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broken thermostat with night sweats
Nov 17, 2003

Dear Dr. Bob....

Seven weeks ago got wamboozled at a bar and received unprotected oral from risky partner...I've racked my brain senseless and pretty sure thats all that happened!!!...She was a biter although no skin was broken... For the sake of argument...lets assume there was genital to genital contact!!!! 5 days afterward I developed symptoms of uti and a warming sensation through upper body along with night sweats!!! Tested negative for hep B and hsv2 Was treated for chlamydia/gonhorea.... Fast forward to 7 weeks later and I still have hot flashes, slight chills, and night sweats....Awaiting standard hiv test and p24 test which I will receive this week...My body temp is consistently below normal and when hot flashes and sweating occurs it drops even lower(95 degrees)....My mind is an absolute mess...met with psychotherapist( I reccomend this to all who are wondering if symptoms are stress or hiv related)...Breathing exercises can help stave off anxiety to regain control of mind...speak to someone about your tidal wave of fear...(YOU WILL GAIN PERSPECTIVE!!)

Ques 1...how soon do ars symptoms appear? Ques 2 how reliable is p24 test?. Thank you for any advice Dr. Bob.....tom

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Tom,

Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS) symptoms, if they appear, usually are noted 2-4 weeks after transmission.

The P24 antigen test has a wide range of sensitivity (30-90 percent) reported in various clinical trials. It is sometimes used as an alternative to HIV RNA testing, because of its reduced cost. Done properly, the sensitivity can approach 90%, but this still misses one out of every 10 cases, and is far less sensitive than the HIV RNA tests.

So what about your "wamboozling" experience? Oral sex carries a very low risk for HIV transmission. Your symptoms are not suggestive of ARS. I strongly encourage you to continue seeing your psychotherapist for treatment of stress/anxiety. I hope others will also heed your wise advice! The "tidal wave of fear" can indeed be devastating!

If you remain concerned, get an ELISA (antibody) test at the three-month mark. It will give you a definitive result.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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