Select Language:
Book Online Doctor Visit

Recognizing HIV/AIDS Symptoms: A Comprehensive Guide

Post written by BFH Staff Writer on August 16, 2022
Share Post:
Navigate Post

As your trusted guide, it may not be right on our part to simply list down the HIV symptoms in bulleted points. Rather, we would like you to know that there are several factors that determine the nature of the symptoms. Wondering what these factors are? They are  age, underlying health conditions, genetics, access to quality healthcare and most importantly, the stage of the disease. That being said, the symptoms may get more severe as HIV progresses to AIDS. How can you avoid this progression? The thumb rule is visit a doctor as soon as you

  1. feel “HIV-vulnerable”
  2. come in sexual contact (accidentally or by choice) with HIV positive partners
  3. use a contaminated/used needle (although we absolutely advocate staying away from them)

Addressing the issue early will slow down the progression of the disease and you can even lead a HIV-Free life.

Now coming to the main topic – HIV symptoms. Let’s get there in details.

Symptoms of HIV/AIDS in general

What are the symptoms of HIV?

Generally, people who have contracted the virus may experience symptoms similar to that of flu. Your body activates a countermeasure to fight the infection by triggering whole-body inflammation. These signs usually manifest 2 to 4 weeks after the virus has entered the body. Known as acute HIV infection, the symptoms may last for several weeks.

The general signs and symptoms of HIV include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss
  • Cough
  • Night sweats

Now, let’s discuss the symptoms specific to each stage.

Early-stage HIV Symptoms

Early diagnosis and knowledge of HIV can significantly diminish the risks of developing future complications. This also makes the disease more manageable, by monitoring and taking action on the viral load in the body. That pops the question, What is HIV Viral Load?

HIV Viral Load

HIV viral load is measured by counting how much HIV is in your blood. A higher viral load means a more rapid progression of your disease.

Although HIV diagnosis is only possible through testing, knowing the early symptoms of HIV can help you identify if there’s something abnormal about your health that could possibly be HIV.

Early HIV symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss

It is important to remember that even if HIV-positive individuals do not exhibit any symptoms at this early stage, they are highly contagious due to their exceptionally high blood viral levels. Stay away from sex if you suspect any HIV-Adjacent activity. Take a few weeks to get tested, and once it’s negative, go back to your happening sex life –  but this time with more protection!

Late-stage HIV Symptoms

Picture this. You have ignored all HIV symptoms and have let the viral load increase in your body. What will happen next?

When your body’s immune system has been severely compromised and damaged because of HIV, it develops into AIDS. This is the final stage of an HIV infection. This is diagnosed when the CD4 cells in your body are deficient. As a result, your immune system can no longer block the development of opportunistic diseases like tuberculosis, pneumonia, and other types of cancer.

Late-stage HIV or AIDS symptoms include:

  • Recurring fever
  • Immediate weight loss
  • Prolonged lymph glands swelling
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Uncontrollable night sweats
  • Development of mouth, anal, and genital sores
  • Blotches on the skin
  • Memory loss
  • Depression

Several of these symptoms are linked to other diseases because of a weakened immune system caused by AIDS or Acquired Immuno-Deficiency syndrome.

It is also important to note that the magnitude and combination of the symptoms may be different for every individual depending on other factors such as age, underlying health conditions etc.

HIV Drugs

People living with HIV or AIDS are recommended to undergo a treatment called antiretroviral therapy (ART). This medication takes a combination of several HIV medicines daily. A typical  HIV treatment includes three HIV medicines from at least two HIV drug classes.

Here is a list of FDA-approved HIV drugs:

Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)

  • Ziagen
  • Emtriva
  • Epivir
  • Viread
  • Retrovir

Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs)

  • Pifeltro
  • Sustiva
  • Intelence
  • Viramune
  • Viramune XR
  • Edurant

Protease Inhibitors

  • Reyataz
  • Prezista
  • Lexiva
  • Norvir
  • Aptivus

Fusion Inhibitors

  • Fuezon
  • Selzentry

CCR5 Antagonists

  • Vocabria
  • Trivicay
  • Trivicay PD
  • Isentress
  • Isentress HD

Attachment Inhibitors

  • Rukobia

Post-Attachment Inhibitors

  • Trogarzo

Pharmacokinetic Enhancers

  • Tybost

Combination HIV Medicines

  • Epzicom
  • Triumeq
  • Triumeq PD
  • Trizivir
  • Evotaz
  • Biktarvy
  • Cabenuva
  • Prezcobix
  • Symtuza
  • Dovato
  • Juluca
  • Delstrigo
  • Atripla
  • Symfi
  • Symfi Lo
  • Genvoya
  • Stribild
  • Odefsey
  • Complera
  • Descovy
  • Truvada
  • Cimduo
  • Combivir
  • Kaletra

Border Free Health offers different HIV medications. You may visit our website for more information about the different HIV drugs used for treatment.

Related Products



  • In Stock
  • Express Shipping
  • Bulk Discounts
Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page


  • In Stock
  • Express Shipping
  • Bulk Discounts
Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page


  • In Stock
  • Express Shipping
  • Bulk Discounts
Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page


  • In Stock
  • Express Shipping
  • Bulk Discounts
Select options This product has multiple variants. The options may be chosen on the product page