Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, more commonly known as AIDS, is the result of HIV damaging the immune system over time. It can often take up to 10 years for any AIDS symptoms and signs to show. This is why it is important to regularly get tested for HIV before the virus becomes dangerous. AIDS, being a further stage of HIV, is when rare infections arise. These rare infections are called opportunistic infections. This deficiency syndrome can also occur through cancer or when a certain number of CD4 cells have been lost. CD4 cells, also referred to as T cells, are in your immune system and HIV destroys those. Without these cells, your body often has a difficult time fighting off diseases.
AIDS symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Yeast infections
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Bad infections occurring often
- Losing weight rapidly
- Bruising easier than normal
- Dry, deep coughing spells
- Shortness of breath
- Fevers and/or night sweats
- Growths of a purple color on the skin and/or inside the mouth
- Rashes on the skin
- Feeling light-headed, dizzy, and tired often
- Loss of muscle strength
- Numbness in hands and/or feet
Although the thought of getting tested for AIDS can be nerve-wrecking, it is crucial to your overall health. Even without showing symptoms and signs, a person who is infected is still highly contagious. They can easily infect others with the disease through an exchange of bodily fluids. This can include sexual intercourse or sharing needles.
Taking an HIV test is the only way to discover whether you have the disease or not. Be knowledgeable, stay safe, and protect others health as well. If you are sexually active or have other reasons to think you may be infected, talk to your doctor about how you can get tested today.