HIV Symptoms | Emergency Room Treatment
AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is caused by HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
AIDS is a potentially life-threatening, chronic condition. When you acquire HIV, it will attack your CD4 cells (T cells) and damage your immune system. It will interfere with your ability to fight off diseases and infections.
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) meaning the primary method of acquiring HIV is through unprotected sexual intercourse.
HIV symptoms can appear suddenly and can get worse over time. Some people have HIV for years before they know they are infected with the virus. For others, HIV symptoms appear immediately after they are infected.
Even if you do not show any symptoms of HIV, you could still pass the virus to others. The best way to prevent the spread of HIV is to get tested. If you participate in unprotected sex or share drug needles, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting tested once a year.
Below are the symptoms of HIV you should know.
Common HIV Symptoms
Less Common HIV Symptoms
- Ulcer in the mouth
- Muscle aches and pains
Advanced HIV Symptoms
- Constant diarrhea
- Rapid weight loss
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Vaginal infections (BV and yeast infection)
- Shortness of breath
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Memory loss or neurological disorders
If you have any of the symptoms above and you think you have been exposed to HIV, visit SignatureCare Emergency Center emergency room right away. SignatureCare Emergency Center ERs have HIV testing that can quickly identify and treat the disease. Blood testing done based on physician’s determination and diagnosis.
It is important that you seek medical treatment within 72 hours of exposure to HIV for the best possible treatment outcome. Having HIV symptoms is an emergency, so come to one of our nearest emergency rooms immediately.
HIV treatment method PrEP
We offer prescriptions for preventative HIV treatment with a method called Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. PrEP can prevent HIV from infecting a patient and can be taken within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.
How PrEP Works
PrEP works by stopping copies of the virus from being made. It is important to begin taking PrEP medications right away before the virus gets a chance to duplicate itself. The medication must be taken within a period of 72 hours to be effective.
Side Effects of HIV Medication
Modern drugs are very effective at treating HIV emergencies, but they may cause serious side effects or complications. In some cases, these side effects require immediate medical treatment to prevent further complications.
- Severe weight loss
HIV Testing and Treatment
At SignatureCare emergency center ERs, we test for HIV and STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).
We understand that possible HIV exposure can be upsetting, but our board-certified physicians will take the time to discuss treatment options as well as the value of proactive sexual health with you. They will answer any questions that you may have in clear and easy-to-understand terms. It’s our goal to help you take charge of your personal health, and we’re here to help in any way that we can.
See also: What is the Difference Between Confidential and Anonymous HIV Testing?
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms or think you might have an HIV infection, visit one of our convenient 24/7 emergency rooms in Texas.