There are different causes of HIV-related pain and the type, location, and severity of the pain can vary between different people. It is important to work with a doctor to determine the possible cause and devise a suitable treatment plan.
Some people living with HIV may experience short-term pain from secondary infections, injuries, or surgery. Short-term pain usually goes away once the body recovers.
Types of pain that people with HIV often have include:
- Headache. Pain can range from mild to severe and may present as intense pressure, tightness, or throbbing.
- Joint, muscle, and bone pain. HIV can lead to arthritis and osteoporosis that can cause pain in the joints, muscles, and bones. This type of pain can also occur with aging.
- Abdominal pain. If left untreated, HIV can weaken the immune system, leaving the body vulnerable to infections. These infections sometimes occur in the gastrointestinal tract, causing painful symptoms, such as inflammation.