10 Early symptoms of HIV infection

According to CDC (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are more than 1.2 million persons who are currently infected HIV in the U.S., and about 12.8% (1 in 8 people) are unaware of their infection.

As you know, HIV stands for a virus, called human immunodeficiency virus that can destroy the CD4 cells, also known as T cells, of one’s immune system.

If HIV is not medically treated, it poses the threat of leading to AIDS (an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). AIDS can be considered a deadly disease that undermines one’s immune system severely, making it unable to fight cancers and fatal infections.

HIV is most commonly transferred through blood, semen, pre-seminal and anal discharge, and vaginal discharge.

The most common ways this virus may enter the body are the exposure through infusion or injection and through unsafe sexual behavior.

Once you are infected with HIV, it’s not possible to treat it.

However, thanks to early identification of common signs, proper medical treatment along with a healthy lifestyle, it’s possible for an HIV person to live a productive and long life.

Symptoms of HIV infection can start presenting themselves 2 – 6 weeks after it’s contracted. In this article, VKool will show to you top 10 early symptoms of HIV infection. This article listed the warning signs that you should notice to diagnose this infection. However, it is not intended to give medical advice and it is solely for the informational purpose. Keep reading this article to understand more.

Top 10 Early Symptoms Of HIV Infection

1. Night Sweats

symptoms of hiv - night sweats

If you’re unable to fall in asleep because you cannot stop sweating, and you’ve recently engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors, it can be a cause of this infection.

HIV-induced night sweats often occur persistently and without effort. They can drench your sheets and clothes and cannot nearly sleep through.

A person who engaged in unsafe anal intercourse with multiple persons and is diagnosed with early HIV reported that night sweats are a common symptom, according to a study published in 2024 in “Clinical Infectious Diseases”.

In fact, night sweats often accompany a common fever in HIV patients.

Learn more: The book of sweat miracle

2. Fever

symptoms of hiv - fever

Another common symptom of HIV infection can be a fever.

A common fever during the first HIV stage can be recurrent and persist for two to four weeks at one time. Night sweats usually accompany fevers associated with an infection.

According to a study published in 2005 in Praxis, 77% of 62 patients with primary HIV infection are affected by fever, which establishes as the main symptom of this condition.

Because fevers are the response of the immune system to viral infections, getting fevers in the first stages of HIV is another common sign. It proves the immune system hasn’t weakened yet.

See more: Simple ways to treat a fever in adults naturally

3. Swollen Lymph Nodes

symptoms of hiv - swollen lymph nodes

The cells of your immune system are spread throughout your body. One of the main locations for the distribution is surely the lymph nodes that are found in your neck, in the groin area, and under your armpits.

Because the primary task of the cells of HIV is weakening your immune system, they will identify the main immunity-boosting parts of your body and then attack them. This will include the lymph nodes.

The swollen lymph nodes are the way of your body telling you that the immune system is working very hard to reduce the damage caused by an HIV infection.

55.5% of 54 patients (30 patients) diagnosed with HIV suffer from the swelling of lymph nodes, according to a study in 2002.

Lymph nodes are very tender to the touch and painful. They may appear and disappear frequently. It is a cause of this problem if the swelling persists longer than two to four weeks.

Read more: Easy home treatments for swollen lymph nodes in your neck, ear, and more

4. Sore Throat

symptoms of hiv - sore throat

Another early symptom HIV infection is a sore throat. It is likely to accompany fevers in HIV-positive patients.

In fact, a sore throat can occur before getting a fever as an indicative symptom in many patients.

According to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2002, a sore throat was also identified as the severe symptom of an HIV infection in seventy-four infected prostitutes.

You can experience pain swallowing your own saliva as well as water and food.

Your sore throat can last up to two weeks and can be accompanied by a mouth ulcer.

Learn more: Natural home treatments for a sore throat

5. Joint Pain (Arthralgias) And Muscle Pain (Myalgia)

symptoms of hiv - joint pain (arthralgias) and muscle pain (myalgia)

While these signs are present during the trajectory of this infection, they are also the main symptoms to identify whether you can have contracted HIV or not.

Musculoskeletal disorders (those affecting your bones and muscles) are often the early symptoms of HIV infection, according to a study in 2002.

The joint and muscle pain can manifest itself in the moderate to severe pain form in 2 or more joints that will last from 2 to 24 hours.

