Symptoms of HIV vary from person to person, and some may have none at all. The only way to be sure if you have been infected with HIV is to have an HIV test. You cannot tell from symptoms alone. If you have HIV, it’s very important that it’s diagnosed for the best chance of getting treatment and care, and of staying well.
Initial infection symptoms
Typical symptoms include a fever, sore throat, headache, aches and pains, and a blotchy red rash.
In some people this illness is so mild that it passes without being noticed. Some people mistake it for the flu, but for some people it is more severe and they may need to see a doctor. However, because the symptoms are similar to symptoms of many other conditions, HIV might not be diagnosed at the time so if your doctor doesn't test you, please request an HIV test.
If you've had unprotected sex and notice these symptoms about two weeks later, it is vital you have an HIV test.
Medium to long term symptoms
After this initial illness, it’s not uncommon for people to live with HIV and not to have any symptoms at all. But the virus will still be causing damage to the immune system, and without treatment most people with HIV will eventually become ill because of it.
HIV-related illnesses can cause a wide range of symptoms. These can include fevers and night sweats, a high temperature, a cough that won’t go away, unexplained weight loss, severe diarrhoea, bad headaches, or persistent mouth and skin problems. Of course, these can all have other causes.
However, no one should assume they are infected if they have any of these symptoms. Each of these symptoms can be related to other illnesses. Again, the only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection. To confirm your HIV status please get tested.