Dr. Tan and Partners is one of the few approved Anonymous HIV Testing Centres in Singapore. A detailed write up on our service is available here.

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HIV Symptoms – Early Symptoms of HIV

VirusFor all of you searching the internet out there looking for early symptoms of HIV and getting extremely worried please stop!


Take a deep breath and calm down. By now you would have read multiple sites providing a laundry list of ‘HIV Symptoms’ and I’m sure you are suffering from some if not most of them.

Take another deep beath and let it our slowly slowly slowly. Feel better? Good.
Now let’s analyze the situation logically.

Just like most of my patients, you are asking ‘what are the symptoms of HIV?’

What you really want to know is ‘do I have HIV or not?’
And you are looking for symptoms to help you answer this question.

What you really want to know is ‘do I have HIV or not?’

Please understand that this is an extremely unhelpful question to ask simply because it is absolutely impossible to tell if someone has HIV or not based on sero-conversion symptoms or lack thereof.

Let’s look at 2 very well established facts:

1. Not all patients who are infected with HIV will develop sero-conversion symptoms
2. Sero-conversion symptoms are extremely non-specific. In other words, the same symptoms can be caused by multiple other illnesses and diseases.

So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is it does not matter if a person has symptoms or not. A complete absence of symptoms does not mean a person is not infected with HIV. Similarly, having every symptom on the laundry list does not mean a person has HIV.

Fever, Rash, Sore throat – Click here for details on HIV ARS

Looking for HIV symptoms serves one purpose and one purpose only. And that is to get yourself worried and anxious.
Furthermore, anxiety can actually cause some of the so-called ‘HIV Symptoms’. You can obviously see how this leads to a downward spiral.

So please do yourself a favor. Stop looking for symptoms. You are just going to scare yourself silly and have a nervous breakdown.

Focus on what you have to do. Talk to your doctor about getting PEP if your exposure was less than 72 hours ago. Or talk to your doctor about HIV testing. There is lots of information in this site with regards to different HIV tests available for different exposure times.

Click here for HIV Testing FAQ
Click here for info on PEP Treatment at Our Clinic

Remember, you are not doing yourself any good by hunting for symptoms. Take a deep breath, calm down and focus on getting the HIV tests done.

Click here to see the full range of our HIV/STD Services


All Our Doctors are Fully Certified and Trained to conduct specialised STD and HIV Testing.


Need more advice?

Come down to Our Clinics for a discussion with Our Doctors, or call our clinics for more information:

1.) Robertson Walk (+65 6238 7810)

2.) Bencoolen Street (+65 6884 4119)

3.) Novena Medical Centre (+65 6397 2095)

4.) Scotts Medical Centre (+65 6694 2348)

5.) Somerset – Orchard Building (+65 6262 0762)

6.) Katong – East Coast Road (+65 6635 2551)

Where to find us – here

Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.

Selected clinics are open on Saturday and Sunday.

Doctor’s Schedule here

Email: doctor@drtanandpartners.com

Feel free to email your queries, feedback and suggestions on what other topics you want to see in the comments section below.

If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.

More on HIV symptoms.

If you need a HIV test visit Our Clinics anytime during our opening hours. You do not need an appointment.

Find out more about Anonymous HIV testing at our clinics.

Can’t wait for 3 months to find out? Find out more about Anonymous Rapid HIV Combo test at our clinics.

Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Men
Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Women

More on HIV symptoms.

If you have any questions, visit our free online forum on sexual health, HIV and STDs.

If you need a HIV test visit Our Clinics anytime during our opening hours. You do not need an appointment.

Find out more about Anonymous HIV testing at our clinics.

Can’t wait for 3 months to find out? Find out more about Anonymous Rapid HIV Combo test at our clinics.

All prices quoted below excludes prevailing GST

If you had a high risk exposure to HIV within the past 72 hours, you can take medicines to reduce your risk of actually contracting HIV. Find out more on HIV PEP Treatment.


