Symptoms and Stages of HIV

2 minute read

By Topic Insight Staff

HIV is a serious virus that attacks the immune system, but it’s easy to mistake the initial symptoms for the flu. You can learn more about HIV’s early signs and symptoms, as well as what to expect in each stage of the virus, with an online search.

HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, can easily disguise itself in symptoms that range from a sore throat to fatigue. If you’re concerned about the frequency of your symptoms, you should reach out to a medical professional.

Signs and Symptoms of HIV

Within two to four weeks after infection, it’s possible for people with HIV to experience flu-like symptoms.1 Symptoms may include fever, chills, rash, night sweats, and sore throat. This is the first stage of HIV and is referred to as acute HIV infection.

Some of the other symptoms of HIV infection may include:

Stage 1: Acute HIV Infection

This is where flu-like symptoms can be experienced, which is typically around two to four weeks after infection. Symptoms can last from a few days to a few weeks, but it’s also possible for people not to experience any symptoms at all.

Stage 2: Clinical Latency

At this point, it’s possible for people to still not experience any symptoms or even feel better after experiencing flu-like symptoms. Clinical latency, also known as chronic HIV infection, is when the virus multiplies in the body at low levels.2 People without treatment could remain in this stage for 10 to 15 years.

Stage 3: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

A person with untreated HIV will eventually reach the third stage. The HIV causes progressive weakening of your body’s immune system, leading to the last stage of infection called AIDS. It can take eight to 10 years for the progression of HIV infection to AIDS.3

Symptoms of AIDS can include4:

Learn More About HIV Online

HIV is a serious infection that has no cure. While people may experience symptoms, the only way to know whether it’s HIV is to get tested. The good news is better antiviral treatments available in the U.S. will prevent most HIV infections from turning into AIDS.

If you’re diagnosed with HIV, it’s important to obtain treatment and regularly follow up with your healthcare provider to get your viral load checked. This will prevent you from spreading HIV to your sexual partner(s). You can discover more resources about preventing, treating, and lowering your risk of HIV by searching online.

Topic Insight Staff

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