What are the early symptoms of HIV?

The early symptoms of an HIV infection are very similar to many other illnesses, including the common cold. Just over half those newly infected with HIV will have symptoms. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Chest infection
  • Vomiting.

Given these symptoms occur frequently for many other infections and diseases, the only way to know your HIV status for sure is to get tested.

What are the later symptoms of HIV?

After any initial symptoms, many people have an asymptomatic phase. This means they do not notice any symptoms. They may not notice anything is wrong with them for a period of years. During this time, HIV does start to damage the body if it is not kept under control with medication. You may find that it takes longer to recover from an illness in this time and that you do not respond to medication as quickly as you used to.

When should I get tested?

Better2Know has two testing options depending on how long ago your potential exposure was. 

If you choose the Early Detection Screen, you should follow up at 28 days with the HIV DUO Test.

Is the HIV test confidential?

If you choose to have a HIV test with Better2Know, we will not disclose that you have attended a test appointment to anyone without your consent. However, the laboratory where your sample is analysed will follow national guidelines in the event of a positive HIV test. This may include a requirement to provide photographic ID when you attend your test. 

Better2Know offers HIV testing around the world. If you do not want to have your HIV test in the Middle East, we can help you with other locations including: London, Dublin, Madrid and Johannesburg. The decision is always yours on where to test.

How long does it take to get my HIV results?

Depending on the location, your results for the Better2Know 28-day test will be ready as soon as three days from when your sample is received at our laboratory. For the Early Detection 10-day test, your results will be ready no longer than four days after we receive your sample.

What does HIV mean?

HIV stands for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that attacks the immune system and, if left untreated, can develop into Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is very important that people with HIV take the required medication. Due to advancements in HIV treatment, those living with HIV can now live a long and fulfilling life.

How soon can you get an accurate HIV test?

Better2Know can test you for HIV just ten days after potential exposure to the virus. Our 10-day HIV test is 96% accurate at ten days. This is the earliest possible time that an HIV infection can be accurately detected. The test can be taken much sooner than other types of HIV testing which typically require a 28-day incubation period.

When do HIV symptoms appear?

Many people with HIV will notice flu-like symptoms within the first two to six weeks of infection. These symptoms include fever, sore throat, feeling unwell, runny nose and/or body rash, and may last up to four weeks. Since the symptoms of HIV often mimic other illnesses, it is important to get tested if you may have been at risk.

After the first six weeks, some people may experience no noticeable symptoms for two to three years. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested.

When to have an HIV test after exposure?

You can test for HIV at just ten days after potential exposure. If you are worried about your HIV status, you should get tested as soon as possible. Our 10-day HIV test is 96% accurate at this time. Depending on how high risk your exposure was, you should also consider the Better2Know 28-day test which is 99.8% accurate for added peace of mind.

If you may have been exposed to HIV, it is possible that you have also been exposed to other sexually transmitted infections and you should consider getting a Full STI Screen.