Hiv seroconversion symptoms
Seroconversion is the period during which these antibodies first become detectable. So, if a person who has contracted the virus takes a test before seroconversion begins, the result will usually be negative. During seroconversion, a person may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as a fever and body aches. It can also depend on the type of HIV test that a person takes.
People usually develop detectable antibodies within 3—12 weeks of contracting HIV. A person can transmit HIV before seroconversion. Even when the immune system has not yet produced detectable amounts of HIV antibodies, the virus is still active. In the time between contracting the virus and seroconversion, most people do not know that they have HIV. If they take a test, their result will likely be negative.
When the body is first producing detectable levels of HIV antibodies, people often experience symptoms similar to those of the flu or other viral infections. These symptoms can also appear during the earliest stage of HIV infection, which is called the acute stage.
Symptoms usually last for around 14 daysbut they can last for months. Some people experience no symptoms during the initial stage of infection. HIV testing is crucial because it can lead to earlier detection and treatment and less risk of transmission. The only way for someone to know for sure whether they have HIV is to take a test.
Some people may not be aware that they have contracted the virus, because HIV infections do not always produce symptoms. Authors of a study concluded that expanding screening criteria to include a broader range of signs and symptoms, such as those listed above, may increase the amount of acute HIV infection diagnoses, which will ultimately advance prevention and treatment strategies. The accuracy of HIV tests has improved significantly since scientists first identified the virus.
However, no test can accurately detect HIV immediately after a person contracts the virus. There are three main types of HIV test :. They can also determine how much of the virus is present, which is called the viral load.
Healthcare providers typically reserve these tests for people who have had recent high-risk exposure and who have early symptoms of HIV infection. These test for HIV antibodies and antigens. HIV produces an antigen called p24, which is present before the body starts producing HIV antibodies. These test for the presence of HIV antibodies and require a person to give a blood or oral fluid sample. This type includes most rapid, at-home HIV tests.
Antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV earlier than those that use oral fluid or blood from a finger prick. Inthe U. This test kit detects antibodies and requires a sample of oral fluid, which a person collects by swabbing the inside of their mouth. People can take the test at home, and it provides a result in 20—40 minutes.
Other at-home kits require a person to prick their finger and send a small blood sample to a licensed laboratory for testing.
These tests are anonymous, and the providers keep information and results strictly confidential. If the result of any HIV test is positive, the person should take a different test to confirm the results. A healthcare provider can advise about the best follow-up test to take. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, is a daily medication that people with a very high risk of contracting HIV can take to reduce their risk.Acute infection lasts for several weeks and may include symptoms such as feverswollen lymph nodesinflammation of the throatrashmuscle painmalaiseand mouth and esophageal sores.
The latency stage involves few or no symptoms and can last anywhere from two weeks to twenty years or more, depending on the individual. It occurs after the incubation stage, before the latency stage and the potential AIDS succeeding the latency stage. Infected individuals may experience all, some, or none of these symptoms. Because of the nonspecific nature of these symptoms, they are often not recognized as signs of HIV infection. Even if patients go to their doctors or a hospital, they will often be misdiagnosed as having one of the more common infectious diseases with the same symptoms.
As a consequence, these primary symptoms are not used to diagnose HIV infection, as they do not develop in all cases and because many are caused by other more common diseases. However, recognizing the syndrome can be important because the patient is much more infectious during this period. A strong immune defense reduces the number of viral particles in the blood stream, marking the start of secondary or chronic HIV infection. The secondary stage of HIV infection can vary between two weeks and 10 years.
During the secondary phase of infection, HIV is active within lymph nodeswhich typically become persistently swollen, in response to large amounts of virus that become trapped in the follicular dendritic cells FDC network.
Individuals who are in this phase are still infectious. However, most have detectable viral load and will eventually progress to AIDS without treatment. The symptoms of AIDS are primarily the result of conditions that do not normally develop in individuals with healthy immune systems. Most of these conditions are opportunistic infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that are normally controlled by the elements of the immune system that HIV damages.
