Signs & Symptoms of HIV


As early as 2-4 weeks after exposure to HIV (but up to 3 months later), people can experience an acute illness, often described as “the worst flu ever.” This is called acute retroviral syndrome (ARS), or primary HIV infection, and it’s the body’s natural response to HIV infection. During primary HIV infection, there are higher levels of virus circulating in the blood, which means that people can more easily transmit the virus to others. Go to

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Ulcers in the mouth

It is important to remember, however, that not everyone gets ARS when they become infected with HIV. For more information, see NIH’s Acute HIV Infection.


Chronic Phase or Latency: Signs and Symptoms

After the initial infection and seroconversion, the virus becomes less active in the body, although it is still present. During this period, many people do not have any symptoms of HIV infection. This period is called the “chronic” or “latency” phase. This period can last up to 10 years—sometimes longer.


AIDS: Signs and Symptoms

When HIV infection progresses to AIDS, many people begin to suffer from fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, night sweats, and even wasting syndrome at late stages. Many of the signs and symptoms of AIDS come from opportunistic infections which occur in patients with a damaged immune system.


  • sandra bennett

    Oct 17, 2013


    This help us has parents to show our boys and girls what is happen in our society today,and to let they know that it is not a crime to have sex but to have it the right way by using a condom every time. Think about the importants of your life and what it value..

    • John Darville

      Oct 22, 2013


      Indeed. Take full advantage of the information, and mentor them. Be a friend and not a critique, and you will find that they will listen to you. Now that you have access to the right information via this website, you are prepared.

    • John Darville

      Oct 22, 2013


      Also Ms. Bennett, if you need any further assistance or guidance, you are free to call our peer counselors any day upwards to 8:00 p.m. nightly by telephone at 427-1104, 1105 or 1106. They would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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