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Very worried, please answer
May 10, 2005

In July 04' I had protected (or so I thought) intercourse with a pro. Within the first month I had a soaking night sweat, however I had been out drinking with friends and fell asleep (fully clothed) on my leather couch in the middle of summer with the ac on about 78. 2 months after potential exposure, right hand hurt to move, went away a week later. At 3.5 months had a flu like illness, some weight loss, no appetite, runny nose, productive cough, light fever, one swollen lymph node with fever blister. This resolved within 2 weeks. (Of note a friend I had played golf with 2 days before my illness had a bad cold; another friend I was around also got the flu as mine was resolving.) Tested regular Elisa 1/2 ab negative at 5.5 months post potential exposure with full physical all liver functions and other tests within normal ranges, tested negative Orasure rapid (blood) at 8 months, tested negative Orasure rapid (blood) at 9 months three weeks. Around 6 months after potential exposure started having some pains over liver area so I began thinking may have hcv which could delay seroconversion. As stressed as I have been throughout this ordeal this could be an ulcer, do not know have not tested.

In the research I have done regarding delayed seroconversion these individuals had an ars type illness at later than normal timepoints(ex. 8 months)and developed antibodies shortly thereafter (ex. 9.5 months).

Question 1. Have you ever heard of ars symptoms occuring in this manner, with long timepoints between symptoms? Question 2. If my illness in October (3.5 months) were a true ars illness wouldn't you have expected antibodies to develop by May 1 (nine months three weeks)? Question 3. Isn't it true that these delayed seroconversion's that many people keep obsessing over are a result of a late ars illness and subsequent development of antibodies and not an ars illness within the first month or two with antibodies only developing 6 or 7 months after the ars illness subsides?

Final question: Can I put this all behind me or do you recommend testing at 12 months?

I know this forum is for those already infected, however I wanted your opinion since you are the hiv / hcv expert. Thank you for your time, you definitely provide a valuable service and I commend you for the work you do.

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Get tested and stop worrying! What you describe is a low risk encounter. Ask for HIV Hep A, B, and C testing. Then if you are negative for A and B get vaccinated! Symptoms are no guide to anything. Stop beating yourself up and get tested and stay safe! DTD



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