Symptoms and Complications
As with many other viruses, HIV often causes a brief flulike illness within a few weeks of initial infection. Symptoms include fevers, headaches, muscle aches, skin rashes, loss of appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, and swollen lymph glands (Harris & Bolus, 2008; Mosack et al., 2009). These initial reactions, which represent the body’s defenses at work, tend to fade fairly rapidly. However, as the virus continues to deplete the immune system, other symptoms can occur, such as persistent or periodically repeating fevers, night sweats, weight loss, chronic fatigue, persistent diarrhea or bloody stools, easy bruising, persistent headaches, a chronic dry cough, and oral candidiasis. Candidiasis of the mouth and throat is the most common infection in HIV-infected people. Many of these physical manifestations also indicate common, everyday ailments that are by no means life threatening. However, observing that you have one or more of these symptoms that are persistent can alert you to seek a medical diagnosis of your ailment.