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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 HIV Testing.

Feel free to visit Our Clinics and speak to Our Doctors to learn more.

Your are welcome to visit Our Doctors at Our Clinics anytime during our opening hours.

We have 5 locations conveniently located at Robertson Walk, Bencoolen Street, Novena, Scotts (Pacific Plaza) and Somerset (H&M)

Robertson Walk          6238 7810   map

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Email: doctor@drtanandpartners.com

Click Here for Contact Details, Address and Opening Times.
Click here to contact us


Our Andrology and Infection Centre at Novena Medical Center is open.

Call us at 63972095 now to book your appointment.

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.Related Topics:Most Popular HIV ArticlesLatest News on HIVGetting HIV from Oral SexMore on HIV symptomsHow long can HIV live outside the body? 

About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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Consultation $20.00-80.00
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(not inclusive of test)
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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
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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. Hi doctor, about two weeks ago I had protected oral and vaginal sex with an escort. Now I have a mouth ulcer, dry cough and a bit of flu, and one case of chills and headaches in the afternoon. Am really worried now. Pls advise risks.

    • drtan

      Risk of what? HIV? It is very low but not zero. Anyway, discussing risks now is honestly a moot point. What has happened has already happened. You are either infected or not infected. I am talking not only of HIV but also of all other STDs. You may have symptoms or you may not. You symptoms may be due to STDs (ulcer = herpes?) or they may not. The only way to tell is for you to see a doctor and maybe get some tests done.

  2. Taskin

    Can teevir pep cause burning sensation in urthrea after pee ??? 3 months after last doae

    • drtan

      Not that I know of. Perhaps you caught another STD like Gonorrhea or Chlamydia during your exposure. And this is causing your current symptoms. Best to see your doctor for some tests. You are welcome to visit our clinics anytime.

  3. If u have white lines in yours jaws and u be brake out all over and you have 2periods a month and your pussy lips hurt on one side and your feet are peeling at the bottom and what that mean and my tounge is white and I caught up thick green mucus

  4. After breakoff with BF, I wanted to take revenge and I had unprotected sex with few person I know online for short while Q4 of last year. After few weeks I discover my vagina has been very pain. I had been having coughing for the last few months and it doesn’t seems to recover. January I started a relationship and after sex my new BF discover fluid constantly flow out next few days and he went doctor to check and said is infection; he didn’t carry out any HIV test. Can this be a HIV or just normal sex hygiene issue?
    And I had red eyes for couple of months, when I see the doctor in hospital after being transferred from polyclinic to hospital, the eye test said that my eye ball is uneven which cause red eyes and Doctor just give me eye drop and eye gel. After applying for a week now it is still red. I understand that one of the synthom of HIV is red eye. Does this show that I have HIV positive?
    I lately had sex again with my BF and my vagina is in deep pain and feel sore only recover after few days.

  5. Hi doctor. I had protected sex with an escort Csw.but I was having some sore of fungal infection in my ground area. Wonder if HIV could be transmitted like that. And a week after I developed a sore throa . And on the 10th day prior to the encounter I started having persistent onglint high fever and its on the 4th day now. My sore throat went away but I have a very bad nasal congestion and runny nose. Everything smells and taste nasty to me right now.

    • You asked “wonder if HIV could be transmitted like that”. Like what? Like from protected sex? The answer is Yes it can.

  6. Worried

    Hi Dr,

    i was overseas and had sex with 2 person. We had oral and just normal heavy patting. No penetration involve and no condom use as well. Then about 2 days after, I felt a kind of lethargy in my body and a simple sore throat- not sure if it could be due to the karaoke which we had. I went to the toilet about 4 times today but the stool reveals much of the spicy food I had and no loose one. im worried, are these signs of STDs? Anyway, this is my time having sexual intimacy.

    • A sore throat could be a symptom of throat gonorrhea, throat chlamydia or even herpes. Diarrhea is not a common symptom of any STD. However, please bear in mind that many STDs do not show symptoms at all. You are obviously concerned about the fact that you may be infected. Unfortunately, asking these questions about your symptoms is not going to solve your concerns. You need to see a doctor and get some screening done.

