Within a month or two of HIV entering the body, 40% to 90% of people experience flu- like symptoms known as acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).
But sometimes HIV symptoms don’t appear for years, sometimes even a decade, after infection. “In the early stages of HIV infection, the most common symptoms are none,” says Michael Horberg,
MD, director of HIV/AIDS for Kaiser Permanente, in Oakland, Calif.
One in five people in the United States with HIV doesn’t know they have it, which is why it’s so important to get tested, especially if you have unprotected sex with more than one partner or use intravenous drugs.