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HIV and AIDS

What Are The Initial Symptoms Of HIV And When Do They Show UP?

01/19/2001

Question:

Four days ago I engaged in unprotected oral sex with a man who`s sexual history I don`t know. Today, I have a respiratory infection, dry throat and feel achy. I know that there are initial symptoms that show up before HIV goes into the latency period. What are those symptoms, how soon after exposure do they show up, and how long do I have to wait to be tested for HIV?

Answer:

After initial infection with HIV-I, the virus is transported to lymphatic tissue. Over 7-21 days the host immune response is activated. Initial infection is usually asymptomatic. The acute seroconversion syndrome typically presents as a mononucleosis-like illness characterized by fever, malaise, muscle aches, joint aches, nausea, decreased appetite, headache, sore throat and a skin rash. The symptoms occur within 10-21 days of seroconversion and generally resolve without therapy within 7-10 days. You probably need a baseline test and then get re-tested at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months up to 1 year.

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Response by:

Pamposh   Kaul, MD Pamposh Kaul, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati