898 898 8787

HIV Symptoms in Women: what are the early and later symptoms of AIDS in women - MyHealth


HIV Symptoms in Women: what are the early and later symptoms of AIDS in women


Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Ragiinii Sharma

Written By Dr Divya Rohra
on Mar 30, 2022

Last Edit Made By Dr Divya Rohra
on Mar 18, 2024


The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) attacks the immune system of our body making it more prone to infections and diseases. According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NADO), there are approximately 2.5 million people in India who are living with HIV-AIDS, out of which 1 million are women. Therefore, it has become extremely critical to know about the disease well. In this article learn about the early and late symptoms of HIV in women that you can observe for yourself so that an early diagnosis and treatment of the disease can be done.

Early Symptoms of HIV in Women

The early stage of HIV is an acute infection that is observed after 2 to 4 weeks of coming in contact with HIV. At this stage, the person is most contagious. The early symptoms of HIV in women are generally flu-like.

Some of the early HIV symptoms in women include:

  • Headache 
  • Swollen lymph nodes: Lymph nodes located in the neck, armpits, back of the head, and groin get swollen due to the response of our immune system against the HIV virus. 
  • Oral ulcers: They are cream-colored plaques that appear on the palate, tongue, and lips that leave a red surface underneath. 
  • Sore throat
  • Rashes on the skin: Skin rashes in case of HIV infection are reddish, itchy, and painful. These rashes may also look like boils with pink breakouts.
  • Night sweats: When your body tries to fight HIV infection, it may lead to sweating at night.
  • Fatigue
  • Chills 
  • Muscle ache
  • Fever: It is one of the earliest and most common signs of HIV infection.
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive problems: HIV infection can also lead to issues related to the digestive system like diarrhoea, vomiting, and nausea.
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Cough 

Late Symptoms of HIV in Women

The later stage of HIV infection is most severe. The symptoms at the later stage of infection in a woman are extreme and may include:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Opportunistic infections like tuberculosis, pneumonia, and candidiasis
  • Infection of the eyes, skin, kidney, lungs, brain, and digestive tract.
  • Increased risk of cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kaposi sarcoma, and cervical cancer.

Other symptoms at a later stage of HIV include:

  • Recurrent fever
  • Lethargy
  • Night sweats
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Pneumonia
  • Memory loss
  • Sores of the genitals, anus, or mouth
  • Depression
  • Blotches (brown, red, purple, or pink) under the skin and inside the mouth, eyelids, and nose.

Some symptoms in the later stage of HIV are extremely unique to women. These symptoms include:

  • Changes in the menstrual cycle: You might experience a lighter, heavier, or no menstrual cycle at all post-HIV infection. You may even experience severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): You might experience pain in your lower belly due to the infection of your ovaries, uterus, or fallopian tube. The PID can further lead to fever, unusual vaginal discharge, pain during intercourse, and irregular periods.
  • Vaginal yeast infection or candidiasis: This is one of the most common opportunistic infections seen in women with HIV. The overgrowth of a fungus known as Candida leads to vaginal candidiasis. As the number of CD4 cells decreases, the severity, and frequency of infection increase. The symptoms of vaginal yeast infection include pain during intercourse, white, thick vaginal discharge, painful urination, and a burning sensation around the vulva and the vagina.
  • Impaired fertility: Infertility and ectopic pregnancy can also be caused due to PID. Since HIV infection suppresses your immune system, the pelvic disease persists even after treatment leading to an increased risk of pregnancy.
  • Vaginal ulcers: As the CD4 count in women reduces to below 500, the woman is more prone to the infection of herpes simplex virus type2 (HSV-2). This virus is associated with genital herpes. In around 52-72% of cases, HIV is observed to be coinfected with HSV-2. 
  • Bone problems: HIV infection increases the chances of osteoporosis up to 4 times. The co-infection of hepatitis C and the drugs used for the treatment of HIV are also associated with the increased loss of bone minerals.


