There are some symptoms associated with being HIV positive, but it must be noted that these symptoms do not mean that you are HIV positive, they are also very commonly found with other illnesses including cold/ flu and tummy upset/ food poisoning. Even if you have more than one symptom please do not panic, it does not mean you are HIV positive. It is a good idea to get tested alongside treating the symptoms if you have engaged in risky activity such as unprotected sex.
Most people (around 80%) who contract HIV will have a short flu-like illness between 2 and 6 weeks and then may not have any other symptoms for years. You are unlikely to be able to tell whether this is HIV related or a cold, if you are worried then get tested. The common symptoms are: a fever, sore throat and body rash, but can also include: feeling tired, joint and muscle pain and swollen glands. All of these are also present with a cold or flu, which is the cause of these symptoms in the majority of people.
As your immune system fights the virus, over the next few years, without treatment you may experience night sweats, weight loss, persistent diarrhoea, extreme tiredness, blurred vision, white spots on your tongue. Your HIV doctor can help you to manage these symptoms and find the right medication for you to keep you living a regular life. It is important to get tested early so that you can start the right treatment for you.
Better2Know has HIV testing available at 10 and 28 days after potential exposure with results available in 3 days (for the 10 day test) or next day (for the 28-day test), we also have a rapid HIV test available in some of our clinics where you can get the results in around 20 minutes. (All times are from when the sample is received in the laboratory). If you have any questions about HIV please phone our friendly booking team who will be able to help.