Fatigue from HIV can be described as a lack of energy and feeling of exhaustion that is not cured with a good night’s sleep. It may be constant and occur without any physical exertion.
In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, 15 patients recently diagnosed with HIV identified fatigue as a perpetual hindrance in their daily lives.
The study further notes that fatigue was a widely ignored symptom of HIV, and both the patients’ family/friends and concerned health professionals failed to acknowledge this symptom.
Fatigue significantly affected the patients’ ability to perform chores, walk, exercise, work and engage in other activities.
It also affected mental clarity, patience and concentration, according to a 2008 study published in The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
Fatigue may also induce depression and anxiety.
Headaches are the most common and persistent form of pain experienced by HIV patients. They severely deteriorate the patient’s quality of life and hinder his or her day-to-day activities.
Primary headaches (migraines, tension-type headaches and headaches occurring on one side and persisting for weeks) are recurrent headaches not associated with any underlying illness. They may signify that HIV is in its initial stage.
Secondary headaches (sinus headaches or headaches from meningitis) are associated with other illnesses that develop in the later stages of HIV when the immune system further weakens, allowing for opportunistic infections to thrive.
Often, the tension-type headaches exacerbate and combine with secondary headaches due to these secondary illnesses.
Out of 131 patients withprimary HIV, 45.8 percent reported tension-associated headaches, 16 percent reported migraines and 6.1 percent reported other types of headaches, according to a 2000 study published in Pain.