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Is it a FLU or is it ARS
May 20, 2008

Hello dr.

I had two encounters with csw one week apart. In both instances it was latex condom protected (oral as well as vaginal). What has gotten me concern is that 10 days after the 1rst encounter and 4 days after the second encounter I develop a sudden onset of symptoms when I went to sleep. It was like I got hit out of the blue. I felt feverish, forehead damp, and a weird feeling that started from my feet and moved to my legs and accross my body which kept me from sleeping. These symptoms lasted 3 days (I even woke up in the middle on the night). On the 4th day, I went and bougth a thermometer but I had no fever and the symptoms had become mild. I then had a loss of appetite for 3 days which slowly came back. Lastly as soon as I loss my appetite, fatigue kicked in and the fatigue was lingering for 5 weeks (I once slept 15 hrs), and on the 6th week I started feeling better and the fatigue was greatly reduce. My symptoms are characteristics of the flu (I think) but on the other hand Flu like symptoms are also characteristics of primary HIV infection.

With all of that said those this sound like ARS, I will go for testing at the 3 month mark, it has now been two months.

Thank you in advance

I will surely make a donation.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Protected sex is indeed "protected" if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail (break). That's why we call it protected, right?!? So your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent.

"Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. The vast majority of folks with "flu" symptoms have the flu, not HIV!

If you remain worried, a single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark is all that's required to put your unwarranted residual worries permanently to rest. The results will undoubtedly be negative.

Thank you for your tax-deductible gift to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test will be negative. (I strongly anticipate it indeed will be negative!)

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob



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