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Once the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) enters your body, it attacks your immune system directly. Slowly it weakens your natural defenses against disease and infection and may affect every part of your body.
A common HIV-related infection is called candidiasis. Symptoms include inflammation of and a white film on the tongue. It can also lead to inflammation of the esophagus, which can make it difficult to eat.
Another viral infection that affects the mouth is oral hairy leukoplakia, which causes white lesions on the tongue.
Within a few months of becoming infected, most people experience a flu-like sickness that lasts a few weeks. Symptoms may include diarrhea as well.
People living with HIV may progress through stages at different rates, depending on a variety of factors, including their genetic makeup, how healthy they were before they were infected, how soon after infection they are diagnosed. Poor nutrition can have negative effects. Eating healthfully and supporting a healthy gut microbiome can help reduce symptoms.
Relief of digestive symptoms may be achieved by reducing intestinal inflammation, and at the same time, increasing beneficial bacteria known as probiotics in the gut that supports adequate digestion.