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Jul 2023

Must know signs and symptoms of HIV in female

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Jul 26, 2023

HIV infection is a common condition that can affect both male and females of all ages. This infection severely affects the immune system and destroys cells that fight off foreign invaders. One can be affected with HIV without any symptoms. The signs and symptoms of HIV infection in females may differ.

What is HIV?

The term refers to Human immunodeficiency virus, that affects our immune system and makes it hard for the body to fight with minor illnesses. HIV infection in the long run can cause Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV is also known as retrovirus as it works backwards to infuse its instruction into the DNA.

What is AIDS?

AIDS is the utmost and severe stage of HIV infection. People with AIDS have severely damaged immune systems and a very low count of white blood cells. If you have untreated HIV infection, then it can lead to AIDS within the span of 10 years.

What are the stages of HIV infection?

  • Acute Infection: This is the first stage when people notice flu or fever-like symptoms that go away within the span of a week or month.
  • Chronic infection: In this stage, people with HIV may not notice any symptoms for many years, but can still spread the infection to others.
  • AIDS: This is the most severe stage of HIV infection. In this stage, the weakened immune system can barely work, and can make you more prone to persistent infections. AIDS can also contribute to certain kinds of cancers.

What are the symptoms of HIV in females?

Depending on the HIV stages, the symptoms in females are described below.

Stage 1: Acute infection

The symptoms in the early stages may or may not be noticeable in some. The commons symptoms are:

  • Sore throat: Sore throat is one of the common symptoms that appears in the early stage, and may last for a few weeks or even months.
  • Swollen glands: Swollen glands and lymph nodes are very common in the first stage of HIV infection that can stay for about a month. Our lymph nodes are located in the neck, armpits, groin and back of the head.
  • Mouth ulcers: Mouth ulcer is common in the early stages, but it can also appear at the later stages of the infection. The mouth ulcer may appear as cream colored plaque on the lip, tongue and palate. Some may also notice painful red ulcers inside the lips and cheeks.
  • Skin rashes: Skin rashes are somewhat common in the beginning stages, which can be the result of frequent infections.
  • Night sweats: Some people may have night sweats in the beginning stage after contracting the virus, which is the result of the immune system fighting off infections during sleep.

Stage 2: Chronic infection

The chronic stage of HIV infection is also known as the asymptomatic stage. During this stage, most people do not experience a single symptom for several years. While some people experience symptoms that are severe than the symptoms of acute stage.

Stage 3: AIDS

This is known as the severe stage of HIV infection, in which the immune system has severely weakened. The symptoms of AIDS includes:

  • Frequent infections: People with AIDS are more susceptible to getting pneumonia, tuberculosis, yeast infections, bacterial infections, skin infections, kidney infections, digestive tract infections, lung infections and brain damage.
  • Cancer: Untreated HIV virus can contribute to several types of cancers, such as cervical cancer, kaposi sarcoma, and non-hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • Menstrual changes: Females with AIDS may notice changes in their period blood, which includes heavy or lighter bleeding than usual. Some may not have a menstrual cycle for even months.

Apart from all these, people in the later stages of the infection may also experience pelvic inflammatory disease and sexually transmitted infections.