Aids and Viral Complications
Viral infections are a serious concern to those patients who have the HIV virus or fully developed AIDS.
One of the most common is the herpes simplex virus. This virus is caused by unprotected sex with a person who
already has the disease. The disease can be transferred by unprotected anal or vaginal
sex and symptoms are pain and irritated skin in the genital area. During the later stages, sores erupt and
begin oozing and bleeding on the genitals, buttocks, and anal area. The sores eventually disappear but the
virus is only dormant. Extra breakouts may occur more often in people infected with the HIV virus. The
symptoms will be more severe and the sores will take longer to heal in an infected person. The herpes disease
is not life threatening to adults, but can be serious enough to cause death in young children. Infants that
are affected with the herpes virus during delivery can cause blindness, brain damage, and death.
Viral hepatitis is an infection of the liver. The first signs could be a yellowing of the skin and whites
of the eyes. In plain language this is jaundice. Other signs include extreme fatigue, abdominal pain,
nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. There are several different types of this virus but the most common
are hepatitis A, B, and C. Hepatitis B and C can put a patient at risk for long-term and more serious
complications including cirrhosis of the liver and cancer. If you have hepatitis and have tested positive for
the HIV virus it is more likely to cause liver toxicity because of your medications.
Did You Know?
The signs of symptoms of AIDS or HIV are different depending on what stage the
infection is in. When a person is first infected they may have flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph
nodes but recover quickly.
This flu-like sickness may occur two to six weeks after being infected and is not always associated
with the possibility of HIV infection. Even if you do not have any of these symptoms until years
later, you can still infect other people with the virus.
Once your body is invaded with the HIV or AIDS virus, your immune system is under attack. Even
though you may not be having any symptoms, you can still pass the disease on to another person.
Meanwhile, even if you are symptom free, your cells that coordinate your immune system are slowly
You can remain this way for as many as ten years but during that time you will begin it experience
more frequent infections as your immune cells are destroyed.
You may experience chronic symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, shortness of breath, cough,
fever, and unexplained weight loss.
CMV or cytomegalovirus is a common herpes virus that can be transmitted through saliva, blood, urine, and breast
milk. More than half of the adult population has been infected with this virus, but healthy individuals can
fight off the virus and it remains dormant in the body. If your immune system is weak, the virus will remain
active and cause damage to the eyes, lungs, digestive track, and many other organs of the body. CMV most
commonly causes redness and swelling of the retina and can lead to blindness if left untreated.
The human papillomavirus has been in the news because of the new immunization shot that is so controversial.
It was developed as a vaccine to prevent young women from getting cervical cancer because of this sexually
transferred disease. Any sign of the HPV virus in a woman could cause cervical cancer. This cancer
seems to be occurring in women who are HIV positive. The Federal Drug Administration approved the first
vaccine for this sexually transmitted disease in 2006. This vaccine is most effective if it is given to young
women before they have become sexually active. It can also protect young women who have already been sexually
active at the age of 26 or younger.
Keeping your body in the best physical shape and not putting yourself at risk, will help keep
you from getting infected and developing AIDS.
Remain healthy, eat a healthy diet, exercise and get plenty of rest. If you know you are at
risk, watch for the earliest signs and see a doctor immediately.
A Pap test can find out if you have signs of cervical cancer. This same virus can cause
cancer in the anal area if that person engages in unprotected anal sex. Education is the key to choosing the
treatment best for you. Read all the research and information you can find on the Internet. Keep
abreast of any new research and developments.