What are the symptoms of HIV?

Not everybody shows symptoms of HIV. When first infected with HIV some people experience flu-like symptoms. This is sometimes known as seroconversion illness, or primary HIV infection. Please be aware that having any of these symptoms does not mean you have HIV. These are common symptoms of a variety of common illnesses. The symptoms may include:

  • sore throat
  • headaches/fatigue
  • diarrhoea and/or vomiting/nausea
  • muscle aches and pains
  • skin rash
  • high temperature/fever

These symptoms may be the body’s first reaction to being infected with HIV and may last up to several months. During this stage you are most infectious to others, so getting tested is really important.

After the first stage, many people do not experience any symptoms for a number of years and HIV may go undetected. During this time the virus will multiply and can still be passed to other people.

The earlier you get tested and diagnosed, the better. An early diagnosis helps avoid complications and means we are better able to keep you healthy.

The only way to know whether you have HIV is to have a test.

Find out what an HIV test involves.