AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is a syndrome that is caused by the virus HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This virus can cause alterations to the immune system and make the body more susceptible to infections and diseases. As the syndrome develops it becomes progressively harder to curb the effects of the virus.
Early Stage Symptoms
Some people have little to no symptoms of HIV for months or years after the contracting the virus. However, almost 80% of the time, infected individuals will develop flu-like symptoms within the first 2-6 weeks. This is what is called acute retroviral syndrome. Other early symptoms of HIV include fevers, chills, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, etc. These symptoms are common for a lot of viruses and you should not form a conclusion just based on it. Get yourself tested if you think there is a chance that you might have contracted a virus.
Middle Stage Symptoms
Asymptomatic HIV: In a lot of instances, after the initial symptoms disappear, there are no further symptoms for a period of time as long as many years. But during this time, the virus grows and develops while damaging the immune system and organs. Without proper medication at this stage, the immune system slowly gets chipped away until it is so weak that any disease that the body would normally be able to fight off with relative ease becomes life-threatening. A person who is infected by HIV often experiences next to no symptoms and would feel normal and healthy at this stage. But for people who are taking antiretrovirals and are following the dosage correctly and punctually the development of the virus can be suppressed. It can be suppressed completely actually since these medications are designed to stop the on-going damage that is being done to the body by the virus.
Late Stage Symptoms
persistent or chronic diarrhoea, permanent tiredness, fevers, random weight loss, etc. The risk of contracting a life-threatening illness is much greater during late-stage of HIV infection. Some of the serious conditions that may arise can be controlled to an extent using medication along with separate treatment for the HIV infection.
Many people believe that actions like shaking hands, hugging, casual kissing, sneezing, sharing things like cutlery, towels and toilets etc. can cause the HIV virus to spread. But this is just a myth and a misconception.