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Can HIV symptoms occur within 48 hours?

Jun 27, 2018

I'm sure this has been asked many times, but for the sake of putting my mind at rest, could HIV symptoms appear within 48 hours of infection?

Long story short, me and my boyfriend have just moved to a new city and our friends took us to the local gay nightclub. Whilst extremely drunk, out of the blue a guy started kissing me with tongue. Now I didn't think anything of it until coming down with a sore throat and flue symptoms 48 hours later. It's probably nothing, but I'm incredibly paranoid about this sort of thing especially as I've only ever been with my current boyfriend, so contracting STIs has never been a worry.

Cheers!

Response from Mr. Jacobs

Hi there --

I think between the title of the question and your report of what happened I'm seeing three different questions. So let's break this down in order for you get the most accurate information possible:

1. Can HIV symptoms occur within 48 hours? Generally, no. If someone were to have symptoms of HIV while seroconverting they would generally experience them 1-3 weeks after HIV transmission. The average length of time for these symptoms to present is 10 days (http://i-base.info/qa/284).

2. Can you get HIV from drunkenly tonguing a stranger in a nightclub? Definitely not. HIV cannot be transmitted through kissing. It must be transmitted from the mucous membranes of one person into the mucous membranes of another, hence why sexual contact and IV drug use are the most common routes. It cannot be transmitted through casual contact like kissing, touching, rubbing, sharing utensils, sharing toilets, etc.

3. Can you get any STD from drunkenly tonguing a stranger in a nightclub? Not really. The only STD that can be transmitted through kissing is herpes simplex one (HS1), which approximately 67% of the population already has (http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus).

So what's with the sore throat and flu symptoms? My guess is that they are more related to the paranoid feelings you are experiencing versus the virus itself. Although "AIDS Phobia" is not an official clinical diagnosis, it certainly pertains to an excessive and irrational fear of acquiring HIV that persists despite HIV negative tests. It is possible that how you have learned about HIV, or seen others be stigmatized with HIV, have contributed to this anguish you are suffering right now. For more information about this pattern, please check out this article: https://www.verywell.com/understanding-aids-phobia-48745 .

I hope this information helps you to relax, get tested, and enjoy nights on the town in your new city!



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