HIV Symptoms Singapore | Shim Clinic

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HIV Symptoms Singapore


Symptoms of early/acute/primary HIV infection in men & women occur 2-4 weeks after infection, and include: fever, skin rash, lethargy, malaise, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, nausea, sore throat, neck stiffness, swollen glands, vomiting, cough, breathlessness, aches, tiredness, mouth ulcers, blurred vision, genital sores, chills, appetite loss, night sweats, diarrhoea, weight loss, confusion, light sensitivity, gum infection, anal sores.

Acute Retroviral Syndrome: Associated Signs and Symptoms
(Expected Frequency Among Patients Who Are Symptomatic)

  1. Fever – Fever, chills, feeling hot (80%)
  2. Fatigue – Lethargy, tiredness, tired, fatigue, fatigued (78%)
  3. Malaise – Malaise, general ill feeling (68%)
  4. Joint pain – Arthralgia, joint pain, ache, soreness, discomfort (54%)
  5. Headache – Headache, pain in head (54%)
  6. Appetite loss – Appetite loss, loss of appetite, decreased appetite (54%)
  7. Rash – Rash, skin rash (51%)
  8. Night sweats – Night sweats, excessive sweating (51%)
  9. Muscle pain – Myalgias, unspecified muscle pain, ache, soreness, discomfort (49%)
  10. Nausea – Nausea (49%)
  11. Diarrhoea – Diarrhoea, diarrhea (46%)
  12. Sore throat – Sore throat, pharyngitis, throat soreness, throat pain, tonsillitis (44%)
  13. Mouth sores – Mouth sores, oral ulcers, mouth ulcer (37%)
  14. Stiff neck – Stiff neck, limitation of neck movement, neck stiffness (34%)
  15. Weight loss – Weight loss (>5 lb; 2.5 kg) (32%)
  16. Confusion – Confusion (25%)
  17. Light sensitivity – Light sensitivity, photophobia (24%)
  18. Vomiting – Vomiting (12%)
  19. Gum infection – Gum infection, infected gums (10%)
  20. Anal sores – Anal sores, sores on anus (5%)
  21. Genital sores – Genital sores, sores on genitals (2%)
  22. Swollen lymph nodes – Swollen lymph nodes, lymphadenitis, sore, swollen or enlarged glands (74%)

Get your HIV test done if you are experiencing some of these symptoms!

Get HIV PEP treatment to stop you from getting HIV infected, if your exposure was less than 72 hours ago!


Prevalence of Primary HIV Infection in Symptomatic Ambulatory Patients
doi: 10.1370/afm.376

Diagnosis and Management of Acute HIV Infection

Use of laboratory tests and clinical symptoms for identification of primary HIV infection

Acute HIV-1 Infection

Remember, there is no HIV cure.

Or could you be having AIDS symptoms?




Clinical HIV infection undergoes 3 distinct phases:

  1. Acute seroconversion
  2. Asymptomatic infection and
  3. AIDS

Acute Seroconversion

During this phase, the infection is established and a proviral reservoir is created. Seroconversion may take a few weeks, up to several months. Symptoms during this time may include fever, flu-like illness, lymphadenopathy, and rash. These manifestations develop in approximately half of all people infected with HIV.

Asymptomatic infection

At this stage in the infection, persons infected with HIV exhibit few or no signs or symptoms for a few years to a decade or more. Viral replication is clearly ongoing during this time, and the immune response against the virus is effective and vigorous.


When the immune system is damaged enough that significant opportunistic infections begin to develop, the person is considered to have AIDS. A CD4+ T-cell count less than 200/μL is also used as a measure to diagnose AIDS, although some opportunistic infections develop when CD4+ T-cell counts are higher than 200/μL, and some people with CD4 counts under 200/μL may remain relatively healthy.

Opportunistic infections and conditions include the following (* added in the 1993 AIDS surveillance case definition):

  • Candidiasis of bronchi, trachea, or lungs
  • Candidiasis, esophageal
  • Cervical cancer, invasive*
  • Coccidioidomycosis, disseminated or extrapulmonary
  • Cryptococcosis, extrapulmonary
  • Cryptosporidiosis, chronic intestinal (duration >1 month)
  • Cytomegalovirus disease (other than liver, spleen, or nodes)
  • Cytomegalovirus retinitis (with vision loss)
  • Encephalopathy, HIV-related
  • Herpes simplex: chronic ulcer or ulcers (duration >1 month) or bronchitis, pneumonitis, or oesophagitis
  • Histoplasmosis, disseminated or extrapulmonary
  • Isosporiasis, chronic intestinal (duration >1 month)
  • Kaposi sarcoma
  • Lymphoma, Burkitt (or equivalent term)
  • Lymphoma, immunoblastic (or equivalent term)
  • Lymphoma, primary, of the brain
  • Mycobacterium avium complex or Mycobacterium kansasii infection, disseminated or extrapulmonary
  • M tuberculosis infection, any site (pulmonary* or extrapulmonary)
  • Mycobacterium infection with other species or unidentified species, disseminated or extrapulmonary
  • Pneumocystis pneumonia
  • Pneumonia, recurrent*
  • Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
  • Salmonella septicemia, recurrent
  • Toxoplasmosis of the brain
  • Wasting syndrome due to HIV infection


Sexual risk (of HIV/STD/pregnancy), and what you can do before and after exposure.
Timeline HIV STD Pregnancy
Before exposure
Abstain from sex, Be faithful, or Condom use
Circumcision (males only)
Contraception (females only)
HIV PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) - Stop HIV infection before exposure STD vaccine: - Hepatitis vaccine - HPV vaccine
STD / HIV exposure
Unsafe sex / unprotected sex: No condom / Condom broke / Condom slip
0-72 hours HIV PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) - Stop HIV infection after exposure STD testing * - Screening test - to look for asymptomatic infections - from previous exposures Emergency contraception with the morning-after pill (females only)
2 weeks HIV DNA Test
1 month HIV 4th Generation Test - SD Bioline HIV Ag/Ab Combo - Fingerprick blood sampling. - 20 minutes to results
3 months HIV 3rd Generation Test - OraQuick® HIV-1/2 Antibody - Oral fluid or - Fingerprick blood sampling. - 20 minutes to results STD testing * - Full & comprehensive - diagnostic test - to look for current infections
Watch for HIV Symptoms STD Symptoms
If infected HIV Treatment STD Treatment Abortion
* Males: Do not urinate for at least 4 hours before arriving. * Females: testing is more accurate when you are not menstruating.


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