  7. I have a broken tooth, and I had one 5 minute French kiss. Is it possible to contact HIV in this manner?

  8. Dr plz I am worried I went to sex workers n my condom broken after that I was doing anal sex wit it condom by I did my put inside her n my sperm came ot bt I did put into anal my sperm came ot can I hav hiv

    • From what I can gather, your condom broke while you were having anal sex with a sex worker. Well, it is fairly obvious that you are at risk of HIV and all other STDs. Please see your doctor as soon as you can. You may still be in time for HIV PEP.

  9. Irving

    Okay so I had receive oral sex from a girl I never met before so then like 2 weeks after I got sick a cold but then again the climate was freezing in Florida so I started taking medication and I got like a small burning sensation inside my penis which only lasted for about 3 days so I went to get tested for the 10 urinalysis test for hiv and all of that and came out negative but I’m still feeling sick plus everybody in my house is sick as well and also I got tested after like 4 weeks of the oral sex !! I’m still kinda shaky and worried does it mean I’m good ??

    • It is next to impossible to get HIV from oral sex so that should not be your concern. You can get other nasties such as Chlamydia but that should have been picked up in your urine tests. So more likely than not, you are suffering from the same cold that is affecting the rest of your family.

  10. Hello doctor,

    Is it possible for HIV transmission when sharing nail clipper? I didn’t mention any blood but however I am really worried. I’ve found that some UK teenage contracted HIV from cousin because of sharing manicure equipment. However, what are the chances, especially during acute phase?

    • I personally do not think it is possible to transmit HIV via sharing nail clippers.

  11. Jeophrey

    Dear Dr Tan. Your works on HIV can only be paralleled with that of Dr Bob. Thanks for service to the people.

    I had sex with 3 CSW same night all with condoms. However, the condom keep on slipping each time when I withdraw, not completely out but like to the middle of my penis. On one occasion, it even slipped to like 60%. One of the CSW also gave me a brief oral for like 3 minutes.

    Five days later, I had sore throat, fever, running nose, cough.

    1. Did I put my self at risk on any of the above acts and do I need HIV testing for this incident

    2 Are my symptoms consistent with ARS, Can ARS start
    in five days?

    • 1. Condoms, as we know, are NOT 100% protective against HIV. So if any of the CSWs you were with had HIV, then of course you are at risk. However, because you did use condoms, your risk is extremely low. As long as the condom still covers the urethral opening and foreskin, you are considered still protected. The shaft of the penis is made of keratinised skin and exposing that does not increase risk.

      2. ARS cannot start in 5 days. So whatever you have cannot be ARS.

  12. Hi doctor ,
    1. Is ulcer considered an ARS symptom?
    2. Can ARs symptoms show up 1week after possible exposure?

  13. not.so.important

    Hi doctors,

    I am really worried about being HIV positive.

    I had a sex with sex worker 12 days ago and the first night I had night sweats. Also there are other symptoms: fever, rash, red dots on the body, white tongue, diarrhea etc. Could these symptoms show after 24-48 hours. Most people say no, but..

    Also, I would like to know can axienty result these symptoms? And yes, I had painful urination for few days. Please help me.

    • Very unlikely to show up so early. Anxiety can result in these non-specific symptoms.
      Painful urination is a sign of infection. It could be an STD.
      Since you have had a risky exposure, I strongly suggest you see a doctor to get yourself tested.

      • not.so.important

        Thank you dr. I am worried abour HIV. I know its too early but what I think is the next: I got UTI with these symptoms, yeast infection (white tongue) and that is the result of these symptoms. But HIV is very very possible too. Can this be true?

        • I do not think white tongue has anything to do with UTI.
          Like I said, if you are concerned, go see a doctor and get yourself tested. This is the only way to find out.

  14. Hi doc,

    How can you tell the difference between hiv body rash and body pimples?
    How soon after exposure do the rashes start appearing and do they itch?


    • That is not something we can describe over the internet. It takes training and experience. HIV ARS Rash IF it appears usually does so around 3 weeks. It is rarely itchy.

  15. Hi Doctor. I was put on PEP. I had a painful (if you touch it) white bump on my gum. It was either an abscess or canker sore. I also have a white dot on my left ring finger. I think it is called punctate leukonychia. Lastly, I currently have a boil on my lower back and another boil with a black head on my left inner thigh. Please keep in mind that at 11 weeks post exposure, my 4th generation test turned out negative. Are these symptoms indicative of HIV(especially the boils I have right now currently?

