HIV Symptoms in Singapore: HIV is a virus that damages the immune system, leaving one vulnerable to other infections. It’s acquired through bodily fluids (blood and sex). Treatment can help to manage the illness.
When a person is first infected by HIV, he or she may experience a flu-like illness about 2-4 weeks after exposure. A fever, muscle aches, fatigue, sore throat, and headache may occur. People often feel like they have a severe flu, the worst flu they’ve ever had. This is called primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome. If you have these symptoms, don’t assume that you definitely have HIV, because the same symptoms can be caused by many other illnesses (including influenza, or “the flu”). However, if you’ve had a possible exposure and you develop these symptoms, you should report the exposure to your healthcare provider so you can receive the right testing and medical care.
For many people who become infected by HIV, there are no symptoms from the primary infection. This is why many people with HIV are unaware that they have the infection. It often takes years for any symptoms to become apparent. During this time, while a person is infected but has no symptoms, he or she can easily spread the virus to others.
After the infection, there is a period of time called the latency stage, when there are usually no symptoms. Without treatment, this period lasts about ten years on average, although it can be shorter for some people. With treatment, many people can be kept in the latency stage indefinitely. HIV is still very transmissible in this stage, although the risk of passing the illness on to your sexual or drug use partners can be greatly reduced through treatment with medications.
Later in the course of the illness, symptoms start to become apparent. People with HIV start getting sick more often than others. They may have diseases that are unusual in healthy people, such as certain types of pneumonia. There are also certain cancers that are more common in people with HIV; the immune system is usually able to destroy the cancerous cell before it grows out of control, but when the immune system is compromised, there’s no defense against that cancer. People in this late stage of HIV also often have fevers, extreme fatigue, night sweats, and other generalized symptoms of illness. As the disease progresses to AIDS, more and more illnesses, which are more and more severe, will develop, until eventually one of them kills the person.