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Anonymous
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ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms
      #16251 - 03/06/01 09:31 PM

I read on some website that in parts of the Third World, where sophisticated or even our common diagnostic tests are lax, that in some instances they are diagnosing people as HIV+ based on what appear as ARS symptoms. This report got me really scared. The report read that people with night sweats were 9 times more likely to be HIV+ if they had engaged in a risky behavior over those who did not have them or had them but hadn't done anything. I had some mild night sweats soon after what I think was an exposure. I am scared and am almost assuming I could be + based on my symptoms. They went away after two weeks and haven't returned. If they were stress related, wouldn't they come back or wouldn't I get different ones over a long period of time? Did anyone in here suffer any "acute" flulike or mono like illness soon after an exposure, consistent with the laundry list of ars symptoms, have the symptoms go away (I read of people here who have chronic long drawn out symptoms and they go away when they test negative, obviously their symptoms were from stress). I don't know what I'll do if I am positive since I am only 22, in school, and about to graduate from college (with a liberal arts degree). I had a sore throat, lack of appetitie, mild night sweats, I think my neck was swollen (don't really remember) so the swollen neck may've been due to swollen lymph nodes, and for the first few days, I was sweating a bit during the day and felt hot, I believe I had a fever. So any words of advice? Could this definetly have been ARS? I tested negative one week short of 2 months by the way.



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Anonymous
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Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16252 - 03/06/01 10:37 PM

I had a possible exposure 2 months ago and I have not had any symptoms and everyone that I have asked who is POZ never had any symptoms I think the ARS is BS : ) just gotta test .



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Anonymous
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Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16254 - 03/06/01 11:27 PM

An important question is: How long after these symptoms did you get tested? If you were tested a week or more after these symptoms subsided, that may be some very good news. From what I've read, the symptoms subside when antibodies are made. Also, the seven week negative is very good news. And, do you have any way of contacting the person to whom you were exposed? If yes, talk to them ..... find out where they are at, and ask them if they'll test. I do believe that most people (especially people who were intimate with us in the first place) will be cooperative in these cases. And finally, if you feel comfortable sharing ..... what exactly was your exposure? There are a lot of things that can shed light on what you're going through .... good luck, and hope to hear from you.



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Ex_Male_Slut
Fanatic

Reged: 11/02/00
Posts: 57
Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16255 - 03/07/01 04:20 AM

I had exactly the same symptoms and consequent paranoia - short lived fever & sore throat; long term (> 1 month) fatigue, joint and muscle aches, tender lymph nodes and all my HIV test results were negative out to 3 months.

I was tested for hepatitus, glandular fever (mono-nucleosis) and strep throat. These were negative except for Glandular fever which had more of a historical leaning. Fact is that Glandular fever can re-appear from time to time especially during stressful times and this has almost identical symptoms to those of HIV.

You need to also make sure you get treated for Strep throat if you have it as this can develop into rheumatic fever which has serious symptoms similar to those mentioned above and has the potential to damage organs such as the brain & heart when it takes hold.

Although it's easier said than done - don't focus on symptoms, instead get 3rd generation HIV Elisa tests done. This test is so sensitive these days that most people who are HIV+ will test positive within one month. You still need to test out to 3 months to be really sure though (99.7% certainty).

Take care of yourself and remember you are entitled to still have a life both during the window period and after, irrespective of the test results. Focus on the things which put you in a positive frame of mind.

All the best.



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Gooblaki
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Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16262 - 03/07/01 03:18 PM

Where to begin... As everyone here says, "Don't diagnose by symptoms" That's a good place to start. I just got my 14 week test result back... I had a horrible illness shortly after exposure (couldn't eat for a week, couldn't concentrate, felt like sh!t, huge swollen neck glands) Then I recovered after a week (All the while thinking that I probably contracted HIV). About three weeks later, I got sick again, this time my groin nodes swelled up and I felt basically unwell for about 2 weeks. Also, I noticed wierd unremoveable white plaques on the side of my tongue that I was sure was OHL! During this time I took the eight week test (Negative). That relieved me for a while, but then I started noticing what I thought were swollen lymphs in other places in my body, plus I was still in the 'window' so I continued freakin'. Needless to say, I felt as though I was doomed and most definitely positive. I went in for the last test, and had to wait a week for results. During that week I couldn't not think about HIV all the time and how I ruined my bright future (I'm 22 also) But I got the results back and was negative! So PLEASE, don't do what I did and tons of other people and diagnose on symptoms (You'll drive yourself nutz) Take care and good luck.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16264 - 03/07/01 06:10 PM

Although that is truly sound advice, it is so hard to not diagnose oneself by symptoms when one is experiencing them. I am not trying to sound negative, it's just next to impossible not to obsess (if it's part of your personality) if you've had a risky exposure and are now experiencing symptoms. So, although many people are telling others not to obsess on symptoms ..... we may need to approach it from a different angle. In short, when someone tells me to stop worrying ..... it just doesn't work. However, if you suggest techniques such a deep breathing, praying, meditation, etc. - those things seem to be able to help the obsessive mind. Just a thought.



