In the first stages of HIV infection, most people will have very few, if any, symptoms. Within a month or two after infection, they may experience a flu-like illness, including:
These symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month and are often mistaken for another viral infection, such as flu. However, during this period people are highly infectious because HIV is present in large quantities in genital fluids and blood. Some people infected with HIV may have more severe symptoms at first or symptoms that last a long time, while others may have no symptoms for 12 years or more.
During the late stages of HIV infection, the virus severely weakens the immune system, and people infected with the virus may have the following symptoms:
Each of these symptoms can be related to other illnesses. The only way to find out if you are infected with HIV is to get tested.
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Last Updated April 28, 2009
Last Reviewed April 28, 2009