HIV is a virus spread through sexual contact. Marla Ahlgrimm notes that it is a serious condition that affects the entire body, hormones included. Women are especially affected by hormone problems related to HIV.
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, hormones are best considered chemical messengers. They are responsible for bouncing signals between organs, and they affect everything from metabolism to sex drive. When a woman contracts HIV, this can have a negative effect on hormone balance. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA production are all affected by HIV and its more aggressive transformation AIDS.
Women who have HIV do not produce hormones like their healthy counterparts. Because of this, they may experience early menopause, severe and frequent headaches, decreased bone density, and weight loss. Vaginal dryness is also a symptom of poor hormone production related to early HIV exposure. Marla Ahlgrimm recommends that women who have a sudden influx of symptoms speak to their doctor. She also encourages being open and honest about sexual activity.
Fortunately, once diagnosed, Marla Ahlgrimm says there are many ways to lessen the impact of HIV-related hormone fluctuations. Hormone replacement therapy is one of these. Although typically only recommended for short periods, hormone replacement therapy can ease many symptoms until alternative ways to compensate for the symptoms are found. Alternative treatments include herbal supplementation, antidepressants, and prescription drugs to treat things like bone loss and headaches.
While no one can guarantee they will not contract HIV, Marla Ahlgrimm underscores the importance of safe sex. She explains that contracting a venereal disease is a much greater inconvenience than having to put on a condom or take birth control pills. Although medicine can keep many symptoms at bay, the best medicine is prevention.