Hiv Symptoms In Men
What Are The HIV Symptoms In Men?
HIV symptoms in men do not differ greatly from those in women, at least in the early stages. In later stages as the immune system weakens, hormone imbalances may occur which often affect men and women quite differently. HIV is an abbreviation of the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is not quite the same as AIDS, although the two terms are used, often incorrectly, interchangeably. HIV is the cause of AIDS, the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is a condition in which, due to the presence of HIV, the immune system is weakened as the virus destroys white blood cells, allowing opportunistic infections of one type or another to take hold in the body.
As it is the immune system that is affected, HIV symptoms in men would be expected to mimic symptoms of an immune system deficiency, regardless of the underlying cause. This is basically what happens, but there can be a number of symptoms, most of which could come from a number of causes, and none of which points directly to HIV. It is the combination of early stage symptoms together with one or more of the latter stage symptoms that might lead someone to suspect they have become infected with the virus. The other clue leading to the possibility of HIV infection is the lifestyle the individual leads. When a man engages in unprotected sex, or shares intravenous needles with another, and shortly thereafter begins to experience some of the symptoms, there is a definite likelihood that HIV may be involved. Getting a blood transfusion from someone who is infected with the disease is another leading cause, as HIV is normally transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids. Unprotected sex and the use of common needles are by far the greatest contributors leading to HIV symptoms in men.
Early Stage Symptoms - As is apparent from looking at the more common early stage HIV symptoms in men, there is little to point to the possibility of an HIV infection unless the person's lifestyle is taken into account. Headache, fever, and general tiredness all are flu-like symptoms, and as some types of flu can persist for weeks, there is little to suggest that HIV may be the culprit. It should also be noted that it takes much longer for the symptoms to fully develop in some men than in others. Some men may begin to experience HIV symptoms within a week or two of getting the infection, while others may not experience any symptoms for months or even years.
Later Stage Symptoms - Other early stage symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and enlarged lymph nodes may begin to indicate that something more than the flow is involved, especially the swollen lymph nodes, which are not normally a symptom of the flu. Later stage symptoms however point to something definitely being wrong. These symptoms include a dry cough, profuse sweating, particularly at night, fatigue that is often extreme in nature, white spots in the mouth, skin blemishes, and often the onset of pneumonia. These later HIV symptoms in men definitely point to problems associated with the immune system.
When all is said and done, an HIV infection cannot be verified strictly from the symptoms one is experiencing, but must be verified through blood tests and examination of mucus, looking for the presence of antibodies to the virus.
Significant steps have been made in recent years to treat and combat the HIV virus. Whereas at one time, anyone infected with the virus faced a bleak and often somewhat brief future, the infection, if caught early enough, can often be effectively controlled, if not cured. Antiviral medications have been developed which can keep the virus from replicating itself. These medical achievements, together with public awareness as to how best to prevent becoming infected with the virus, has made HIV/AIDS less of a threat in most developed countries, although it still exists in epidemic proportions in others.