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HIV Symptoms in Men

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Around 80% of all HIV infections in the US are diagnosed in male patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of the 1.2 million Americans diagnosed with HIV, 912,000 are males. With that, CDC also states that although the early symptoms of HIV can be similar for both men and women, symptoms can be different for each sex as the disease progresses.

Every individual’s HIV symptoms can vary. Some people may go for a long time without exhibiting any symptoms, especially during the early onset of the virus.

Both men and women can exhibit general HIV symptoms. However, there are a few signs that are specific to men, such penis ulcer characterized by painful recurring sores and are typical signs of an HIV infection.

Early Symptoms in Men 

  • Low sex drive. Linked to hypogonadism, this means that your testicles do not produce enough sex hormones called testosterone. Testosterone is a type of hormone specific to men, stimulating the development of men’s sexual characteristics. A low level of testosterone means a reduction in the libido of men.

Tied to HIV infection, hypogonadism includes signs such as erectile dysfunction, depression, fatigue, impotence, and lessened bodily hair growth.

  • Penis sores. Having sores is one of the common signs of HIV. They can appear on the penis, mouth, or esophagus. They can also recur anytime.
  • Burning sensation during urination. Pain or burning feeling when urinating is associated with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea and chlamydia. This symptom may signal a swollen prostate, also called prostatitis.

Although specific symptoms are distinctive to men, it’s crucial to remember that they can signal other issues.

HIV Symptoms in Men After 1 Week

Men and women manifest similar HIV symptoms in the early stages. In some instances, it is hard to diagnose the disease one week after its contraction. Experts often suggest a two week window period to ensure an accurate diagnosis. Early HIV symptoms in men after one week may include:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Ulcers
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain

HIV Symptoms in Men After 1 Year

HIV symptoms in men after one year can be more severe because, at this point, the immune system can no longer fight infection and may include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Week-long diarrhea
  • Penal sores
  • Severe fever
  • Recurring night sweats
  • Memory loss
  • Blotches all over the skin

If you have developed AIDS after a year of diagnosis of HIV, your physician will prescribe you antiretroviral therapy (ART) to improve your immune system. Aside from ART, you may also need to take other medicines to treat opportunistic diseases and infections.

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