Consultation $20.00-80.00
Rapid test only $20.00
(not inclusive of test)
8am – 5pm $60.00
5pm – 9pm $80.00
STD screening
Standard HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and II $ 200.00
Urine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 280.00
Urethritis and Vaginitis
Vaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 345.00
Comprehensive (Male) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIUrine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 390.00
Comprehensive (Female) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIVaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 525.00
Individual STD Tests
Determine Syphilis test Rapid Syphilis Test $ 50.00
Determine Hepatitis B Test Rapid Hepatitis B Test $ 50.00
Herpes Simplex Virus PCR Herpes Simplex Virus Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $ 190.00
Chlamydia and Gonoccocal PCR Chlamydia and Gonorrhea
Herpes Simplex Virus Type I IgG Antibody Herpes Type 1 $ 40.00
Herpes Simplex Virus Type II IgG Antibody Herpes Type 2 $ 40.00
Non-Specific Urethritis (NSU) Culture Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma $ 118.00
HIV test
HIV RNA/DNA Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test $600
Add $100 for expedited results
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 P24 Antigen/Antibody Combo (HIV Duo Test) (4th generation!) $ 150.00
Rapid Oral Saliva HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Oraquick) $ 50.00
Rapid Fingerprick Blood HIV-1/2 Antibody Test (Determine) $ 50.00
PEP $2000 – $2200


  1. Hello Dr.,
    unfortunately last month I had an unprotected sex and 2 weeks after that I got headache and stomach ache together for only one night, the day after that I got a light Diarrhea (only once) and get an uncomfortable sore throat until now…..no fever, no rash, no swollen glands, but I feel week for around 10 days. My mouth is dry and has a bad taste ,I just notice that my tongue is a bit white and I have 2 ulcers at the end of my tongue… I also had an oral sex…
    I need to wait 2 weeks more to get tested (6 weeks after exposure)..stress just makes me crazy.
    Are these sign of HIV?

    • Hi,
      Please come down to our Robertson Walk clinic for anonymous HIV testing if you are concerned. Our 4th generation rapid combo test will be able to pick up HIV conclusively 28 days post-exposure.

  2. Just so you know,i usually have some intense tooth cleaning that would leave my gum bruised. also I returned back to my ulcer meds (omeprazole 20mg) which I abruptly stopped because of some its side effects I experienced, but things have gotten any better. what are the chances I could’ve pick up HIV from the romp or could something else in the fray

    • And does symptoms come on gradually or all at once for the symptoms that would appear

  3. hi doc
    I had protected sex and unprotected oral sex with a hooker. 4 days later I started losing weight rapidly. it’s the 6th day after the romp and I am still losing weight but that’s about the only symptom so far. have been worried sick and been almost all over the web to ascertain the chances of symptoms coming on as early as days. Have there been rare/isolated cases of the primary symptoms appearing days after exposure? Just so you know, I have been battling ulcer sometime now

    • There are many diseases that can cause weight loss. Some of which in my opinion are worse than HIV (eg cancer). I suggest you stop trying to analyze yourself and see a doctor for a proper medical opinion as to what may be wrong with you.

  4. Had protected sex with a lady whose status i dont know and the condom broke on the way but didn’t have bruises..Can I get infected if she’s HIV positive? Please advise

  5. Hi Dr, I had unprotected oral sex with a street working girl, I had a test around 3 weeks and it can back negative. However after few days I started to feel unwell. It started with an upset stomach. Such as nausea and body pain and 2 days later a flu like illness but no fever, no night sweats and rashes. It is the first time I cheat on my wife and I’m so worried

  6. I had sex with a girl during the sex I discovered the condom busted few minute later I didn’t release I removed it immidiately I was scared she asked me not to be scared that she is not infected the folowing day i got tested for HIV and STD test I was diagnos Staph a month later I start having some bump on my sheft having head ache fever fatiq tiredness please am I infection

    • HIV and STD tests the day after exposure are obviously not accurate. Since you are having symptoms, I suggest you go back to see your doctor and ask him about doing some retests.

  7. Hello Doctor,
    My symptoms consists of sore throat, rash on my arm were the elbow bends the inside. It’s lasted about a week and went away. Along the head of my penis in a certain section it’s red when I have an erection.
    Warm body at times. Rash by my hip that went away after 4-10 days. A rash wanted to develop on my forehead but never did. My head or scalp is itchy. My bulbospongiosous is sore as feels swollen. I had protected sex with a female I didn’t know. It was for about 5-10 minutes and I stop because I didn’t want to have sex because I wasn’t into it. That was mid February. I’ve had two STD’s test done already and they came back negative. What’s wrong with me? Scary stuff.

    • I do not know. We cannot diagnose you over the internet. Please see a doctor. You are welcome to visit us at any of our clinic. CLICK HERE for location info.

  8. Aaaaaaa

    Hi doctor, I just had unprotected oral sex and protected sex 7 days ago. On the 3rd day I felt chills, sore throats and running nose. But now my sore throats and running nose are gone. But my I am still feeling abit chill. I also discovered a small ulcer on the side of my inner cheeks. What are the chances of I getting HIV or STD?

