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Novus Blog

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of HIV

Doctor and cubes with text HIV; symptoms of HIV

Feb 21 2024

Novus Medical Team

HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a serious condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While HIV can often go undetected in its early stages, recognizing the signs and symptoms is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment.

In this blog post, the HIV care team at Novus in Pennsylvania explores the common signs and symptoms of HIV, as well as the importance of testing and seeking medical care if you suspect you may have been exposed.

Understanding HIV: What is HIV?

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically targeting CD4 cells, which play a key role in fighting off infections. As the virus progresses, it can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to opportunistic infections and other complications.

Early Signs and Symptoms of HIV

In the early stages of HIV infection, many individuals may not experience any symptoms at all. However, some common early signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Night sweats


It’s important to note that these symptoms can often resemble those of other common illnesses, such as the flu or mononucleosis. Therefore, the only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested.

Later-Stage Symptoms of HIV

As HIV progresses to more advanced stages, individuals may experience more severe symptoms, including:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Pneumonia
  • Persistent cough
  • Recurrent fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in the armpits, groin, or neck
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or throat
  • Memory loss, confusion, or neurological disorders

Importance of Testing

Because HIV can often go undetected in its early stages, testing is critical for early diagnosis and treatment. HIV testing is simple, confidential, and widely available at healthcare facilities, community health centers, and clinics like Novus in Pennsylvania. Early detection allows individuals to access life-saving treatment and care, improve their quality of life, and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

HIV Testing, Care, and Treatment in Pennsylvania

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of HIV is crucial for early diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above or may have been exposed to HIV, don’t hesitate to seek medical care and get tested. 

At Novus, we’re here to provide confidential testing, support, and care for individuals living with HIV. We have five locations throughout Pennsylvania, ensuring accessibility and convenience for our community members seeking compassionate and comprehensive healthcare services. Remember, early detection saves lives!

Contact us today to learn more about our HIV care services or request an appointment.