6. Menstrual changes
Women with HIV can have changes to their menstrual cycle. Your period may be lighter or heavier than normal, or you may not have a period at all. You may also have more severe premenstrual symptoms.
7. Bacterial and yeast infections
Bacterial and yeast infections may be more common in women who are HIV-positive. They may also be harder to treat.
HIV also increases your risk of getting STIs, including:
- human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to genital warts or even cervical cancer
If you have genital herpes, your outbreaks may be worse and happen more often. Also, your body may not respond as well to your herpes treatment.
9. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is an infection of your uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. PID in HIV-positive women may be harder to treat. Also, symptoms may last longer than usual or return more often.
10. Advanced symptoms of HIV and AIDS
As HIV progresses, symptoms can include:
- nausea and vomiting
- weight loss
- severe headache
- joint pain
- muscle aches
- shortness of breath
- chronic cough
- trouble swallowing
In the later stages, HIV can lead to:
- short-term memory loss
- mental confusion
The most advanced stage of HIV is called acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). At this stage, the immune system is severely compromised and infections become increasingly hard to fight off. Certain cancers mark the transition from HIV to AIDS. These are called “AIDS-defining cancers” and include Kaposi sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They also include cervical cancer, which is specific to women.