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stef
Regular

Reged: 01/31/01
Posts: 33
Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16265 - 03/07/01 06:55 PM

I agree with your statement. I went thru the same turmoil during my window period and no matter how many people tried to tell me to relax, obsessing ultimately won the battle.

What helped me was taking up Yoga. It's on very early in the morning on TV so I'm able to take advantage of it in my home. Another suggestion; go by yourself a puzzle and setup a cozy space in your house to put it together. Neither of these activities involves a huge amount of concentration (which I was having a hard time doing).

I know what you're going through. One think I know for sure: steer clear of HIV web sites and don't try to self-diagnose. You're ultimately setting yourself up for additional stress, doubt and anxiety.

Good luck





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Anonymous
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So What About the Assumptions in the 3rd World? new
      #16266 - 03/07/01 07:42 PM

That is great advice not to worry, but does anyone have any thoughts on refuting the idea that in the 3rd World, with the absence of spophisticated testing techniques, sometimes if I person experiences ARS-like symptoms after a potential exposure, that it can be safe to assume the person is HIV+? The wenbsite scared me, especially when it said those with night sweats are 9 times more likely to be positive. Thanks any feedback will do.



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TexGal
Master

Reged: 11/21/00
Posts: 139
Take it for what it is! new
      #16268 - 03/07/01 08:31 PM

I wouldn't be worried about a website stating that ARS symptoms are a tell tale sign of HIV infection. Take the information for what it is....information from a 3rd World country. These are the same countries where some of the population think that you can cure HIV infection if you have sex with a virgin. If you search the internet long and hard enough, you will find anything to feed the anxiety you are already feeling.

You are fortunate enough not to reside in one of those countries. Every skilled clinician will tell you that you CANNOT diagnose or assume anyone's HIV status via symptoms. That is what an HIV test is for. Take your test at 3 months, count your blessings when you receive your negative result and learn a valuable lesson from this.

Like many wise people have already posted, DO NOT DIAGNOSE BY SYMPTOMS!!! Take a deep breath, relax and for heavens sake....STOP SEARCHING THE NET!!! Trust me...been there, done that!

Best of luck to you and try to stay busy during this stressful time.

Tex



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Anonymous
Unregistered

RI didn't say the website was from the 3rd World new
      #16271 - 03/07/01 08:57 PM

I never wrote that the website was from the third world, I merely wrote that the website was ABOUT the 3rd World. The website seemed to be from the western industrialized world and was reporting on ARS in 3rd World HIV cases. Many countries in the 3rd World lack resources so they assume HIV based on symptoms. They showed a statistic that people with night sweats were 9 times mor elikely to have HIV. I think the statistics were from Western statisticians, not thirld world ones.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16278 - 03/07/01 10:56 PM

Right on, Stef! Now, Yoga ..... that's a GREAT technique ..... much better than saying "Stop Worrying!" Again, when people tell me to "Stop", or "Don't", I just feel like I'm being scolded by someone who is annoyed with me. How about saying, "It's totally natural to obsess and worry .... but what can you do that is proactive while in waiting? Can you talk with the person that you had contact with? Can you get advice on the specific contact? Can you see an expert in HIV Primary Infection? Can you breathe deeply and find good things in life? Can you think positive enough to see that if you come up positive in 2001, there are GREAT things happening with meds., etc. that allow people to lead long, healthy lives? What about spirituality?" In my opinion, these are the things that can help calm our minds down during this crazy time.



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TexGal
Master

Reged: 11/21/00
Posts: 139
Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16284 - 03/08/01 12:22 AM

Kudos anon! I have to compliment you on a very positive post. You are absolutely correct! I just wish I would have thought like that while I was in my waiting period. I'm sure the stress and anxiety I put myself through shaved about 10 years off of my life.

Great words and continue to be strong!

Tex



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: ARS, 3rd World, Diagnosis By Symptoms new
      #16288 - 03/08/01 01:37 AM

Well, Tex, if that cut 10 years off your life ..... my wish is that you live to be 120! God Bless!



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