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Does HIV Cause Cough?

hiv cough

Our respiratory system is the organ that is the most vulnerable to HIV infection. Most patients infected with the virus develop respiratory symptoms and complications in their lungs. Dry cough is an early sign of this condition.

Does HIV Cause Cough?

When HIV enters the body, it reduced the body’s capability to fight infection and other medical conditions. This is also one of the reasons why coughing develops. But is HIV the only reason for such condition? Here, you will know the connection between HIV and respiratory problems.

An early sign of HIV infection

Coughing is a general condition that many individuals experience. It is a sign that your respiratory system needs therapy and your immune system is at risk of an infection. For individuals who engage in unsafe sex and irresponsible usage of shared needles, coughing may be an early sign of HIV infection. Furthermore, coughing indicates that the infection is already in an advanced stage.

This is worse if your coughing is dry. If it is already chronic, it may signify that HIV has progressed to AIDS. Note that having a dry cough means being at risk of a pneumonia diagnosis. This condition is one of the leading causes of AIDS-related deaths.

What to do?

Early testing is necessary if you engage in unprotected sex. Since not all individuals develop HIV symptoms, it is right to get tested. This way, you will get immediate treatment once the result is positive.

If you have been experiencing dry cough for a long time, consult your healthcare professional immediately and ask for an HIV test. Being cautious and prepared can help a lot in the treatment and prevention.

What are other causes of dry cough?

The dry cough is already an early sign of HIV infection. But it doesn’t mean everyone is infected when such a condition happens. It is also a result of the following conditions:

  • Too much exposure to cold temperature
  • Sinusitis
  • Asthma attacks
  • Acid reflux
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • COVID-19
  • Cancer
  • Lung infection
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Stress

In terms of HIV infection, other respiratory symptoms can also develop with dry cough. The following are what you should watch out for:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Coughing with blood
  • Trouble breathing



Coughing is a general medical complaint that is associated with HIV. If you are not involved in activities associated with any form of viral transmission, your cough may only be normal. However, if you have engaged in risky viral transmission practices, you need to get tested immediately. Talk with your healthcare professional today and learn more about dry cough and HIV.

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