Practice safe sex, limit sexual partners, and get tested for HIV before starting a new sexual relationship. Use a condom every time and opt for water- or silicone based-lubricants. Never share needles and avoid risky behaviors like alcohol or drug abuse. You can also take preventive medication if you are at high risk. Get treatment and avoid breastfeeding during pregnancy to prevent transmission from an infected mother to her baby.
Urinary tract infections are caused when microbes, especially bacteria, infect different parts of the urinary system by entering it through the urethra. Women are more prone to UTIs than men across all ages. This is because their urethra is short and close to their anus and vagina. Men usually develop UTIs when their prostate gets enlarged as it prevents the bladder from emptying fully. Pregnancy, old age, diabetes, and being sexually active increases your risk of UTIs.
HIV is commonly transmitted through vaginal and anal sex. It’s unlikely to get it through oral sex, but it can happen if an open mouth sore touches infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids. If you get infected, symptoms might take about 10 years to develop. Testing is the only way to know. Early treatment with antiretroviral therapy will stop HIV from becoming AIDS, letting you live a healthy life, be in a serious relationship, and have babies.
Women are most likely to get HIV during vaginal sex with an infected man. They experience certain side effects of AIDS medications like liver problems more frequently. Their risk of STIs is higher and they face a quicker progression to AIDS if they get HIV. Using condoms, not sharing needles, taking anti-AIDS medication, and avoiding douching can help you protect yourself. Also, prompt treatment can lower the risk of transmitting it to your baby.
Within 2–6 weeks of infection, the patient experiences flu-like symptoms like fever, chills, diarrhea, and swollen lymph nodes, but 20% of the infected show no symptoms. Then, symptoms disappear for about 10 years as the virus breeds slowly. Thereafter, the patient increasingly suffers from persistent bouts of common infections like oral thrush as the virus overpowers the immune system. If not treated, the infection will develop into AIDS in 2 years. In the last stage of the infection, i.e. AIDS, symptoms include skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, and loss of weight and energy.
An HIV rash can occur at any stage of infection, but mostly 2–3 weeks after the infection. It is red, bumpy, and non-itchy and is accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Itchy and sore rashes may develop in the third stage as other fungal, bacterial, and viral infections like eczema, impetigo, and herpes take advantage of the weakened immunity. Some rashes like in Steven-Johnsons syndrome are a drug reaction.
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