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Managing Side Effects of HIV TreatmentManaging Side Effects of HIV Treatment
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just a quick yes or no please!
Jul 10, 2005

Hi, Im a 22 yr old male I had a high risk encounter 5 months ago my last test was 3 1/2 months after exposure, it was negative. My symptoms that have persisted for over 2 months which are: joint pains, itchy eyes, runny nose, nausea, small rash on my hand, muscle pain, twitching, loss of appetite, and the skin on my legs is really sensitive even to clothing. The only thing I do not have is swollen glands. Does this sound like acute retroviral syndrome to you? Do you think I will be positive at the 6 month mark? I never had these symptoms before. Thank you very much from a very worried man.

Response from Dr. Conway

At this stage, I would remind us all that the symptoms of acute retroviral syndrome are quite non-specific and can occur as a result of a number of different conditions, quite apart from HIV. You need to discuss this with your doctor to see if tests that have nothing to do with HIV need to be done to figure out what you have.

With a negative HIV antibody test done over 3 months after the exposure, the likelihood that you have been infected becomes extremely unlikely. This being said, at this stage, I might consider doing another antibody test along with a viral load test and a CD4 count. If none of these are suggestive of HIV infection, you can lay the issue to rest definitively.

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