Night sweats

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These are a common problem in HIV and may either be mild and infrequent or be quite severe and result in the need to change bed linen or your clothes.

Causes

If it is a new problem and accompanied by a fever, an acute infection is often the cause. More specific causes include tuberculosis and lymphoma. If the night sweats are intermittent and/or localised, then HIV infection is usually responsible; this is inconvenient but not a significant medical concern. Anxiety can also result in night sweats.

What to do

It is important to try to track down any infections (other than HIV itself) that could be causing the sweats, especially if they are accompanied by fever. Practical measures such as taking an aspirin or paracetamol before sleeping may be helpful. If severe and accompanied by other symptoms of HIV disease then anti-HIV drug treatments may be considered.

See also Fevers.