Symptoms and illnesses

Michael Carter

HIV treatment has brought longer and healthier lives for many people with HIV. Indeed, side-effects of treatment are the most likely cause of ill-health in people living with HIV now, and in many cases these either lessen and go away with time or can be controlled.

However, people with HIV still become ill, although not necessarily because of HIV. Every year in the UK some people with HIV develop an AIDS-defining illness, and around 400 HIV-positive people die every year.

Although illnesses such as PCP (a type of pneumonia) and tuberculosis (TB) still cause illness and even death in people with HIV, it seems that cancers, cardiovascular disease and liver problems (the latter often caused by co-infection with hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C), are becoming more common as causes of illness and death in people with HIV.

And there are some symptoms that you should be aware of. Although they are often usually the sign of a non-HIV-related illness – and often not serious – they can also be signs of more serious health problems.

You can find out more about some of the more common symptoms and illnesses people with HIV experience in this section.

There’s a lot you can do to look after your health and to stay as well as possible. Find out more in Exercise, Nutrition and Daily health issues. You can also find out about the services your GP (family doctor) can offer to help you make lifestyle changes and to monitor your general health.

Contact NAM to find out more about the scientific research and information used to produce this section.

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.