What are HIV symptoms specific to men / women?

Although men and women generally have similar warning signs for HIV, there are some symptoms that only affect women or men:


HIV symptoms specifically for men

An HIV symptom that only occurs in men is a stomach ulcer on the penis. HIV can lead to hypogonadism or poor production of sex hormones in both sexes. However, the effects of hypogonadism on men are easier to see than the effects on women. The symptoms of low testosterone, an aspect of hypogonadism, may include erectile dysfunction (erectile dysfunction).


HIV symptoms specifically for women

One of the symptoms women can get after HIV infection is changes in menstruation. A woman can bleed more easily or harder, periods can be absent or women can have severe PMS. Stress or other sexually transmitted diseases that are common in HIV can also cause these problems. But they can also affect the immune system and influence the hormones because of the effects of the virus. Another HIV symptom for women is fungal infections. Yeasts are microscopic fungi that naturally live in the vagina. However, if a woman is infected with HIV, the fungi can become uncontrollable and cause vaginal yeast infections several times a year. Sometimes they are the first sign that the body is infected with the HIV virus. A fungal infection can cause the following symptoms:

  • Thick, white discharge from your vagina
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain when urinating
  • Burning of the vagina or pain


Lower abdominal pain can also occur after HIV infection. They are among the signs of a pelvic inflammatory disease. This is the collective name for an infection of the uterus, ovaries and / or fallopian tubes. For some women, it is one of the first signs that they have HIV. Together with pelvic pain, pelvic inflammation can cause the following symptoms:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Fever
  • Irregular periods
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain in the upper abdomen
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