Information on symptoms of HIV

Symptoms of HIV

The symptoms of HIV can differ from person to person and some people may not get any symptoms at all for many years. Without treatment, over time you can become more and more unwell.

There are three stages of HIV infection, with different possible effects:

Stage One: Around one to four weeks after becoming infected with HIV, some people will experience symptoms much like flu.

Symptoms can include:

-fever (raised temperature)
-body rash
-sore throat
-swollen glands
-headaches
-upset stomach
-joint aches and pains
-muscle pains

These symptoms can happen because your body is reacting to the HIV virus. Cells that are infected with HIV are circulated around the blood system. Your immune system in response tries to attack the virus by producing HIV antibodies. This process is known as 'seroconversion'.

Stage Two: After seroconversion, many people start to feel better, the virus may not reveal any further symptoms for a long time however the virus will still be active infecting new cells and making copies of itself. Over time this will cause a lot of damage to your immune system.

Stage Three: By this stage, there has been a lot of damage to the immune system. At this point you are more likely to get serious infections or diseases which you otherwise would have been able to fight off.

Symptoms can include:

-weight loss
-chronic diarrhoea
-a fever
-persistent cough
-mouth and skin problems
-regular infections
-serious illnesses or diseases

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Opening times for Department of Sexual Health, Salisbury District Hospital (GUM)

  • Monday: 09:00 - 17:00
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