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Symptoms of HIV

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Symptoms of HIV

First things first. It is very important to understand that you cannot just depend on symptoms alone in order to determine whether or not you have HIV. This is because the only way in which you can know for sure is to go through tests. Knowing your health status is essential because it can help you in making healthy decisions in order to prevent acquiring, or even transmitting HIV.

The symptoms of HIV may vary as it usually depends on the individual, as well as the specific stage of the condition you are already in. Generally, there are three stages of this condition: early stage, clinical latency stage, and AIDS, which is the latter stage of an HIV infection. Let’s go through the symptoms in every stage.

Early Stage

During the early stage of this condition, some individuals may experience flu-like feeling in a period of 2-4 weeks right after being infected with the virus. However, some may not feel these conditions at this stage. These flu-like early stage HIV symptoms may include chills, fever, night sweats, rash, sore throat, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, and mouth ulcers.

These symptoms may also last from just a few days up to several weeks. HIV infection may even not show up if you take an HIV test; however, people who already have it can be highly infections and may also spread it to others. Still, it is not recommended to conclude that you already have HIV just by basing on these symptoms. Each of these may also be caused by other issues.


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Clinical Latency Stage

After the earlier phase of the infection, it will progress to the clinical latency stage, which is often known as the chronic HIV infection. At this stage, the virus is still but only reproduces at extremely low levels. People who have this may also not have symptoms related to HIV, only those that are mild. It is important to note that it is possible to transmit HIV to others at this phase even though you may not feel the symptoms.

AIDS Progression

If you have HIV and are not on antiretroviral therapy, the virus will eventually weaken the immune system of your body, thus progressing to AIDS, which is the late stage of the infection. Here, the symptoms may include recurring fever, rapid weight loss, profuse night sweats, unexplained or extreme tiredness, diarrhea which may last for over a week, extended swelling of lymph glands in the groin, neck or armpits. Again, as a reminder, these symptoms may also be linked with other conditions. Therefore, the only way to be sure is to be tested.

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Add-on Markers

Homocystein $77

This test is used to gauge whether someone is suffering from folate or Vitamin B12 deficiency.

For people with a history of heart disease in the family in the absence of other risk factors such as being overweight or obese, high blood pressure or smoking; the test can be used in screening patients for stroke or heart attack.

CA 19.9 $67

Serum CA 19.9 levels are usually increased to about 80% among patients who are dealing with pancreatic cancer. They are also evident in 54-89% of patients with stomach cancer, while 65% for those who have colorectal cancer. From time to time, the serum level may also increase in benign conditions, such as acute and chronic pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, as well as hepatobillary tract disease. In benign disease, however, CA 19.9 generally does not go over 100U/ml.

HbA1C $37

HaemoglobinA1c, or HbAIc, is a diabetes marker, which may be used in long-term care monitoring for people who are suffering from diabetes. The level of HbA1c is directly proportional to the glucose level within the blood. It has been accepted widely as a determining factor that indicates the mean daily concentration of blood glucose throughout the preceding couple of months. According to recent studies, regular measurement and assessment of HbA1c results to the change in diabetes treatment, as well as the improvement of the metabolic control which is indicated with the lowering of the HbA1c valves.

CA 125 $67

This glycol protein is produced in several ovarian cancers. The levels of CA 125 that are above 335ng/ml have been detected in about 20-40% of patients who have State I and II ovarian cancers, as well as 96% of patients who have State III and IV of this disease. In less common situations, the levels can increase in patients who have cancers of the breast, gastrointestinal tract, endometrium, cervix, as well as the fallopian tube. The increase in levels may also be present in some benign conditions such as peritoneal inflammation and endometriosis. CA 125 is also helpful when it comes to monitoring individuals for treatment response and recurrence of tumour.

C-Reactive Protein $37

C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is a particular substance which is produced within the liver as a result of inflammation. CRP is also known as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), as well as ultra-sensitive C-reactive protein (us-CRP). With a high CRP level in the blood, there is a possibility of having a condition which can cause inflammation, ranging from the possibility of an upper respiratory infection to more serious conditions such as cancer. Higher levels of CRP can also be an indication of an inflammation in the heart arteries, swelling of the tissues that line the joints and infection of a bone. This, in turn, may pose a higher risk for heart attack. However, it is important to keep in mind, that CRP is a nonspecific test which may be elevated with any type of inflammatory condition.

CA 15.3 $67

The test for CA 15.3 is considered as a marker of tumour. It is often used in checking how treatment for breast cancer works, looking for cancer that has recurred post treatment. If you are being diagnosed with cancer of the breast, you may go through this test. It is not used for measuring early stage of breast cancer since the levels of this type of protein are only rarely higher than the normal levels within this stage.

PSA $67

PSA is a substance produced within the prostate gland. It is also highly useful when it comes to the diagnosis of prostate cancer, including the monitoring for spreading and recurrence of tumour in patients. Generally, a little amount of PSA can be found in the blood. Increase in the levels of PSA may be caused by benign prostatic or even prostate cancer.

HIV Antibody $27

The antibody screening test is considered as the most common HIV test, looking into the antibodies that is produced by the body against HIV. It may be done on oral or blood fluid, but not saliva. Since the antibody levels in the oral fluid is relatively lower as in the blood, majority of blood-based tests discover the infection sooner right after being exposed compared to rapid HIV tests.

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