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Do I have HIV Without Knowing It? Here Are The 7 Signs To Consider (No: 6 Will Shock You)

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Do I have HIV Without Knowing It? Here Are The 7 Signs To Consider (No: 6 Will Shock You)

Do I have HIV Without Knowing It?

The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Although the virus can cause symptoms, they are not a reliable way to determine if you are infected. In fact, some people will have no symptoms. So, even if you do not have any typical signs of an infection, you should always be tested if you think you are at risk.

Am I at risk for HIV?

You get HIV from direct contact with certain types of body fluids – blood, sperm, pre-seminal fluid (also called pre-sperm), vaginal secretions, rectal fluid, and breast milk. The most important risks are vaginal or anal sex without a condom or sharing needles with an HIV-positive person. But other things can increase your chances of having it too.

The CDC recommends that everyone in the United States between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested for HIV at least once as a precautionary measure. In addition, you should ask yourself the following questions, and if you answer yes to one of them, you should be tested:

  • Have you had unprotected sex with someone with HIV or someone you do not know about HIV status?

  • Have you injected drugs (including hormones, steroids and silicone) and shared needles or syringes with others?

  • Have you been diagnosed with STDs?

  • Have you been diagnosed with tuberculosis or hepatitis?

  • Have you had sex with someone who answers “yes” to any of the questions above?

  • Have you been sexually assaulted?

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What are the signs and symptoms of HIV?

Two HIV-positive people will not have the same symptoms and some do not have any at all. But infection can lead to common changes over time:

In the first few weeks: Between 1 and 4 weeks after infection, a person may have flu symptoms of a week or two. This happens because the body reacts to HIV and the immune system tries to fight it. Symptoms at this stage may include:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Stomach disturbed

  • irritated throat

  • Swollen glands

  • skin rash

  • Aches and pains in the muscles and joints

  • Remember that even if you have these symptoms, it does not automatically mean that you are HIV-positive. Many different diseases can cause these problems. Talk to a doctor or HIV testing center if you think you are infected.

  • At this early stage of HIV infection, it is important to know that you may not get accurate results during an HIV test. It may take 3 to 12 weeks for enough signs of the virus to appear on routine tests for the infection, which measure HIV antibodies. A new type of screening, called a nucleic acid test, can detect the virus itself at this early stage, but it is expensive and is generally not used for routine HIV testing.

  • Let the test site or your doctor know if you think you have been infected recently. Also make sure to use a condom every time you have sex and take other measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Months or years after infection: After the first stage, most HIV-positive people will begin to feel healthier. But that does not mean the virus is gone. It can take up to 10 years for other symptoms to appear. Meanwhile, the virus is still active and infects new cells in your body.

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After 10 years with an HIV infection, the virus has damaged your immune system. You are now more likely to be infected with bacteria, viruses or fungi as your body is no longer strong enough to fight. They can be a sign that your infection has changed from HIV to AIDS. You could have:

  • Weightloss

  • Diarrhea

  • Fever

  • A cough that will not go away

  • Night sweats

  • Mouth and skin problems

  • frequent infections

  • serious illnesses or diseases

Do I have HIV without knowing it? Again, these symptoms can also be a sign of other illnesses and do not necessarily mean that you have HIV or AIDS. Get tested to know for sure.

Early treatment is the key to surviving and living with HIV. In the 20 years since the start of combination therapy, the survival rates of those infected and those on treatment have increased significantly. Studies have shown that the lifespan of seropositive patients undergoing regular treatment is essentially not different from that of a non-HIV-positive person.

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