Most people who contract HIV have no symptoms at all three months after infection.
Some people do briefly experience some symptoms in the first few weeks after infection, but these are rarely present at the three-month stage. Indeed, for people who become HIV positive and do not receive any antiretroviral treatment, it is quite normal not to have any noticeable symptoms at all for several years.
And people who begin antiretroviral treatment soon after infection may never experience HIV symptoms.
In the first few weeks after infection some people do have symptoms that may be mistaken for influenza or mononucleosis. Symptoms can include fever, swollen glands, sore throat, rash, muscle and joint aches and pains, and headache. These result from the body's immune system attempting to fight a defense against the viral infection. The symptoms have usually passed by three months, if they have occurred at all.
Then there usually follows a long period in which the person feels fine. The virus' attack and weakening of the immune system typically takes several years to have a noticeable effect.
The symptoms of advanced HIV disease are in fact the symptoms of other infections and diseases that the weakened immune system is not able to keep under control. The list of symptoms is highly varied. They are not symptoms of HIV itself.
More on HIV Symptoms at TheBody.com
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:
- HIV symptoms after three months
I'm a woman who had vaginal and anal sex with the younger man who seemed to be healthy, but I got bacterial vaginosis afterwards. About three months later I'm getting night sweats, occasional diarrhea and weight loss.
- HIV symptoms after 10 months
I'm having HIV symptoms 10 months after possible exposure -- hives, shortness of breath, facial wasting and herpes. I've had a negative HIV tests at month six and month ten.