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Dr Bob im waiting for a pcr dna result and im really not coping.Have you changed your views on ars?
Sep 27, 2008

Hi again Dr Bob i have written to you three times. I will briefly explain my situation and confusion. I have spent hours reading the archives.

I had sex with a man of unknown status.Vaginal sex. I noticed the condom had slipped and i had semen all around my vagina. I wiped it away. The next day i had a high fever and the day after that the worst sore throat and night sweats of my life with severe diarrhoea and mouth ulcers (i do have crohn's). I went to the doctor, explained my situation and was given antibiotics. Within five days i was better except the night sweats.

I notice that earlier in the archives you would tell people 'no way,no how' symptoms could come on so fast. In a more recent post you tend to say 'generally speaking' ars comes on in two to four weeks following exposure. Has your view on this changed slightly over the years. I had a dna pcr test yesterday mainly because this illness absolutely terrified me. I was so ill for those days directly after the incident. I feel that my exposure risk was high and i am not coping with the wait for this result. How reassured could i be with a negative at ten days post exposure with a pcr dna test? Why am i still sweating at night do you think?

I know what you say about symptoms but i need to know if you still believe 'no way,no how'??

I will give you a donation at christmas time of 100 from my student loan if you just reply. This is the only place i feel safe, on your forum in the worst two weeks of my life so far.

Dr bob i have nobody else to talk to.

I have never needed or valued the words of a stranger more in my life. This whole thing has changed me.

Please x

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Acute retroviral syndrome symptoms related to primary HIV infections do not occur the very next day (or two). No way. No how. (No McCain. No Sarah "I can see Russia from my house" Palin.) And no, I haven't changed my view over the years. Anxious readers of this forum sometimes parse my words. So if I say ARS symptoms occur two to four weeks after infection, they will write in wondering about symptoms at day 13 or 29. Hence, I need to carefully choose what I write. When discussing symptoms onset or duration, there is always some leeway. That said, I can advise you with absolute certainty that your symptoms occurring the very next day after a possible exposure would not be HIV related. The virus and the immune system, which together cause the symptoms, do not work that way!

As for your night sweats, I can not diagnose the exact cause over the Internet. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of potential causes.

PCR DNA qualitative tests can be helpful in diagnosing acute retroviral syndrome during the window period (prior to the formation of detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in the blood.) However, the test is not FDA approved for routine HIV diagnostic screening. There is also the potential problem of false-positive results.

If you are concerned about HIV, the best test is still the anti-HIV antibody test taken at the three-month mark.

Try not to worry. Your HIV-acquisition risk remains extremely low.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return, I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your PCR DNA and three-month definitive HIV-antibody tests are negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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