People with AIDS also have an increased risk of developing various cancers such as Kaposi's sarcomacervical cancer and cancers of the immune system known as lymphomas. Additionally, people with AIDS often have systemic symptoms of infection like fevers, sweats particularly at nightswollen glands, chills, weakness, and weight loss.
Pneumocystis pneumonia PCP originally known as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is relatively rare in healthy, immunocompetent people, but common among HIV-infected individuals. Before the advent of effective diagnosis, treatment and routine prophylaxis in Western countries, it was a common immediate cause of death. Tuberculosis TB is unique among infections associated with HIV because it is transmissible to immunocompetent people via the respiratory route, and is not easily treatable once identified.
In advanced HIV infection, TB often presents atypically with extrapulmonary systemic disease a common feature. Symptoms are usually constitutional and are not localized to one particular site, often affecting bone marrowboneurinary and gastrointestinal tractsliverregional lymph nodesand the central nervous system. Esophagitis is an inflammation of the lining of the lower end of the esophagus gullet or swallowing tube leading to the stomach.
In HIV-infected individuals, this is normally due to fungal candidiasis or viral herpes simplex-1 or cytomegalovirus infections.
In rare cases, it could be due to mycobacteria. Unexplained chronic diarrhea in HIV infection is due to many possible causes, including common bacterial SalmonellaShigellaListeria or Campylobacter and parasitic infections; and uncommon opportunistic infections such as cryptosporidiosismicrosporidiosisMycobacterium avium complex MAC and viruses,  astrovirusadenovirusrotavirus and cytomegalovirusthe latter as a course of colitis.
It may also be a side effect of antibiotics used to treat bacterial causes of diarrhea common for Clostridium difficile. In the later stages of HIV infection, diarrhea is thought to be a reflection of changes in the way the intestinal tract absorbs nutrients, and may be an important component of HIV-related wasting.
HIV infection may lead to a variety of neuropsychiatric sequelaeeither by infection of the now susceptible nervous system by organisms, or as a direct consequence of the illness itself. Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii ; it usually infects the brain, causing toxoplasma encephalitisbut it can also infect and cause disease in the eyes and lungs.
It can cause fevers, headache, fatiguenauseaand vomiting. Patients may also develop seizures and confusion; left untreated, it can be lethal. Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML is a demyelinating diseasein which the gradual destruction of the myelin sheath covering the axons of nerve cells impairs the transmission of nerve impulses. It progresses rapidly, usually causing death within months of diagnosis. These cells are productively infected by HIV and secrete neurotoxins of both host and viral origin.
AIDS related mania is sometimes seen in patients with advanced HIV illness; it presents with more irritability and cognitive impairment and less euphoria than a manic episode associated with true bipolar disorder.
Unlike the latter condition, it may have a more chronic course. This syndrome is less frequently seen with the advent of multi-drug therapy. People with HIV infections have substantially increased incidence of several cancers.
Could it be HIV? Recognising the signs and symptoms of HIV seroconversion illness
The appearance of this tumor in young homosexual men in was one of the first signals of the AIDS epidemic.Once infected with HIV, the virus takes hold in your body by multiplying rapidly.
Your immune system responds by producing antibodies in response to the virus. This period is known as seroconversion. Antibodies appear within one to two weeks and will continue to increase in the months after infection.
Seroconversion takes place within three weeks in the majority of infected individuals. Seroconversion is often, but not always, accompanied by a flu-like illness. Symptoms typically appear within a month of infection and tend to go away within two to three weeks. The most commonly experienced symptoms are fever, swollen glands, muscle aches and tiredness.
These symptoms are not a reliable way to identify seroconversion, to diagnose HIV infection or to rule it out. There are many other illnesses that can cause symptoms such as these. Some people do not notice any symptoms after infection. This is the only reliable way of knowing whether you have HIV or not. How HIV works. Primary tabs View active tab Preview. Krishen Samuel. May Key points The symptoms of recent HIV infection are the same in men and women.
A flu-like illness may appear within a month of infection. The most common symptoms are fever, swollen glands, muscle aches and tiredness.
