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7 HIV Symptoms In Women

Update Date: May 31, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

Women infected by HIV experience mild symptoms during early stages which are often mistaken for flu and common cold. While we know early diagnosis of the infection helps in better intervention of the disease, seven symptoms of HIV in women are as follows.

Headache, fever and lack of energy are the first signs of HIV which often disappears in few weeks of infection. Skin problems are the predominant symptoms of HIV which appear as skin sores and rashes. The skin of an HIV infected person is very sensitive for sunlight and irritants and often develops red patches and small bumps which turn flaky in due course of time.

Since the immune system of HIV patients is compromised they are easily prone to infections of eyes, skin, digestive tract, lungs, kidneys, and brain. People tend to contract flu easily and it often becomes difficult to treat such common ailments.

Swollen glands are the first obvious symptoms of HIV which lasts for months together. Since the immune system is weak in such people it becomes difficult for lymph nodes to fight the infection and therefore remain enlarged for several months.

"{Women] affected [with HIV] can have frequent and heavy periods or lighter and missed periods," Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California. "Some completely lose their period altogether. Hormonal havoc is not uncommon, making symptoms associated with premenstrual symptoms (PMS), perimenopause and menopause even worse," reported She Knows.

People with HIV may also suffer low-grade fever for a long period. This is because the body is unable to fight the infection while it can detect foreign body's invasion into the system. Night sweats are also common in HIV infection which often leads to disturbed sleep. Pelvic inflammatory disease in women infected with HIV may cause lower abdominal pain, painful intercourse and abnormal vaginal discharge, according to Health Aim.

"Menstrual changes aside, women with HIV are more prone to yeast and bacterial infections, Ross says. And because they develop a weakened immune system, they're also more likely to get sexually transmitted infections, including herpes simplex virus, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis and the human papillomavirus (HPV), Ross says," noted She Knows.

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