HIV or human immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus, which is a member of the retrovirus family. This virus is known to cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which is a condition, where the immune system gets weakened to such an extent, that the risk for getting some serious opportunistic infections and several types of cancer increases.

The human immunodeficiency virus attacks and destroys certain key white blood cells, concerned with fighting cancer and the infectious agents that enter the body. When these cells are destroyed, the immune system fails to prevent diseases and infections. However, it may take several years for the initial HIV infection to become AIDS and produce the debilitating health problems.

Early HIV Symptoms in Men

The early symptoms of an HIV infection in men resemble the symptoms of flu or mononucleosis. These symptoms typically appear within 2 to 4 weeks after the initial infection, but sometimes, the initial infection may not produce any symptom at all. It has been observed that, about 40% to 90% people infected with HIV experience the early flu-like symptoms within a month or two. The initial stage of HIV infection is known as primary HIV, or acute retroviral syndrome (ARS), which can produce the following symptoms.

Fever and Headache

Mild to moderate fever is usually one of the most common early symptoms of an HIV infection. Both men and women can experience this symptom, within 2 to 4 weeks following the initial infection. Fever can raise the body temperature to 100 or 101 degree Fahrenheit and it can be accompanied by chills, headache, and sweating.

Skin Rash

The skin rash caused by an HIV infection may persist for a week or so. Usually, the rash appears as a red or discolored patch of skin with raised bumps. In individuals with dark skin, the rash can appear dark brown or black in color. The affected area can become very dry and itchy. HIV infected men can develop skin rashes in any part of the body, including the arms, hands, chest, stomach, feet, groin, and the penis.

Open Sores or Ulcers

HIV infected men can also develop open sores or ulcers in the early stage of the infection, especially in the mouth and throat. The ulcers can be quite painful and sometimes, they can appear in the anus and penis as well.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

The lymph nodes produce and store immune cells and lymphocytes, and hence, they are an important component of the immune system. Enlargement of lymph glands occurs when the body is fighting an infection, which can be localized or systemic. The lymph nodes that are more likely to get swollen due to an HIV infection, are those located in the neck, groin, and armpit. Lymph nodes located in these areas can remain swollen for several weeks.

Unexplained Fatigue

HIV infections can dramatically lower the energy level or stamina and thereby, compel the affected individual to take several naps throughout the day. The HIV infected individuals may experience unusual fatigue, even while doing simple day-to-day activities.

Muscle and Joint Pain

Muscle ache and joint pain are some of the common discomforts, experienced in the early stage of an HIV infection. Muscle aches can be more commonly experienced in the legs, arms and back, but sometimes also throughout the body.

Sore Throat

Men can develop a sore throat or throat inflammation in the early stage of an HIV infection, which can sometimes cause difficulty in swallowing.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

The digestive or gastrointestinal symptoms associated with an HIV infection are, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea and vomiting. However, not all men experience these symptoms during the early stage.

Night Sweats

Excessive sweating during night, not related to the temperature of the room can be an early sign of HIV infections. Many individuals on the other hand, experience this symptom in the later stage of the infection.

Late Symptoms of HIV Infection
The primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome (ARS), is typically followed by a stage, known as clinical latency or asymptomatic HIV. As the name suggests, the virus remains latent during this period, for which this period is usually asymptomatic.