Symptoms of HIV

There are a number of symptoms of HIV. From itchy palms to diarrhea, they range all over the body since HIV leads to an ultimate failure of the body’s immune system. However since many HIV positive people show very few or almost no symptoms of HIV, the ultimate test of HIV is through a blood test only. Generally, the HIV virus can be caught during sexual intercourse with an infected person, through contact with infected food, water or breast milk (in case of infants), and/ or due to the use of unsafe injections or as a result of practicing medical procedures.

Once the virus is contracted the body starts showing some early signs of the infection. These include fever, headache, aches in muscles and joints, sore throat, skin rashes, including itchy palms and feet, and diarrhea. In such cases, doctors generally diagnose flu in the infected person. In most cases this diagnoses prove correct but in some cases it is actually HIV wrongly diagnosed as the flu. This is because unfortunately many people tend to not think of HIV as a possible disease in such cases.

The symptoms of HIV, in its later stages, tend to show over the entire body. The HIV virus tends to affect the respiratory system first, before it affects any other system. The first few effects of contracting the virus include shortness of breath and dry or productive cough.

The next is the Immune System which is the most affected due to HIV as the virus is known to weaken the body’s natural defenses to infection and diseases. The immune symptoms of HIV include swollen lymph nodes in the neck, axilla and/or groin areas, fever and night sweats.

The next major system that gets affected is Gastro-Intestinal Tract System. The virus affects nutrition and appetite leading to conditions like rapid weight loss, diarrhea, loss of appetite and an extreme feeling of fatigue.

A great number of symptoms of HIV tend to show up on the skin and in the dental areas. These happen as a result of the virus affecting the skin and mucous membranes. Symptoms relating to the skin include skin rashes causing itchy palms and feet, appearance of red, brown, pink or purple lesion on the skin and sores and ulcers. One must note that itchy palms are also HIV and diabetes symptoms and STD symptoms.
Dental symptoms include lesions inside the mouth, white patches on the tongue and gums and ulcers in the mouth.

There are a number of symptoms that occur as a result of the neurological system of the body getting affected as a result of the virus. These include numbness, tingling, and/ or a burning sensation in the feet, hands (again, leading to itchy hands and feet), or on the face. It involves emotional reactions to the virus attack like depression, confusion and/ or changes in level of consciousness and memory loss.

As mentioned before as HIV cannot simply be diagnosed on the basis of the symptoms it is necessary that a proper blood test be conducted. Anyone with a slight indication of the symptoms must get themselves checked as once someone is infected with HIV they can pass the virus on immediately regardless of whether they feel healthy or unhealthy.