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Hope with acute retroviral symptoms
Jan 28, 2003

Just wanted to say you've got a very helpful site. I know a lot of people are very concerned about what they feel are early symptoms (I was too). I found out recently that my ex-boyfriend had cheated on me 10 months ago, with someone that had numerous partners. I was at high risk as I believed we were monogamous and we weren't using condoms. I went for the test and the two week waiting period was a killer. Prior to the test I knew nothing about Acute Retroviral Syndrome, but I now know everything. About 1 month after our last encounter, I had come down with a terrible flu. Horrible sore throat, achy, fever, and tired. I know it wasn't psycho-somatic because when I was sick I did not know that he had slept with someone else and I did not know about Acute Retroviral Syndrome. I spent the last 2 weeks doing nothing but searching the web for information. I had basically convinced myself that I had this disease. In the last week before the results, I couldn't think about anything else. The test was all that was on my mind. The day my results came in, I had developed a white coating on my tongue. I have never been so scared of anything in my life. However, I just wanted to give people hope. The biggest relief of my life was hearing the words "negative". I would advise everyone that is worried to get tested. Yes, there is a chance that the results could be positive. At least there are early treatment options. If the results are negative, it will be the biggest weight lifted off your shoulders. The waiting will likely be the worst couple weeks of your life, but it is better than wondering forever and convincing yourself that you may have something that you don't. It will also help you in the future to make decisions about what "trust" really is and whether or not you should stop using condoms. My best wishes to everyone who is touched in some way by this disease.

Response from Mr. Kull

It's hard not to fall into the trap of convincing yourself that you are HIV infected based on flu-like symptoms you experience after an exposure. I have yet to hear of a case in this forum of someone believing that they were experiencing ARS, were at low-risk for infection, and turned out HIV antibody positive. You should only be concerned about ARS if you are at significant risk for infection, and you should ALWAYS have symptoms checked out by a doctor.

RMK



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