Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), is one of the worlds’ common sexually transmitted diseases. This is prevalent in most people who are engaged in sexual activities such as oral, anal and vaginal sex and have multiple sexual partners.

Some people who acquire this disease may not be aware that they have the disease as it can be asymptomatic or the symptoms may appear at a later stage of the disease. Below are some helpful questions and their answers if you’re looking to check the symptoms of someone who is possibly HIV-positive.

When Do Symptoms Occur?

Around 65% of the people who have been diagnosed with HIV experience symptoms two to four weeks after contracting the virus. Commonly, these symptoms are similar to symptoms of flu and occur within days up to weeks. Most HIV-positive people recover from such symptoms. The remaining 35% of the people with HIV do not have any symptoms or observations experienced as this time it is still an early stage of HIV.

If you have multiple partners or you have risks of acquiring HIV, it is better to get tested.

What Are The Different Symptoms in Stages of HIV?

There are three major stages of HIV that are recognized. These are as follows:

Acute HIV Infection

This is the stage where the first flu-like symptoms appear and happens usually within two to four weeks after being exposed to the virus. Not all HIV-positive people experience symptoms but those who do experience the following:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Sore Throat
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Muscle Aches
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite Loss
  • Night Sweats
  • Rashes
  • Ulcers in Mouth and Genital Area
  • Headache

A person with HIV may experience one or a few of the symptoms and those symptoms may appear within days or weeks after experiencing it.

Chronic HIV Infection

This stage occurs after the Acute HIV Infection and before the onset of the AIDS stage. The symptoms that occur in this stage are more evident and severe and evident. These symptoms include:

  • Difficulties in Breathing
  • Excessive Coughing
  • Rapid Weight Loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive Fatigue
  • High Fever

However, some people may still experience no symptoms at this stage - this is when HIV presents its self as a latent infection and this stage can last up to a decade.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

This is the final stage of HIV and the person has CD4 levels below 200 cells per cubic millimeter. By this stage, the symptoms are severe and can interfere with daily life. The symptoms will be listed in the question below.

What Are The Severe Symptoms of AIDS?

  • Severe Chills
  • Persistent High Fevers (over 37.8°C)
  • Weight Loss
  • Persistent Headaches
  • Problems in Memory
  • Rashes
  • Severe Fatigue
  • White Spots in Mouth

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What Are The Common Symptoms for Men?

Symptoms may occur to both men and women but studies show that vague symptoms may appear on men than women. These symptoms are unspecific and are just bearable which is why they are usually mistaken as flu or another condition. Here are some of the symptoms that most men who have HIV experienced:

  • Fever
  • Skin Rashes
  • Sore Throat
  • Unexplained Tiredness
  • Dementia
  • Weight Loss
  • Ulcers in the mouth or Genital Area
  • Night Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and Joint pain
  • Swollen Lymph Glands
  • Night Sweating

Most men who have multiple partners and are engaging in sexual activities with other men are at high-risk so if you have any experience with the symptoms above, it is highly recommended to get tested.

Aids Hiv Symptoms Men

What Are The Common Symptoms for Women?

While most symptoms experienced by men can be experienced by both men and women, there are some symptoms that are more evident in women. Such symptoms include:

  • Changes in Menstrual Period. Women who have acquired HIV may experience in a change in the number of days per cycle, the heaviness of the period or the complete stop of their period. The premenstrual symptoms may also become sever once they have HIV.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. Some women who have acquired HIV may develop PID which causes infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
  • Increased Occurrence of Other Sexually Transmitted Infections. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) - the virus which causes genital warts, and genital herpes are some of the sexually transmitted infections that are more apparent in people who are HIV-positive.
Mark Riegel, MD
Mark Riegel, MD

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