Desperate and scared. Have made donation
Apr 3, 2007
Hi Dr Bob,
I had a high risk exposure six weeks ago. It was the first time I'd done that. Terrible decision and I have been absolutely sressed out ever since. I am a male and had sex with another male, I was the top. Used a condom but I think that broke. After 5 days I had flu like symptoms - mild chills, cough, sore throat and tingling sensations in my legs and back. This lasted for about three days. No sign of swollen glands though. Since then I have occasionally had a dry mouth and strange sensations, as though something crawling on my skin. I am going to have a test next week and am very nervous. Please send me your good karma as I have found your answers on this forum and your positive outlook an enormous help in getting through the last few weeks. I think your work is amazing and I have made a donation to concerted effort. My questions are 1) Do you think my symptoms are consistent with ARS? and 2) How reliable will a test at 6 and a half weeks be? I will still definitely get a 3 month test but would like to know. Please reply Doc I am feeling very worried at the moment. Many thanks.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Thanks for your kind comments and donation! Regarding your questions:
1. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable, so I don't really pay much attention to them. If you've had an HIV risk, you need HIV testing, whether symptoms are present or not. If I were forced to comment on your "symptoms," I would say they started too soon to be HIV related (it usually takes weeks) and they are not worrisome for ARS (acute retroviral syndrome).
2. Most HIV-positive folks will have detectable levels of HIV antibodies by 6.5 weeks. However, "most" is certainly not good enough when dealing with a disease like HIV. Consequently, I concur with the guidelines, which state that HIV-antibody tests taken prior to three months are not considered to be definitive or conclusive.
I'll send you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month test is negative.
Good luck. Be well!
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