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First signs of illness - symptoms of HIV
The first thing that happens after infection with HIV is that many people develop a flu-like illness.
These HIV symptoms may be severe enough to look like glandular fever with swollen glands in the neck and armpits, tiredness, fever and night sweats.
Some of those white cells are dying, virus is being released, and for the first time the body is working hard to make correct antibodies.
At this stage the blood test for HIV will usually become positive as it picks up the tell-tale antibodies.
This process of converting the blood from negative to positive is called `sero-conversion'.
Most people do not realise what is happening, although when they later develop AIDS they look back and remember the symptoms clearly.
Most people have produced HIV antibodies in about twelve weeks.