Re: ARS Symptoms, 3 weeks after Unprotected Vaginal Intercourse
First of all, you should read the excellent sticky post at the top of the forum about how HIV is not diagnosed by symptoms.
The reason that HIV is not diagnosed by symptoms is that the symptoms (sometimes) produced in acute HIV infection are NON-specific, meaning that there are hundreds of viruses that produce the same symptoms. The symptoms that are sometimes produced in acute HIV infection usually appear as a triad in most infected people: high fever, severe sore throat, and a body rash. From what you describe, you barely have a fever, and lack other symptoms that are more commonly observed during ARS.
The other factor that needs to be considered is the risk of your exposure. This exposure occurred in the UK, which has a low prevalence of HIV in women, even in commercial sex workers. While this particular CSW is probably at higher risk than most CSWs, since she occasionally engages in unprotected sex with clients, on the overall spectrum her risk is not particularly high. For example, if your exposure occurred with a native CSW in Tanzania, her chances of having HIV would be at least 10-fold higher.
Given that fevers can be produced in the body by all kinds of common viruses, that your temperature barely registers as a fever, and that you had a relatively low risk exposure, I would maintain that HIV would still be highly unlikely in this situation. There is a risk, of course, but it is low.
One thing that might help in this situation is if you can relay your concerns to your partner and get her to have an HIV test (perhaps pay for it). If she tests negative then that would of course be extremely assuring for you. Perhaps she would be understanding of your situation.
Also, there is an early detection test available (4th generation tests that test for both antibody and antigen, called a DUO or COMBO) that you can take now that would pretty much tell you one way or another whether you were infected. However, you would still need to have a confirmation test at 3 months. Ultimately, testing will be the only way to know whether you were infected, which you seem to know. Hope this helps.
Last edited by joggen; 08-17-2012 at 08:03 AM.