What Are the Early Signs and Symptoms of HIV?

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As of 2019, approximately 38 million people worldwide were living with human immunodeficiency virus, more commonly known as HIV. Because HIV can lead to widespread issues and serious health complications, it’s important to recognize the early signs and symptoms if you think you may be at risk. Starting HIV treatment early not only slows to progression of the virus in you, but can also prevent viral spread to others. 


Proudly serving Denton and Collin Counties, Health Services of North Texas boasts several state-of-the-art offices in Denton, TX (within several miles of Texas Woman’s University and University of North Texas), as well as a health center in Plano. You can request a telehealth or in-person HIV evaluation through the website or over the phone with the location nearest you.

Flu-like symptoms

Early on in HIV, it’s very common to experience flu-like symptoms that make you believe you have a seasonal bug. These HIV signs include:


  • Fever

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Dry cough


During this early stage of HIV — the seroconversion period — you can become very dehydrated if you’re losing fluids due to vomiting or diarrhea. The flu-like symptoms you experience are a result of your body responding to the virus.

Body aches and pains

When you first become infected with HIV, you may notice that you have achy muscles and joints, even if you didn’t do anything different in your exercise or activity routine.


You might also experience swollen lymph nodes. Your lymph nodes, which play essential roles in your immune system, swell up and become inflamed when you have an infection in your body. Located in your armpit, groin, and neck, among other areas, your lymph nodes are likely going to feel engorged or tender to the touch.

Rashes and ulcers

During the early stages of an HIV infection, skin rashes could develop. These rashes tend to look like boils and can lead to breakouts that are very itchy. HIV can even cause ulcers in your mouth or on your genitals.

Night sweats

Waking up at night being drenched in sweat is one of the many early signs of HIV. Night sweats may worsen and occur more frequently as your condition worsens.

Lack of energy

Your immune system recognizes when it’s under attack. It designates all of your body’s resources to fight the virus. When this occurs, you’re left feeling fatigued and lethargic. In early HIV stages, you may find that you no longer have the energy for the activities you once enjoyed. You might also become easily winded, simply by walking, or feel like you can never catch your breath.

Other considerations

If you live in Denton or Collin Counties, including Denton, Plano, Wylie, TX or surrounding towns, come into Health Services of North Texas right away if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above. Signs of HIV are usually apparent within one to two months of transmission.


With discreet in-house lab testing available, you can get your results quickly and begin effective HIV therapy. HIV treatment generally involves taking a course of several medications.

If you need HIV testing or help with HIV management, don’t hesitate to contact Health Services of North Texas. We believe that HIV testing should be a regular practice for your long term health. The practice has several conveniently located offices in Denton and Collin Counties in the towns of Denton and Plano TX. Book online or by phone today. 


FREE Walk-In HIV Screening at Health Services of North Texas

Health Services of North Texas invites you to come in for your FREE, CONFIDENTIAL HIV screening on Friday mornings in Denton or Plano from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. Learn More