Many people live with HIV long before they realize they have it. Ten years can go by before any symptoms at all surface, and, if they do, it’s easy to mistake them for the flu.
Things like sweats, chills, fever, weight loss, loss of appetite and weakness can indicate the infection is present but it’s difficult to tell in the beginning.
There is what’s known as a “window” period from the beginning of the production of antibodies (around three weeks post-infection) to about four to six weeks post-infection when the virus is positive during testing.
The window period is the period during which it is dangerous to not know you have HIV, as you can spread the disease, yet you will not test positive for the disease and many of the rapid tests are not accurate.