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How can I tell if I'm infected with HIV?
What are the symptoms?
The only way to know if you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection. You cannot rely on symptoms to know whether or not you are infected. Many people who are infected with HIV do not have any symptoms at all for 10 years or more.
The following may be warning signs of advanced HIV infection:
- rapid weight loss
- dry cough
- recurring fever or profuse night sweats
- profound and unexplained fatigue
- swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
- diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
- white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat
- red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
- memory loss, depression, and other neurological disorders
However, no one should assume they are infected if they have any of these symptoms. Each of these symptoms can be related to other illnesses. Again, the only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection. For information on where to find an HIV testing site, visit the National HIV Testing Resources Web site at http://www.hivtest.org or call CDC-INFO 24 Hours/Day at1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), 1-888-232-6348 (TTY), in English, en Espanol. These resources are confidential. You can also ask your health care provider to give you an HIV test.
You also cannot rely on symptoms to establish that a person has AIDS. The symptoms of AIDS are similar to the symptoms of many other illnesses. AIDS is a medical diagnosis made by a doctor based on specific criteria established by the CDC. For more information refer to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ˇ°1993 Revised Classification System for HIV Infection and Expanded Surveillance Case Definition for AIDS Among Adolescents and Adultsˇ± at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00018871.htm.
If you would like more information or have personal concerns, call CDC- INFO 24 Hours/Day at 1-800-CDC- INFO (232-4636), 1-888-232-6348 (TTY), in English, en Espanol.