Around a week to ten days after HIV infection takes place, symptoms can occur which are the result of the body reacting to HIV infection. It is vital that an HIV test is carried out as soon as possible if these symptoms occur after being put at risk (e.g. if you have injected drugs or had unprotected sex - especially with a casual partner).

The most common symptoms of recent HIV infection include:

  • severe flu-like symptoms
  • sore throat and fever
  • rash on the chest
  • fatigue
  • nausea and diarrhoea.

A large proportion of people recently infected with HIV experience these symptoms, and in otherwise healthy people they are unusual, and if occurring after being put at risk of infection, they should prompt an HIV test as soon as possible. Read our page: I'm worried I have put myself at risk.

After a few weeks these symptoms will disappear, which can mean that a doctore will not recognise that the virus is present. Be proactive in getting tested - read our page: what I need to know about getting an HIV test.