HIV symptoms, when diagnosed and treated early, can prevent an infected person from going on to develop full-blown AIDs. There is no cure for HIV, but with the latest drugs and an early diagnosis, it is possible to ensure that HIV victims lead long and healthy lives. For information about HIV treatment, click here.
HIV is most usually passed on by having unprotected sex, but the infection can also be spread by sharing infected needles. Mothers who are infected with HIV can also transfer the infection to their infants through pregnancy, and through birth, or by breastfeeding.
The most common HIV symptoms
HIV symptoms usually first appear somewhere between 2 to 6-weeks after the initial infection event. Although not everyone exhibits symptoms, approximately 80% of victims do. The initial symptoms are similar to those of flu, and this initial illness is referred to as seroconversion illness. The symptoms include:
- Body rash
- Elevated temperature
- Sore throat
After this initial illness has run its course, many HIV victims do not display any symptoms for a number of years. This is a stage of the disease referred to as asymptomatic HIV, and can last for up to 10-years.
Other less common HIV symptoms
There are a number of other symptoms that HIV victims sometimes display. These can include:
- Pain in the joints
- Pain in the muscles
- Swollen glands
All of the above mentioned HIV symptoms usually only last for about 1 or 2-weeks, although they can last longer.
As the asymptomatic stage of HIV progresses, the victim’s immune system is being progressively attacked and weakened, until eventually it becomes so damaged that it no longer functions effectively and this is when the infection becomes AIDS. The symptoms of AIDS include:
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Life threatening illnesses
- Night sweats
- Recurring infections
- Skin problems
- Unexplained weight-loss
All of these symptoms can be avoided through the early diagnosis and treatment of HIV.
Visit the sexual health clinic at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall for screening
You can be tested for HIV by your GP, by visiting a GUM clinic, or, if you live and/or work in London, by calling into the walk-in sexual health clinic that we operate here at Broadgate GP Clinic London Wall.
Bear in mind that some infected people do not display HIV symptoms, so whether you do display, or you suspect that you may have been infected with the virus, you should call in at our walk-in clinic at the earliest opportunity. If you prefer, you can telephone and make an appointment by calling 020 7638 4330.