The human immunodeficiency virus attacks the immune system, which eventually leads to its complete failure. The onset of the disease is usually asymptomatic.
The initial stages of HIV infection
Once in the blood, the virus attaches to immune cells. The virus begins to multiply in the cells, which contributes to its rapid spread throughout the body. The immune system does not respond to its presence because it is damaged and cannot function productively.
HIV can change, which also makes it difficult to identify. The number of lymphocytes affected by it is gradually increasing, approaching critical indicators. Eventually AIDS begins.
The presence of the virus in the body may not manifest itself for years. But about half of the infected after 1, 5 months have the first signs, called the febrile phase.
During this period, there is an increased body temperature, pain in the head, painful enlargement of the inguinal lymph nodes, headache, joint pain, loss of appetite. Rashes appear on the skin, ulcers on the mucous membranes.
This phase is followed by asymptomatic, lasting up to 10 years. Its duration depends on the rate of reproduction of the virus. The last stage is AIDS.
AIDS as an end stage
In the first stage of AIDS, a noticeable decrease in body weight occurs, the skin and mucous membranes become especially vulnerable to bacterial and fungal diseases. The mucous membrane of the mouth is affected by candida, resulting in a white coating.
Leukoplakia of the mouth is characteristic, in which white plaques with grooves appear on the lateral sides of the tongue. Shingles often occurs, characterized by painful rashes over large areas of the body. The rash consists of many blisters.
The patient becomes susceptible to herpes infection, sinusitis, pharyngitis, otitis media. As a result of the pathogenic effect of the virus, a decrease in the number of platelets in the blood progresses.
The main function of platelets is blood clotting, so the patient has difficulty in healing wounds. Bleeding of the gums is also noted.
In the second stage of AIDS, weight loss progresses, it exceeds 10% of normal. The patient suffers from digestive disorders, prolonged diarrhea.
Vulnerability to parasitic diseases such as toxoplasmosis appears. The development of the parasite usually occurs in the body of domestic animals. Infection with other types of helminths is also characteristic.
Patients often suffer from diseases of the respiratory system: tuberculosis, pneumonia. Malignant neoplasms develop on the skin, which is called Kaposi's sarcoma. Dysfunction of the lymphatic system progresses.