Swallowing difficulties

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Pain when eating or swallowing especially in the throat or gullet (oesophagus) is a common presenting problem in people with symptomatic HIV disease.


More often than not this is due to a Candida infection which results in inflammation and ulceration in the oesophagus and pharynx. Other causes include CMV, herpes simplex virus infection, Kaposi's sarcoma and lymphoma.

What to do

These symptoms need to be discussed with a doctor. If due to a Candida infection then rapid relief can be achieved by treatment with an antifungal drug. Occasionally it may be necessary to carry out a gastroscopy or barium swallow to establish a diagnosis. See Candidiasis in A to Z of illnesses for further information.

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 It may have been superseded by more recent developments.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.