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What are the Symptoms of HIV / AIDS in Women?


Updated June 04, 2014

Close up of pen on Virology form ordering HIV/AIDS tests
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Question: What are the Symptoms of HIV / AIDS in Women?
Answer: While it's possible that a woman infected with HIV -- the virus that causes AIDS, could display no symptoms, it's more typical that women infected with HIV will experience some subtle signs and symptoms of HIV that they may not perceive as warning signs of HIV infection. The three most common symptoms experienced by women after exposure to HIV are:

  1. Frequent or severe vaginal infections

  2. Abnormal Pap smears

  3. Pelvic infections such as PID that are difficult to treat

Other signs and symptoms of HIV infection include:

  • Recurrent vaginal yeast infections

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID

  • Pap smears that indicate abnormal changes or dysplasia

  • Genital ulcers

  • Genital warts

  • Severe mucosal herpes infections

Frequently, women exposed to HIV experience flu-like symptoms within a couple of weeks of becoming infected. In other cases, there are no symptoms for many years.

As the infection progresses, it is not uncommon to experience symptoms such as:

  • Swollen lymph glands in the neck, underarm area, or groin

  • Frequent fevers that include night sweats

  • Rapid weight loss without dieting

  • Constant fatigue

  • Decreased appetite and diarrhea

  • White spots or abnormal blemishes in the mouth
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