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Early HIV symptoms?
Nov 18, 1996

Mr Sowadsky, Would it be possible after less than 4 months from possible HIV infection for some symptoms to appear? I am specifically referring to ringing in the ears and anal itching / white patches (possibly candidiasis?) Can symptoms actually appear this early in the cycle of the virus? Also, on the subject of Candidiasis, how significant is this as an initial indicator of the HIV virus? Can it appear as a fungal infection in HIV- patients? Thank you in anticipation of your response, and keep up the good work!

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi.Thank you for your question.

It would be highly unusual for symptoms related to AIDS to appear as early as 4 months after infection. The symptoms related to AIDS and opportunistic diseases don't begin until an average of 10 years after infection. Candidiasis (yeast infections) in the mouth (also called Thrush) or recurrent vaginal Candidiasis are indications of a damaged immune system, which can include HIV infection. But a person can have Thrush, or recurrent vaginal yeast infections, that are unrelated to HIV. Only testing and seeing a physician can determine whether a person has Candidiasis, and what the cause of the problem is. Remember, having Candidiasis is not necessarily AIDS related, but in persons with HIV, this infection is not usually seen until literally years after infection.

My best advice to you at this point is to see a physician to see what is causing your symptoms. If you are concerned about HIV infection, if it's been more than 6 months after a possible exposure to the virus, the tests are more than 99% accurate. Also, if you test negative for HIV at the time that you're showing symptoms, that indicates that your symptoms are not AIDS related.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide). Rick Sowadsky MSPH CDS



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