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AIDS symptoms

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Do you know what causes HIV? Get started by learning the facts on HIV and AIDS here....
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Can you identify early HIV symptoms. Learn what to look for and when to seek medical help as we review symptoms of HIV here....
can someone list down all the aids syntomp for me? thanx.. Rolling Eyes
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replied May 19th, 2009
Community Volunteer
The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.

Early infection
When first infected with HIV, you may have no signs or symptoms at all, although it's more common to develop a brief flu-like illness two to four weeks after becoming infected. Signs and symptoms may include:

* Fever
* Headache
* Sore throat
* Swollen lymph glands
* Rash

Even if you don't have symptoms, you're still able to transmit the virus to others. Once the virus enters your body, your own immune system also comes under attack. The virus multiplies in your lymph nodes and slowly begins to destroy your helper T cells (CD4 lymphocytes) — the white blood cells that coordinate your entire immune system.

Later infection
You may remain symptom-free for eight or nine years or more. But as the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, you may develop mild infections or chronic symptoms such as:

* Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection
* Diarrhea
* Weight loss
* Fever
* Cough and shortness of breath

Latest phase of infection
During the last phase of HIV — which occurs approximately 10 or more years after the initial infection — more serious symptoms may begin to appear, and the infection may then meet the official definition of AIDS. In 1993, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) redefined AIDS to mean the presence of HIV infection as shown by a positive HIV-antibody test plus at least one of the following:

* The development of an opportunistic infection — an infection that occurs when your immune system is impaired — such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)
* A CD4 lymphocyte count of 200 or less — a normal count ranges from 800 to 1,200

By the time AIDS develops, your immune system has been severely damaged, making you susceptible to opportunistic infections. The signs and symptoms of some of these infections may include:

* Soaking night sweats
* Shaking chills or fever higher than 100 F (38 C) for several weeks
* Dry cough and shortness of breath
* Chronic diarrhea
* Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth
* Headaches
* Blurred and distorted vision
* Weight loss

You may also begin to experience signs and symptoms of later stage HIV infection itself, such as:

* Persistent, unexplained fatigue
* Soaking night sweats
* Shaking chills or fever higher than 100 F (38 C) for several weeks
* Swelling of lymph nodes for more than three months
* Chronic diarrhea
* Persistent headaches

If you're infected with HIV, you're also more likely to develop certain cancers, especially Kaposi's sarcoma, cervical cancer and lymphoma, although improved treatments have reduced the risk of these illnesses.

Symptoms of HIV in children
Children who are HIV-positive may experience:

* Difficulty gaining weight
* Difficulty growing normally
* Problems walking
* Delayed mental development
* Severe forms of common childhood illnesses such as ear infections (otitis media), pneumonia and tonsillitis

When to see a doctor
If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, seek medical counseling as soon as possible. Questions to consider include:

* Why should you get tested? The idea of being tested for HIV infection may be frightening. But testing itself doesn't make you HIV-positive or HIV-negative, and it's important not only for your own health but also to prevent transmission of the virus to others. If you engage in a high-risk behavior such as unprotected sex or sharing needles during intravenous drug use, get tested for HIV at least annually.
* What if you're pregnant? If you're pregnant, you may want to get tested even if you think you're not at risk. If you are HIV-positive, treatment with anti-retroviral drugs during your pregnancy can greatly reduce the chances you'll pass the infection to your baby.
* Where can you get tested? You can be tested by your doctor or at a hospital, the public health department, a Planned Parenthood clinic or other public clinics. Many clinics don't charge for HIV tests. Be sure to choose a place in which you feel comfortable and that offers counseling before and after testing. Don't let concern about what people may think stop you from being tested. For a referral, or to make an appointment for an HIV test at a Planned Parenthood clinic near you, call 800-230-PLAN (800-230-7526). You can also contact your local or state health department.
* Will your results be private? All states and U.S. territories report positive HIV and AIDS test results to state public health officials to help track the spread of the disease. Most states use name reporting, but the results are released only to the health department and not to anyone else — including the federal government, employers, insurance companies and family members — without your permission. In addition, legal provisions ensure the highest degree of confidentiality with regard to name-based HIV data. If you are concerned about having your name reported, many states offer anonymous testing centers. If you do test positive and seek treatment, however, you will likely have to provide your name to your doctor.
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How HIV is transmitted
You can become infected with HIV in several ways, including:

* Sexual transmission. You may become infected if you have vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected partner whose blood, semen or vaginal secretions enter your body. You can also become infected from shared sexual devices if they're not washed or covered with a condom. The virus is present in the semen or vaginal secretions of someone who's infected and enters your body through small tears that can develop in the vagina or rectum during sexual activity. If you already have another sexually transmitted disease, you're at much greater risk of contracting HIV. Contrary to what researchers once believed, women who use the spermicide nonoxynol 9 also may be at increased risk. This spermicide irritates the lining of the vagina and may cause tears that allow the virus into the body.
* Transmission through infected blood. In some cases, the virus may be transmitted through blood and blood products that you receive in blood transfusions. Since 1985, American hospitals and blood banks have screened the blood supply for HIV antibodies. This blood testing, along with improvements in donor screening and recruitment practices, has substantially reduced the risk of acquiring HIV through a transfusion.
* Transmission through needle sharing. HIV is easily transmitted through needles and syringes contaminated with infected blood. Sharing intravenous drug paraphernalia puts you at high risk of HIV and other infectious diseases such as hepatitis. Your risk is greater if you inject drugs frequently and also engage in high-risk sexual behavior. Avoiding the use of injected drugs is the most reliable way to prevent infection. If that isn't an option, you can reduce your risk by participating in a needle exchange program that allows you to trade used needles and syringes for sterile ones.
* Transmission through accidental needle sticks. Transmission of the virus between HIV-positive people and health care workers through needle sticks is low. Experts put the risk at far less than 1 percent.
* Transmission from mother to child. Each year, nearly 600,000 infants are infected with HIV, either during pregnancy or delivery or through breast-feeding. But if women receive treatment for HIV infection during pregnancy, the risk to their babies is significantly reduced. In the United States, most pregnant women are pre-screened for HIV, and anti-retroviral drugs are readily available. Not so in developing nations, where women seldom know their HIV status, and treatment is often limited or nonexistent. When medications aren't available, Caesarean section is sometimes recommended instead of vaginal delivery. Other options, such as vaginal disinfection, haven't proved effective.
* Other methods of transmission. In rare cases, the virus may be transmitted through organ or tissue transplants or unsterilized dental or surgical equipment.

Ways HIV is not transmitted
To become infected with HIV, infected blood, semen or vaginal secretions must enter your body. You can't become infected through ordinary contact — hugging, kissing, dancing or shaking hands — with someone who has HIV or AIDS.
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replied May 20th, 2009
gt a question
if i n my partner dun have aids but we have sex, will we have the possibility to get aids?
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replied May 20th, 2009
Community Volunteer
if you and your partner are both free of AIDS then you can have sex and never get AIDS as long as you only have sex with each other.
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