HIV and Women: Some Common Symptoms to Know

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Some symptoms of HIV may be different in women and it can also affect anyone. Its early symptoms might be mild and easily dismissed. But even without noticeable symptoms, an HIV-positive individual can still pass the infection to another person. This is a great reason why it is important for all and sundry to know their HIV status.

Most women might be surprised how HIV symptoms for them differ from those seen in men. There are some HIV symptoms that are the same with both men and women, but not all.

In this article, we describe HIV symptoms in women, how doctors diagnose the condition and what treatment options are available. Symptoms of HIV in women include:

1.     Flu-like symptoms: After contracting the virus, the immune system mounts a response to the virus. Some people may have mild flu-like symptoms which include:

·        Fever

·        Headache

·        Fatigue

·        Swollen lymph glands

·        Rash

·        Congestion

These symptoms usually go away within a few weeks. In some cases, it may take as many as 10 years for more severe symptoms to show up.

2.     Skin rashes and skin sores: Most HIV patients usually develop skin problems. One of the common symptoms is rash and many other several skin rashes. They might be a symptom of HIV itself or the result of a concurrent infection or condition. When a rash appears, it is necessary to speak with a healthcare provider to help review one’s medical history. They can explore a complete medical history to determine which diagnostic tests are needed. Sores or lesions may also form on the skin of the mouth, genitals, and anus of people having HIV. When there is proper medication, however, skin problems may become less severe.

3.     Swollen lymph nodes: This can be one of the earliest symptoms of HIV, after those of a severe infection. As part of the immune system, lymph nodes fend off infections by storing immune cells and filtering pathogens. As HIV starts to spread across, the immune system kicks into high gear. The aftermath is enlarged lymph nodes always known as swollen glands. For people living with HIV, swollen glands may last for several months.

4.     Fever and night sweats: Low-grade fever can be experienced by people living with HIV. A temperature between 37.7’C and 38.2’C is considered a low-grade fever. The body develops a fever when something is wrong, but the cause isn’t always obvious. Since it is a low-grade fever, those who are unaware of their HIV-positive status may ignore the symptom. In some cases, night sweats that can interfere with sleep may associate with fever.

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