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Fatigue, Body Aches, No Fever
Sep 25, 2000

I have been suffering from body aches and fatigue for four weeks which started ten days after one episode of unprotected oral sex (perhaps 30 seconds of giving oral sex without ejaculation but with a canker sore in my mouth). I have had no fever with this. Can I reassure myself that if these were symptoms of primary HIV infection, such symptoms would not last past one or two weeks? The general statement about primary HIV does say that symptoms do not persist, but I have read other info that suggests they can last up to one or two months. I tested negative for HIV last week but I know that that test was meaningless for this recent episode.

Response from Mr. Kull

I have no way of telling you whether or not you were infected with HIV and to what your symptoms are attributed. Your risk from that one episode of oral sex is low. Acute retroviral syndrome is usually characterized by a constellation of symptoms, with fever, rash, fatigue, sore throat, myalgia (muscular pain) and lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph glands) being more common. One study found that average length of symptoms to be 22 days.

I'd recommend that you see a doctor to talk about your symptoms since they have lasted for four weeks. Remember that stress and anxiety can play a role in how you feel physically.

RMK



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