The acute stage of an infection has often been regarded as its primary stage where the infection develops based on the way it is handled. Specifically, the acute stage of HIV is said to exist between the periods of two to four weeks after one has been exposed to the infection. Various other names are also used to describe what Acute HIV infection means; like ‘primary stage,’ ‘early stage,’ and ‘first stage.’
A person is said to have Acute HIV Infection when he or she has just been infected and the virus keeps multiplying at a very high rate. It is important to understand that HIV infection unlike other viruses cannot be eradicated by a person’s immune system but grows and weaken it to the point that other forms of infection would develop and weaken the body.
Contrary to the view that is held by some, Acute HIV Infection may be passed to another person even when the infected patient notices no symptoms. Acute HIV Infection may have no symptoms and this has often been mistaken for other forms of illnesses which include the flu because the antibody tests find it difficult to fight HIV at this stage.
The symptoms of Acute HIV Infection
Although some infected people do not experience any symptoms while they have Acute HIV Infection, others do, among the many possible signs. These symptoms may also be similar to other viral illnesses or the flu which is why many speculate and conclude that they do not have HIV.
According to the CDC, more than 1.1 million people in America are living with Acute HIV Infection and only about 85 percent of them are aware, leaving the other 15 percent to speculate and live ignorantly. The symptoms which one may experience include:
- A headache
- A rash
- Night Sweats
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Muscle aches
- Ulcers in the mouth, genitals, and esophagus
What can lead to the above symptoms of Acute HIV Infection?
Several acts can lead to an Acute HIV Infection as people go about their daily activities. Such acts include:
- Sharing syringes and sharp objects with an HIV infected person or group of people whose HIV statuses are unknown.
- Being breastfed by an HIV infected mother.
- Contacts with the semen, blood or vaginal fluids of an HIV infected person during unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Having a contaminated blood transfusion (which rarely happens today with the development and improvements in medical sciences).
It is necessary to discard several myths one may still hold on to in respect to the subject of Acute HIV Infection transmission. Activities like kissing, holding hands, sharing of bath soaps, sharing of food utensils, hugging, and other similar conducts are by no means a way to transmit HIV.
Added to the above, having Acute HIV Infection is not restricted to persons of a race, age range, complexion, religion and other similar factors because anyone who is exposed can be infected too.
Be that as it may, men who have unprotected sex with other men and people who share syringes stand a very high tendency of contracting the disease than those who do not.
The modes of preventing Acute HIV Infection
Various preventive methods may be adapted to shield one from having Acute HIV Infection. These methods are:
- Avoiding the common use of needles and other sharp objects either as a reuse for medication or drawing a tattoo.
- By taking great precautions with the use of latex gloves as a healthcare personnel while handling blood.
- By using pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) method as means of prevention.
- By going through regular STD and HIV test in order to start medication early enough and prevent further damage.
The available treatment for Acute HIV Infection
Since the full treatment of HIV is not yet found, doctors always advice that the use of antiretroviral drugs would do a lot of good because it is crucial to maintaining good health. The essence of this is to minimize the side effects of HIV in the patient’s body and when this is perfectly done, the patient can live a more healthy and normal life.
Apart from usual medications, healthcare providers often suggest some lifestyle changes to help cure the Acute HIV Infection. Some of these include:
- Eating a healthy meal daily in order to increase the immune system’s potency.
- The sole use of syringes and other sharp objects.
- Practice of safe sex always with one partner (as much as possible).
- Regular test and treatment of any STD that one may be infected with.
- Regular daily exercise and hobbies sustenance.
- Reduced or no intake of hard drugs and other alcohol substances.
HIV generally used to be very scary until recent exposure to its exact nature giving hope to people that they can confidently combat the virus with antiretroviral drugs as they live a healthy life.
It is therefore advisable that as soon as one notices the symptoms of HIV Acute Infection, an immediate visit should be paid to the hospital where all uncertainties would be cleared.