HIV: Know Its Signs And Symptoms

Some people experience flu-like symptoms during the outset of an HIV infection.

Sambhav Kumar
Written by: Sambhav KumarUpdated at: Mar 05, 2023 20:30 IST
HIV: Know Its Signs And Symptoms

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HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads via contact with bodily fluids such as vaginal secretions or blood. During pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, HIV can be passed from mother to kid. If HIV is not treated, it assaults and damages the immune cells of the human body, weakening the immune system and eventually leading to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS can be fatal, especially if HIV treatment is not started right away, which is why HIV testing is critical for preserving your health. HIV infection progresses through an earlier stage before developing AIDS: acute HIV, the period immediately following infection. If left untreated, HIV infection evolves into chronic HIV infection.

Early HIV Indications And Symptoms

Some people experience flu-like symptoms during the outset of an HIV infection. Early HIV symptoms typically appear within two to four weeks of infection and can persist anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Acute HIV infection refers to this early stage of the viral infection.

Also read: World AIDS Day 2019: Learn About HIV And The Recent Updates In It

Early Indications Of HIV Infection May Include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscular and joint aches and pains
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Throat discomfort
  • Sores in the mouth that are painful
  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, especially in the neck region
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight reduction
  • CoughsSweating at night
  • Ulcers of the mouth

It's important to remember that such early symptoms might be caused by not only HIV but other health issues too.  If you experience these symptoms, it does not always mean you have HIV—which is why STI testing and meeting with your healthcare physician is important. Healthcare providers can guide you to take the next course of action. 


If we talk about the initial indication of HIV in an HIV-positive person then fever is at the top of the list since it is one of the most common early indicators of HIV infection. Other early HIV infection symptoms may include fatigue, enlarged lymph glands (or lymph nodes), and a sore throat.


Those who experience fatigue early in their HIV infection may become winded or out of breath when walking or evenw while doing regular chores.

Also read: Are Rashes And Skin Conditions Associated With HIV/AIDS? Explains Dermatologist

Swollen Lymph 

When your body fights infections, swollen lymph nodes form. Lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin might enlarge, causing aches and pains.

Skin Rashes

Skin rashes can arise as both early and later symptoms of HIV. A rash caused by HIV can be itchy, crimson, and unpleasant. In rare situations, the skin rashes resemble itchy boils with pink eruptions. The HIV rash can also manifest as a flat red area on the skin with little pimples.

Coughing And Sore Throat

A painful throat and a strong, dry cough are also possible. If you experience an HIV-related sore throat or other HIV-related symptoms, see a healthcare provider to find out what steps to take next.

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