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Do symptoms of HIV infection start as soon as 48 hours later?

Feb 25, 2009


I had protected anal sex and after found out the condom was no longer there. Paranoid, I began to worry about HIV. Found out his ex was positive but he was not. About 40 hours later I developed a sore throat. The sore throat then turned into a low-grade fever for a few days along with a weird mild head-ache and a feeling of tiredness and weekness? How much should I assume that this are HIV releated? Going to see doctor tomorrow. I am also concerned because I don't have insurance but want the opportunity to utilize PEP!! Is it to late to cure the possible infection after two weeks? Have had this weird headache and tired feeling for bout 8 days now!! Please help

Response from Dr. Frascino


Symptoms associated with HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) generally become manifest two to three weeks after HIV primary infection. Your sore throat 40 hours after your condom-failure episode would not be caused by HIV transmission.

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is recommended only for significant HIV exposures. It should be started as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours after an exposure. PEP is not appropriate for your situation. HIV testing at the three-month mark should be your next step. You can read much more about PEP and HIV transmission in the archives. Check it out!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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