Facts About HIV Seroconversion
The latest news and research on how HIV works. Next review date. This page was last reviewed in May It is due for review in May Related topics.Seroconversion illness is the illness that may occur if your body acquires HIV. The number of new HIV diagnoses in Australia has remained steady over the past few years, with new cases reported by The Kirby Institute for Just under two thirds of those were attributed to sex between men. Not all men who enjoy sex with other men identify as gay or bisexual.
Having an affirming experience with a healthcare professional can make a huge difference for someone being diagnosed with HIV. Being confident and feeling supported to start treatment immediately after diagnosis has been demonstrated to have long term health benefits. This means there is no risk of acquiring HIV from them, even when not using condoms. HIV antibodies are produced in an attempt to defend against the virus.
Seroconversion usually takes place within a few weeks of someone acquiring HIV. For some people, it may be accompanied by symptoms of illness, though these are not always a reliable way to diagnose HIV, especially as not everyone is guaranteed to experience all of the symptoms or even any at all.
Knowing about the symptoms of seroconversion illness can be useful to help you or a mate stay healthy in the long term. Recognising the signs and going for an HIV test means someone has the chance to know their status and, if appropriate, start treatment straight away.
If any symptoms do occur, they often begin between one and four weeks after acquiring HIV and nearly always go away within two to three weeks. Symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes or tiredness can last for longer. Going for an HIV test is the only way to be sure. Rapid testing services can make the process quick, easy and comfortable, and some are even offered for free. As well as going for regular sexual health testsyou can also take other actions to help reduce your risk of acquiring HIV.
Nowadays, there are even more options available, including biomedical HIV prevention strategies that are fully compatible with condoms. It involves taking a pill once a day and seeing a GP once every three months for routine sexual health tests.
We also now know that taking regular treatment for HIV not only keeps someone healthy, but also eliminates the possibility to transmit HIV — continuously maintaining an undetectable viral load means there is no risk of HIV transmission.
Going for regular sexual health tests covering HIV and other STIs is a key foundation for managing your own health, as well as that of your sexual partner s. Some clinics in metro areas are well-versed in offering healthcare services for men who have sex with men. Talking to a healthcare professional is a good place to start, but if you feel like you could benefit from additional support, there are other organisations you can speak to, including some which offer counselling services or resources for people newly diagnosed with HIV.
Convinced i have hiv! Really dont want to get tested as im way to scared as i already know with these symptoms i have hiv!! Been upset lately. Hi Steven, Thanks for your comment. The only way to be sure is to go for an HIV test.
We understand that can be concerning for some people. Diagnosing and treating HIV earlier is known to have improved health outcomes. Hi Jay and thanks for your comment. In Australia, HIV blood tests sent to a laboratory have a window period of six weeks, while rapid HIV tests have a window period of 12 weeks. Typically, testing at 12 weeks after possible to exposure to HIV is recommended.
Not all forms of sex carry the same risk of HIV. Oral sex is considered very low risk for HIV transmission, which only increases with cuts or sores in the mouth.Report Abuse. Contact Us. Diabetes Type 1 Type 2 Prevention.
Signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS
This is a very helpful forum. The patience you have with those of us who worry constantly about possible exposure is appreciated. I was hoping you could answer a few quick questions for me. Is that correct? More speciically, it is possible for then to appear either a day or two after exposure, or greater than 6 weeks after an exposure?
More specifically, if you had a few swollen glands and a mouth sore or two, but otherwise were not ill and did not have a fever, that would not be charachteristic of seroconversion illness.
Many thanks. Read 2 Responses. Follow - 1. Hunter Handsfield, M. Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your thanks in advance of even getting a reply. If you have spent time on the forum, you probably have learned that our most accurate advice depends on complete information. To properly advise you, it would be helpful to know more about your risks for HIV -- the nature of your sexual partnerships, some information about your partners, and the specific sexual practices in which you have participated.
As we have said innumerable times, "serconversion symptoms" really don't mean much. The large majority of illnesses that might suggest acute HIV infection are actually due to other things. The symptoms of a new HIV infection are identical to other medical conditions -- especially minor viral infections -- that are much more common than HIV, even in people at high risk for new HIV infections.
