Symptoms of HIV

HIV Symptoms

Many patients are asymptomatic (experience no symptoms) when they first become infected with HIV.  After one or two months, an estimated 80-90% of HIV patients develop flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms include:

  • headache
  • fever
  • fatigue
  • enlarged lymph nodes

These symptoms of HIV usually disappear after one week to one month and are often mistaken for another viral infection, such as the flu.

Despite having minimal or no symptoms of HIV during this stage, individuals are still infectious because the virus is usually present in large quantities in bodily fluids.

Symptoms of AIDS

Antiretroviral treatment can has been shown to slow the progression of HIV to AIDS, as well as helping to prevent transmission of the virus by reducing the amount of virus in the blood to undetectable levels.  However, once the patient’s CD4 T-cell count is less than 200 cells per microliter of blood, their condition has progressed to AIDS, the final stage of the disease.
Some patients are diagnosed with AIDS after they develop an AIDS-defining illness, such as Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (formerly called Pneumocystis carinii or PCP), tuberculosis, or wasting syndrome, to name a few.

Symptoms include:

  • Weight loss
  • Recurring respiratory tract infections
  • Oral ulcerations

Patients with AIDS have the greatest risk of developing opportunistic infections and tumors.

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