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Short, sweet, and to the point- ARS statistics
Mar 29, 2008

Hey Dr. Bob,

Great work you do. I read in Dr. Steve's "Tratamientos" archives that, of those who experience ARS symptoms, 96% will have a fever. So, does this mean that if somebody thinks they are experiencing ARS symptoms but they haven't had a fever, they shouldn't be too worried, unless they fall into the 4% of people who have ARS without a fever? Thank you in advance for your reply!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

The only reason to be worried or not worried (or to consider HIV testing or not to consider HIV testing) is whether or not you have had a significant HIV risk. "Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is or is not HIV infected. So if you are completely symptoms free or have "every symptom in the book," your risk of being HIV infected depends only on your HIV-risk exposure.

I'll repost below some information about acute retroviral syndrome symptoms. But remember, risk exposure, not symptoms, is what counts!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

What exactly are the symptoms of ARS? Nov 15, 2005

Dr. Bob,

Hi there. I've been reading through many of the postings in this forum. Most of the people who write-in are labeled "worried wells" and you tell them that their symptoms are not consistent with the true symptoms of ARS.

I was wondering if you could share with us what you believe the true symptoms of ARS to be. I've found lots of websites describing them, but I want to hear it from a reputable and definitive source such as yourself.

Thanks a lot.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Sure, just check the archives. I've discussed this many times before. I'll repost below just one of the questions that addresses the signs and symptoms associated with primary HIV infection.

Stay well. Be informed, not worried, O.K.?

Dr. Bob

Me again! Aug 14, 2005

Hi DOc,

You responded to my initial question a few weeks back - thank you so much. You also responded to my partner who was recently diagnosed positive - that was so helpful. Incidentally, I think it was the first time he used a computer in his life - so you achieved more than I have with him there!

Anyway, sorry to bother you again - its now 8 / 9 weeks since my last exposure - I think I am imagining swollen glands all the time! Could you kindly answer two small questions. Firstly, how long after infection do people normally get ARS and symptoms? Secondly, what symmptoms are characteristic?

Thankyou for helping. My partner is being really strong - andw e will get through this together, I love that american term worry well - yes I am a british one of those, sorry!! xx

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Brit-Boy,

You're welcome!

Chances are you are indeed "imagining" swollen glands all the time. Regarding ARS, symptoms generally appear 1-3 weeks of contracting the virus. Sometimes symptoms may not appear until 4-6 weeks. It is called a syndrome (Acute Retroviral Syndrome), because it is a collection of symptoms that can be extremely variable form person to person. In fact, symptoms alone are notoriously unreliable in predicting HIV infection. It is estimated that 40-90% of acutely infected folks will have some ARS symptoms. But to specifically answer your question, the following is a list of symptoms associated with ARS and the percentage of time the symptoms are present:

Fever 96%

Adenopathy 74%

Pharyngitis 70%

Rash 70%

Myalgias 54%

Headache 32%

Diarrhea 32%

Nausea or vomiting 27%

Hepatosplenomegaly 14%

Thrush 12%

Neurologic symptoms 12%

The duration of symptoms is generally 1-3 weeks.

Regarding your lover's use of the computer, now that he's discovered the wonders of Internet look out!!!! He just may get so hooked that the only way you'll be able to converse with him is via IM-ing!

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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