The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Percentage of People with no symptoms

Sep 2, 2011

Dear Dr Bob,

I read through the FAQ's and found one answer to symptoms and relative percentages.

"Me again! Aug 14, 2005

Hi DOc,

You responded to my initial question a few weeks back - thank you so much. You also responded to my partner who was recently diagnosed positive - that was so helpful. Incidentally, I think it was the first time he used a computer in his life - so you achieved more than I have with him there!

Anyway, sorry to bother you again - its now 8 / 9 weeks since my last exposure - I think I am imagining swollen glands all the time! Could you kindly answer two small questions. Firstly, how long after infection do people normally get ARS and symptoms? Secondly, what symmptoms are characteristic?

Thankyou for helping. My partner is being really strong - andw e will get through this together, I love that american term worry well - yes I am a british one of those, sorry!! xx

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Brit-Boy,

You're welcome!

Chances are you are indeed "imagining" swollen glands all the time. Regarding ARS, symptoms generally appear 1-3 weeks of contracting the virus. Sometimes symptoms may not appear until 4-6 weeks. It is called a syndrome (Acute Retroviral Syndrome), because it is a collection of symptoms that can be extremely variable form person to person. In fact, symptoms alone are notoriously unreliable in predicting HIV infection. It is estimated that 40-90% of acutely infected folks will have some ARS symptoms. But to specifically answer your question, the following is a list of symptoms associated with ARS and the percentage of time the symptoms are present:

Fever 96%

Adenopathy 74%

Pharyngitis 70%

Rash 70%

Myalgias 54%

Headache 32%

Diarrhea 32%

Nausea or vomiting 27%

Hepatosplenomegaly 14%

Thrush 12%

Neurologic symptoms 12%

The duration of symptoms is generally 1-3 weeks.

Regarding your lover's use of the computer, now that he's discovered the wonders of Internet look out!!!! He just may get so hooked that the only way you'll be able to converse with him is via IM-ing!

Good luck!

Dr. Bob "

My Question: What is the percentage of people expereincing no symptoms of HIV like fever, rashes or enlarged lymph nodes. The percentages stated above are indicative of people having them. But what about people have no symptoms. Whats the percentage of people having no symptoms. Is there are data available for that....

Hoping for an early reply.


Response from Dr. Frascino


Thanks for your question. By way of response I'll give you a short preview of my September blog for The Body. In the blog I discuss HIV-diagnostic testing. Part One is posted, and the concluding part should be up very soon.

"Some may wonder if detection of acute HIV infection is really essential to public health. Actually it is. As mentioned above the acute phase of HIV infection is associated with high viral loads and enhanced infectiousness. In epidemiological studies up to 50% of new HIV transmission is attributed to those HIVers who are very recently infected. Following current guidelines for standard HIV testing would miss much of the acute-stage infection. Acute-phase-HIV-infection diagnosis is difficult, because many recently infected HIVers may not have major ARS symptoms or they have symptoms that are missed or attributed to another ailment. It is estimated that 92% of those acquiring HIV will have some ARS symptoms, but the diagnosis of HIV based on symptoms is missed 80% of the time.

Further complicating HIV clinical diagnosis is that symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected, because most ARS symptoms are generic and seen in many common ailments, such as 'flu.'"

Hope that whets your appetite to read the entire blog, but also that it answers your question.

Be well.

Dr. Bob

Wife stuck by solid needle( HIV + Patient)
Simple Test Question

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint