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Fevers or high temperatures may be persistent or intermittent and cause shivers (rigors) and sweating. The normal body temperature can vary a little from person to person but is normally said to be 37°C.


Fever most commonly indicates an underlying infection or tumour but may also be related to a drug allergy. About 20% of fevers among people with AIDS are of unknown origin, and usually disappear within two to four weeks; these may be due to HIV itself.

What to do

If the cause is minor, like a cold or viral sore throat, it is important to drink plenty of fluids. If uncomfortable, regular aspirin or paracetamol can keep temperature down, but if it is only taken intermittently it may cause profound sweating as the temperature comes down, which may itself be uncomfortable. Regular treatment following the package instructions avoids this effect.

If the fever is prolonged or accompanied by other more severe symptoms, including headache, a doctor should be consulted to identify and treat the underlying cause. To help reach a diagnosis, the doctor may prefer to see the patient while they have the fever, rather than after it has gone.

If the patient has begun treatment with abacavir, the development of a fever during the first weeks or months of treatment should be cause for concern, especially if other symptoms such as tiredness, rash, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain begin to appear too. An HIV doctor must be consulted immediately if this happens.  See Abacavir for further information on this topic.

Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.