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What are some symptoms of HIV infection?

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What to Watch For:

  • Acute infection (1 to 2 weeks): may have flu like symptoms.
  • Asymptomatic Period (6 months to 10 years): looks and fell well; no symptoms.
  • Symptomatic Period (may last several years): Fevers, night sweats, rashes, fatigue, chronic diarrhea, and weight loss.
  • AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome: diagnosis after contracting an “opportunistic infection” (an infection that occurs because of an impaired immune system) or a low count of T4 or CD4 cells (important immune system cells). Symptoms vary depending on the opportunistic infection.

How You Can Get It:

Spread during vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has HIV. Spread by sharing needles to inject drugs, or for any other reason. Spread by contact with infected blood.

 Long-term Effects if Untreated:

  • You can give HIV to your sexual partner(s) or someone you share a needle with.
  • Having HIV makes you more susceptible to contracting other STDs.

Treatment

HIV cannot be cured. There are medications that prolong living with the virus, which weakens the immune system and makes those infected susceptible to potentially lethal diseases.

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