Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) weakens the immune system, leaving it unable to fight infections. The infection can remain latent and inactive for many years without producing any symptoms. However, without treatment, HIV makes the body vulnerable to infections it would otherwise have been able to ward off. Left unchecked, the virus can advance to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. For this reason, it is essential to be alert to the first signs of HIV, to receive treatment as early as possible.
Within a month of contracting HIV, 40 to 90 percent of infected individuals develop flu-like symptoms or acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). Most develop a fever of no more than 102 degrees Fahrenheit. The fever typically lasts for a few days and subsides completely within two weeks in most cases.
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