What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv
No two people with HIV will have the same symptoms, and some may not have any at all. But the infection can cause some common changes over time.
In the first few weeks: These first, flu-like symptoms happen because your body is reacting to HIV. Your immune system is trying to fight it off. The symptoms at this stage can include:
- Aches and pains in muscles and joints
Keep in mind that even if you have these symptoms, that doesnât automatically mean you are HIV-positive. Many different illnesses can cause these problems. Talk to a doctor or an HIV testing facility if you think you might be infected.
At this early stage of HIV infection, itâs important to know that you may not get accurate results from an HIV test. It can take 3-12 weeks for enough signs of the virus to show up on routine tests for the infection, which measure antibodies against HIV. A new kind of screening, called a nucleic acid test, can detect the virus itself during this early stage, but itâs expensive and not usually used for routine HIV testing.
Let the testing site or your doctor know if you think you might be recently infected. Also, be sure to use a condom every time you have sex, and take other steps to prevent spreading the virus.
After years with untreated HIV, youâre likely to get infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi that your body is no longer strong enough to fight off. They can be a sign that your infection has gone from HIV to AIDS. You might have:
Stage : Acute Primary Infection
The early symptoms of HIV can feel like having the flu. Around one to four weeks after getting HIV, you may start to experience these flu-like symptoms. These normally dont last long . You may only get some of the symptoms and some people dont have any symptoms at all.
Symptoms can include:
- joint aches and pains
- muscle pain.
These symptoms happen because your body is reacting to the HIV virus. Cells that are infected with HIV are circulating throughout your blood system. In response, your immune system tries to attack the virus by producing HIV antibodies this process is called seroconversion. Timing varies but once you have HIV it can take your body up to a few months to go through the seroconversion process.
Having these symptoms alone does not mean you definitely have HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is by taking a test. You should always visit your healthcare professional if youre worried about or think youve been at risk of getting HIV, even if you feel well and dont have any symptoms. They can then arrange for you to get tested.
HIV will not always show up in a test at this early stage, and you may need to test again later to confirm your result . Your healthcare professional will talk to you about the timing of your test and answer any concerns. Its important not delay speaking to a healthcare worker if you are worried about HIV.
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How Can Hiv Be Tested/checked
Knowing that you are HIV positive is much better for your long-term health because you can start treatment early. With Better2Know, a blood sample is collected from the arm using a catheter or with a finger stick using a lancet.
At selected clinics, you may have access to instant testing, which would allow you to get your results after about 20 minutes. You can also get a Home Sample Collection Kit by visiting our Home STI Tests page.
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How Soon Do Std Symptoms Appear
When it comes to STD symptoms appearing, each STD has its own incubation period. Check out this STD incubation period chart for a full breakdown.
Incubation period for each STD
5 to 28 days
It can be vexing to wait around wondering if youve contracted an STD during a sexual encounter. However, by researching your next steps and getting informed about incubation periods and testing windows, youre already well on your way to getting the care you need. Always contact a physician if you have questions or need care.
Michael is an experienced healthcare marketer and father of two. He has worked alongside healthcare leader at Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic, St. Luke’s, Baylor Scott and White, HCA, and many more, and currently leads growth marketing at Solv.
Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
- Time Periods of Interest. HIV, STDs, Viral Hepatitis
Getting Tested For Hiv
HIV testing is important. Someone living with HIV who isnt getting treatment can still transmit the virus, even if they have no symptoms. Others may pass the virus to others through an exchange of bodily fluids. But todays treatment can effectively eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus to a persons HIV-negative sexual partners.
According to the CDC , antiretroviral therapy can lead to viral suppression. When someone with HIV can maintain an undetectable viral load, they cant transmit HIV to others. The CDC defines an undetectable viral load as fewer than 200 copies per milliliter of blood.
Taking an HIV test is the only way to determine whether the virus is in the body. There are known risk factors that increase a persons chance of contracting HIV. For example, people whove had sex without a condom or shared needles may want to consider seeing their healthcare professional about getting tested.
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Symptom : Fatigue And Headache
The inflammatory response generated by your besieged immune system can cause you to feel tired and lethargic. Sometimes it can make you feel winded while walking or generally feel out of breath. Fatigue can be both an early and later symptom of HIV.
There are several things that can cause a person to feel fatigued, so pay attention to your body and your lifestyle to see if you can draw a conclusion. If your fatigue persists, seek advice from your doctor.
