15 May 2012

What Are Signs and Symptoms of HIV/AIDS


HIV is a truculent, unnerving virus that weakens and destroys your immune system, leaving a person vulnerable to becoming infected by more deadly diseases such as AIDS. More specifically, it destroys the cells that help one get better when sick and prevent them from getting sick when infact healthy.

What is HIV exactly? HIV is actually an acronym that stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The first part, "Human" indicates that only us, humans, are susceptible to HIV. The second part, "Immunodeficiency" means that it attacks your immune system, "-Immuno" referring to your immunity system and "-deficiency" meaning lack of, so Immunodeficiency means, "Lack of immunity." The third part "virus" indicates that HIV is a virus, a disease that reproduces by taking over host cells and making them their own.

Knowing what this means, one might think that this virus leads to a quick and painful death, this however, is not the case and HIV is not as presumptuous as it may seem. "HIV can hide for long periods of time in the cells of your body and that it attacks a key part of your immune system - your T-cells or CD4 cells. Your body has to have these cells to fight infections and disease, but HIV invades them, uses them to make more copies of itself, and then destroys them." (http://aids.gov)

HIV itself does not have any symptoms, although, after being infected for about a month or two, one may experience a flu like sickness that can include the following symptoms: Fever, Headache, Tiredness and Enlarged lymph nodes. The early symptoms of HIV can provoke digestive symptoms that also develop nausea and regurgitation, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and obvious weight loss, more severe symptoms are inflammation of the liver and pancreas. But for the most part, after being exposed with HIV one will experience an asymptomatic period, where one will not experience any symptoms.

This period will usually last ten years for adults or about two years for new born babies that had HIV passed down to them. Eventually as the immune system begins to wither one will begin to develop other symptoms, such as "swollen glands(typically the first symptom), followed by lack of energy, weight loss, frequent fevers and sweats, frequent yeast infections, rashes, pelvic inflammatory disease, in women, and short term memory loss".

In conclusion, HIV is a serious virus that leaves one susceptible to other viruses and diseases. It slowly and deceitfully kills off cells that protect the body from harm. It typically has no early symptoms, except for maybe a fever a month or two after being exposed. Then in about ten years you start to develop the first symptoms.

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