    • Hi,
      Your changes of HIV transmission are low, but there would still be some risk of other more common STI’s including herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, etc. That being said, your current symptoms are very unlikely to be related to an STI.

  9. Hello,I noticed that the last two times I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend between one or two days later I either have a lump beside my ear or in my armpit. Could that be a symptom of HIV?Am Curious

    • Hi,
      These do not sound like symptoms you would get from HIV. However, it is impossible to tell without more information and if you are concerned, visit our clinic for a consult and screening.

  10. Hi Doc,

    Currently on day 2 of PEP prescribed by your clinic, truvada and isentress.

    I took the first dose of truvada and isentress at 6pm. Called back and your nurse said truvada should be in the morning, so next morning at 6am, I took a dose of truvada and isentress again.

    However, Due to the side effects I am experiencing, light headedness/dizziness, lack of concentration and slight fatigue, it there any way to shift the dose timings to a later time?

    Is it also alright if I missed the intake by 1 or a few hours?

    Thank you

    • Hi, yes you can shift the timings 1-2 hours later, e.g. 8am and 8pm if it suits you better. Try to keep your dose timing within 2-3 hours each day.

  11. Hi Doc

    7 months ago, I had protected condom sex and cum once. It didn’t broke. I’ve circumised penis. I had unprotected oral sex where I cum in her mouth. We washed after each orgams. I didn’t think of testing after it happened as I wore condom and I asked her HIV-status which she replied negative. I wasn’t sure still. I don’t experience long-term symptoms but it scares me to death. Should I feel worried and get tested?

    • Hi, the risk of HIV transmission from what you have described sounds low – however, if you are concerned you may come down to our Robertson Walk clinic for Anonymous HIV testing.

  12. Hello doc,

    A few things:

    1 I had unprotected sex with a man and it wasn’t planned. He did say he was negative but I feel he is lying. He didn’t orgasm inside me but he did reinsert a few seconds after. What would my risk of hiv be?

    2) since that insident i got tested 10 days after and it was negative. I did get sick after testing but just a headache, nasal congestion and feeling cold. I took cold and flu meds along with 4 ibuprofen and it went away immediately. Could this still be a sign of hiv?

    3) i got tested after feeling sick and it still came back negative that made the 2 week mark since possible exposure. I discovered 4 tiny red spots on my body. Three on the chest region and one on my shoulder. Very tiny, red but neither are anywhere close to each other. Is this hiv rash?

    4) I think I discovered thrush on my uvula. I saw a white spot but looking at it with more detail I’m not sure. It doesn’t hurt nothing feels strange and nothing else has a white spot in my mouth. I also had a negative hiv test reading with this at the 2week mark of possible exposure.

    I’m really scared and really feel I’ve contracted HIV. Please can you give me some insight?

    • Dear Michael

      1) It is too early to test for HIV on the 10th day and 14th day post exposure .

      2) 3) 4) Not all patients who are infected with HIV will develop sero-conversion symptoms.
      Your symptoms maybe because of other medical conditions.

      In this case, since there was risk of exposure- I would advise that you speak to your doctor again on testing for HIV 28 days post exposure and for an STD testing ( oral Chlamydia, oral gonorrhoea, scabies ) .

  13. Hi Dr. Tan…i am a male and I had unprotected sex with a female in June 2016. A couple of weeks later I noticed a mild rash on both my left and right inner elbows (where the crease is). Only on those spots, not anywhere else. The rash was itchy, but I felt sometimes I had to force myself not to try and itch it, and it wouldn’t bother as much. It never went above into my arms or anywhere in the trunk area. It went away by itself around without me putting any kind of ointment a month or so later, though I did notice my left inner elbow happen to start up again but once again mildly. That was also the only symptom I noticed Other than a chronic mild post nasal drip for about 6 months now. I’ve been stressing about it for a long time now, and I was wondering if you could help me understand if this something worth stressing out aboutt? Is this in any kind of way a sign I might have contracted HIV? I have also tested negative for chlaymida and gonnerrhea. Thank you

    • Dear Shawn

      In my opinion the itchy rash over your elbow flexors could be due to a various skin infection / condition .You would require a formal assessment by a doctor also, in view of your chronic post nasal drip symptoms.

      It is good that you have tested yourself for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
      However , I recommend you getting tested for other STDs and HIV as you had unprotected sex.

