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Seroconversion: symptoms?
Aug 3, 2009

Dr B,

Seroconversion: does it entail symptoms like the ARS does?

Fever etc. will occur as symptoms of ARS in most ppl a few weeks after getting the disease, and then they will sero-convert usually about 3 months after, right?

When they seroconvert, does that process include symptoms like the ARS, or does it happen completely on the sly?

I'm scared sh*t of an exposure that on the face of it seems "low to non-existant" with a csw in amsterdam using a condom throughout that neither broke nor slipped. I experienced no ARS symptoms either. However I may have experienced a fever approx. 4.5 months after my exposure which i now look back on and have decided was me "sero-converting". It went on for months too. Does a fever accompany the conversion process? And is 4.5 months a valid amount of time to suspect seroconversion?

I have a persistent (months) swollen lymph node in my neck and CRP and e-sed blood exams as well as a chest x-ray all came back normal, which kind of worries me even more cos i'd rather they picked up something. my GF had a mystery fever that scared the sh*t out of me and all in all i'm a messed-up cookie that just needs a hiv expert to tell me my risk is remote and my symptoms don't fit so i can grow the ballz to get tested!

around the same time of 4.5 months after exposure i noticed an odd taste in my mouth that only pops up here and there but has persistently been there and i've never experienced it before this time and i know it's either the hiv or the oral thrush. what's the deal with funny tastes in mouth?

please address my questions and tell me to man-up and go get tested please Dr B I will donate to the foundation I just need some support from a knowledgeable professional and general kick-ass dude like yourself!!!

sorry for clogging up your inbox with my chyte!

all the best!

V V worried ! ! !

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello V.V. Worried (a k a "messed-up cookie"),

Seroconversion refers to the development of detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in the blood. In other words going from "HIV antibody negative" to "HIV antibody positive."

Acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) is a combination of symptoms that can accompany the seroconversion process. The severity and spectrum of these symptoms can vary greatly from person to person. Some folks have such mild symptoms they go unnoticed while others experience symptoms so sever they wind up in the hospital.

Most HIV-infected folks will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within four to six weeks after primary HIV infection. Some folks may take a bit longer to seroconvert. That is why we recommend waiting at least three months to get HIV tested.

I agree your HIV-acquisition risk is "low to nonexistent." A fever 4.5 months after your walk on the wild side in Amsterdam's red light district is not consistent with ARS. Symptoms of ARS manifest themselves two to three weeks after infection.

So, as requested, here is my advice. It's as simple as 1-2-3:

1. Man-up.

2. Grow a set.

3. Get tested. (You'll be glad you did!)

The results will undoubtedly be negative and you'll soon be screaming YABBA-DABBA-DO-WOO-HOO like a banshee in heat.

Thanks for the donation 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 HIV test is negative. I'm very confident it will indeed be negative.

I'd also suggest you peruse the wealth of information on this site and in its archives. You should find the information enlightening and encouraging.

Be well. Stay well. (Yes, you are indeed well.)

Dr. "Knowledgeable Professional General Kiss-Ass Dude"



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