Positive Vibes

SYMPTOMS

You cannot rely on symptoms to tell whether you have HIV. The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested.

Symptoms of HIV at each stage can vary in type and severity, from person-to-person and some people may not get any symptoms at all for many years.

Below are the 3 stages of HIV and some of the symptoms people may experience.

Stage 1:
Acute HIV infection

Within 2 to 4 weeks after an HIV infection, about two-thirds of people will have flu-like symptoms. This is the body’s natural response to infections. 

These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But some people may not experience any symptoms at all during this early stage of infection.

Symptoms of an initial HIV infection may include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle aches
  • Night sweats
  • Sore throat
  • Body rash
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Consult with a healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have been exposed to HIV.

Stage 2:
Chronic HIV infection

In this stage, the virus continues to make copies of itself, but at very low levels. People in this stage may not feel sick or have any symptoms for many years.

Stage 3:
AIDS

Many of the severe symptoms of HIV come from serious infections and diseases that occur because the immune system is severely weakened at this stage.

Symptoms of AIDS may include:

  • Diarrhoea that lasts for more than a week
  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Serious infection or disease
  • Mouth and skin infections
  • Profuse night sweats
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Persistent cough
  • Recurring fever

Consult with a healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have been exposed to HIV.