AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a dreaded disease. A person who is HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) infected can develop AIDS. It may take many years for a person, sometimes, 10 years or more, infected with HIV to have symptoms. The average incubation period for HIV is 10 years. During this period, the body strives hard to get rid of the virus, but is only able to keep it under control. Gradually, the immune system begins to lose its capability to fight against HIV. The immune system weakens signaling an advanced state of HIV infection, which is when AIDS begin. During the symptom free period, the infected person can be actively transmitting the virus to others.
As explained earlier, some people with HIV infection show no signs of symptoms for years- the time of exposure to HIV and development of AIDS. Symptoms of AIDS occur only when HIV damages the immune system. Symptoms associated with HIV infection are: Frequent fevers, sweats (particularly at night), swelling of the lymph nodes of the arm pits, groins, neck, chest and abdomen, chills, weakness, rapid weight loss, fatigue, nausea, poor appetite, thrush, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and neurological and emotional symptoms such as numbness, tingling sensation in the hands and feet, confusion, memory loss and depression. In an advanced stage, AIDS can lead to rare cancers, which a healthy immune system otherwise will not get affected.
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