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ARS, Stressed Out & Tommorows My Birthday!
May 21, 2010

Hey doc

I am a bi college student in new york city. I had a broken condom about 14 days ago. I removed immediately so i was only exposed for about a second or so. recently i have come down with a bad cold/flu/(hopefully not ars). The symptoms mirror ars but do not include some of the ARS symptoms. I will try and be specific so that you can understand & access the situation as well as possible.

-I woke up one day with my nose very runny and clogged soon after a slight soar throat proceeded. - I constantly take my temperature, the highest it was was 101. For the most part it was ranging in the 98 - 100.9. Id say it was usually at 99. I really only recall it hitting 101 once or twice(i musta checked 20 times) - I had very slight chills and a light headache.

What has given me peace of mind is that I don't have a rash or swollen lymph nodes(that i can see). The soar throat i have is almost surley connected to the post nasal drip that is from my congestion. I know this because if i take a hot misty shower and cough out all the phlegm my soar throat is practically gone. Also my throat looks normal for from my non medical perspective, i don't see any white blotches or anything. I got tested yesterday and it was negative, i did this for some peace of mind because i read that it is probable that you will test positive during ARS.

I know symptoms cant diagnose this but they can provide SOME insight for those who cant stop thinking about it. My questions are this 1. Does this sound like ars to you 2. During ARS does the soar throat cause visible changes in the throat? Is my congested soar throat the same as the ARS one? 3. I took claritin D and that helped, would that be the case with ARS. 4. Is my fever high enough to signal ARS 5. My symptoms began 11 days after exposure is that within the time frame? 6. The cold is basically gone now, it lasted 3 or 4 days is that too short for ars? 7. Is the missing Rash a good sign?

Thanks so much doc. I'm really stressed out and my birthday party is tomorrow :( , My symptoms are basically gone but this worry and stress will do much worse for my mood and ability to enjoy myself. You guys do great things with this board its a great service. I thought there would be some type of donation thing linked to this submission request, how do i go about donating?

I hope you can get back to me Concerned Birthday Boy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Birthday Boy,

1. Nope.

2. Variable from person to person. Nope.

3. Nope.

4. There is great variability from case to case.

5. ARS symptoms generally manifest themselves two to three weeks post-exposure.

6. ARS respiratory symptoms vary greatly from case to case.

7. Not really of any importance.

The only reason to worry or get tested is HIV-exposure risk, not the presence or absence of symptoms. You had an extremely brief unprotected exposure due to a broken condom. Your "symptoms" are not worrisome for HIV ARS. My advice is to relax Max! Get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. The result will undoubtedly be negative. Also, check proper condom usage (see archives). Condoms very rarely fail when used properly.

Donation information for The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation can be found on the foundation's Web site at (www.concertedeffort.org). Thank you for your desire to help others in desperate need. In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that you are now and will always be HIV free.

Be well. Stay well. Stop freaking out and go have some birthday cake, OK?

Dr. Bob



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