Symptom : Nausea Vomiting And Diarrhoea
Many people experience digestive system problems as a symptom of the early stages of HIV. However, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea can also appear in later stages of infection, usually as the result of an opportunistic infection.
It is important to stay hydrated. Diarrhoea that is unremitting and not responding to usual therapy might be an indication of HIV, and it would be best to seek the advice of a doctor to help determine its cause.
Common And Uncommon Symptoms Of Early Hiv
Anywhere from 23% to 92% of newly infected individuals will experience signs of acute retroviral syndrome . ARS is simply the body’s response to HIV as it mounts a defense against the viral invader, with the ensuing inflammation causing symptoms similar to that of the flu.
Fever, fatigue, headache, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and muscle/joint pain are not uncommon features of ARS. Others might develop a rash , which can manifest with bumpy patches, generally on the upper half of the body. Still others might experience short-term nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
While these are considered the most common signs of ARS, an increasing body of evidence seems to suggest that some might experience more serious conditions, even life-threatening ones.
In 2015, scientists with the Zurich Primary HIV Prevention Study in Switzerland aimed to establish the range and frequency of symptoms that can occur during acute HIV infection. According to the research, not only were they able to identify 18 different illnesses or conditionsfar more than had been previously establishedthey reported a significant number has been missed in initial diagnosis.
Only patients identified during early infection were included, defined as:
Perhaps of more concern, almost half of these cases received a diagnosis other than HIV before finally being tested for the virus.
Hiv Effects On The Digestive System
More than half of people who have AIDS report digestive symptoms as the virus or an opportunistic infection targets the walls of their intestines. Diarrhea is the most common one. Over time, the virus can change how your digestive tract works and even how it looks.
Some HIV medications can damage your liver. Many people with HIV also have a form of inflammation called hepatitis.
Limit how much alcohol you drink, and don’t use recreational drugs. Having diabetes, high cholesterol, or triglycerides and being overweight can lead to fatty liver disease, so keep an eye on the carbs, fats, and calories you eat each day.
Talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines. Thereâs no vaccine against hepatitis C, but you should get tested for it.
Get regular blood tests to catch any liver problems early.
Your mouth might be one of the first places where you notice signs of HIV. Things like dry mouth, fungal infections, gum disease, cold sores, and canker sores can make chewing or swallowing painful. If they go on too long, you might not be able to take your HIV medication or get the nutrients you need.
Good dental habits can help prevent these issues, so brush and floss regularly. See your dentist for checkups, and tell them if youâre having problems. Most mouth conditions tied to HIV are treatable.
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If I Am Pregnant And Have Hiv Will My Baby Also Have Hiv
Most women with HIV can protect their baby from becoming infected during pregnancy. Proper pre-natal treatment can reduce the risk that an HIV-positive mother will pass the virus to her child to less than 1 percent. The only way these special treatments can be provided is if the health care professionals know the mother is living with HIV. Treatment is most effective when started early in pregnancy. HIV-positive moms should not breastfeed their babies because HIV is sometimes passed this way.
How Is Human Immunodeficiency Virus Diagnosed
Human immunodeficiency virus is diagnosed with either a blood test or a saliva test.
Rapid HIV test results are available in minutes, though some test results can take days.
There are also HIV test kits available at some pharmacies that can be used at home. One test uses a special strip to collect a small amount of blood, and another kit has a strip that is wiped on the gums. The strips are mailed to a lab for testing. If you use an at-home HIV test kit and results come back positive, see your doctor.
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What Are Other Symptoms Of Covid
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
However, COVID-19 can also cause unusual symptoms, and manifestation of the disease varies from person to person:
- Loss of taste and/or smell: One potential early symptom of COVID-19 is new loss of smell or taste without nasal congestion. According to studies, this symptom typically resolves within 30 days. Moderate to severe changes in taste and smell can last for 60 days or longer in some people.
- Change in skin appearance: Flat, red rashes with small bumps or discolored regions on the fingers and toes are the most prevalent skin changes linked to mild to severe COVID-19. Children and young people seem to be more susceptible to COVID toes. Swelling, discoloration, blisters, itching, and discomfort are possible side effects. This symptom can linger anywhere from 10-14 days to several months.
- Confusion: In older people, delirium or brain fog may be the primary or only sign of COVID-19. This COVID-19 symptom has been linked to a high probability of serious complications including death.
- Eye problems: COVID-19 can cause conjunctivitis , as well as light sensitivity, itchiness, and irritation.
