If you believe that you’ve had intimate contact with someone who has HIV, or you think you might have caught it from them, you may have concerns about the early warning signs. What should you be on the lookout for? What early warning indicators tell you that you have HIV?
Let’s take a look at a number of the early indicators for HIV signs in men that you need to be watching out for. If you start experiencing any of these, they could indicate that your body is trying to fight it off.
What Are the Early Indicators?
A lot of the early signs of an HIV infection are similar to those that you would get with a severe fever or other types of common health problems. Fever symptoms or a high fever temperature can be common indicators, as well as symptoms like headache, joint pain, tiredness, and night sweats. It can be disguised as something else in its initial stages, so be aware of that.
It could also manifest as swollen lymph nodes, a rash, a sore or scratchy throat, and even ulcers. The ulcers could appear in the mouth or genitals, so watch those areas for signs of initial infection. This immune system-compromising virus infection can look like other types of infection and could easily be mistaken for something else under a casual observation. That’s why it is so important to get a professional diagnosis from a doctor regarding your symptoms.
Some men experience a loss of appetite or loss of sexual drive in the early stages of HIV. Others suffer from serious diarrhea or feelings of uneasiness and unwellness that they may not be able to pin down specifically.
Be aware that none of these symptoms are a surefire sign that HIV is in your body, but they could be. What you should keep in mind is that it is spread through sexual contact or contact with blood almost exclusively. If those kinds of contact have not occurred recently, then there is no reason to suspect HIV.
How Soon Will Symptoms Start?
According to HIV research, most men start experiencing symptoms within two to four weeks of contracting HIV. Just because you didn’t experience any symptoms in the first few days or the first week, that doesn’t mean you haven’t contracted HIV after your intimate contact with someone who has it.
If you suspect that you have HIV, it’s a good idea to be tested. You probably don’t want to get a test right away, however. Within the first nine days, results may be providing you with a false negative. Most tests for HIV, including the common antigen test, can accurately assess if you have HIV in your body from 10-33 days after your initial infection.
There is not much point in getting a test before then, even if you start to have symptoms. It’s most likely that HIV will start to cause symptoms once it is detectable in your body. In fact, some people experience no symptoms until years later. In extreme cases, symptoms may not even appear until a decade after the initial infection.
This is why it doesn’t make sense to start worrying about symptoms immediately after sexual contact. The symptoms could be indicating a different kind of infection entirely and may not be related to HIV at all.
It is important to know that HIV can move beyond the initial stage all the way to the third stage before any symptoms even develop. Symptoms are not a concrete indicator of HIV in its initial stages. By later stages, however, the symptoms can be severe.
If you believe you have had compromising contact with someone who is infected with HIV, it’s wise to be tested as soon as you pass that nine-day threshold. By the 10th day, if you are infected, it should show up on an antigen test.
Your doctor will be able to tell you what kind of treatment you should take and what you should expect as you deal with the disease. Many people can manage the symptoms well and live a happy, healthy life even with HIV.