How to Recognize if You Have HIV?

An HIV test is the only way that you can be sure that you are not infected with HIV. It is recommended that you get treated as part of a routine check-up with your doctor if you are between the ages of 15 and 65 years old. It is important to know that symptoms are not always prevalent and any potential encounter you have had with the disease should immediately warrant an exam. Certain pre-existing conditions such as other sexually transmitted diseases can leave you more susceptible to contracting HIV. Any STD that causes skin lesions can make it easier for you to contract the HIV virus during intercourse.

Possible Symptoms

A maculopapular rash is one clear symptom that can arise, although this only occurs in an estimated  2 of 5 individuals. This rash is typically large, with small merging bumps, and can spread quickly. In infected individuals, this rash can appear within two to six weeks after exposure to the virus. Typically, this rash will go away. However, this is not an indication that the HIV virus is gone as well. If you see this rash develop, you should immediately schedule a visit with your doctor to be tested for the HIV virus. Night sweats, chronic diarrhea, sudden weight loss, oral thrush, and swollen lymph nodes are other potential symptoms of the HIV virus. If you experience any of these, especially after engaging in a sexual act with someone you suspect may be infected, get tested by your doctor.

When to Get Checked Out

An infected individual may not experience any of the previously discussed symptoms. That is why it is imperative to get tested immediately if there is any suspicion of being infected with HIV. Most infected individuals do not experience any symptoms at all. However, they often live with uncertainty after unprotected sex. This is not safe for the individual or anyone they are intimate with in the future.