of HIV observed in many diagnosed patients. A few symptoms of the HIV virus that people can look out for including:
Skin Issues: Immune deficiencies can affect the skin in the form of dryness, itching, and rashes. Individuals diagnosed with HIV are more susceptible to be affected by shingles if they have ever had the Chickenpox. For dry and itchy skin, over the counter antibacterial creams can help to reduce aggravating symptoms. If you’re experiencing rash that could be shingles, further treatment from a dermatologist may be necessary in managing the painful symptoms.
Cold Sweats: Do you wake up with cold sweats at night? Do you experience high fevers? Either or both of these symptoms can be due to the HIV virus. They can either be a result of the body reacting to the virus itself, or due to another infection affecting the immune system. Talk to your doctor about controlling viruses with antibiotics.
Mouth Sores: Infections individuals receive as a result of a lower functioning immune system due to the HIV virus commonly affect the mouth, offering many painful side effects like sores. Since these sores can make it challenging to eat, specific medications may be prescribed to help reduce pain.
Stomach Pain and Diarrhea: Another regular sign of infection is digestive system issues that can lead to stomach pain and frequent diarrhea. To help keep waste solid, eat more fruits and vegetables that provide fiber to your diet. Additionally, make sure to drink plenty of fluids as frequent diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
More about HIV Treatment
These symptoms can be the result of many different infections, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you have contracted the HIV virus. The only way to be sure if you are affected by HIV is to be tested. If upon testing you receive an HIV positive diagnosis, treatment is effective in slowing the virus’ progression. Treatment for HIV can get pricey, and The RX Helper may be able to help you pay for these medications. We utilize patient assistance programs that provide discounts and coverage for hundreds of brand name and generic prescriptions. If you have a prescription for an HIV treatment, view the medication list on our website to see if we cover your specific medication and learn more about HIV. If you want to see if we can help you with the costs of your treatments, give us a call today at 888-233-4303.