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Early symptomatic HIV infection

  • Alternative Names

    AIDS-related complex - ARC; Chronic symptomatic HIV infection

    • Diarrhea that persists
    • Excessive sweating or night sweats
    • Fatigue that persists
    • Fever that persists
    • General feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being
    • Herpes zoster infections (shingles) that keep coming back
    • Joint pain
    • Mouth disorders
      • Gingivitis
      • Oral hairy leukoplakia of the tongue, caused by a viral infection
      • Oral thrush ("yeast infection")
    • Pain, loss of sensation, and inability to control muscles (peripheral neuropathy)
    • Skin disorders
      • Fungal infection of the skin or nails
      • Molluscum contagiosum
      • Seborrheic dermatitis
    • Swollen lymph glands
    • Weight loss

    Signs and tests

    The patient may have signs of a bleeding disorder in which there aren't enough platelets in the blood (idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura).

    In females, a Pap smear may reveal precancerous cells of the cervix.

    The HIV ELISA/Western blot will be positive for HIV antibodies.

    The following lab tests may be done to see how the immune system is working:

    • CD4 lymphocyte count (type of white blood cell count)
    • Complete blood count
    • Platelet count
    • Skin test anergy

    The amount of HIV can be measured in the blood. This test measures the genetic material of the virus called RNA (ribonucleic acid) and is often called the “viral load”.