HIV infection is a serious and highly contagious infection. It leads to decline of over all health and also paves way for many other diseases and opportunistic infections. If HIV infection is diagnosed at an early stage, it can be effectively treated to give you a long and healthy life. Early diagnosis and treatment of HIV also reduce the risk of HIV-related and non-related illness by around 72%. Now that you know the early and late symptoms of HIV, you can better observe them if you suspect a possible infection of the virus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. In how much time can women show the symptoms of HIV infection?

    It takes approximately 1-4 weeks after the infection for a woman to show the symptoms of HIV  infection.

  2. What colour of urine indicates possibility of HIV infection?

    When infected with HIV, the colour of your urine changes to red-brown.

  3. Can HIV infection go unnoticed?

    Yes, if you have asymptomatic HIV, then the HIV infection might go unnoticed.

  4. How many stages does HIV infection occurs in

    The infection of HIV occurs in three stages.The first stage is acute infection, the second stage is asymptomatic and in the third stage HIV progresses to AIDS, that is, Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

Leave a comment


  • Elizabeth Hutchinson

    May 20, 2024 at 3:59 AM.

    I'm showing all the signs of AIDS. I have daughters who could have been born with this. I don't know what to do.

    • Myhealth Team

      May 20, 2024 at 7:45 AM.

      If you're experiencing symptoms that suggest AIDS and are concerned about the health of your daughters, it's crucial to act swiftly. Schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional as soon as possible to get tested and receive a proper diagnosis. Don't delay in discussing your symptoms and concerns openly with your doctor, who can guide you through the testing process and explore treatment options if needed. It's equally important to ensure that your daughters are tested promptly to address any potential risks.

  • Elizabeth Hutchinson

    May 20, 2024 at 3:57 AM.

    I was rated about years ago and never got tested. However I was diagnosed with HPV.2017.Now in 2024.After finding a blood clot in my right lung and an umbilical hernia. I also was treated for Hepatitis C.My partner and I both have Hepatitis C again because we didn't know that after treated you can still get it again.

    • Myhealth Team

      May 20, 2024 at 7:56 AM.

      It's important to prioritize your health and seek medical attention promptly. Given your health history, including HPV, blood clot, hernia, and Hepatitis C treatment, it's crucial to address your current concerns with a doctor. Be proactive in discussing your situation and exploring necessary testing, treatment, and preventive measures for both you and your partner.

  • Asha Kumawat

    Nov 20, 2022 at 11:12 AM.

    Mere pried time m problem ho rahi h ak bar sirf ak bar blood uske bad nahi

    • Myhealth Team

      Nov 24, 2022 at 1:27 PM.

      Aapke sawaal ke liye sukriya. aap apna sawaal humari health community https://redcliffelabs.com/health-community/ par puch sakte hain. waha par aapko aapke sawaalo ka jawaab bhi mil jaayega and uske saath aapko Health management ke liye content and guidelines bhi mil jaayegi.

  • Raveena sharma

    Nov 19, 2022 at 5:29 PM.

    HIV k koi ek khass pahchan btae ya fr koi Asa test ka Nam btae jisse nisi KO daut na ho k y test HIV k lie he krwaya na rh h or us test m positive h ya negative kse pahchane

    • Myhealth Team

      Nov 24, 2022 at 1:28 PM.

      Aapke sawaal ke liye sukriya. aap apna sawaal humari health community https://redcliffelabs.com/health-community/ par puch sakte hain. waha par aapko aapke sawaalo ka jawaab bhi mil jaayega and uske saath aapko Health management ke liye content and guidelines bhi mil jaayegi.

    • Myhealth Team

      Nov 21, 2022 at 12:39 PM.

      Aapke sawal k liye shukriya. HIV k bahut saare symtoms h jaise fever,weight loss,muscle ache, diarrhea. agar aapko yeh symptoms dikh rahe h toh kripya doctor ko zaroor dikhaye.

Consult Now

Share MyHealth Blog