HIV Infection: Stages and Symptoms
A timeline how HIV progresses and when to test.

Centers Risk % FAQs

DayStage
Day 0Potential exposure
Day 7 to 1495% develop high viral load
Day 1695% develop p24 antigen; within 1 - 8 weeks
Seroconversion95% seroconvert within 4 weeks; 70% show symptoms
Day 2895% develop antibody and test positive using a 4th generation test
Day 9099.97% develop antibody and test positive

HIV Window Period

It is the time when a person is infected with the virus but doesn’t test positive but still able to infect others. HIV testing kits require at least 30 days window period to get an accurate result.

Acute HIV Infection (within 2-4 weeks)

  • Fever, headaches and sore throat
  • Excessive fatigue, chills and muscle pain
  • Swollen glands, maculopapular truncal rash
  • In some cases, no symptoms at all

Advanced HIV Infection

  • Coughing or breathing difficulties
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea, fatigue and high fever
  • In some cases, no symptoms (latent infection)

Final Stage: AIDS (CD4 < 200)

  • Persistent high fevers of over 37.8 degrees celcius
  • Severe chills and night sweats
  • White spots in the mouth
  • Genital or anal sores
  • Severe fatigue
  • Rashes that can be brown, red, purple or pink in color
  • Regular coughing and breathing problems
  • Significant weight loss
  • Persistent headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Pneumonia

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