According to AIDS.gov, the early symptoms for HIV include fever, swollen glands, rash, fatigue, sore throat, headache and muscle and joint pains. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
However, AIDS.gov states that a person cannot rely on symptoms alone to tell whether he is infected with the HIV virus. This is because there are many illnesses and diseases that cause symptoms similar to the ones caused by the early stages of HIV. In fact, some people may report no symptoms and be without symptoms for several years. The only reliable way to know for certain is to get tested.
Older tests were used to test for specific antibodies; however, at this early stage, the body does not make those antibodies. This made early detection difficult. However, in 2013, a test was developed to diagnose early stage HIV, making it easy to find out for sure if a person is infected, especially if he thinks he was exposed to the virus. AIDS.gov also states that during this early stage of infection, the levels of the HIV virus in the body are particularly high, making the risk of transmission greater than any other stage of the infection.