HIV infection

  • Alternative Names

    Human immunodeficiency virus infection


    Symptoms related to HIV are usually due to an infection in part of the body. Some symptoms related to HIV infection include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Fever
    • Frequent vaginal yeast infections
    • Headache
    • Mouth sores, including yeast infection (thrush)
    • Muscle stiffness or aching
    • Rash of different types, including seborrheic dermatitis
    • Sore throat
    • Swollen lymph glands

    Note: When they are diagnosed with HIV infection, many people have not had any symptoms.

    Signs and tests

    The HIV ELISA and HIV Western blot tests detect antibodies to the HIV virus in the blood. Both tests must be positive to confirm an HIV infection. Having these antibodies means you are infected with HIV.

    • If the test is negative (no antibodies found) and you have risk factors for HIV infection, you should be retested in 3 months.
    • If the HIV ELISA and HIV Western blot tests are positive, other blood tests can be done to determine how much HIV is in your bloodstream.

    A complete blood count (CBC) and white blood cell differential may also show abnormalities.

    A lower-than-normal CD4 cell count may be a sign that the virus is damaging your immune system.