According to Mayoclinic, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection and diseases.
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood and from illicit injection drug use or sharing needles. It can also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.
HIV can look different in each person. Not everyone will have the same set of symptoms, and some may not have any signs for a long time.
According to Web MD, most of the time, the signs of HIV are the same for men and women. But there are a few symptoms that are unique to men.
Symptoms Specific to Men
It’s important to note that these male-specific symptoms can also be signs of other conditions. If you have any of these, make sure to speak with your doctor.
Sores on the male genital
A common sign of HIV is painful open sores, or ulcers on your mouth or esophagus. They can also appear on your anus or genital. These sores often keep coming back.
Low love making drive
This is a sign of hypogonadism, which means your testicles don’t make enough of the sex hormone testosterone. This condition is tied to HIV.
Hypogonadism can also cause erectile dysfunction, depression, fatigue, infertility, less hair growth on the body and breast tissue growth.
Later-Stage HIV Symptoms
After HIV wins against your immune system, it spreads at a slower rate. This stage is called chronic or clinical latency. In many cases, you won’t have any more symptoms.
Without treatment, this stage can last 10 to 15 years. But if you take ART regularly, you may stay in this stage for decades.
AIDS is the last stage of HIV. This is when the virus has seriously damaged your immune system. Your body can’t fight off many infections, which can lead to symptoms.
Signs of AIDS include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Fast weight loss
- Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
- Sores in your mouth, anus, or genitals
- Fever or severe night sweats that keep coming back
- Memory loss
- Red, brown, pink, or purple blotches on or under the skin