What Are the Symptoms of HIV?

HIV is a virus that weakens the immune system and makes it difficult for the body to fight off illness. Over time, HIV can lead to AIDS, which develops once your immune system stops functioning because of HIV. Are you concerned that you may have this virus? If so, then consider visiting a clinic near Atlanta for STD testing. Continue reading to learn about the symptoms of HIV. acute - hiv

The Symptoms of Acute HIV Infection

This disease occurs in stages, and the first stage is referred to as primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome. Often, people do not immediately realize that they have been infected, but symptoms may develop shortly after the virus is contracted. During the first stage of this disease, the immune system puts up a fight and causes symptoms which typically occur 2 to 6 weeks following the infection. The symptoms at this stage last a week or so, are like those of many other viruses, and are often described as flu-like. The symptoms of the first stage of HIV include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • A red rash that is not itchy

If you visit a health clinic for HIV testing and start the treatment process within 72 hours of exposure, then doctors can prevent the virus from taking hold.

The Symptoms of Chronic HIV Infection

After your immune system loses the fight against the virus, you will no longer experience the flu-like symptoms. This second stage of the disease is referred to as the clinical latent or asymptomatic period, and it can last a decade or longer. Because many people have no symptoms, they unknowingly spread the virus to others.

The Symptoms of AIDS

AIDS is the advanced stage of HIV. If you were unaware that you had been infected with HIV, then you may realize it as you start to experience the symptoms of AIDS. Some of the symptoms of this stage include chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, severe diarrhea, night sweats, yeast infections, unexplained bruising or bleeding, a persistent fever, and unexplained weight loss.