Body Pains That May Be an Early Sign of HIV

This is an article by Cara Smith. I offer it with the author’s permission for informational purposes. The author and I have no financial involvement.



Body Pains That May Be An Early Sign of HIV

Photo by Kat Love on Unsplash

HIV is a disease that scratches out the immunity system and makes a person vulnerable to more opportunistic diseases which kill the person and not the HIV.

A person who is diagnosed with an HIV faces numerous health issues that affect both physiological and bodily aspects of the person.

One of the most serious symptoms that can raise an HIV alarm is severe body pains at poles of the body.

HIV and body pains

Pain occurs at all stages of HIV and nearly to everyone who is infected with HIV. The disease can affect any body part with pains of all variations which grows during the last 6 months of the disease. People who are suffering from HIV may face more or less pain according to their individualistic metabolism. Good news is that following a decade of improvement in medical sciences, there are treatments available for treating these intense pains. Consult a doctor if you face intense pain.

Note: Do not suppress your pain and avoid a consultation. Due to complications involved with HIV treatment, many people might choose to neglect the pain, but the best part is that there are treatments available for it at your clinical center nearby.

Non-medicinal treatment of HIV pain

  1. Acupuncture or acupressure
  2. Massage
  3. Meditation
  4. Heat and cold therapy
  5. Physical therapy
  6. Mental imagery or visualization
  7. Regular physical activity
  8. Hypnosis

HIV and body pains: The correlation

Random aches are one of the most noticeable symptoms of HIV and are also assumed to be one of the side effects of HIV drugs.

It can also be considered as a major symptom of any opportunistic infection lurking inside the body of an HIV patient.

How to figure out the cause of body pains in HIV

The main causes of the body pains are usually unknown to the patient of HIV, but you should be clear that it is not the HIV causing it. Instead, it is some opportunistic infection culminating inside your body.

There can be plenty of reasons why your body aches including muscle tensions or sprains, sharp pains, cyclic pains, muscle cramping, and exercise pain.

The pain is usually related to the hips, back, and lower hips area of the body.

Moreover, the pain can result in critical weakness as well. That is why you should get yourself checked by a doctor immediately when you experience even slight permanent pains.

It is necessary to get yourself examined in order to rule out neurologic diseases, as they might be the primary reasons for the pain.

A look at the types of pains


 A muscle disorder that ultimately results in severe weakness, myopathy results in musculoskeletal pain which occurs in lower parts of the body like hips, back, and lower limbs.

Causes of Myopathy:

  1. Deficiency of Vitamin-D in body
  2. Deficiency of amino acids
  3. Deficiency of testosterone
  4. Neurological problems
  5. Lipid-lowering drugs

It cannot be termed as one of the main causes of myopathy, but it is said that usage of raltegravir, elvitegravir, and dolutegravir can also lead to the pains and cause fatigue as well as muscle weakness.

The pains can be stopped after discontinuing any combination of drugs. But when an antiretroviral therapy is in progress, then discontinuation will not be an option.

Abdominal Pain

Causes of abdominal pain are numerous in case of HIV. Pain in the lower part of the stomach can be due to a combination of drugs used in antiretroviral therapy.

Other causes of abdominal pain:

  1. Infections caused by parasites and bacteria
  2. Irritable bowels or issues in the digestive tract of the body
  3. Inflammation of the pancreatitis
  4. High level of alcohol usage
  5. High level of fat in the blood
  6. Urinary tract or bladder infections

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is considered to be one of the main symptoms of HIV lurking inside the body. Neuropathic pain is caused by nerve damage inside any part of the body.

Peripheral neuropathy primarily occurs in feet and hands. This pain can be described as slight tingling, burning, or numbness in the nerves which causes serious discomfort and other psychological changes as well.

The good news is that peripheral neuropathy is not a long-lasting side effect of HIV therapy. The drugs used in the antiretroviral therapy no longer cause the unfortunate pain.

Joint pains and other muscle pains

Joint pains and other muscle related sprains are part of our normal daily life glitches and many times we tend to ignore these pains.

In the case of HIV, the cause of aforementioned pains can be due to the excruciating drug combinations in the event that therapy has begun.

But in case of unrecognized HIV in the body, the joint pains (a possible sign of arthritis) might seem to worsen. The pain would go from mild to severe, at which time it is recommended that you get it checked by the doctors.

Other types of pain

Since HIV is a complicated disease and the symptoms vary from time to time, not every individual faces the same kind of symptoms.

Many HIV patients face joint pains, but some may suffer from abdominal pain. This makes HIV an even more complicated disease to recognize at an early stage.

Apart from the above symptoms, there are other pain types as well which can direct one’s attention towards a possible HIV culminating in the body. These are:

Herpes pain

Herpes is recognized as one of the most deadly opportunistic infection which can cause trauma to an HIV patient.

Herpes is recognized as a family of viruses as they stay and grow slowly and gradually inside an HIV-infected body.

One of the most common herpes viruses is known as varicella-zoster. This initially leads to chickenpox and, later, it may cause shingles which is a painful rash along with the nerve pathways.

Mouth pain, chest pain, and painful skin rashes

Mouth pain which is caused by “ulcers” and other fungal infections can be one of the most serious symptoms of HIV.

The ulcer doesn’t go away and turns from mild to serious.

Other than mouth pains, chest pains are another serious symptom of HIV. The cause of chest pains can be any lung infection, TB, bacterial pneumonia, and Pneumocystis pneumonia.

Moreover, painful skin rashes caused by infections (any type) can either be a side effect of any HIV therapy or also an early stage HIV symptom.

Just like other symptoms, the painful rashes will not go away and would turn worse in some cases as well. It is advisable to visit a doctor in cases of permanent symptoms.

Body pains of any types are considered as an early stage symptom of HIV and should not be neglected. Avoid using common on-shelf drugs and consult a doctor. HIV is a serious disease and small symptoms can be a wakeup call.

Author Bio:

Cara Smith is the content manager at HIVRNATest.Com (An HIV Testing Website). She loves to research and write about topics such as sexually transmitted diseases, sexual health, and how to stay healthy.

Cara Smith

Leave a Comment