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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
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timing of ARS
      #18216 - 06/05/01 07:16 PM

A doctor writting in the NY Times said today, symptons after eposure appear immediatly. An expert on viral load on the ask the experts here at THE BODY says anywhere from DAYS TO WEEKS.The experts at the John Hopkins Q&A site say 2 to 4 weeks.A counselor at the NYC AIDS hotline said with conviction at least several weeks and a counselor for the very respected GMHC said with equal conviction that ars symptons can appear after a few days.One S African research hosp.say incubation period from exposure to ars is 3 days other US med schools have it at 7 or 10 out to 4 weeks.In short Iv'e seen time frames on the web and in books and puplications for the onset of symptons of Primary Infection after exposure from immediatly to one year. This is surprising since this ars has been studied for 15+ years Any thoughts on the subject




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CopperBlue
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Reged: 06/04/01
Posts: 119
Re: timing of ARS new
      #18220 - 06/05/01 10:50 PM

Hi there,

I think the reason many of us get so hung up on ARS is because we are (understandably) frightened. However, the most important factor is not to diagnose yourself based on symptoms alone. There are no symptoms of HIV that are specific ONLY to HIV. The only way to know if you're infected is to be tested. Therefore, I find that worrying about when ARS appears only adds to a person's stress. For example, after a very low-risk exposure I had 4 months ago, I became ill exactly two weeks later. I immediately thought of ARS, my anxiety hit an all-time high, and I became severely depressed. However, whether or not I had gotten ill, I would have been tested after the window period anyway. So worrying about whether or not my symptoms were ARS did absolutely nothing except destroy my mental health.

That said, from everything I've read, I personally believe that the symptoms of ARS generally occur a few weeks to a month after exposure. They can certainly occur earlier, and they can certainly occur later, although it seems to be very rare for symptoms to appear after several months. I would trust the GMHC and the NYC AIDS hotline. As a resident of NYC, a city with one of the largest (if not THE largest) number of AIDS cases in the country, I know these organizations are well-equipped and know what they are talking about.

An interesting side note: In one of Dr. Ryan Kull's responses in the "Safe Sex" forum, he said that sometimes deciding what to believe is a personal choice rather than a matter of absolute fact. There is certainly a lot of conflicting information out there about when ARS appears, when the window period is officially over, etc., and he said it's important to believe what YOU feel comfortable with so that you can move on with your life. My perfectionist (and paranoid) nature didn't want to accept that answer at first, but I do think he's right. The most important thing to do is trust your test results, put the matter behind you, and go on living your life the best you can :)

Copper



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