HIV Risks and Complications

HIV can cause serious and life-threatening diseases if untreated or if not treated properly.

The most common diseases that are complicated due to HIV are:

  • hiv risksTuberculosis (TB) – this disease is one of the most common complications due to HIV and is the leading cause of deaths among AIDS positive patients. HIV and tuberculosis are coined as twin epidemics since most HIV patients always get infected with TB.
  • Salmonellosis – this infection can be caused by contaminated food or water. The symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pains.
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – this is a herpes virus that spreads from person to person through body fluids. Once infected with CMV, the virus remains in the body for life.
  • Candidiasis – this is also known as ‘thrush’ which affects the mouth, throat and vagina and cause inflammation. Once the infection spreads to the bloodstream, it may be dangerous for an HIV positive patient.
  • Toxoplasmosis – this is a parasitic infection that is spread by cats. This can cause brain damages, blindness, or heart problems.
  • Cryptococcal meningitis – this is an inflammation of the meninges and is caused by a fungus found in soil.

Most HIV patients are also susceptible to certain cancers. The most common HIV related cancers are:

  • Kaposi’s sarcoma – this is a tumor found in the blood vessel walls that usually causes lesions on the skin and mouth. This is common in most HIV positive people. This can also affect the patient’s lungs and digestive tract.
  • Lymphoma–this originates from the white blood cells which appear in the lymph nodes and cause swelling in the neck, armpit, or groin.

Other complications that may arise are:

  • Wasting syndrome – this syndrome causes a loss of body weight that is accompanied by diarrhea and fever.
  • HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) – this is an inflammation in the filters of the kidneys and is most common to HIV-positive black Americans.