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ARS 3 Days Later?
Jan 4, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob,

I just read your short bio on this site; thank you for your service.

My question:

Is it possible to experience the symptoms of Acute/Primary HIV infection only 72 hours after exposure? I am a male and had hetero-vaginal sex with a female w/o a condom (never again after this scare). About 2 and a half days later, I began feeling week and ran a fever with general weakness/fatigue for just three days with a slight sore throat. I was perfectly fine after about the 5th day from the onset of my fever. Now, I was working long hours with minimal sleep that week, and then went out every night that weekend, so I was probably already susceptible to being sick, but I am scared I may have been exhibiting a primary reaction to HIV.

I am awaiting the result of my PCR test that I took about a week from possible exposure, but I am curious to hear what you think about the chances of what I experienced being an early response to HIV.

Thanks for your attention. Best of luck in 2008.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Generally speaking HIV ARS (acute retroviral syndrome) symptoms become manifest at two-four weeks following primary HIV infection. Your 72-hour symptoms most likely are not HIV related. The odds you were not infected due to this one-time lapse in judgment are astronomically in your favor. However, since you did decide to go commando-Rambo on your gal-pal, you do need HIV testing. I'd recommend a rapid test or ELISA at the three-month mark.

Good luck and Happy New Year.

Dr. Bob



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