A project of the New Mexico AIDS Education and Training Center. Partially funded by the National Library of Medicine
Fact Sheets can be downloaded from the Internet at http://www.aidsinfonet.org
AIDS InfoNet www.aidsinfonet.org
Fact Sheet Number 551
WHAT IS FATIGUE?
Fatigue is tiredness that does not go
away when you rest. It can be physical or
With physical fatigue, your muscles
cannot do things as easily as they used
to. You might notice this when you climb
stairs or carry bags of groceries.
With psychological fatigue, it may be
difficult to concentrate for as long as you
used to. In severe cases, you might not
feel like getting out of bed in the morning
and doing your regular daily activities.
IS FATIGUE IMPORTANT?
Fatigue is one of two main ways the body
warns you about a problem. The other
warning is pain. Most of us pay attention
to pain, and stop whatever causes us
pain. We don’t pay as much attention to
fatigue. One reason might be that fatigue
sneaks up on us: it usually gets worse so
slowly that we don’t even notice.
People with HIV and fatigue tend to get
sicker faster than people without fatigue.
Also, ongoing fatigue can weaken the
immune system. People with HIV should
find out what is causing their fatigue and
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE
Fatigue can start and increase very
slowly. If you feel tired even after you
rest, talk with your health care provider
about fatigue. Give your health care
provider as much information as possible.
This will make it easier to know if you are
fatigued, and what might be causing it.
The following questions are good to think
about before you talk to your health care
How long have you been tired?
Compared to a few months ago, how has
your activity level changed?
How do you feel when you are tired? Are
you short of breath? Are your muscles
sore? Is it difficult to concentrate or
remember? Is it hard