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Can HIV Symptoms Show Up the Day After Sex?

August 18, 2016

No, HIV has no symptoms in the days immediately following exposure or infection.

So if you had sex yesterday and today you are feeling under the weather, you can rest assured that this is nothing to do with having picked up HIV yesterday. If your health is poor today, you should investigate the real reason for that -- it is likely to be something totally different from HIV.

And if you think you took a risk in the sex you had yesterday, then looking out for symptoms either today or in the coming weeks is a completely unreliable way to infer your HIV status. Many people don't have any symptoms soon after HIV infection or don't notice them. Taking an HIV test is the only way to know.

When people do have symptoms soon after HIV infection, this typically occurs in the first few weeks after infection and not during the first week. This is known as acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) or primary HIV infection.

At this time and for a duration of up to two weeks, some individuals have symptoms including sore throat, muscle and joint aches and pains, rashes, chills, night sweats, headaches, feeling generally unwell, mouth ulcers, weight loss, tiredness and swollen glands.

It's important to remember that there are many other infections that can cause similar symptoms, including influenza and mononucleosis.

Following this short period, most people have no symptoms for several years.

More on HIV Symptoms at

To find out more about the symptoms of HIV infection, we recommend the following articles:

In addition, our Q&A experts sometimes address questions about symptoms in our "Ask the Experts" forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts' responses:

  • Symptoms of HIV after four days
    After three days I have got a burning sensation in my legs and on the fourth day I have mild fever. I may have a sore throat. What are my chances of getting HIV?
  • Cold like symptoms three days after sex
    On Wednesday I had unprotected sex with a guy and that Saturday I started to feel sick. I got a sore throat, an ache around my jaw and a stuffy head. Could this be a precursor to HIV?

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This article was provided by TheBody.
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