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Stress over acute symptom timeline

Aug 14, 2011

How quickly after exposure can acute symptoms (sore throat, Fever etc) present themselves? I recently received unprotected oral sex from a female shortly after she given oral sex to another man whose HIV status I do not know. I know the HIV risk is lower for oral sex but there is a good chance that there may have been semen present in her mouth. Anyhow, about 2 days after this encounter I developed a sore throat and oral candidiasis which lasted about 3 days. I will be going for testing in four weeks, but in the interim period would like to know how likely it is for acute symptoms to appear so soon after exposure and for it to last for three days. Hope this question will be useful for all those other worried people out there.

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Acute symptoms of HIV (often described as flu-like symptoms) generally occur from one week to one month following exposure - not quite as soon as you describe. Speak with your physician about your concerns and follow up as planned with an HIV test despite the low risk. Remember the window for seroconversion can be up to six months so testing at 3 months and 6 months would be definitive.


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