What are the symptoms of HIV?
Symptoms of HIV infection can vary from person to person. 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.
Many people have an illness, often called a ‘seroconversion’ illness, soon after they are infected with HIV. 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.
If you’ve had unprotected sex and notice these symptoms about two weeks later, you might want to consider having an HIV test.
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.