Chapter: Diseases of The Brain and Nervous System(A Health Education Guide): Infectious diseases of the brain

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Symptoms of AIDS

The main symptoms of HIV as defined by the World Health Organization : “WHO”

Symptoms of AIDS :

1.        The first illness occurs within 6 to 8 weeks. The patient gets fever, muscular pain, swelling of lymph glands, red spots on the skin, swelling in the throat etc. The patient is cured without any treatment in a week. This first illness is called as sero conversion illness. After this first illness HIV test is positive. In the initial 6 to 8 weeks the laboratory test is negative but the patient can still spread AIDS during this phase. This phase is called Window period.

2.        After the first illness, the patient enters the non-symptomatic HIV carrier phase. This phase can last up to 5 to 10 years. This period is dependent on the overall health and habits of the patient.

3.        After this phase various symptoms are seen like swelling of the lymph glands, continuous or frequent fever, ulceration in the mouth and throat, splenomegaly, prolonged coughing, weight loss etc. If these symptoms prevail for a long period of time or recur frequently, diagnosis can be confirmed by getting the blood tested for HIV. If the ELISA test for HIV is positive, this test is repeated once again and if this too is positive, the findings are confirmed with an investigation called western blot test The diagnosis can also be confirmed by P.C.R. test, virus load etc. CD4 count helps to determine the strength of the immune system of the body. If the count is less than 100, it is assumed that the patient is near death.

 

The main symptoms of HIV as defined by the World Health Organization : “WHO”

1.        Fever for over a month

2.        Diarrhoea for over a month and weight loss of more than 10%.

3.        Coughing, itching in the body, ulceration in the mouth, throat or private parts of the body, swelling of the lymph glands in two or three parts of the body, frequent attacks of herpes zoster, signal a HIV test to be done.

Various neurological symptoms related to the brain and nervous systems are found in AIDS. It is said that 33% of the patients suffering from AIDS have an overt neurologicaldisorder, while actually the brain and nerve tissues are more or less damaged in every AIDS patient.

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