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How soon after infection can Acute HIV infection symptoms show up?
Aug 31, 2005

What is the most likely time for ARS symptoms to occur? I had a low-risk but not zero risk incident and one day later diarrhea, it has gotten mostly better 3 days later but my stomach is still not completely back to normal. I have no other symptoms that are listed as typical of ARS that I have read about. The literature says 2 weeks after the incident is when ARS sypmtoms occur, but could they occur as soon as one day after exposure? I will get tested in a couple of weeks, of course, to make sure since there was some risk (5 minutes of unprotected anal sex as a top). Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

"When is the most likely time for ARS symptoms to occur???" Well, as you point out, "the literature says 2 weeks" after the exposure. I agree with "the literature." ARS symptoms generally become evident several weeks after contracting the virus. "Can they occur as soon as one day after exposure?" No. The immune system doesn't work that quickly.

Unprotected insertive (top) anal sex carries a per-episode risk of 6.5 per 10,000 exposures for HIV acquisition, assuming your partner is confirmed to be HIV positive. Consequently, HIV testing is definitely warranted. Tests taken prior to three months are not considered definitive, so wait for the three-month mark to get a conclusive result, O.K.?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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