  16. Hello doctor …I am Nanak and I had been work in singapore .i had sex a lot time with a hiv positive girl but everytime I used condom and shower after sex but I outside lips kiss also what test I should go pls tell me sorry for not good English

    • First of all kudos to you for not letting HIV come in the way of your relationship. I am also very happy to hear that you are using a condom everytime. Showering after sex does not reduce your risk of HIV. That said, you should still get a HIV test done regularly. Ideally once every 3 months. If you are doing the test regularly, an antibody test will do. You may also want to consider taking PrEP to further reduce your risk. For more info on PrEP, click here.

  17. Hi ,Dr
    The hiv tested was at normal clinic but the std tested at dsc.
    The dsc asked mi 3mth go back to tested for hiv due window period.
    My bf had go for all the test and his result is all negative.
    Just to asked rashes on face and behind ear also shoulder pain.im worry

  18. Hi Dr,
    I would like to know about hiv
    I had tested for hiv before i test for std.The result show negative,but the std result show i got Chlamydia.The Clinic give mi antibiotic and ask mi 3 mth After taking antibiotic a few week my face and ear feel itchy also my shoulder feel pain.

  19. Good day!
    Finally I got on hand a home test kit, specifically, Core HIV 1/2 Home Test Kit. A friend sneaked in one for me since it is forbidden to test anonymously in the country where I am now. My last risky exposure was 7 months ago.. After hours of prayers and hesitation, I finally tested myself. I am NEGATIVE! But.. I still have questions:

    1. Is this result reliable? I mean talking about the reliabilty of home test kits
    2. 7 months ago was my risky exposure, have I chosen the correct way to test myself? Was it okay to use a home test kit in this period?

    Thank you for accomodating me in this site. You all are a lotta help to me. And now that I have tested negative, I am 90% relieved!!! But still have 10% doubt…

  20. Hi dr quick question I’ve been with my current partner for 7 years we had a break up for 5 months and got back together in the midst of it all he had unprotected sex with 2 other women and I’m just finding this out .we’ve been make together close to 3 months now and we’ve had unprotected sex a few times and I formed rashes on my arm that went away, then I got a uti and was presribed augmentin 875mg which caused a yeast infection and threshold on tongue I think it was from the medicine but I’ve been having night sweets,a bad ciugh joint pain can’t sleep its been bothering me so I went and got tested using the rapid finger prick blood test and it came back negative am I safe or is it to soon to detect?

    • Your symptoms a non-specific and may not be related to HIV at all. Generally, 4th generation HIV combo test is conclusive after 28 days, and HIV antibody test is conclusive after 3 months. You need to find out which finger prick test you did to determine if it was done too early.

  21. Hello Doctors, I was at Orchard Towers earlier, i decided to talk a walk around and one of the Massage Parlor Girl went up to grab my hand, she touched me, put her arms around my neck and touched certain parts of me in order to lure me in for a massage, but i dont have any intentions of it at all hence i walked off, am I at risk? I have some Pimple at my neck and shoulder area im afraid her hands might be ‘dirty’ or might have STD’s on it hence i am getting very paranoid! Please reply me Doctor! :'(

  22. I had unprotected sex , 2-3 days letter has unbearable pain while urinating , the pain eventually passed away but I’m still unable to urinate even when I feel my bladder is full. I have white tongue and now it’s been seven months since and I have started developing random spots on the skin. Does untreated claymedia or gonhherea cause skin spots urine problems and white tongue ?

    • Dr Justin Sim

      CHlamydia and gonorrhoea doesn’t cause white tongue. But it does cause pain on urinating. If you have never been screened you should get tested.

      • Does hiv show up in 2-3 days like this causing pain in the top of the penis and excruciating pain when trying to empty bladder ?

        What specific test should I get done to detect clamydia and gonerrea ?

  23. I had sex with an old friend I asked him to keep the condom on he took it off and basically held me down and wouldn’t let me get up now I feel like I have hiv it’s 4 weeks later I have a sore throat and I felt hot and my body aches. The second day the pain and feverdisappeared but, I still have a sore throat.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      If he did this you should report it to the police because it is akin to rape. Secondly I cannot confirm HIV on just symptoms alone you need to do a blood test to be sure.

