Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus which attacks the CD-4 immune cells, causing HIV infection and leading to a condition known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) over time. While a full body checkup including a blood test can accurately determine whether a person is suffering from HIV or not, it is extremely important for people to know about the various symptoms associated with the condition as an HIV-positive person can easily pass on the infection to others, even if the infection is in its early stages.
Though both men and women are vulnerable to contracting HIV infection and share many common symptoms, there are still a few symptoms which are specific to women. Let us now look at some of the most common HIV symptoms in women:
Many people don’t experience any symptoms of HIV at all during the early weeks. However, many people experience early, flue-like symptoms including lack of energy, fever, headache, rash, etc. These symptoms often disappear within a few weeks, but in some cases, it may take several years for severe symptoms to appear.
As the immune system of an HIV-infected person is weakened, it reduces the body’s ability to fight off germs, leading to several opportunistic infections (OIs) including tuberculosis, pneumonia, and oral or vaginal candidiasis. Some of the other common infections in HIV-positive women include bacterial and yeast infections. These infections are not only easier to contract in HIV-infected women, but harder to treat as well.
It is quite common for HIV-positive women to experience changes in their menstrual cycle. Not having periods, lighter or heavier periods than normal, and severe premenstrual symptoms are some of the common signs of HIV infection in women.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries, is a common symptom of HIV in women. In case of an HIV-positive women, PID can not only be harder to treat, but the disease may often be recurring with symptoms lasting longer than normal.
Lymph nodes are an integral part of the immune system which filter pathogens and store immune cells to help the body fight off infections. But as HIV begins to spread, it leads to enlargement of the lymph nodes, also known as swollen glands. This is one of the early signs of HIV infection and the condition may last for several months.
Taking proper precautions such as using condoms during sexual intercourse, not sharing needles when using injections, etc. are some of the best ways to keep HIV infection at bay. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is extremely important to get an HIV test done at the earliest. It is always a good habit to take blood test packages from a top quality pathology lab and get a full body health checkup regularly done.