By Atiya Jones
Your body aches, you have a fever, and your throat is sore. You think it’s the flu and so does your doctor. It doesn’t cross your mind that it might be HIV especially since you only have one partner. The symptoms go away but HIV is rapidly increasing in your body. This is what is known as the acute stage of HIV infection. Almost half of individuals newly infected during what is known as seroconversion have acute symptoms. Serocoversion is when the body develops antibodies to HIV going from negative to positive. It may take weeks to a few months after being infected for these antibodies to show on a test, so a person may test negative even though they are positive.
In addition to the symptoms mentioned earlier an infected person may also experience loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, unexplainable rash, diarrhea, malaise, swollen lymph glands, and ulcer in the mouth and throat. Being that HIV is replicating so fast during the acute stage that is usually when it is spread the most. Most people are infected by someone who is newly infected.
Being that the symptoms of acute HIV infection are so similar to the flu it’s important to be honesty with yourself and your medical professional. If you know for example you are having unprotected sex with just one or multiple partners or you’re sharing needles or your partner uses drugs involving a needle tell your doctor. Early detection will help to slow down the virus, protect your immune system, and stop the spread of HIV.