What is seroconversion and what are the symptoms?
HIV seroconversion is the time in which a person develops antibodies for HIV but does not yet test positive on an HIV antibody test. The word just means that your ‘serostatus’ is converting from being HIV antibody negative to HIV antibody positive.
Seroconversion usually occur 1-3 weeks after infection. Sometimes symptoms can occur after a few days. In a few people there might be a delay of several several months.
The symptoms of HIV seroconversion resemble those of a common cold or flu. These early symptoms can also be similar to symptoms of other sexually transmitted diseases. Stress and anxiety can also produce symptoms in a few people even though they are not infected with HIV.
The most common symptoms include:
- fatigue (tiredness)
- fever (high temperature)
- sore throat
- loss of appetite
- aching muscles and joints
- swollen lymph glands
Seroconversion involves several symptoms that all start at the same time. Only having one or two of these symptoms is unlikely to be HIV.
These symptoms are not a reliable way of diagnosing HIV infection.
Firstly, 20% of people who become infected with HIV have no symptoms. Secondly, none of the symptoms listed above, on their own, are an indication of HIV.
However, if you get several of these symptoms at the same time AND you have had a recent risk of exposure to HIV, then this MAY be considered an indication that you have been infected.
The only way to know if you are HIV-positive is through an HIV test. More information on tests is at this link.
Information on this website is provided by treatment advocates and offered as a guide only. Decisions about your treatment should always be taken in consultation with your doctor.