At the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, it seemed that information about HIV and AIDS was everywhere. While HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) is still very much an issue today, advances in drug therapy and longer life expectancies have taken a lot of the media buzz out of the issue, and it is no longer something that is a regular feature on the front pages of the newspaper. However, it seems that our modern need to always be moving on to the next thing may have caused us to forget a bit of the due diligence that is associated with preventing any sexually-transmitted infection, let alone one like HIV, for which there is no cure. The following overview is a reminder of the signs and symptoms that are often associated with an HIV infection, and a reminder of how to reduce your risk.
While between 40 and 90% of people who have become infected with HIV may develop flu-like symptoms within the first month, quite often, many people will display no symptoms at all, making it easy for them to be completely unaware that they are infected, and spread the infection to other people. In in interview for Health Magazine, Dr. Michael Horberg of the Kaiser Permanente HIV/AIDS programme in Oakland, California said that one in five people infected with HIV will be completely unaware that they have the virus.
While the flu-like symptoms that many people experience are not just limited to those above, a large proportion of the population will experience some type of flu-like illness within one month of initial infection with HIV. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and think that there may be even the smallest chance that you could be infected with HIV, you should get tested. HIV is most infective at its earliest stage, and you may risk infecting others if you are HIV positive.
Weight loss and a skin rash can occur at any stage of an HIV infection. However, if you are eating normally and still chronically losing weight, this may be a sign of a more advanced HIV infection. Chronic diarrhoea can also contribute to weight loss at a later stage of infection. A dry cough can also be a sign of later infection, although it too can occur at any time.
As with weight loss, skin rashes can occur at any time of an HIV infection, and are usually non-itchy, and distributed on the trunk, arms, and sometimes the face. Like with chronic weight loss, this is a sign of a compromised immune system.
If you have any of the following symptoms, it is imperative to get tested, even if you think there is a very small chance that you have HIV. There are a lot of less-serious illnesses and infections that can cause these symptoms and are easily treated, but HIV is incurable, and the earlier it is diagnosed, the more manageable your treatment will be.
Those at the highest risk for HIV infection include those who have sex with multiple partners (with and without a condom), those who engage in unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral), and those who share or re-use needles to inject drugs or steroids. Using non-sterile needles for tattooing or piercing can also me a mode of transmission for HIV (however, it is rare), so if you engage in these activities, ensure that the establishment is using proper sterilisation technique. Lastly, research indicates that having had a sexually-transmitted infection in the past puts you at greater risk for HIV, underscoring the importance of practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly.
Need treatment? Get a quick consultation nowStart your consultation now
A consultation only lasts 2 minutes. Get started now and get it delivered tomorrow
Acne is a very common skin condition characterised by the appearance of spots and pimples on and around the face. It is mostly found in adolescents, but around a fifth of acne cases occur in the adult population. The most common, and most visible, outbreaks of acne are on the face, but it’s also perfectly normal for the spots to appear on the neck, chest, shoulders, upper arms and the back. Acne in itself poses no risk to health, but severe cases can result in scarring if not dealt with... Read more
Have you ever felt weak or suffered from a headache when you rode on a plane? Or maybe you felt sick to your stomach and lost your appetite when you hiked up to an elevated location. If something like this has ever happened to you, then you may have been experiencing altitude sickness. This is a general feeling of un-wellness, characterized by specific symptoms, that only affects certain people when they move to high altitudes.
While many people who are suffering from cystitis turn to their doctor for a medical treatment, many others prefer to try an alternative bladder infection treatment. Although there’s doubt that a natural bladder infection treatment will work, some of them have been effective, especially when treating mild forms of the condition. However, to best prevent the spread of cystitis, and further complications such as kidney infections, we recommend seeking confirmed medical treatments such as ... Read more
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacteria Chlamydia Trachomatis. With an estimated 141 million cases occurring worldwide in 2013 alone, this disease is one of the most common and prevalent in the world today . While long-term effects such as blindness and arthritis are potential dangers, it is also important to understand the relationship between chlamydia and infertility.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. The bacteria are typically transferred via semen and vaginal fluids, and it’s one of the most common STI’s in the word. Young adults and teenagers who are sexually active are at most risk. In 2013, 7 out of 10 people in England diagnosed with the bacterial infection were under the age of 25. An expectant woman with chlamydia can pass it on to their child during childbirth, so it... Read more
Sexual contact carries the risk of contracting a number of sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. Despite the continuing education, media coverage, medical advice and advertising, people continue to have unprotected sex. In the UK, according to government-published statistics, of 440,000 total reported cases of STDs cases in 2014, 206,774 were diagnosed as chlamydia. In the US, chlamydia is the most common bacterial infection that can be passed during sexual contact, with close to 3 million ... Read more
Dr Felix is an online doctor and pharmacy. We’re proud to be trusted by our patients for safe, effective treatments that are delivered quickly and discreetly. Choose your medication below and start your 2 minute consultation.
Information for Syphilis, Hepatitis B & C and HIV Test Collect a small bl...
The Test Kit Basic STI Screen Test for Men who have sex with men The Sample ...
The Test Kit Comprehensive STI Screen Test for Me...
Safe and effective medication from Dr Felix