Hi Rick, I was exposed to a possible risk ( sex with a prostitute, and
the condom broke ). At 6 weeks I was tested ( negative ), and then again
at 2 months after ( 8 1/2 weeks). The tests were p24antigen and an
antibody ( plus a host of std tests), all were negative. However, at
10-11 weeks, I experienced severe diarrhoea and fever for about 5 days.
I also noticed a whitish layer on my tongue, which is going away. Could
one experience symptoms at 10 weeks? I understand that these primary
symptoms should occur within the first couple of weeks after possible
Hi. Thank you for your question.
The following information discusses the symptoms of HIV/AIDS and testing for
HIV. Pay close attention to the time points when all of these occur. By
comparing all of this information, you will see that it is unlikely that your
symptoms are HIV/AIDS related, but only testing at 6 months will give you a
conclusive answer as to whether you are infected or not.
When we're talking about symptoms, it's important to remember that there are
actually 2 periods of time when one may show symptoms.
Within the first few weeks after infection (usually within 4-6 weeks), some
people with HIV show symptoms due to "Acute Viral Syndrome." This occurs
during your bodies initial response against the virus. During this time, a
person may show symptoms that look exactly like the flu (headaches, body
aches, fevers, fatigue etc.). The symptoms last for a week or two, then go
away by themselves. They do NOT persist for many weeks or months. Some
people who acquire HIV may have severe flu-like symptoms due to Acute Viral
Syndrome. In other people with HIV, these symptoms may be very mild. In
still other people with HIV, they may not show these symptoms at all. A
person may, or may not, show positive on an antibody test during this period
of time. I must strongly emphasize here that the symptoms of Acute Viral
Syndrome look exactly like the symptoms of other illnesses, so having flu
symptoms does not indicate HIV infection, in of itself. It is also important
to remember that not all people will get Acute Viral Syndrome, and in those
that do get it, the severity can vary from person to person.
In regard to the symptoms related to full blown AIDS itself, they don't
usually begin until literally years after infection. Before that time, a
person can look and feel totally healthy with no symptoms at all. As for the
specific symptoms of AIDS, there are no specific symptoms you could list.
AIDS is actually a group of diseases, and therefore you're dealing with
groups of symptoms. Not everyone with AIDS has every disease and therefore
not everyone has every symptom. Every symptom of AIDS looks like the
symptoms of other illnesses. Symptoms can include severe weight loss,
fevers, drenching night sweats, fatigue, severe diarrhea, and the list goes
on and on. Generally the symptoms tend to last for weeks or months at a
time, and do not go away by themselves (not without treatment). Symptoms do
not begin until an average of 10 years after infection. You can have HIV and
even full blown AIDS and have no symptoms at all! Generally speaking, if you
have any symptoms that last for more than 2 weeks and do not go away, or if
you have any symptoms that are very severe, always seek medical attention,
regardless of what you think the problem is. You can't assume any symptom is
HIV/AIDS related until you get laboratory tests.
In regard to the accuracy of the antibody tests:
The AVERAGE period of time that an infected person will show positive on the
test is 25 days. This is an average, so not all people will test positive by
this point in time.
The USUAL period of time that an infected person will show positive on the
test is 3 months. This means that most (but not all) infected people will
show positive on the test by this time.
The MAXIMUM period of time that an infected person will show positive on the
test is 6 months. By this point in time, more than 99% of infected persons
will show positive on the test. This is as accurate as any test in medicine
could ever be.
For the most accurate test result, you must wait 6 months after your last
possible exposure to the virus (or anytime afterward). At 6 months, the
tests are more than 99% accurate. If you get tested before the 6 month
waiting period, you could have the infection but the test won't pick it up.
Also, if a person tests negative at the time that they are showing symptoms,
that indicates that their symptoms are not AIDS related. A person first
shows positive on the test (by 6 months after infection), and then later
shows symptoms (an average of 10 years after infection). So if a person tests
negative at the time that they're showing symptoms, that indicates that the
symptoms are not AIDS related.
In regard to the p-24 antigen test, this will usually begin to show positive
an average of 6 days before an antibody test will show positive. Also, once
the antibody test starts showing positive, the p-24 antigen test will often
revert back to a negative result. The p-24 antigen test alone CANNOT be used
for the diagnosis of HIV infection. That is what the antibody tests are used
If you have any further questions please e-mail me at "email@example.com" or call me at 1-800-842-AIDS.