Appendix: Acute Retroviral Syndrome

September 2011

Signs and Symptoms (Expected Frequency)

The most specific symptoms in this study were oral ulcers and weight loss. Best predictors were fever and rash. Index of suspicion should be high when these symptoms are present.

  • Fever (80%)
  • Tired or fatigued (78%)
  • Malaise (68%)
  • Arthralgias (joint pain) (54%)
  • Headache (54%)
  • Loss of appetite (54%)
  • Rash (51%)
  • Night sweats (51%)
  • Myalgias (pain in muscles) (49%)
  • Nausea (49%)
  • Diarrhea (46%)
  • Fever and rash (46%)
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat) (44%)
  • Oral ulcers (mouth sores) (37%)
  • Stiff neck (34%)
  • Weight loss (>5lb; 2.5 kg) (32%)
  • Confusion (25%)
  • Photophobia (24%)
  • Vomiting (12%)
  • Infected gums (10%)
  • Sores on anus (5%)
  • Sores on genitals (2%)

Data are from Hecht FM, Busch MP, Rawal B, et al. Use of laboratory tests and clinical symptoms for identification of primary HIV infection. AIDS 2002;16:1119-1129.

Acute Retroviral Syndrome

Associated signs and symptoms (expected frequency among patients who are symptomatic):

  • Fever (80%)
  • Tired or fatigued (78%)
  • Malaise (68%)
  • Arthralgias (joint pain) (54%)
  • Headache (54%)
  • Loss of appetite (54%)
  • Rash (51%)
  • Night sweats (51%)
  • Myalgias (pain in muscles) (49%)
  • Nausea (49%)
  • Diarrhea (46%)
  • Fever and rash (46%)
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat) (44%)
  • Oral ulcers (mouth sores) (37%)
  • Stiff neck (34%)
  • Weight loss (>5 lb; 2.5 kg) (32%)
  • Confusion (25%)
  • Photophobia (24%)
  • Vomiting (12%)
  • Infected gums (10%)
  • Sores on anus (5%)
  • Sores on genitals (2%)

Data are from Hecht FM, Busch MP, Rawal B, et al. Use of laboratory tests and clinical symptoms for identification of primary HIV infection. AIDS 2002;16:1119-1129.

*The most specific symptoms in this study were oral ulcers and weight loss. Best predictors were fever and rash. Index of suspicion should be high when these symptoms are present.