for Veterans and the Public
What are the symptoms?
You can't tell if a person is HIV positive by looking at them. Most people with HIV infection don't look sick. Even so, when a person first becomes infected, he or she may get certain symptoms. This period of early infection is called acute HIV infection.
Symptoms can be different for each person. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Other times symptoms are strong. You may feel as if you have a cold or the flu. You may experience:
- sore throat
- swollen lymph nodes, usually on the neck
- sores in the mouth
If symptoms appear, they usually do so within days or weeks after infection, and end after 1 to 2 weeks.
The only way to tell if your symptoms are from a cold, the flu, or HIV is to have an HIV test.