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Prognosis and Acute Viral Syndrome

Oct 21, 1997

How does the appearance of Acute Viral Syndrome affect the prognosis for AIDS in terms of time?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. First of all, please carefully read the question, "What are the symptoms of HIV/AIDS" regarding the symptoms associated with Acute Viral Syndrome. The presence or absence of this syndrome cannot be used to determine the progression to AIDS.

There has been some suggestion that in persons with severe Acute Viral Syndrome, (or those with high initial viral loads), that progression to AIDS may progress faster. However, to date, there is little or no hard data to prove this.

I have only seen one study that directly addressed Acute Viral Syndrome, and progression to AIDS. In this study, in persons who had fever associated with Acute Viral Syndrome, these persons tended to progress faster to AIDS, than persons who did not have fever associated with recent HIV infection. According to this study, other symptoms associated with Acute Viral Syndrome could not be used to determine the rate of progression to AIDS. Let me stress that persons who have fever associated with Acute Viral Syndrome will NOT automatically progress to AIDS faster than those without fever. But this one study suggested that in some persons with fever associated with Acute Viral Syndrome, the disease may progress faster.

Does this mean that having a fever soon after an exposure, indicates that you may have HIV? Absolutely not! There are numerous reasons for a person to have a fever, so please do not assume you have HIV just because you may have a fever.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at "" or call me at 1-800-842-AIDS (Nationwide). I'm glad to help!

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