Early Symptoms of HIV

What is HIV?

Fields and Blue Sky

HIV is a virus most commonly caught by having unprotected sex or by sharing infected needles and other injecting equipment to inject drugs. This virus attacks the human immune system, making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. This susceptibility worsens as the disease progresses.

Early Symptoms of HIV

The initial group of signs and symptoms is referred to as primary or acute HIV infection. Early symptoms of HIV usually occur within two to four weeks after exposure to HIV. The infections develops in 50 to 90 percent of people who are infected.

According to Mayo Clinic, these early HIV symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month and are often mistaken for those of another viral infection. During this period, you are very infectious. More-persistent or more-severe symptoms of HIV infection may not appear for several years after the initial infection.

The symptoms that indicate an early HIV infection are extremely common. Often, you can’t tell them apart from symptoms of another viral infection. And some people infected with HIV don’t experience early symptoms.

In many people, early HIV symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle pain
  • Inflammation of the throat
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Mouth and esophageal sores (ulcers in the mouth)
  • Malaise

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. If you’re concerned that you might have been exposed to HIV, talk to your doctor about your testing options.

Tags: ,