HIV needs to be diagnosed by a blood test.
The vast majority of people with HIV will not have any symptoms for many years. Some people will experience ‘Serconversion Illness’ about 4 – 6 weeks after infection with the HIV virus. The symptoms of seroconversion illness are similar to the common flu. Having ‘flu-like symptoms’ does not mean you have HIV. The only way to know is to have a HIV test.
If you or your partner think you may have been infected with HIV, it is important for both of you to get tested.
HIV can be present for years before health problems begin. However, the person with HIV can still pass on the virus to other people during this time and their immune system will slowly become more and more damaged.
If detected early, medicines should help the person with HIV stay well and lead a healthy and normal life. This is why it’s important for anyone who has been at risk of catching HIV to regularly get tested.
Most people with HIV in Ireland catch the infection through unprotected sex or by sharing needles used to inject drugs.