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The site, character and severity of headaches are variable. Fever, neurological symptoms (such as weakness or numbness), visual problems, anxiety and depression may all be associated with headaches, depending on the cause.


As in anybody else the common causes of headache in HIV are stress, tension, migraine and sinusitis. More serious causes in HIV are meningitis and, less often, cerebral toxoplasmosis and lymphoma. Headache may occasionally be a side-effect of drug therapy, such as AZT.

What to do

Simple measures like rest, relaxation and pain killers may be all that is needed, but if the headache is severe, prolonged, recurrent or associated with neurological problems, such as confusion, a doctor should be consulted. If there is both a headache and fever it may indicate a serious infection, and urgent medical attention should be sought.

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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.