may complain of a low-grade fever of no more than 102F accompanied by a feeling of a sore, throat, swollen lymph glands, and fatigue. At this stage the virus has entered the blood and is beginning to replicate. Once that happens, inflammation occurs because the immune system starts to attack.


As the immune system produces more and more inflammation it will begin to take its toll on the body. Thus, fatigue is another one of the most common HIV symptoms. You will likely become exhausted from the most basic of tasks. With HIV fatigue can set in at the early stages or it can also set in much later in its progression.

Achy Muscles, Joint Pain, Swollen Lymph Nodes

Often the initial symptoms of HIV can be confused with many other less dangerous health conditions. Another one of the most common HIV symptoms is pain in the muscles and joints, which can also be caused by flu, mononucleosis, or several other types of viral infections including syphilis or hepatitis.

Since the lymphatic system is a primary part of the immune system they often swell when there’s an infection. In HIV, they will swell in the armpits, the groin, or the neck area.

Skin Rash

Probably the first indicator that your condition is more than just a flu will be the skin rash that develops. Up until these appear, one might conclude that they have an allergy, a cold or a flu but when the rashes appear in pink itchy areas around the arms and trunk of the body, you need to get tested.

Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea

Around 30%-60% of those infected will experience nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the earlier stages of HIV. These symptoms could stem from the type of treatment you have or it could be due to the infection itself. Watch out for an unrelenting diarrhea that doesn’t respond to any treatments.

As the virus builds up in the body, you are likely to feel other symptoms as well including weight loss, dry cough, pneumonia, night sweats, changes in finger and toe nails, yeast infections, confusion, inability to concentrate, cold sores, genital herpes, tingling and weakness, and menstrual irregularities. If you have been engaged in any type of high-risk behavior that could expose you to HIV and you experience any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to be tested.

It’s important to understand that in the early stages the body will not have developed any antibodies to the HIV virus so test results may not initially show positive. It may be necessary to investigate other test options other than a blood test. Consider an RNA test that can show results in as little as nine days after infection.