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THE FLU IN OUR FUTURE

 

THE SYMPTOMS OF HIV/AIDS: MINOR SIGNS

Minor signs include chronic cough that does not respond to routine treatment, enlargement of the lymph nodes, fungal infection of the mouth called candidiasis, recurrent infections of herpes group of viruses.

Enlarged lymph nodes: As mentioned earlier, the lymph nodes are essential for maintaining the body's normal defence mechanism. They are located in groups in various parts of the body such as armpits, neck and groin. Enlarged and painless lymph nodes in various parts of the body is one of the early signs of AIDS. It is important to remember that any infection can cause enlarged lymph nodes. Normally, only those lymph nodes located near the affected part of the body are enlarged. In case of an infection that affects the entire body, lymph nodes all over the body get enlarged.

Fungal infection of the mouth: One of the common symptoms of AIDS is an infection in the mouth called candidiasis. This is due to a yeast called Candida. Candidiasis results in a thick, white and fur-like coating on the tongue and roof of the mouth. It can also cause dry mouth, difficulty in swallowing, and an altered sense of taste. This infection is not common among people with normal defence mechanism because their body is able to fight the infection successfully.

Candidiasis may also be present in old people with poor defence mechanism, sick children and babies who are fed by bottles. It can also affect the vagina in women. Candidiasis in people with AIDS can also spread to the lungs and the digestive tract.

Fungal infection of the lungs: Pneumocytis carnii pneumonia is a fungal infection of the lungs that results in symptoms similar to the pneumonia due to bacterial infection. It results in persistent dry cough and death can occur when it spreads to other parts of the body.

Infection due to herpes viruses: Herpes simplex and herpes zoster are two common viral infections in people with AIDS. Herpes simplex can affect anyone, but it is more severe in people with AIDS. It produces small blisters filled with fluids that may be painful. These sores occur more often inside and around the mouth, genital area or the area around the anus. The sores of herpes simplex in people with normal defence mechanism lasts for about two to three days and are few in number. They last longer and are more in number in people with AIDS.

Herpes zoster is also a viral infection that starts as a painful rash with blisters. These rashes are more common on the face, trunk, and limbs. If they affect the eyes, pain and blurring of vision may occur. Herpes zoster is normally seen in old people who have poor defence mechanism. In recent years, it has become more common in young people with AIDS.

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