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Acute HIV symptoms
Sep 4, 2006

I had unprotected vaginal intercourse with a girl about two weeks ago. As soon as it happened I became very anxious about what I could have just done to myself. Two days after this happened I got a fever, and by the next the fever was so bad that I woke up in the middle of the night to a soaked bed. The fever and chills lasted another couple of days, and since then I've felt fine.

I've read that fever is usually associated with acute HIV infection, but the time period for when these symptoms occur is what is confusing me. Most sources say that they appear between 2 - 4 weeks after infection occurs, durring seroconversion, but others say that they can appear as soon as two days after infection.

Is it possible for seroconversion to happen earlier than a few weeks in skinny people (125lbs) such as myself? Could the fever be linked to possible HIV infection? Could it have been caused by me panicing about the situation?

Thanks

Response from Dr. Daar

Fever is a common part of actue HIV infection and can occur from days to weeks after an exposure. That said, it would be unusual to occur after only two days. The reasons you see mixed results is because it is variable from person to person. At this point it is impossible to predict what factors might influence the timing to symptoms or to believe that it would be different in someone of lower weight.

It is possible your symptoms were related to any one of a number of other infections or perhaps stress/anxiety. I would suggest you discuss this with your primary provider who can evaluate you for other causes of this illness and monitor you for HIV to make sure that you were not infected as a result of this exposure.

Best, Eric


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