A to Z of symptoms

  • Anaemia

    Information on anaemia, including its causes and what can be done about it.

  • Anorexia

    This is loss of appetite or having no desire to eat.

  • Anxiety

    This is a feeling of foreboding, panic or apprehension and is frequently accompanied by physical symptoms of sweating, palpitations, agitation, nervousness, headaches and anorexia. If

  • Blackouts & fits

    A blackout is the sudden loss or near loss of consciousness and may be accompanied by dizziness, vertigo, headache or (if due to a fit/convulsion)

  • Breathlessness

    Breathlessness is a difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath and may first be noted when running for a bus or going up a flight

  • Bruising

    Bruises which appear to be unrelated to any trauma or are larger or more severe than normal can occur in HIV infection. This may be

  • Cough

    A cough may bring up green or clear sputum from the chest or be non-productive and dry. Other symptoms which occur with a cough include

  • Dealing with symptoms

    The symptoms of HIV infection are multiple and varied and can either be caused by the direct effect of HIV on the body or be

  • Dermatitis

    This is a common problem in HIV and normally occurs as a patchy red, flaky rash especially on the face and neck. It may be

  • Diarrhoea

    Diarrhoea can take the form of anything from a semi-loose to a completely liquid stool and may result in having to go to the toilet

  • Dry mouth

    Lack of saliva in the mouth is known as dry mouth or xerostomia. Dry mouth can cause problems with chewing and digesting food, and lead

  • Dry skin

    Dry skin may take a number of forms - small patches of dry, red flaky skin (see Dermatitis for more details of this condition) -

  • Fatigue

    Lethargy and tiredness is a frequent problem especially in advanced disease. It may be debilitating and interfere with the ability to carry on working or

  • Fevers

    Fevers or high temperatures may be persistent or intermittent and cause shivers (rigors) and sweating. The normal body temperature can vary a little from person

  • Gingivitis (gum problems)

    This is pain and soreness around the gums often accompanied by bleeding and ulcers. It is often associated with dental caries or other oral infections.

  • Headaches

    The site, character and severity of headaches are variable. Fever, neurological symptoms (such as weakness or numbness), visual problems, anxiety and depression may all be

  • Hearing loss

    There have been several reports of hearing impairment affecting people with HIV. One of the difficulties is distinguishing between hearing loss that may occur independently

  • Insomnia

    This is a difficulty with sleeping, waking early or getting off to sleep. Sleep disturbances are more common among HIV-positive adults and children than in HIV-negative

  • Memory problems

    Forgetfulness, or difficulty in remembering or recalling facts, are symptoms that many people with symptomatic HIV infection report. Often they accompany symptoms of stress, moodiness, anxiety

  • Mouth infections

    Several fungal and viral infections can affect the mouth in people with HIV.

  • Mouth ulcers

    Ulcers in the mouth are a common problem and may interfere with eating and swallowing.

  • Nausea

    A feeling of wanting to vomit or be sick.

  • Night sweats

    These are a common problem in HIV and may either be mild and infrequent or be quite severe and result in the need to change

  • Numbness

    Loss of feeling or alteration in sensation (such as pins and needles) can occur in HIV infection especially in the toes, feet and hands. Altered

  • Pain

    The site, nature and character of pain can be very variable but whether it is acute or chronic it can interfere greatly with quality of

  • Rashes

    Skin complaints such as rashes are relatively common problems among people with HIV.

  • Sickness

    See Nausea.

  • Sexual problems

    Loss of sexual desire (libido) and sexual functioning are common amongst both men and women with HIV. This can contribute to emotional problems (e.g.

  • Swallowing difficulties

    Pain when eating or swallowing especially in the throat or gullet (oesophagus) is a common presenting problem in people with symptomatic HIV disease.

  • Visual problems

    Blurred or partial loss of vision is a symptom which many people with HIV infection are very apprehensive of. Floaters in the vision are an

  • Vomiting

    See Nausea.

  • Walking difficulties

    Any problem that can interfere with mobility, whether this is simply with using public transport or more seriously involves getting in and out of a

  • Weight loss

    Loss of weight either suddenly, over a short period of time or progressively over many months is a common problem and of particular concern in

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.