What are the signs and symptoms of HIV infection?

Updated: Dec 02, 2019
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, MA(Cantab), FAAP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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The patient with HIV may present with signs and symptoms of any of the stages of HIV infection. No physical findings are specific to HIV infection; the physical findings are those of the presenting infection or illness. Manifestations include the following:

  • Acute seroconversion manifests as a flulike illness, consisting of fever, malaise, and a generalized rash

  • The asymptomatic phase is generally benign

  • Generalized lymphadenopathy is common and may be a presenting symptom

  • AIDS manifests as recurrent, severe, and occasionally life-threatening infections or opportunistic malignancies

  • HIV infection can cause some sequelae, including AIDS-associated dementia/encephalopathy and HIV wasting syndrome (chronic diarrhea and weight loss with no identifiable cause)

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