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Why isn't ARS a certainty?

Mar 7, 1997

Rick, I'm curious as to why HIV acute retroviral syndrome doesn't occur closer to 100% of the time, or why the severity of it varies so much from person to person? In chicken pox for example, the guy always gets rashes and always gets a fever after a roughly 2 week incubation period. Initially, isn't HIV replicating enough to always cause some sort of reaction, like a fever to occur? What other factors could cause this wide range of severity in HIV ARS? Thanks.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. Nothing in medicine is ever 100%. All of our bodies are different, and all respond differently to various diseases. No matter what disease you're talking about, people can vary as to the symptoms they have, and the severity of symptoms. Not everyone gets every symptom of a disease, no matter what disease you're talking about, including HIV/AIDS. The key is that all of our bodies respond a little differently, and no two people's bodies are exactly the same. Just as we differ from each other externally (people look different from each other), we differ from each other internally as well. It's these differences from one another internally, that can lead to variability of symptoms of Acute Viral Syndrome, and just about any other disease as well.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

persistent lymphadenopathy
Swollen Glands

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