SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HIV/AIDS
The patient who is not on ART, the HIV continue to multiply rapidly and weaken body immunity and finally the immune system fail to contain the virus. Initial symptoms like fever, skin rashes and lymph nodes enlargement recur. Oral thrush, candidiasis, cough, weight loss and skin diseases also occur at this stage.
Decline in body immunity allows opportunistic diseases to attack the body. Can be due to bacteria, virus as well as other gems that under normal circumstances could be suppressed. The opportunistic diseases are:
The risk of getting TB for HIV patients increases by 20% to 30%. This disease affects the lungs as well as other body parts. Symptoms of TB start to manifest when CD4 count is below 500. The patient shows the following symptoms;
- Chest pain and persistent cough which may produce bloody sputum
- Fever associated with drenching night sweats
- Unintentional weight loss
- Lymph nodes enlargement
- Difficulty in breathing
- Joint pain and paralysis with involvement of spinal cord.
- General body weakness and movement disorders if the nervous system is affected.
HIV patients are at an increased risk of getting various cancer caused by viruses. These cancers include;
This cancer affects cells of the inner wall of blood vessels. The patient gets red or purple skin patches. The patches turn into nodules and can occur in the inner lining of the mouth as well as other internal organs.
HIV patients are 6 times more prone to get cervical cancer than healthy individuals. This cancer is caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which takes part in transforming cells at the cervix into cancerous cells if not intervened early. Cervical cancer symptoms are;
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal and pelvic pain
- Pain during intercourse
- Abnormal and foul-smelling vaginal discharge
As time passes, cancerous cells may migrate to the intestines, lungs or any other body parts and the patient may have symptoms relating to the affected part.