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HIV Rash and Fever
Sep 28, 2002

Dear Mr. Kull,

What the rash associated with a HIV infection look like and what is the incubation period? Also, what is the incubation period of the fever associated with a HIV infection and how warm does the person get?

Response from Mr. Kull

In general, people experience symptoms related to acute HIV infection 2-4 weeks after exposure. Please see ARS Rash for more information about rashed associated to acute infection.

Trying to determine your HIV status based on symptoms you are experiencing is unwise, anxiety provoking, and unreliable. Recent HIV infection (acute HIV infection, acute retroviral syndrome) should only be considered if ALL of the following are true:

1) You had unprotected vaginal or anal sex (inserting or receiving a penis without a condom) within the past three months.

2) Your partner was known to be HIV infected, or is a person who is in a "high-risk" category (a man who has sex with men, an injection drug user, or a person who has sexual contact with others in an area of high HIV incidence or prevalence, like sub-Saharan Africa).

3) Your symptoms are indicative of acute HIV infection (febrile illness, sometimes compared to flu or mono). The specific symptoms can vary from person to person, but acute infection most often manifests in this "flu-like" manner.

If all of the above are true for you, see a doctor to have your symptoms evaluated. If all of the above are not true, you should still have your symptoms evaluated by a doctor, but it is not likely that they are related to HIV infection.

RMK



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