By. Kungu Al-mahadi Adam
Many people do not feel symptoms of HIV in the first few months after infection and may not know that they are infected. Others may experience influenza-like symptoms, including fever, headache, rash and sore throat. However, these first few months are when the virus is most infectious.
As the disease progresses, symptoms will be expanded and more pronounced. These can include swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea and cough. HIV weakens the body’s ability to fight other infections, and without treatment people will become more susceptible to other severe illnesses such as tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis, bacterial infections and some cancers including lymphomas and Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Diagnosis of HIV uses rapid tests that provide same-day results and can be done at home, although a laboratory test is required to confirm the infection.
This early identification greatly improves treatment options and reduces the risk of transmission to other people including sexual or drug-sharing partners.