People are all different. Some have sexual intercourse as often, with as many partners as they want without thinking of the consequences of their actions. Sleeping and having sex with an infected partner, even if you do it only once, also puts you at risk of getting the disease. There are early symptoms of the infection which may be mild, but if you are already infected, you can still pass the virus to your partner. There are some symptoms specific to women.

Mild flu-like symptoms

Mild flu-like symptoms will include fever, headache and lethargy. These symptoms can last up to six weeks, and it can take up to ten years for more severe signs to show.

Skin problems


Your skin can become very sensitive to sunlight and irritants, Rashes appearing like flat red patches, small bumps and flaky skin could be an indication of the disease. Sores and lesions can appear on the surface of the mouth, genitals and anus and is very difficult to treat.

Enlarged glands

Our lymph nodes fight off infections, and when they get swollen, it indicates that they are working very hard to fight off diseases. It is one of the first signs of HIV.


The immune system fights harder to ward off germs giving infections easier access to the body. Hepatitis C, pneumonia, tuberculosis, diseases of the eyes, skin, kidneys, digestive tract and brain is possible. Even flu will be more challenging to treat.

Night sweats and fever

You will experience extended periods of low-grade fever.

Menstrual changes

Menstrual changes in a woman’s cycle can occur. More severe premenstrual symptoms are also common.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections as well as bacterial infections are more prevalent in women and are difficult to treat if they are HIV positive.

Sexually transmitted diseases

HIV will increase the risk of obtaining sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, human papillomavirus, leading to cervical cancer and genital warts. If you have HIV infection, and you have genital herpes, you may have outbreaks more often than normal, and the body might not respond well to the treatment.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease happens when your ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus becomes infected. This condition will be so much harder to heal, and the symptoms can reoccur more often.

Advanced symptoms of HIV

The advances symptoms of HIV in women is trouble swallowing, chronic coughing, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, severe headaches, weight loss, nausea and vomiting and diarrhoea. Later stages include mental confusion, short-term memory loss and coma.

The most advanced stage of HIV is called AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome). When people reach this stage, infections are hard to ward off as the immune system is too compromised. Cervical cancer can occur as AIDS-defining cancers become a risk to the body. All these symptoms can be reduced, and there are ways to lessen the severity of this disease. Early detection and treatment can extend lives so to attract HIV is not necessarily an initial death sentence.