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Symptoms Consistent with ARS...Is/Are There Such Thing/Things? (ARS SYMPTOMS, 2011)

Jul 4, 2011

Dear Dr. Bob,

I know you have pointed out again and again that symptoms are extremely unreliable in diagnosing HIV/AIDS. Besides being a cold hard fact, it also helps to lighten up those reading this forum who are plagued by anxiety and guilt manifesting in one 'symptom' after another.

However, it is also a fact that a majority of those infected by HIV do develop symptoms of ARS. Many of the those written in to ask about their symptoms almost always got your reply that their symptoms are not consistent with ARS.

There are a lot of other websites on the internet that list down symptoms for ARS which actually seems like a who's who of opportunistic infection and some often clashes with what has been answered on this website regarding symptoms. For example, I read the question of one enquirer to this forum who describe the rashes from his possible exposure as something akin to folliculitis and you answered that what he had was consistent with folliculitis. But I have read on another website that folliculitis is one of the possible symptoms of ARS.

I have always maintain that The Body is the official and foremost website to go to for HIV/AIDS issues.

Therefore, in your personal and professional experience Doctor, are there symptoms that are consistent with ARS? It would be good Doctor, if you can elaborate on such symptoms if they exist not to add to the fears of those affected by anxiety, guilt and irrational fear of HIV, but for those on the other side of the coin who think that they are invincible and keep on playing the sexual Russian roulette. It would be good for them to be aware of possible ARS symptoms so that they go for their HIV test and do not end up infecting others.

Thank you Doctor Bob.

Response from Dr. Frascino


The reason to get an HIV test is potential HIV exposure, not the presence or absence of symptoms. The take-home lesson is if you've put yourself at risk for HIV, you need an HIV test. It really is just that straightforward.

Regarding a list of symptoms associated with ARS and the percentage of time the specific symptoms are present, I've discussed this a number of times over the years. See link below for an example of what can be easily accessed in the archives.

Dr. Bob

please answer my question? (ARS SYMPTOMS, 2009) Jul 14, 2009

6 months after exposure soon. very worried
Thank you so much for answering my question (Ghana housemate). Just one more thing...(unrelated to that situation)

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