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One of the most notorious types of medical conditions which has taken and is taking its toll on millions of people is what we know as AIDS, short for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This disease is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The only thing this virus does, once it makes its way into the body, is sabotaging the defenses of the immune system. And this sole effect of the virus makes the person susceptible to the mildest of infection, which otherwise wouldn't have raised any concern. As most people are aware of the fact, HIV/AIDS spreads through unprotected sex, from an infected pregnant or nursing mother to her child, and through contaminated blood.

Symptoms

HIV symptoms timeline merely speaks about the time period that the infection takes to manifest itself into the various signs and symptoms.

Technically, HIV does not show any early symptoms whatsoever. After a person is infected with the virus, it is only after 2-4 weeks that he/she may begin to show some symptoms, and that too which are the same as those of the common infection influenza. These few acute symptoms of HIV may include fever, headache, skin rash, and enlarged or swollen lymph glands. Tiredness and sore throat may be common. It is important to know that, even if the person does not show any such symptoms as soon as he/she gets infected, he/she can still pass on the virus to others.

These few symptoms, usually disappear within a week or month. And thereafter, the HIV timeline is such that, the affected person may show no symptoms at all for years. However, as the pathogen keeps on damaging the immune system, the person may exhibit some symptoms indicating the worsening stage of the immune system. These may include chronic infections like diarrhea, fever, unintended weight loss, and cough, which may be worsened by shortness of breath and swollen lymph nodes.

Without any treatment, HIV progresses to AIDS within a span of 10 years, generally. By this time, the virus would have created so much of damage to the immune system, that the affected person might succumb even to common cold. The immune system has the CD4 cells as the prime defense of the body against infection. And what the human immunodeficiency virus does is it directly attacks these cells and keeps destroying them gradually. And when the count of these cells falls below 200, which normally occurs 10 years after the infection, the person is then said to have developed a full-fledged case of AIDS. And the symptoms which occur during this time mainly include:
  • Persistent cough
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Reducing concentration and coordination
  • Memory problems
  • Diarrhea that does not seem to resolve
  • Fatigue that occurs without any apparent cause
  • Vision may get blurred, distorted, or permanently lost
  • Skins rashes, flaky skin, bumps, and occurrence of white spots on tongue or inside of the mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever that goes above 38°C or 100°F
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Coma
So, this is how the timeline of HIV symptoms goes for a HIV positive person. Experts say, after AIDS sets in, the average life expectancy of the affected person becomes a mere 2-3 years.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.