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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
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Question about symptoms and about aids charities
      #133446 - 01/24/05 01:22 PM

I had what some would say is a low-risk exposure a couple months ago. I performed oral-sex on a gay man of unknown hiv status. i was sick at the time with a bad throat infection and bronchitis. but, still, i have been told that the chances are very slim that i am infected. but lately i have been itching like crazy! all over my body--my arms, legs, etc. i just itch like crazy.

i guess the reason why i'm concerned is because i read a post earlier about a man who had been infected with hiv and he said that his only symptom was itchy skin. but, i guess my itchy skin could be due to a million other things, too, huh? so, performing oral sex on a man (even with sore throat?) is low risk, plus the itchy skin could be due to many other things...so does that sound like i'm just worrying too much about nothing? thanks.

also, i want to contribute some money to an hiv/aids charity, but i'm a little torn--i don't know if i should donate to a charity that is working to find a cure or a charity that helps provide hiv medications to those already infected. they are both great causes, but i'm a little torn. any ideas?

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rjasin123
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Reged: 01/27/04
Posts: 410
Re: Question about symptoms and about aids charities new
      #133448 - 01/24/05 01:31 PM

Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS)

This strikes you as a flu-like sickness usually about 2 to 4 weeks following initial infection. The symptoms usually last 3 to 14 days and go away on their own, just like the flu. It is estimated 50% to 90% of persons infected will get this syndrome. The most common symptoms are fever (fever means 100˚F or higher), sore throat, swollen glands in the neck, armpits and groin, muscle and joint pains, rash and/or night sweats. Less common symptoms include weight loss (10 to 15 pounds), diarrhea, nausea, headache, and, very rarely, yeast infections of the mouth (thrush). Respiratory things like runny nose, sinus infection, coughing, sneezing, etc. are not generally considered symptoms of this syndrome.

The symptoms do not generally last longer than 14 days and will rarely occur 6 or more weeks after exposure. The symptoms may range from mild to severe, but mild symptoms will typically last a shorter period of time than severe ones, and the symptoms that are going to occur usually do so all at once. After this period, you most likely will not get another HIV-related illness for 10 or more years; however, there have been rare cases where the person went directly into AIDS following ARS.

All of these symptoms may be caused by other factors, including the flu or stress. You cannot diagnose HIV based on symptoms, only by testing; however, if you experience these symptoms after a high-risk encounter, you may want to see your doctor.

Whether or not you get this syndrome may or may not impact the testing window period very much, but will probably indicate how the disease will progress. I have read that some say you will test positive about 10 days after having this syndrome, others state it doesn’t affect the window period at all. You are extremely infectious during this period, so if you fear you may have ARS, be extra careful with safer sex and sharing needles. There is some debate over the subject, but it’s likely that beginning treatment during this syndrome will greatly affect how the disease will progress later on.

As for charities, this site map can point you to some. Give with your heart.

jazz

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