For all of you searching the internet out there looking for early symptoms of HIV and getting extremely worried please stop!
Take a deep breath and calm down. By now you would have read multiple sites providing a laundry list of ‘HIV Symptoms’ and I’m sure you are suffering from some if not most of them.
Take another deep beath and let it our slowly slowly slowly. Feel better? Good.
Now let’s analyze the situation logically.
Just like most of my patients, you are asking ‘what are the symptoms of HIV?’
What you really want to know is ‘do I have HIV or not?’
And you are looking for symptoms to help you answer this question.
Please understand that this is an extremely unhelpful question to ask simply because it is absolutely impossible to tell if someone has HIV or not based on sero-conversion symptoms or lack thereof.
Let’s look at 2 very well established facts:
1. Not all patients who are infected with HIV will develop sero-conversion symptoms
2. Sero-conversion symptoms are extremely non-specific. In other words, the same symptoms can be caused by multiple other illnesses and diseases.
So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is it does not matter if a person has symptoms or not. A complete absence of symptoms does not mean a person is not infected with HIV. Similarly, having every symptom on the laundry list does not mean a person has HIV.
Looking for HIV symptoms serves one purpose and one purpose only. And that is to get yourself worried and anxious.
Furthermore, anxiety can actually cause some of the so-called ‘HIV Symptoms’. You can obviously see how this leads to a downward spiral.
So please do yourself a favor. Stop looking for symptoms. You are just going to scare yourself silly and have a nervous breakdown.
Focus on what you have to do. Talk to your doctor about getting PEP if your exposure was less than 72 hours ago. Or talk to your doctor about HIV testing. There is lots of information in this site with regards to different HIV tests available for different exposure times.
Remember, you are not doing yourself any good by hunting for symptoms. Take a deep breath, calm down and focus on getting the HIV tests done.