First Signs of HIV

If you are concerned that you may have recently contracted HIV, it is important to look for the first signs of HIV and get tested as soon as you can. The sooner you catch the virus, the higher the chance you can receive the right medical care that is needed to help you live a long life.

Common Symptoms

The early symptoms are called acute retroviral syndrome or primary HIV infection. Often these may be hard to identify as they are similar to many other common viral infections. Becuase the immune system is trying to fight the virus, you may experience symptoms such as high fever, sore throat and unexplained fatigue. These symptoms may occur within six weeks of having unprotected sex or sharing needles.

30-60% of people that have contracted HIV may experience diarrhea that lasts more than a week along with vomiting and nausea. You may also see a rapid amount of weight loss which is connected to the diarrhea and the losing of fluids. These first signs of HIV may start happening as early as seven to ten days after the infection has entered the body.

Swollen lymph glands, joint and muscle pain, oral yeast infection (thrush), shingles (herpes zoster), headaches and pneumonia are other potential signs of HIV. After 2-3 weeks though, these symptoms may disappear making it more difficult for you and your doctor to identify the virus during the early stages. Unfortunately years after the initial infection has been contracted, the more persistent and severe symptoms will start occurring making it more difficult to fight.

Catch It Early

The earlier you look for the first signs of HIV and detect the virus, the safer it is for you and those you may be having intercourse or sharing needles with. Because of the high amount of virus in the bloodstream it is easier to spread. During the early stages, the virus is multiplying and destroying healthy immune cells. If you believe you may be at ris of having HIV, contact your doctor or health care provider and get tested.

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