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ARS symptoms after PEP
Apr 21, 2012

I study your forums most days now since my exposure and I find the information that you provide to be off great value to people like me in these situations

About 5 weeks ago I had protected vaginal sex with a CSW ladyboy, but the condom I used may have been damaged as it was stored in the car glove box (but it felt ok!)

I urinated in the condom afterwards and no urine seemed to leak out.

I am so convenienced that the condom was damaged that I convenienced my GP to have the PEP treatment. I took the treatment for 28 days and on the 29th day i visited the GP for a Rapid Antibody text and DUO P24 test, all of which we negative.

Since finishing the PEP i have had a mild sore throat (mainly around my adam's apple), mild fever (max 37.8C), dry cough and now muscle pain on the top of both legs.

I am wondering 1) whether the ARS early symptoms are delayed because I took PEP and now these symtoms mean I can getting early HIV (seroconverting) 2) I am wondering how accurate the results straight after the PEP are encouring or should I still be worried, would the DUO p24 still pick up the virus whether on PEP or not? 3)I really want to test again at 1 week post PEP, would this be too early?

Many thanks

Response from Dr. Young


PEP doesn't affect the timing of ARS symptoms; and since people who are have HIV may or may not have symptoms, you really can't use your symptoms as an indicator of (or not) HIV.

I generally don't recommend doing anything but HIV antibody testing after PEP, since at best, testing p24 or HIV RNA provides reassurance, but not proof of HIV negativity. In my opinion, frequent testing with alternative means only raises the anxiety level (even if the tests are negative). HIV antibody testing should be performed at baseline and 1 and 3 months after exposure.

I hope that's helpful, BY

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