When exposed to someone with HIV, it takes at least 4 to 8 weeks before the first symptom of infection appears. More than 50% of the time, the first symptom is flu-like symptoms. In the medical world of HIV patients, this symptom is called ARS or acute retroviral syndrome. Let us take a look at some of the signs of HIV infection that people at risk must be wary about.
Fever is a popular flu symptom. This is also the most popular ARS symptom. A fever caused by HIV can be mild and goes as high as 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Along with the fever can be other symptoms like feeling fatigue for no reason and having a sore throat.
One person who tested positive for HIV remembers how he always feels tired. According to him, a short walk always leaves him out of breath and 25 years later, he tested positive for HIV.
Having muscle and joint pains
Flu-like symptoms are often associated with other infections such as hepatitis and syphilis. This is one very popular symptom because where there is an infection, the lymph node is always the first one to get hit being part of the immune system’s defense.
A bad headache and sudden sore throat
A sore throat and bad headache are often ignored because they can be mild effects of almost anything like bad weather or a bad day. Having a bad day can turn into a bad headache, right? If you are only having a headache and sore throat, it is okay but if you are having other flu-like symptoms, get tested.
Rashes occur when it is too cold or too hot or you have eaten something that you are allergic to. An HIV positive patient shared that he started having rashes on his arms and it’s itchy. According to a doctor, unexplained rashes should serve as a trigger for someone to seek medical attention and HIV testing.
Having nausea, ending up vomiting, experiencing diarrhea
At least half of HIV patients end up having these three things at the onset of HIV infection – they feel nauseous, they vomit and they have diarrhea. These symptoms are early and late-stage symptoms of ARS. If you are taking medicine to reduce or treat these symptoms to no avail, then it is high time to ask a doctor about it.
A doctor who has been treating HIV patients said that 50% of HIV patients experience night sweating at the early stage of their infection. If you are having such despite the fact that you are lying in a very cold or comfortable room, ask your doctor about it.
Dying nails, clubbing or thickening
If you don’t have any fungal infection or hadn’t had one before but ends up having a dying nail or your nails are splitting, you must seek medical attention immediately or buy a home test kit for ADS. When the immune system is weak due to HIV infection, fungal infections occur and cause these.
There are other symptoms that can mean you are HIV positive hence if you knew that you are at risk of being infected, always keep a home testing kit for HIV so that at first sign of these symptoms, you can get tested immediately. Remember that even if it cannot be cured but it can be controlled if diagnosed early.