  24. Good day. Like almost everyone here I am one of those who are really worried about having HIV. I am boundz to go to work overseas so I decided to make the most out of it before leaving my country. From the months of January-April 2015 I had protected vaginal sex with 7 sex workers and unprotected oral sex with them. Unfortunately, last April 8 my condom broke with one of sex workers and my penis was exposed for about 30 seconds. Now here is what’s happenning with me:. in the 6th to 7th week after the exposure:
    *I felt always tired & still sleepy even with a full nights rest.
    *I got acne/rash (not sure) in my shoulders, back and chest.
    *I have a cyst in my right shoulder (dont know if its a symptom)
    *i have loose stools more than a month now
    *have white tongue (dentist says all is normal, but she does not know my sexual activity the past months)
    *back & shoulder pain
    *ocassional headache & sore throat
    *i had NO high fever
    Question is, do you think these are symptoms of HIV?? Also, I had sexual contact with my girlfriend last April 28 and now (Aug 4) she has a bump near here vagina and itchy red spots on her right arm… Im really bothered by this. I know im a prick, but I really learned my lesson this time and promised myself to clean my slate once and for all after I conquer this problem….. Looking forward to your help. Thank you! PS: Im at the Middle East right now, if I get tested and show positive I will be deported back to my home country.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      The symptoms of HIV are not specific. Too many other, more common conditions, cause the same symptoms. You cannot rely on symptoms alone to diagnose HIV. You should get a test done to be sure. Only way to be sure is to get testing. I sadly do not have a crystal ball to tell you whether you are negative or not.

  25. helpme pls

    hi dr,
    i had protected sex with a cws only 10 minuts ( i dnt knw condom broke or not ). after 4th day i got cough and loss appetite. i saw dr and its gone away within 2 days.. but i feeld more weight in my head and little spining feel my head is weak (i dont knw its dizzines lathergy etc) abt 3 weeks .. now i feel alright.. but worring abt HIV. pls help me (srry for my poor english)

    • These symptoms that you are reporting don’t sound characteristic of an acute HIV infection. Nevertheless, it would definitely be advisable to come in to get tested with a 4th Generation test for HIV. Please feel free to come to any of our clinics for this.

  26. Hi doc. My body feel chills and fell dizzy but i dont have fever. My temperature 36.7 – 37.2C. Is it ARS or not?

  27. Worriedguy

    Have you ever seen a 28 day negative result taken with a combo test change after testing again in the following weeks/months?

    In what cases has it happened?

    I’m very worried, I have a bad thrush + many other symptoms, I have had many other symptoms, including diarrhea.

    I would like to know if I can trust my 4th generation test or not. I will retest later anyway but I want to know how likely it is for a 4th generation negative result to change according to your experience.


  28. Hi Doctor,

    I am a male 32. Need assistance please. I have received unprotected oral BJ from a female SW.i had many symptoms starting 7th week soar throat and low grade fever Which was treated with antibiotics in 3 to 4 days. I have thrush in 10th week with white tongue and ulcers and is still there (16th week). Couple of itchy and non itchy rashes which appeared in 8th week And still come and go.

    I got tested at 7week at 13th week mark with combo test and came back negative at 0.26 and 0.13 respectively.

    I still have some symptoms like pain in neck and shoulders consistently, muscle aches always, white tongue and ulcers, and abdominal pain consistently.

    I am very worried, pls advs my risks level and if my tests are conclusive or i have contracted the virus.


    • Dr Justin Sim

      Your combo tests indicate you are negative. The symptoms you experience are likely due to something much more common like a cold virus or even flu. I cannot rule out other STDs so it may be wise to get those checked out as well. Remember it is almost impossible to get HIV from oral sex.

      • Thanks Dr.

        Just few quickquestions and will be very kind if you can answer.

        1. Is there any reported case of HIV by getting a blow job (oral Sex) from a femal?
        2. Have you ever seen a 13week negative combo test turning positive in future?
        3. I am in my 16th week so shall i disregard all the symptoms which i get on and off as i am already out of the window period?
        4. Do i need to retest again for HIV?, please note that i have tested for all other STDs including HCV and Hep B and all were negative.

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