Early Symptoms Of HIV Infection
Some people, but not all, develop symptoms within a month or two of exposure to HIV. These people may have a flu-like illness with such symptoms as:
Loss of appetite
Swollen glands (enlarged lymph nodes )
Achy muscles and joints
These early symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month. Most HIV-infected people who experience these early symptoms won't see any more signs of the infection for at least a few years.
Later Symptoms Of HIV Infection
Usually, it takes about eight to nine years between the time of infection and the appearance of later symptoms, although this varies from person to person. These symptoms signal that immune system function is deteriorating, due to declining numbers of CD4+ T cells.
Not all people with HIV infection develop further symptoms. For those who do, however, symptoms may include:
Persistent, enlarged lymph nodes
Chronic or frequent diarrhea
Genital sores (sores around the penis or vagina)
Thrush (an infection of the mouth caused by Candida, a yeast-like fungus) and mouth lesions
Skin rash or flaky skin
Joint stiffness and pain
Short-term memory loss
Repeated bacterial, viral, or fungal infections
As the CD4+ T cell count continues to drop and the immune system deteriorates further, individuals may continue to experience the above symptoms as well as develop new ones.