Symptoms of AIDS
The HIV infection cannot be detected in early stages because the infected person does not show any sign of illness right away and appears a healthy normal individual. The infection remains latent for 5 to 10 years. The set of symptoms of AIDS appear later. Nevertheless, such a person is carrier of infection and can transmit it to other person. You have learnt that exposure to the virus occurs by sexual contact, blood or birth. Even if exposure occurs by any of the above routes, this does not always result in transmission of the virus. Only a fraction of exposed people is infected by HIV virus. However, most infected people ultiinately develop some disease symptoms. These are the indirect result of damage to the immune system by HIV. .As mentioned earlier that most people infected with HIV never show symptoms at the time of initial infection. This period is called ' asymptomatic period. Some people may develop relatively mild disease symptoms such' as swollen lymph glands, sore throat, fever, headache and shn rash. However, these are not specific to HIV Infection only and appear in many other viral infections. Therefore, HIV infection cannot be diagnosed by such symptoms. Instead, HIV antibody test is performed to detect the virus. However, this test is not foolproof.
Initially AIDS was restricted to only a certain group of people termed as high risk groups such as commercial sex workers, truck dnvers and injecting drug users, which routinely indulge in activities that could be termed as high risk behaviors. But it has now spread to other strata of society infecting people not associated with high risk behavior, particularly women who are in a faithful monogamous relationship. Although a decade ago women andchddren seemed to be at the periphery of the epidemic, they are now the centre of concern. The age group between 15-49 years is most affected. About 89% of all cases are from the stage group and these are productive and reproductive segments of the society. They are the supporters for younger and older generation. It is likely that the children of AIDS victims would become street children. No other disease affects marital harmony, human rights, employment security and family economy of those affected as does AIDS.