The signs of HIV infection may not present themselves for years and possibly decades in some, but most people will experience flu-like symptoms 2-4 weeks after infection.
Headaches, fever, tiredness, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain and a possible rash are all signs of the HIV virus. These are also common symptoms for the normal flu, so if there is any possibility you’ve been infected and these symptoms show up, it’s best to be tested for HIV AIDS and start treatment as soon as possible.
After the initial flu-like symptoms, which may last for weeks, the virus enters a latent period where no symptoms are detectable. The latent period may last up to a decade if it’s not treated with ART, but with the help of the Antiretrovirals, the latent period can last for three or more decades.
By stage three the HIV virus has advanced to full blown AIDS, and not much can be done. Once AIDS symptoms settle in, it is usually fatal within 2-3 years. Advanced AIDS is most often identified by extreme and rapid weight loss. AIDS sufferers may also have prolonged diarrhea (lasting more than a couple weeks), pneumonia, extreme fatigue, herpes (mouth and genital sores), a persistent dry cough, severe night sweats, dementia and red, brown, pink or purple blotches on the skin. Not all AIDS patients have every one of these symptoms, but many will.