      • Thank you doctor. The only reason I was asking is because I know during ARS, rash is a common symptom. But from doing research it mostly always involves the trunk. And I’ve been told that rash as itself is not indicative of hiv infection, as there would be other symptoms as well?

  14. Hi Dr..i experience chills on my hand and feet, recurring headache (manageable, not need take paracetamol) and sudden weight loss (5kg) in a month. Im so worry now..for the past months i increase my fluid intakes to 5liter plain water a day, and keep urinating. Please advise

    • Not all patients who are infected with HIV will develop sero-conversion symptoms.
      Your symptoms maybe because of other medical conditions.
      However if there was risk of exposure, I suggest that you talk to your doctor about HIV testing.

  15. Please doctor I had unprotected sex with a girl since 4 days now but I started feeling chills over my body the following day and the second day i started feeling bit throat pain please could it be hiv

    • HIV ARS symptoms do not come on so quickly. That does NOT mean you are free of HIV. You still need to be screened.


    • PEP is prophylaxis against HIV and not other STDs. Your symptoms may be caused by other STDs.

  17. Hi doctor,

    I had sex with my girlfriend, currently ex 3 weeks 6 days back. I finger her, followed by her giving a blowjob. After that i went to insert her, but it was only around the tip and a little inside. I pulled out coz i wasnt wearing a condom, and she was afraid i would cum. This is my first time having sex.

    Towards the end of last week, i had a little rash that was itchy. I scratched it and it became worse, i decided to let it rest and it recovered. It was first on my left elbow followed by my calves. Have to take note that the rash it extremely little, like 1-2 spots. After i changed my bedsheets, i realised my rash itch became much much better and recovered, except for those that i used force to scratch, the red marks are still there.

    I remembered having sex with my ex weeks ago and was afraid i contracted hiv. Researching it online, i came to realised i only have 1 symptom that recovered which is body rash. I did have a little fatigue, but it might be the shortage of sleep since im a runner and will wake up early for runs during weekends.

    My friend who had std infection told me i was overthinking, and if i had hiv, my symptoms will be worst than this. I had another friend who is more sexually active told me, my chances are really low too. Both told me im over thinking  and nothing had happened to me

    • There are a few points to make here:
      1. You had protected sex. That means you risk of HIV and STDs is reduced but not zero.
      2. You have symptoms. Whether they are significant or not should be determined only after a consultation with a doctor.
      3. We cannot use the presence or absence of symptoms to determine if you have been infected with HIV/STD or not. Only tests can confirm this.

  18. Halo doctor, I had sex with a lady but her fluids entered my open wound, I went for test after six weeks because I was feeling sick then, the first rapid test came out positive and I was told to wait for confirmation, I did the confirmation 20 minutes later and it can out negative, after another 30 mins I did another one ir came out negative also. And I was refered to a bigger government hospital for general test and all the test including hiv came out negative I was only told to be doing more exercise and reduce my intake of red meat, because I have high acidic something like that. After another six weeks I went to do another test and it came out negative. I don’t really have symptoms of hiv, no fever, no rashes, no enlarge lymph nodes and so on, just having itchy and dry troath that has lasted for more than three months now..I’m still scared and I don’t know what to do again.

    • It is very common to get false positive HIV tests. It seems that your doctors have done a very good job in conducting the right confirmatory tests all of which were fortunately negative. I really do not see what you have to be worried about. If you really need more peace of mind you may want to discuss with your doctors to do the HIV RNA PCR test.

  19. Hi doc . Its been 6 weeks since i had sex with an escort. I did had condom on the whole time. But im still worry . Could i still get any disease? I do feel itching in on my penis sometimes. Please let me know thank you doc

    • Of course you can. This may come as a surprise to you but it is a fact that condoms are NOT 100% effective. In other words, condoms REDUCE the risk of HIV and STDs. Condoms DO NOT ELIMINATE the risk of HIV and STDs.

  20. hie doc

    I had protected sex and unprotected oral sex with my girlfriend whom i realised after a week that she is sleeping around with other two guys. Its been 25 days since we had sex. I felt burning two to three days but it has disappeared, now i have joint pains, headaches, sore throat and my eyes every morning feels like they are dry. But i have no fever. Am worried doc are these signs of hiv

    • i felt burning when am urinating doc

    • There is really only 1 way to find out if you have HIV or not and that way is to get tested. There is really no use in analyzing your symptoms.

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