What are the symptoms of a new HIV infection?

Between 50-90% of people with new HIV infections have mild to severe "flu-like" symptoms 2 weeks to 3 months from the time of HIV exposure. Others do not have any symptoms. In general, symptoms are not a reliable way to tell if someone has been infected with HIV; the only way to know for sure is to get tested. Many of the symptoms of early HIV infection are the same as for other, less serious illnesses. People who may have been exposed to HIV should see a doctor promptly if the following symptoms occur within 3 months of the exposure:

  • A persistent fever of over 101 degrees that lasts more than 2 days without a known cause
  • Constant tiredness
  • Night sweats that soak your pajamas or sheets
  • A persistent rash of unknown cause
  • Persistent swollen glands (lumps under the skin) which occur in several places at once (especially the neck, armpits and groin)
  • Sore throat