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could these symptoms be ARS?
Sep 12, 2012

Hi, I am freaking out with the possibility of being infected with HIV. This is my case: I had vaginal sex with a prostitute from Subsaharan Africa exactly 4 days ago. We used a condom. However, one hour after having sex (i realized there was some dried blood in the base of my penis (close to abdomen and far from the mucose i would say (i guess the condom was not completely well unrolled, but i am pretty sure it covered most of my penis). The blood belonged to the woman for sure (i checked and i had no broken skin whatsoever). I went to the doctor 27 hours later and told me about the possibility of starting prophylaxis. He told me that the risk was low, and it was up to me. I decided to go with the prophylaxis, just in case. Yesterday morning (so 2 days after exposure) i started with runny nose, fever, tiredness and strong sneezing which still lasts today. Yesterday afternoon i had fever (39 degrees celsius) and night sweats (my bed was wet in the morning). Today i still have 38 celsius degrees of temperature, and still have runny nose. I feel quite bad. I have no other risk exposures i can remember, at least in the last 2 years. My questions are:

-Could ARS give symptoms 3 days after exposure? (i read that most cases appear 2-4 weeks after exposure...) -Are my symptoms typical from ARS?

I very rarely have fever, and i think the influenza epidemic happens later in the year... so i am quite worried...

What do you think about the chances of being infected or this being ars?

Thank you very much in advance!

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

While your symptoms are very similar to ARS, I do not think that is what you are experiencing. You are correct, two to four weeks would be a more typical time-frame for when someone would experience ARS. In addition, it does not sound like your risk was very high. HIV needs direct access to the bloodstream for an infection to occur. Even if there was a cut on your skin, the likelihood of infection would have been fairly low. In addition, the virus starts to die the moment it leaves the human body. Within a minutes time the virus starts to die, and is unable to infect another person.

Bottom line: I do not think you acquired HIV from this incident. Of course, an HIV test at the three month mark will give you a conclusive answer. Good luck.

In health,

Richard



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