The early symptoms of HIV can be confusing. In fact, most people aren’t at first aware that they have been infected with the virus. It’s common for early symptoms to become apparent within two to six weeks after infection. That’s because this is the stage at which your immune system starts fighting the virus.
If you’re wondering about the early symptoms of HIV in males or need to know when the early symptoms of HIV start, then you’ve arrived exactly where you need to be.
Knowing the early symptoms of an HIV infection can be very helpful. However, HIV testing is the only way to be sure that you know what you’re dealing with. Getting tested is very important because if you start antiviral drug treatment early, it can make the virus undetectable, which can help prevent transmission to others.
Most people who become infected with HIV will begin with a brief illness that could be mistaken for a cold or the flu. Doctors call this early illness primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome. Estimates suggest that as many as 80 percent of people with HIV experience this early-stage illness.
The symptoms generally develop over a period of two to four weeks after virus transmission. Because these symptoms also occur with the common cold and other common illnesses, it’s essential to get tested if you could be at risk for HIV transmission and you are experiencing them.
Common early HIV symptoms include:
The above symptoms are all signs that your immune system is doing its utmost to fight the infection.
Early symptoms usually start within a week to two months after exposure. The early HIV symptoms may last for as long as one or two weeks, though some people may experience them for longer.
After the initial period, there may be no symptoms for years. However, the virus doesn’t go away on its own just because there are no symptoms. It could eventually progress to stage 3. At this stage, the virus has likely caused a lot of damage to your immune system.
If you have recently asked yourself, “When do early symptoms of HIV start,” then it’s likely that you are experiencing these symptoms after possible HIV exposure.
The only way to get a definitive answer to the above question is with an HIV test — mainly since the above symptoms occur with many other illnesses, including COVID-19 and the flu.
Ensure your health with regular STI testing or, at a minimum, whenever you engage with a new partner.
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