Kaposi’s Sarcoma In Hiv
Kaposi’s sarcoma is the most common AIDS-related cancer and is caused by a herpes virus. It is a cancer of the blood capillary vessel walls and leads to abnormal growth of these vessels. Common symptoms are pink, red or purple lesions on the skin and in the mouth. The first spots, sores or bumps usually appear on the face, nose, mouth, arms, upper body or legs. The lesions vary from pinhead size to the size of a large coin and may be painless. Sometimes the skin lesions are painful and can cause itching and sores in the mouth or throat may cause eating or swallowing problems.
Kaposi’s sarcoma can also affect the internal organs, including the digestive tract, lymph nodes and lungs and be life-threatening.
Anyone with HIV can get Kaposi’s Sarcoma, but it is more likely in those with CD4 counts of less than 200 cells/mm3.
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Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy In Hiv
Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy is an extremely serious viral disease of the brain. PML causes a quick decline in cognitive and motor functions of the body.
Symptoms vary and may include speech problems, weakness on one side of the body, loss of vision in one eye, or numbness in one arm or leg. PML is a late-stage disease that occurs only when the immune system is severely damaged.
The Difference Between Aids
AIDS-defining illnesses are directly linked with the damage of the immune system as a result of HIV infection. AIDS-defining illnesses tend to occur in the later stages of the disease in patients who have not received antiretroviral treatment for HIV infection and who have a very low CD4 count. HIV may be initially diagnosed when these patients present to the doctor to the first time with one of these infections or cancers. When a person gets one of these illnesses, he or she is diagnosed with the advanced stage of HIV infection known as AIDS.
Opportunistic infections occur more often or more frequently when the immune system is weak, as with HIV/AIDS. People with weakened immune systems include people living with HIV/AIDS, but might also include people with cancers of the immune system like leukemia or multiple myeloma, or immune-complex diseases like viral hepatitis.
Can You Prevent Weight Loss If You Have Hiv
Lifestyle and self-care measures can help with maintaining weight. These include:
- eating a healthy diet with a good balance of calories and nutrients, such as protein for building and keeping muscle mass
- working out routinely to strengthen and boost muscle mass
- seeking help from a licensed therapist for mental health support
Effects Of Antiretroviral Drugs On The Body
Antiretroviral therapy helps people who have HIV live longer, healthier lives and lowers their risk of spreading the virus. The drugs can have side effects, many of which go away with time. Overall, the benefits outweigh the risks.
There are several kinds of antiretroviral drugs, and your doctor might combine them in different ways. Side effects can vary from drug to drug or from person to person.
Common side effects of these drugs include:
- Upset stomach and vomiting
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Nausea Vomiting And Diarrhea
When it comes to side effects of HIV medications, the gut is one of the most commonly affected areas in the body. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are three ways in which the gut keeps toxins like bacteria, viruses, and even medications out of the body.
These side effects dont occur in everyone, and fortunately when they occur as side effects of HIV treatment, they are usually mild and tend to diminish after the first few days or weeks of starting treatment. Even so, they can seriously impact your quality of life, and they need to be addressed as a part of your overall health so you can get the most out of your treatment.
However, if nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting are severe or ongoing, they can prevent HIV meds from entering the bloodstream and doing what they need to do. Report these symptoms to your doctor to determine if they are a side effect or a symptom of something more serious.
Nausea and Vomiting
Two of the most common gut-related side effects of HIV treatment are nausea and vomiting. Most people living with HIV who experience these usually do so after starting a new regimen. In most cases, these side effects eventually lessen or go away completely after the first few days or weeks of treatment.
Other tips to ease nausea:
Here are a few tips for managing diarrhea:
Adjust your diet. Some foods can cause or worsen diarrhea, while others can help to relieve it.
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Hiv And Abdominal Pain
HIV and abdominal pain often go hand in hand. HIV destroys the immune system of the body. This makes our body easily prone to a variety of infections and diseases. As the body weakens, these infections or diseases slowly destroy organs such as the stomach, kidney and liver. If you can avoid these infections, you can probably save yourself from such damage. Sudden abdominal infections or troubles must therefore be treated as medical emergencies. There is no common or particular cure for HIV and abdominal pains. Most doctors would look to reduce the infections or symptoms like abdominal pain along with continuing treatment for HIV/AIDS.