With that as background, the answers to your specific questions are: 1 Acute HIV symptoms usually start days after exposure. It is not possible for symptoms to start as soon as 2 days. Six weeks might be possible but very rarely.
Absence of fever is strong evidence against HIV as the cause. You are also correct that the symptoms you describe, without fever, almost certainly are due to something other than HIV.
Feeling "feverish" doesn't count; without a measured temperature with a thermometer, it is not possible to judge whether or not fever is present. I hope this helps. But as I said, I could give you better advice if you want to add some comments with the missing information noted above. Thanks for tne additional information.It is the time when a person first develops antibodies for HIV. At this point an HIV antibody test will still be negative. Seroconversion usually occurs starts weeks after infection, with average time being around 10 days.
They commonly involve multiple symptoms that all occur at the same time. They last about a week and then resolve. If you get this heavy response and recently had a risk, it is more important to contact a doctor or clinic.
This can decide your level of risk and the best time to test. However, lots of people get some of these symptoms and it does not mean they are HIV positive. Stress and anxiety can produce similar general symptoms even though without HIV. This includes tiredness from not sleeping, anxiety and worry.
Seroconversion involves several symptoms that all start at the same time. Only having one or two of these symptoms is unlikely to be HIV. Secondly, none of the symptoms listed above, on their own, are an indication of HIV.
More information on tests is at this link. If you have recently been exposed to HIV, or think you may have been exposed to HIV, then contact a doctor or sexual health clinic to talk about whether testing for HIV is appropriate.
Please use this link to ask a new question. Home Q and A All topics What is seroconversion and what are the symptoms? Q and A Question What is seroconversion and what are the symptoms? Symptoms The symptoms of HIV seroconversion resemble those of a heavy cold or flu. The most common HIV seroconversion symptoms include a combination of several of the following: Fatigue tiredness. Fever high temperature. Sore throat. Loss of appetite.Acute HIV Infection
Aching muscles and joints. Swollen lymph glands. These symptoms are not a reliable way of diagnosing HIV infection. Discussion on this post is now closed. Older comments.Seroconversion is the time in which a person develops antibodies to any disease-causing microorganisms called pathogens.
Antibodies are the defensive proteins produced by the immune system to neutralize a pathogen and is specific to that pathogen and that pathogen alone. Seroconversion is confirmed by an HIV antibody test. It usually takes a few weeks for the body to produce enough antibodies for the test to confirm an HIV-positive diagnosis. Prior to this, the test may either be inconclusive or deliver a false-negative result. This period of uncertainty is known as the window period.
Once a person has seroconverted, he or she will always be HIV-positive for life. Even if the person is placed on HIV therapy and is able to achieve an undetectable viral load, the virus never fully disappears.
A person who has seroconverted may or may not have symptoms of infection. Symptomatic infection is typically referred to as either seroconversion illness, acute seroconversion, acute HIV syndrome, or acute retroviral syndrome ARS. ARS occurs in anywhere from 50 percent to 90 percent of newly infected individuals. Because the symptoms are so non-specific, they are often attributed to other illnesses.
One of the more telling symptoms of ARS is a characteristic rash. The outbreak will tend to affect the upper half the body with lesions that are reddish, small, flat, and non-itchy. As with the other ARS symptoms, they can appear anywhere from one to four weeks after infection and usually resolve within one to three weeks. There is evidence that the diagnosis and treatment of HIV during acute infection may significantly slow the progression of the disease.
Once HIV is embedded in these reservoirs, they are almost impossible to clear from the body. To this end, newer-generation combination HIV tests are able to deliver accurate results in as little as 12 days compared to previous generation tests which took at least three weeks.
These combination assays are able to do this because they detect both HIV antibodies and HIV antigens proteins found on the shell of the virus itself.
Older tests were only to catch about a third. Get information on prevention, symptoms, and treatment to better ensure a long and healthy life. Department of Health and Human Services.