Effects of HIV and AIDS on women

There are very few symptoms of HIV infection that occur in women but not in men. However, there are some differences in the degree of severity in which these symptoms occur. While men may have more problems with certain aspects of HIV infection, women often experience many of these symptoms more severely. More than 43 percent of people with HIV are women, a percentage that has increased steadily since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s.

Effects of HIV

Acute Infection
Some individuals who have been infected with HIV have no symptoms in the months after infection, while others may experience flu-like symptoms, which are easier to ignore than other diseases. These flu symptoms usually include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and body aches, women who experience these symptoms may experience symptoms more acutely than their male . During acute HIV infection, women also can notice changes in their menstrual cycles, whether a start too early or late, or not having one or more of their cycles.

Psychological Symptoms
While some psychological symptoms of HIV infection can occur in men, are more common and more severe in women. Some common psychological problems in women with HIV include depression, anxiety, memory problems, the sexual dysfunction and dementia. Given the viral cause of these psychological symptoms may be stronger than normal.

Vaginal symptoms
Women who are HIV positive are more likely to have frequent vaginal yeast or persistent than those who are HIV negative, and it is likely that these infections are resistant to the drugs counter usual. Other vaginal symptoms may also be more common, such as bacteria vaginosis and unexplained pains in the vaginal area. These symptoms may come and go in conjunction with hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle of women.

Other physical symptoms
Many women who are HIV positive report having chronic fatigue, even if successful antiretroviral treatments have reduced their HIV load to undetectable levels. Although fatigue can also occur in men with HIV positive, it is almost always more severe in the die. Other physical symptoms include sudden weight loss, lipodystrophy (changes in the way body fat is distributed), night sweats and dizziness.

STD and opportunistic infections
HIV positive women are more prone to sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV, herpes and PID than those who are HIV negative. You can see also other opportunistic infections, especially during periods when the woman’s viral count is high or CD4 immune cell count is very low. Some of these infections can lead to more serious health problems if not treated quickly, and can result in infertility.