13 Symptoms of HIV in Women
Symptoms can be difficult to notice in the early stages of HIV. Plus, the fact that both men & women might have different symptoms for the same disease only makes it more difficult. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common symptoms of HIV in women.
In the 1980s, being infected by HIV (Human Immuno Virus) simply meant the person would have AIDS and succumb to it.
This changed over the years, thanks to the advancements in the medical field.
Today, a person infected by HIV can be saved and can lead a happy, healthy life if proper treatment is provided at the right time. This is the reason why it makes sense to be alert to the symptoms that may indicate you are infected by HIV.
Symptoms of HIV in Women
Here we have listed out some common symptoms for women who are infected by HIV. Read along and be aware.
While fatigue seems like a common symptom for a wide range of health problems and weakness, it is also a significant indicator of a woman being infected by HIV.
The immune system is weakened by the attack of HIV and this also affects respiratory health. This in turn can make a woman feel lethargic and excessively exhausted. Do not ignore this symptom as fatigue can be an early or late symptom of HIV Infection.
Fever is a common symptom of a wide range of infections and health problems. Mild fever accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue and lymph node swelling can be symptoms of HIV in women.
When the body starts showing symptoms like fever, the infectious virus has started multiplying within the body. The inflammatory reaction is shown by the body at this stage. This is the reason why you should not take symptoms like fever lightly.
3. Sore Throat
A sore throat can also be a symptom of a weakened immune system that can be the result of HIV Infection.
Secondary infections like oral thrush can result from HIV Infection and may result in a sore throat. Knowing these symptoms, you need to contact a doctor when you come across any such symptoms.
Early treatment can prevent the infection from spreading.
4. Skin Rash
Skin rashes can be seen on the infected woman anytime after being infected by HIV. This could be early or late and may occur as a result of yeast infections.
Do not ignore skin rashes that occur in your body, especially if the condition happens simultaneously with other symptoms like fever and weight loss.
5. Digestive Health Problems
Digestive health problems like nausea, vomiting, and loose motions are common in women who are infected by HIV. Loose motions may respond to the regular therapies if it is not HIV infection.
In case it is HIV, these treatments won’t show much effect and the symptoms may continue. These symptoms are caused by organisms not seen in healthy immunity systems.
6. Weight Loss
Another common indicator of HIV Infection in women is weight loss. This could happen at a later stage and may be referred to as AIDS wasting. It usually occurs as a result of excessive loose motions that do not allow the body to gain weight.
The wasting syndrome can be diagnosed in women who show symptoms of fever, loose motions, and loss of 10% or more weight continually for a duration of 30 days.
If you are losing weight as a result of the infection, you can assume that the immune system is fairly depleted.
7. Dry Cough
The dry cough could be among the first indicators of an infected immune system. While most people ignore dry cough as allergies, if a woman experiences dry cough continually for a year or more, it could be a clear indicator of a depleted immune system caused by HIV Infection.
While dry cough may occur because of a number of reasons, an unending cough that goes on for a year or more could be a matter of concern and you need to consult your doctor immediately to get a solution for it.
A good immune system protects your body from a number of health conditions including pneumonia.
However, a woman infected by HIV may develop pneumonia at a later stage after the symptoms like fever, weakness, and dry cough increase. The germ that causes pneumonia usually does not harm a healthy immune system.
High fever and shortness of breath are some clear indicators of pneumonia. Consult a doctor to know the type of pneumonia you are suffering from before starting the treatment.
9. Yeast Infections
As the HIV Infection advances further, many female patients also experience vaginal yeast infections caused by candida (yeast variety naturally present in the vagina).
Simple indicators of such infections are thick discharge and an itchy vagina. When the candida grows excessively, it may also lead to thrushes or infections in the mouth.
Redness, burning, and soreness of the mouth are clear indicators of the yeast infection affecting the mouth. Medicines to combat HIV Infection also help to get rid of such symptoms.
10. Nail Changes
Later in HIV Infection, a patient may experience nail changes. There could be thickening or curving of nails that is unusual.
There could also be discoloration of nails that occurs as a result of lack of health. Fungal infections are very common in people who are infected with HIV. These infections are the cause of nail changes too.
11. Night Sweats
Night sweats are visible in many of the HIV-infected women and these are caused by the body’s increased temperature. It may also be caused by the body’s attempt to fight the infections.
Night sweats may happen irrespective of the activity level of the patient or the surrounding temperature of the room.
At a later stage of HIV infection, a patient may suffer from HIV Dementia which may affect her cognitive skills.
This may impair her abilities to take proper decisions and may cause confusion. The patient may suffer from memory issues and have difficulty concentrating.
13. Menstrual Changes
A direct result of fatigue and weight loss is visible on the woman’s menstrual cycle. It may become scantier and irregular as a result of HIV Infection later on. Women may also undergo menopause sooner if they are infected with HIV.
As a woman, you are surely going through many changes each month and it can be a bit difficult to observe symptoms of HIV early on. This is because a woman’s cycle alters her health constantly.
Headache, backache, anxiety, and stress are common to most women at different stages of their menstrual cycle. Many women may find it hard to notice symptoms like fatigue or altered menstrual cycles since it is so common.
Being aware of the different symptoms of HIV in women can help them stay alert and take action to cure the condition as soon as the first symptom pops up.
February 17, 2020 Sam Bell