In a study in 2024, the musculoskeletal signs of 300 patients with primary HIV infection were evaluated for 1 year.

It found that about 63.3% patients reported musculoskeletal disorders. Besides, 46.7% patients reported body aches, 26.7% reported joint pain, 6.7% reported osteoporosis, and 8.3% reported lower back pain.

These signs intensify when the disease progresses.

See more: Simple tips to reduce arthritis pain naturally at home

6. Seborrheic Dermatitis And Rashes

symptoms of hiv - seborrheic dermatitis and rashes

Seborrheic dermatitis on the face, chest, and scalp is one of the early symptoms of HIV infection, according to a study in Acta Dermatovenerol Croatia in 2024.

The study further notes that the seborrheic dermatitis ranges from 30 to 83% in patients with early HIV infection.

Sebaceous glands are mostly located in the head, face, chest, groin area, and upper back. An early sign of HIV infection is the appearance of inflamed, itchy, flaky, and red skin around these regions, which can last two to three weeks or more.

According to a study in the Annals of Family Medicine in 2005, some studies of primary HIV cases were selected from many medical surveys.

The average age of patients was about 17 to 54 years and all of them exhibited all the early symptoms of HIV infection. In addition, a rash was also the second commonly reported sign by all the patients.

Read more: Easy tips to cure seborrheic dermatitis naturally at home

7. Headaches

symptoms of hiv - headaches

Headaches are the persistent and common form of pain that is experienced by HIV patients. This symptom severely deteriorates the life quality of HIV patient and hinders his or her daily activities.

Primary headaches (tension-type headaches, headaches, and migraines persisting for weeks and occurring on one side) are recurrent headaches not related to any underlying illness. They can signify that HIV infection is in its first stage.

Secondary headaches (headaches from meningitis or sinus headaches) are related to other illnesses that often occur in the later stage of HIV infection when the immune system becomes weaker, allowing the opportunistic infections to thrive.

The tension-type headaches often exacerbate and combine with the secondary headaches because of these secondary illnesses.

According to a study published in Pain in 2000, 45.8% of 131 patients with primary HIV reported tension-related headaches, 16% reported migraines, and 6.1% reported other kinds of headaches.

Learn more: Natural home treatments for headaches

8. Tiredness Or Fatigue

symptoms of hiv - tiredness or fatigue

Fatigue from HIV patients can be described as the feeling of exhaustion and lack of energy that is not treated with a good sleep at night. It can be constant and often occur without physical exertion.

According to a study in the Clinical Nursing Journal in 2006, 15 HIV patients just recently identified fatigue as an indefectible hindrance in their day-to-day lives.

The study also notes that fatigue or tired was a widely ignored sign of HIV infection, and both the concerned health professionals and the family or friends of HIV patients failed to acknowledge this sign.

Fatigue significantly affected to the patients’ ability to do chores, work, walk, exercise, and engage in some other activities.

Plus, it also affected to mental clarity, concentration, and patience according to a study published in the Association of Nurses Journal in AIDS Care in 2024.

Fatigue can also induce anxiety and depression.

See more: Useful tips to cure fatigue naturally and get your energy back

9. Nausea And Vomiting

symptoms of hiv - nausea and vomiting

The earliest symptoms of HIV infection are nausea and vomiting, according to a study in the STD & AIDS (International Journal) in 2024.

Because the HIV infection can compromise one’s immune system, the body can contract bacterial, viral, and fungal infections even in the first stages.

Nausea is the way of your body to make you know that the system is attacked by these infections.

Moreover, if you’ve recently engaged in the high-risk sexual behaviors and have been nauseated regularly, it may be indicative of an HIV infection.

Read more: Natural home treatments for nausea

10. Diarrhea

symptoms of hiv - diarrhea

Like nausea & vomiting, diarrhea is known as a disorder of your gastrointestinal tract caused by fungal, viral, and bacterial infections attacking when your immune system gets weak or reeling under an HIV.

A common symptom of HIV infection, diarrhea can severely damage the life quality of the patients and interfere with his or her daily activities.

Recommended article:

Natural home treatments for sinus infection pain in adults and children

To get more information related to health problems, go to our main Health page. After studying the writing of top 10 early symptoms of HIV infection, hope that this article will help you learn more some warning signs to determine this condition. If you have any question or comment, please leave them below, I will respond you as soon as possible. Also, you can share your experiences with us if you know other symptoms of HIV infection.

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