First symptoms of an HIV infection

Shortly after the infection with HIV (usually 11-15 days) it comes to a rapid multiplication of the viruses. In more than half of those affected, the early phase of the disease has no or only a few uncharacteristic symptoms, about 25% of the newcomers are symptomatic of acute HIV infection. Common symptoms of disease are at this early stage of the disease:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • general fatigue
  • lymphadenopathy
  • night sweating
  • loss of appetite
  • skin rash
  • inflammation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa
  • joint pain


The symptoms of an acute infection with the HIV virus are similar to those of influenza or glandular fever (Epstein Barr virus infection). At this early stage of the disease, the HIV viruses multiply explosively, so that the viral load of the affected persons can amount to several million viruses per milliliter of blood. At the same time, the number of certain immune cells, the so-called CD4 cells, decreases for a short time before being restored. Because the infected person has not yet formed any antibodies against the pathogen, the diagnosis of HIV infection by an HIV test is not yet possible. The diagnosis of acute HIV infection can only be made by the direct detection of the virus (PCR) to the occurrence of anti-HIV antibodies.

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