Sudden Unexplained Weight Loss
National Human Genome Research Institute
Weight loss is common in people living with HIV during the advanced stages of the disease. This is not about the loss of just a few pounds. This is the sudden, unexplained loss of 10% or more, in which both fat mass and lean muscle are lost.
Also known as HIV wasting syndrome, the condition is seen less often today due to the use of antiretroviral drugs that keep the virus suppressed and allow the immune system to rebuild itself. Wasting is mainly seen in people who have not been treated for HIV.
The exact cause of HIV wasting is unknown, but it is thought that the constant inflammation caused by HIV increases the speed at which energy is burnt and reduces testosterone levels needed to build lean muscle.
Other common causes of wasting include malnutrition, chronic diarrhea, tuberculosis, and cancer, all of which require urgent diagnosis and treatment.
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Early Hiv Symptoms: Rash
An important symptom of HIV is a dark skin rash that may develop on the face, hands, feet and/or torso. Learn more about HIV rashes.
After the acute illness has passed, HIV often doesnt cause any major symptoms for the following 10 years or longer.
You may feel perfectly healthy, with slightly swollen lymph nodes being one of the only signs of HIV during this stage of the infection.
How Long Does It Take To See The Signs Of Hiv
The signs and symptoms of HIV may first appear within two to four weeks of infection. The stage in which the symptoms appear is called the stage of acute HIV infection. The symptoms appear due to the resistance or fight of the immune system against HIV. In the initial stage, the virus multiplies rapidly and spreads throughout the body. It targets and destroys the CD4 cells . As a result, the level of HIV in the blood and the chances of transmission at this stage are very high. It is crucial to recognize the early signs and seek medical help, since early diagnosis and treatment of HIV gets the best results.
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What If My Hiv Test Result Is Positive
If you had an antibody test and the result was positive, the first thing to do is get a follow-up test to confirm the results. If the follow-up test is positive, it means you have HIV. We know how stressful this diagnosis can be. You will feel many emotions such as anger, fear, or sadness.
Having HIV does not mean you have AIDS, which is the most severe and advanced form of the illness. Please know that millions of people live decades with HIV and have full, happy, productive lives. To start down that path, the next step after your diagnosis is to get HIV treatment immediately.
Antiretroviral therapy is the process of taking medication to treat your HIV infection. While ART cannot cure HIV, it can keep your symptoms from progressing. Reducing the HIV in your body also means that you lower the risk of transmitting the disease to someone else. Everyone who has HIV, no matter their symptoms, typically takes medications to lower the viral load in the body.
Today, we have a variety of medications available to treat your HIV. There are seven classes of drugs, all with different effects on the body, so talk with your doctor about a personalized drug therapy regimen designed specifically for you, your body, and your treatment goals.
A diagnosis of HIV, while serious, doesnt mean your health has to decline. Get tested, and talk with the team at the Orlando Immunology Center about your options.
How Is Hiv/aids Transmitted
HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or mouth during sexual activity.
HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of blood for evidence of HIV infection in the U.S., the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
HIV is often spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to healthcare worker, or vice-versa through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
HIV also can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
|HIV/AIDS cannot be spread through:
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A Timeline Of Hiv Symptoms: How Does It Progress
, some people may experience no early symptoms after theyve contracted HIV.Below are the three stages of HIV and some of the symptoms people may experience, actual signs and symptoms, although they can arrive as soon as two weeks after exposure, these resolve over a period of just a few days, In most patients, and are generally ignored, However, It depends on the person and what stage of the disease they are in, Generally speaking, according to HIV.gov, although they can arrive as soon as two weeks after exposure,this period is between 2 and 12 weeks.So you cannot detect the HIV infection within 4 days of exposure.I read some articles which say that the initial symptoms are apparent when AVS occurs after which there is seroconversion, Also AVS symptoms such as joint pains, HIV goes to an asymptomatic phase where you do not experience any symptoms,Estimated Reading Time: 4 minsThe first stage of the HIV infection is called the acute stage, the virus multiplies rapidly and spreads throughout the body.The symptoms named above can last up to four weeks and should be a sign that your immune system is fighting the early infection, many patients experience a long period during which they display no other symptoms of infection 1 2.This is because it takes the virus a long time to
When Do Symptoms Occur
Some people have flu-like symptoms within two to four weeks after infection, but others may not feel sick or not develop symptoms at all until later.
