Human immunity is very complex system. It comprises of many facets to deal with the invading organisms. Nowadays the immune system is getting more and more attention with the emergence of newly identified disease called acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). It is now clearly established that AIDS is a consequence of infection caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus belongs to the family of retrovirus.
Once HIV virus enters into the body, it directly attacks the immune system, specially the CD4 cells. HIV infection leads to various problems in the body including severe drop in the CD4 lymphocytes count. The main function of CD4 is protection of the body from invading organisms. However, CD4 cells are unable to destroy HIV from the body. Patients with HIV will thus suffer from increased occurrence of infection which includes mainly the opportunistic infection.
Men and women both can be affected with the infection. HIV infection can occur in anyone, but the highest incidence is among the age group of 30 to 44 years. In men ignorance coupled with sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drug abuse are the leading causes. HIV infection was once considered a disease having no specific management strategy. But with gradual advancement in the knowledge of infection and invention of newer drugs, the condition can be very well managed, especially if the symptoms are detected early.
Early Symptoms of HIV In Men
The symptoms of HIV can vary from one person to another. Normally the symptoms in men are not different from those in women, aside from changes in menstruation and vaginal symptoms. The early symptoms of HIV positive patients are acute in nature and they appear similar to flu like symptoms. This is followed by a period of silence, meaning the patient become asymptomatic till the disease has advanced exhibiting serious symptoms.
Acute stage symptoms: These symptoms occur due to seroconversion illness. It is a point where in the blood is converted from HIV negative to HIV positive. The symptoms result as antibodies are generated.
Following are the symptoms:
- Mild to moderate fever
- Severe fatigue
- Muscle ache
- Pain in joints
- Unexplained loss of weight.
- Mouth ulcers or ulcers in genital area or penis. Mouth ulcer or throat ulcer can cause difficulty while swallowing.
- Night time heavy sweating.
- Swelling of lymph nodes.
- Rash over the skin.
Asymptomatic HIV Phase
This the period that occurs once the episode of acute illness disappears. During this period the patient is symptom-less. He lives without manifesting any symptoms of HIV for months and even years. It is a period where the virus starts replicating in the body, ultimately weakening the immune system. Men suffering from HIV during this period will not look sick.
However, the virus is still causing the damage. Person is infective during the asymptomatic period. He can transmit the infection to another person. It is for this reason even though a person is asymptomatic, if there is a suspicion of HIV infection, he must undergo blood test to rule out HIV.
Advanced Stage HIV Symptoms In Men
After months or even years the virus eventually breaks down the immune system. Once the immune system becomes weak, all opportunistic infection make an entry into the body. Usually a normal man’s body can fight off these infections, but for a patient suffering from HIV infection it can prove fatal.
- Recurrent fungal infection which does not heal even after taking anti fungal treatment.
- Recurrent boils and abscesses in the body. It may heal for a while with treatment, but patient may complain of them appearing again.
- Frequent cold and flu like symptoms.
- Severe weight loss without any reason.
- Confusion and memory loss.
Patients with HIV are highly prone to develop tuberculosis on exposure to the tuberculosis germs. Fungal infection such as cryptococcal meningitis is seen in advanced level of the infection. Patient may also suffer from recurrent episodes of pneumonia. Diarrhea is a common problem in men suffering from HIV and AIDS.