Associated with AIDS
Although the HIV virus does not directly attack nerve cells, it can cause serious neurological
complications. There is always a threat of encephalitis for an HIV or AIDS patients. Other
opportunistic infections can also
attack the neurological system such as cancer and bacterial
and viral infections. These infections would not normally affect a healthy person but attack at will someone
who has a weakened immune system. Neurological problems can be caused by the toxicity of the drugs used to
treat the disease.
One of the more common neurological problems found in AIDS patients is the herpes virus infection. This
virus causes chicken pox and shingles and can dramatically affect the brain. It can cause inflammation of the
spinal cord and brain infection. It commonly causes shingles, which is disease of intense pain and blisters
that form along the area of the skin where the nerve is being affected. This horrible little virus can lay
dormant in the system for several years but can attack a person with AIDS because of their weakened immune
system. Painful blisters, itching, pain in the nerves, and tingling are signs you may be suffering from the
Nerve pain is strongly associated with AIDS patients. The HIV virus disrupts the communication network
that transfers information from the brain and spinal cord to every part of the body. Many symptoms include
painful and burning feelings in the legs and feet. They may be stronger at night and could spread to the arms
and hands. The patient may have a heightened sensitivity to pain or touch and can be sensitive to other
stimuli. This neurological problem is normally found in patients with advanced stages of HIV infection or
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.
AIDS patients are often subject to serious psychological and neuropsychiatric disorders. These can occur in
different stages of HIV or AIDS and may take one of many different forms. The powerful drugs that are used to
treat patients with AIDS may also trigger this condition. Patients may suffer from depression, panic and
anxiety attacks, paranoia, dementia, confusion, and hallucinations. They may also suffer from behavioral
changes and have increased thoughts of suicide.
Stroke is another real danger to patients with AIDS. This is considered a rare complication of AIDS but is
being researched for its connection with AIDS. Researchers believe that your risk of stroke increases by 10
percent if you are also an AIDS patient with cardiovascular disease or problems. Other infections and
vascular abnormalities can make the blood vessels unable to respond to changes in blood pressure. This gives
the patient the increased risk of stroke.
If you have been diagnosed with HIV find a good support group or private counselor.
Your family and friends may be trying to cope with their own emotions and are not able to help
with your needs.
A support group of others in your situation will help you to understand each stage of your
AIDS dementia complex is a complication that occurs mostly in those patients who have an advanced
HIV infection. They symptoms are similar to encephalitis and cause behavioral changes, trouble with
concentration and memory, and eventually affects the motor functions of the body. If not treated, this
complication can be fatal to HIV and AIDS patients. This condition needs immediate treatment before the body
loses all of its dexterity and coordination.