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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Reged: 10/17/07
Posts: 27
      #233816 - 11/21/07 03:16 PM

Is it possible for symptoms to last 7 weeks? My symptoms started at day 4 after risky encounter with mild fever, achey muscles in legs, profuse night sweats. The fever lasted about 5 days...but I still have achey leg muscles and night sweats. The night sweats are much more mild now than the beginning but still enough to get everything wet while I sleep. Can ARS last this long? I did get a rapid test done and the result was negative. But the test was done at 5 weeks and 4 days...3 days short of the 6 weeks. I will test again at 13 weeks but I am still very nervous.

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Reged: 09/06/07
Posts: 164
Loc: London, UK
      #233817 - 11/21/07 03:48 PM

ARS is an acute illness, which by definition means that it tends to have an abrupt onset and a short duration (in the case of ARS, normally no more than a week or so .. two at the top extreme).

If it is a more severe case of ARS (and I mean severe in the sense that you are so ill that you simply can’t function and need to be hospitalised) then it can occasionally last for longer.

As you describe it, there are three reasons why the whole collection of symptoms is almost certainly not ARS:

1 – for the severity, they are simply lasting too long

2 – if it was that severe, you would almost certainly have detectable HIV antibodies

3 – the fact that is started so early tends to indicate that it is mainly stress, or some other less serious infection

You may think that you are an exception .. but to be an exception you would almost certainly have to be so ill with some other condition that you simply couldn’t develop antibodies .. but if this was the case, you wouldn’t experience any symptoms of ARS either.

The fact that the whole collection isn’t ARS doesn’t mean that you haven’t had ARS. Anxiety could prolonging / adding symptoms .. but given the negative test you had at almost six week, I really do doubt that.

I would guess that your symptoms are stress / anxiety induced.

As I just told the other guy, you simply cannot make a positive diagnosis from non-specific symptoms .. and it is only with the benefit of hindsight, and the knowledge that we are infected, that most of us ever manage to identify what we think may have been an ARS event.

Test again at thirteen weeks to be sure, but in the meantime all this stress and worry will do you no good at all and doesn’t change what will be.

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