Symptoms and causes related to HIV and abdominal pain: HIV creates immunosuppressive effects. This means bacteria, fungi and viruses can easily proliferate in your body. Besides fever, common cold, cough, tuberculosis, pneumonia infections, you are also prone to acquire gastrointestinal or abdominal infections. These infections can quickly become acute and at times, the treatment might fail due to the already weakened immune system. This is why you must ask questions about HIV and abdominal pain to your medical practitioner who can help you recognize the symptoms as early as possible and avoid a medical emergency. Some common diseases often found in HIV patients and their symptoms and causes are outlined below:
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Cryptococcal Meningitis In Hiv
Cryptococcal meningitis, caused by a fungus, is the most common central nervous system infection associated with HIV. Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord . Symptoms include headache, high fever, stiff neck, and sensitivity to light. Meningitis is a serious disease that can cause severe complications and even prove fatal in a short amount of time.
Cryptococcal Meningitis is particularly dangerous in those with a CD4 count of 50 cells/mm3 or less.
Better Treatment Outcomes With A Healthy Gi Tract
GI symptoms in HIV are extremely common and can have a profound effect on treatment outcome. Symptoms like nausea and diarrhea affect quality of life and can make adherence a challenge, while changes in absorption can make some HIV drugs much less effective. Keep your healthcare providers informed of your symptoms and try different interventions to reduce them. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available to relieve GI symptoms and treat infections of the GI tract. Some of these drugs interact with HIV medications, so be sure to talk with your provider and pharmacist about any drugs that you’re taking or considering. By minimizing the impact of symptoms — and investigating the possibility of GI infections — you have a better shot at long-term treatment success.
Anne Monroe, M.D., is an Internal Medicine resident with a longstanding interest in HIV treatment and clinical trials. A Virginia native, she is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, she was a study coordinator for HIV clinical trials at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She currently resides in Miami, where she is training at Jackson Memorial Hospital and pursuing her Masters in Public Health.
Anne Monroe, M.D., M.S.P.H.
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Whats The Link Between Hiv And Joint Pain
Achy joints are often an early sign that you have an HIV infection. In the first few weeks after you get the virus, you may have flu-like symptoms that include joint and muscle pain. It could last for a short time, then go away for years.
HIV can raise your arthritis risk: People with HIV may be more likely to get painful types of arthritis, like reactive arthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriatic arthritis, with chronic, or long-lasting, inflammation.
HIV may cause joint pain: Sometimes the HIV infection causes joint and muscle pain, along with inflammation of joints and soft tissues around your joints. The virus can get into the fluid inside your joints and trigger painful reactions. HIV can also make pain, inflammation, or long-term joint damage worse.
HIV meds are sometimes to blame: Some medications used to control an HIV infection can cause joint pain, but these drugs are older and not prescribed as often these days. Most current HIV treatments shouldnât cause these problems. But HIV treatment revs up your immune system to get your disease under control. As this happens, your immune system could attack your joints and cause pain and inflammation.
Hiv Effects On The Skin
Many people get a skin rash in the first stage of an HIV infection. It usually goes away without treatment in days or weeks. Over time, a number of things might cause more rashes. Itâs always important to let your doctor know about a rash, because it might be a sign of a serious problem, or an HIV medication could be causing it.
People who have HIV are more likely to get viral infections. Herpes zoster, herpes simplex, and Molluscum contagiosum can cause rashes or blisters.
Kaposiâs sarcoma causes lesions, patches, or nodules that are a different color from your skin. Sometimes, you can also get lesions on your internal organs. These may be life-threatening.
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What Are The Different Types Of Back Pain You Might Have With Hiv
Back pain in people with HIV can vary significantly between people.
The pain can range from mild to severe and can manifest as tightness, throbbing, pressure, or sharp pain. People with neuropathies often describe the pain as burning, tingling, or stabbing.
While you can have pain in any part of your back, many people experience it in their lower spine.
If you have a particular back issue, your pain may be amplified due to changes to your immune system.
Your exact symptoms will depend on the underlying cause of pain. For example, if you have degenerative disc disease in your lower back, your pain may:
- primarily affect your lower back
- extend to your legs or buttocks
- worsen after twisting or sitting
- come and go over days to months
We Know That Men Who Have Sex With Men In Illinois Are At Higher Risk For Hiv What About Women Who Have Sex With Women
It is not a personâs gender, sexual orientation, race or class that puts them at risk for HIV. People are at risk for HIV when they practice risky behaviors. Women who identify as lesbian or gay can be at risk for HIV by practicing any of the behaviors that place women at risk. Lesbian women have become infected with HIV by using injection drugs or having unprotected sex with male or female partners who are already infected with HIV. Women who have sex with other women should follow guidelines in this fact sheet to protect themselves, and can call the Illinois AIDS/HIV/STD Hotline at 800-243-AIDS for specific information.
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