What are the symptoms of HIV infection?

When someone is infected with HIV they may have symptoms of Acute Infection, which is the period of time when the virus establishes itself in the body, which can cause the following symptoms to occur 2 to 6 weeks after HIV infection:

  • Diarrhea - Runny bowel movements that occur several times daily for many weeks
  • Cough - A dry cough lasting several days or longer in the absence of an illness such as a cold
  • Fatigue - Chronic tiredness during daily activities, despite plenty of sleep
  • Persistent fever - Prolonged temperature of about 99-101 degrees in absence of illness such as the flu
  • Swollen glands - Enlarged lymph glands in the neck, groin or armpit, which may be sore or tender
  • Night sweats - Sweats that noticeably wet the bed sheets, with or without fever
  • Skin rash - Itchy bumps or ulcers appearing anywhere on the body
  • Weight loss - Loss of about 10 pounds or change in eating patterns
  • Oral problems - Sores or white patches (thrush) on the gums, tongue or palate

Many of these symptoms are common to a variety of illnesses; however, persistence of any of them for several weeks could signal the progression of HIV disease. About half of infected persons do not experience any symptoms, so an individual should not depend on symptoms to occur as a signal to get tested.

Show All Answers

1. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
2. What is an Opportunistic Infection (OI)?
3. Where did HIV come from?
4. How is someone infected with HIV?
5. Can I get HIV from casual contact with someone who is infected?
6. How can someone reduce the risk of being infected with HIV?
7. How does someone know if they are infected with HIV?
8. What are the symptoms of HIV infection?
9. Is there a cure for HIV?
10. Does everyone who has HIV eventually develop AIDS?
11. Where should someone begin if they want to get HIV care?
12. When should someone start taking HIV treatment?
13. How much does HIV care cost?
14. If someone is diagnosed with AIDS, does that mean they will die soon?
15. If someone is HIV positive, what else can they do to stay healthy?