14 Most-Overlooked HIV Symptoms

A doctor examining a patient in a hospital gown hivIt can take HIV symptoms years to appear—sometimes even longer—after infection. But within a month or two of HIV entering the body, 40% to 90% of people experience symptoms known as acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).

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In the early stages of HIV infection, the most common symptoms are none. One in five people in the United States with HIV don’t know they have it, which is why it’s so important to get tested, especially if you have unprotected sex with more than one partner or use intravenous drugs.

Here are some signs that are vastly overlooked that may reveal a positive HIV status:

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1. Fever

One of the first signs of ARS can be a mild fever, up to about 102 degrees F. The fever, if it occurs at all, is often accompanied by other usually mild symptoms, such as fatigue, swollen lymph glands, and a sore throat. At this point the virus is moving into the blood stream and starting to replicate in large numbers. As that happens, there is an inflammatory reaction by the immune system.