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What are initial signs of HIV?

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Quick Answer

Some initial signs of HIV include fever, sore throat, muscle aches, joint pain and fatigue, reports AIDS.gov. Many individuals infected with HIV exhibit these symptoms between two weeks and one month after infection, with fever being the most common symptom.

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The initial signs of HIV are similar to a really bad flu, explains AIDS.gov. This phenomenon is referred to as acute retroviral syndrome or primary HIV infection, a condition that affects a large portion of those infected with HIV. Patients are continuously tired, and they may develop headaches.

Infected individuals are extremely contagious during this stage when initial signs appear, warns WebMD. These individuals may develop red rashes that don’t itch, and the rashes are typically located on the torso area.

In the absence of exposure to HIV or AIDS, these initial symptoms could be another virus, notes AIDS.gov. If the symptoms are the result of HIV infection, they could subside for up to a decade during the latency stage, a time when a person is asymptomatic while living with HIV. Therefore, those who exhibit initial signs and have been exposed to HIV or AIDS are advised to get an HIV test. Exposed individuals should talk to a doctor within 72 hours of exposure when possible, as HIV treatment started within that time frame can possibly prevent HIV from developing in their bodies.

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