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Still Worried

Jul 17, 2009

Hello Dr. Bob,

I went to see a infectious disease specialist today, which lifted my spirits a bit, but I am still very anxious. I wrote to you yesterday about having unprotected insertive oral sex with a woman in Africa. A few days later I experienced severe diarrhea that lasted three or four days and what I thought was oral candidiasis. I felt sick, but had no fever, rash or swollen lymph nodes. I see on the forum that ARS symptoms can appear as early as one week after exposure. What are the chances that ARS can start in less than a week? I have had a test at two weeks and I am currently at six weeks. Is worth getting tested again now? How much weight loss is common following HIV infection? Sorry about the numerous questions, but I am just looking for some reassurance. Should I be worried? I will donate to your foundation. You are doing great work. Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino


The HIV-acquisition risk for unprotected insertive oral sex is extremely low.

Symptoms related to HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) generally manifest themselves several weeks after HIV primary infection. Symptoms "a few days later" would not be HIV related.

HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive or conclusive.

Weight loss is not commonly associated with HIV ARS.

Should you be worried? No.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test is negative. I'm quite confident it indeed will be.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

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