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The Most Common HIV Complications

Updated on May 15, 2013

Women Health Issues With HIV

With drug therapy for HIV individuals can expect to live long healthy lives. However there are some health concerns that can be nipped in the bud before it turns into something worst. For women with HIV dysplasia is very common. However, with dysplasia there is treatment to take care of abnormal cells. Women must keep their yearly appointments with there gynecologist and get those Pap smears, it is important for all women to get an exam every year. One point before we go on into complications of HIV is protection. There are only two ways one can protect their health from HIV or any other STD, and those are using a condom; or not have sex. I do not think many individuals are opting for elimating sex, so please use protection, protection, protection.

HIV and Opportunistic Infections

Secondly, if you have not had an HIV test please get tested, even if you feel you do not need to be tested due to your being careful, and safe it is still a good choice to get an HIV to be 100% sure of your HIV status.

Individuals who understand and those who study HIV, and AIDS know that opportunistic infections can cause complications with HIV patients. There are some conditions that are not life threatening but can occur some time along a person's journey with HIV disease. Today becasue of HIV medication, and drug theraphies we do not see as many OI as we did in the early years of HIV. Opportunistic infections in general terms can show up in patients who CD4 count fall below 200.

What Is a CD4 Count?

CD4 counts are T-Cells, the T is for thymus. T-Cells make up a person's CD4 count. CD4 T-cells are the body's cellular immune response system. The T-cells send signals to the immune cells to its job in fighting off viruses, and pathogens that enter the body.

HIV Testing
HIV Testing

PCP-Pneumocystis Jiroveci Pnemonia

HIV in patients who have progressed to AIDS are at higher risk of having PCP if they are not on preventative medication. PCP which is caused by a fungus pneumocystis jiroveci, the fungus commonly infects the lungs, symptoms of PCP are:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Weight Loss
  • Dry Cough
  • Night Sweats
  • Shortness of Breath

Bacterial Pneumonia which is different than PCP is caused by different types of bacteria. Symptoms for bacterial pneumonia are:

  • Chills
  • High Fever
  • Chest Pain
  • Cough with excessive phlegm
  • Trouble Breathing

Peripheral Neuropathy

Neuropathy is common among HIV patients, although it can be managed with new treatments becoming available it is painful. Peripheral Neuropathy is one of the side-effects of some antiretroviral therapy, but it is also one of the known HIV complications whether due to HIV or as a side-effect. Symptoms of neuropathy are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling in hands and/or feet
  • Pain in hands and/or feet


Fatigue is another complication of HIV, some patients of HIV complaint of extreme fatigue of being tired whereas some patients may not experience fatigue. There are different strains of HIV, and it widely various from patient to patient in the ways it affects different individuals.

HIV Complications
HIV Complications


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  • france1982 profile image

    france1982 6 years ago from Planet Earth

    I have just read a (sad) story of a child with HIV who live alone in a mountain in ??Guangxi, China. His parents already died of AIDS undermined. A very sad, the people in his village to isolate the child, so A Long (child's name) must do everything yourself. Starting from getting out of bed, washing clothes, feeding chickens and dogs. A Long also learns to read by himself. The only thing that accompanies A Long is just a black dog named Lao....

    I Chinese have not realized enough about the problem of HIV AIDS...

  • adrienne2 profile image

    Adrienne F Manson 7 years ago from Atlanta

    Tammy I am so sorry for the loss of your sister. HIV is a terrible disease, there are some new discoveries that are a step closer to erasing this disease that have just been annouced this year. Hopefully I will be able to publish a hub after all information and sources are confirmed.

  • Tammy L profile image

    Tammy L 7 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

    this disease took the life of my sister five days before her 47th birthday. thank you for publishing this.

  • adrienne2 profile image

    Adrienne F Manson 7 years ago from Atlanta

    @DustinsMom, yes it is a terrible disease new medicines constantly being manufactured, but no cure.

  • 4FoodSafety profile image

    Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Fontana, WI

    Pure water is critical for both children and the elderly and those with immune deficiencies. This is a horrible disease - had no idea how it really affected the individuals. Great article - important information that all of us should learn.

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    This is a disease that can be prevented. Nice hub.

  • DustinsMom profile image

    DustinsMom 7 years ago from USA

    My heart goes out to all with this disease.