See a healthcare provider if you have symptoms of HIV and think you may have been exposed to HIV. Getting tested for HIV is the only way to know for sure.
In the United States, HIV is spread mainly through having anal or vaginal sex or sharing needles or syringes with an HIV-positive partner. Anal sex is the highest-risk behavior.
You can prevent HIV by using condoms correctly every time you have sex pre-exposure prophylaxis, a prevention method in which the HIV-negative partner takes daily HIV medicine to prevent HIV and treatment as prevention, a method in which the HIV-positive partner takes daily HIV medicine to achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load.
Only antigen/antibody tests or nucleic acid tests can diagnose acute HIV infection. NATs look for actual virus in the blood, and antigen/antibody tests look for HIV antibodies and antigens. Antibodies are produced by your immune system when youre exposed to viruses like HIV, and antigens are foreign substances that cause your immune system to activate.
However, no test can detect HIV immediately after infection. NATs can usually tell if you have an HIV infection 10 to 33 days after exposure, while antigen/antibody tests can tell 18 to 45 days after exposure.
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers or sores
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What To Look For
Whether caused by an HIV medication or by HIV itself, the rash typically appears as a red, flattened area on the skin thats usually covered with small red bumps.
A main symptom of the rash is itchiness. It can show up on any part of the body, but it most often occurs on the face and chest, and sometimes on the feet and hands. It can also cause mouth ulcers.
Days To 20 Years After Exposure
The chronic stage of infection occurs once the immune system brings the virus under control. During this phase, HIV will go into hiding, where it resides in various cells and tissues throughout the body in a dormant state known as latency. HIV latency can persist without symptoms for 10 years or more, although some people may experience signs within a year or two.
During the early chronic phase, lymphadenopathy may be the only notable sign of an HIV infection. In some cases, the glands may be visibly enlarged and reach up to an inch or more in size. If the condition persists for more than three months, its referred to as persistent generalized lymphadenopathy .
Even during latency, the virus will multiple imperceptibly and gradually deplete immune cells known as CD4 T-cells. As immune deficiency develops, a number of nonspecific symptoms are likely to appear, including:
- Oral candidiasis , a fungal infection that causes the formation of creamy, white lesions on the sides of the tongue and lining of the mouth
- Unexplained fevers and drenching night sweats that soak through bedsheets and nightclothes
- Severe, uncontrolled diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
Each of these symptoms is commonly seen in persons with immune deficiency. They may, in some cases, be caused by HIV itself or by an infection that has yet to be diagnosed.
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How Common Is Hiv
At the end of 2017, there were an estimated 5099 people in Scotland living with HIV. The majority got the virus through sex.
Around 1 in every 1087 people in the Scotland has HIV, but the three groups with highest rates of HIV are:
- gay and bisexual men or other men who have sex with men
- people from countries with high HIV prevalence, especially sub Saharan African countries
- people who share injecting equipment or who have sex with people who inject drugs
The World Health Organisation estimates that around 36.9 million people in the world are living with HIV.
What Happens If Gonorrhea Goes Untreated
If a person is not treated for gonorrhea, there is a good chance complications will occur. Women frequently suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease , a painful condition that occurs when the infection spreads throughout the reproductive organs. PID can lead to sterilization in females. Men may suffer from swelling of the testicles and penis. Both sexes may suffer from arthritis, skin problems and other organ infections caused by the spread of gonorrhea within the body.
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A Sexually Transmitted Infection
Katie Salerno/Flickr Creative Commons
Contracting other sexually transmitted diseases can significantly increase the risk of getting HIV. For instance, some STDs like syphilis and herpes cause skin lesions that make it easier for HIV to enter the body.
STDs may also cause inflammation, which is something that is triggered by the bodys immune system. HIV preferentially infects defensive white blood cells, so when there are more of them around, its easier to contract HIV.
Having an STD like gonorrhea or syphilis means that youve engaged in unprotected sex, a key risk factor for HIV. So if you have been diagnosed with an STD, talk to your healthcare provider about how you can reduce your HIV risk.
If Youve Tested Positive
If youve tested positive for COVID-19, you must isolate at home and away from others, even if you dont have any symptoms.
If you develop symptoms during your isolation period:
- continue isolating and
- follow directions provided by your local public health authority or health care provider
Learn more about:
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