Many people do not have any symptoms when they first become infected with HIV. Some people have a flu-like illness within a month or two after exposure to the virus. These early symptoms, which usually disappear within a week to a month, include:
During this period, people are very infectious, and HIV is present in large quantities in blood and genital fluids.
Adults may be symptom-free for months – or as much as ten years or more – after HIV first enters their body before more persistent or severe symptoms appear. During this symptom-free period, individuals are infectious and can transmit the HIV virus to others. In children born with HIV infection, these symptoms are likely to appear within two years. These chronic symptoms include: