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ARS - Seeking opinions until I can get tested

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Old 08-08-2012, 10:37 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 2
dotdwg HB User
Unhappy ARS - Seeking opinions until I can get tested

Hello all,

I'm sorry to make another thread like this. I know HIV can not be diagnosed online, but I guess I kinda want to hear what somebody else has to say until it's time for my test.

On Saturday, July 28th, I had my first unprotected sex with a same-sex friend that I somewhat trust. We've been having encounters for years, always protected, and we always keep each other in the know about our status, showing our papers and all. Anyways, this time, he suggested if we could try it without protection, and me not having sex for about half a year, stupidly said yes. I was in the giving end.
It didn't take long afterwards for me to regret the decision, especially when I realized that his last negative test was in May. [He promised to get tested tomorrow, but I don't know if I should trust that, at this point].

Five days after the event, I woke up with a tickle in my throat. I walked it off. On the 6th day, my throat was acting up, but nothing major. On the 7th day, however, I felt horrible. I had a bad sore throat, a fever, body aches, and a bit of congestion, but the congestion was very light. Nothing like a cold. On the 8th day, everything was getting better, but my throat was still hurting pretty bad. I could barely eat, and even swallowing ice cream hurts. Today, my throat still hurts, and I feel fatigued. I feel like my throat is very tight.
I do not know if I have swollen lymph nodes, because I've never been able to figure out how to diagnose that. I don't have any sort of rash, nor do I have any spots in my mouth.

I will get tested when it's time, but in the meantime, should I be worried, some-what worried, barely worried? :\

Thank you all!

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Old 08-08-2012, 11:36 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: England
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Re: ARS - Seeking opinions until I can get tested

Hi dot, well we don't speculate on symptoms because they never prove your status not to mention the sticky thread at the top of the page gives the classic example of why we don't get involved on speculation. That said any symptoms at this time scale cannot be HIV related as it's to soon, but then you have been Looking them up on them havnt you?

You had a risk and you do need to test out till 3 months, but you can take a test at 6 weeks which will give you an indication of your status. His status cannot be relied upon to confirm your own status.

Hope that helps

Last edited by Apollo123; 08-08-2012 at 11:42 PM.

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capehatteras (08-09-2012)
Old 08-08-2012, 11:48 PM   #3
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Re: ARS - Seeking opinions until I can get tested

Seven days is somewhat early for ARS symptoms to appear. Also, symptoms usually last 1-2 weeks on average. There are lots of viruses that can produce the same symptoms, so don't let them worry you. Studies have shown that for 99% of people experiencing ARS-like symptoms, the symptoms were due to more common virus (NOT HIV).

I would not consider this a high risk exposure, since your partner has had a recent negative test, but you did have a risk.

An antibody test at 4 weeks post-exposure would be about 90% accurate. If the test is negative, it will prove that your symptoms were not due to ARS. Or if you want a more accurate test (i.e. 99% accuracy), you can wait to 6 weeks as Apollo suggested. Follow up at 3 months for a conclusive result. Your tests will tell you whether or not you were infected.

Last edited by joggen; 08-08-2012 at 11:51 PM.

Old 08-09-2012, 02:12 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Re: ARS - Seeking opinions until I can get tested

Hey Buddy,

As many of us have been in your situation we can all understand your concern. Reading your post it looks like you are 10 days out from your “potential exposure” this is a tad bit early and as Apollo and Joggen have said early to test. The updated US standard for testing is baseline, three weeks and three months. If both 3 weeks and 3 months are negative then you are not infected.

If your anxiety is overwhelming there are other options, again not the “gold standard” however. At two weeks a p24 duo test, RNA PCR or DNA PCR would identify most early infections, especially if you are having symptoms as symptoms are a sign of immune response. If your immune system is responding you are creating antibodies.
An RNA PCR is not FDA approved for diagnostics in the United States. However, the RNA or DNA PCR are highly used around the world in places like England and Australia. At 10 days and RNA PCR is highly accurate as in early infection the virus is multiplying rapidly. At 4 weeks the combination of a negative PCR, P24 or antibody test is a pretty good indication of your status. If you wait for an antibody test alone, 4 weeks is a good indication, 6 weeks is highly reliable and 12/13 weeks (don’t get caught up on what is 3 months”) is conclusive.

If you have a true concern about your exposure I encourage you to reach out to a medical professional. None of us posting on this board are doctors and you should take what each of us write at that, our opinion, rooted in information from our experiences. Seeking medical advice from an online community, well it may be comforting, should not be a substitute for real medical attention. I would encourage you to reach out to a local department of health or clinic and discuss your risk and exposure with them so they can assess your risk and advise you how/ when to begin testing.

Please know there is support on the boards here and always know someone will write back. I encourage you to take a deep breath and continue living you life. Don’t waste time searching HIV information on the internet it will only fuel your anxiety; Dr. Google is less reliable than any of us.

Best of health. If you need anything write back, most of us will reply.


Old 08-09-2012, 11:35 PM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: FL
Posts: 2
dotdwg HB User
Re: ARS - Seeking opinions until I can get tested

Hey everyone,

Thank you very much for your replies!
I know it's impossible to diagnose over symptoms, but I guess I just wanted to share my story and hear other people, since I don't really have anyone offline to talk about this.

Just a quick update. Today I feel a lot better. The only thing is that my Asthma kicked in [it always does when it's a regular cold or flu], so my chest feels very tight. But my sore throat is about 95% gone.

My friend was tested negative in May, and said he would re-test this week. I know not to rely on that, but it will make me feel slightly better [or give me a mini heart attack if it's positive] until I can take the test myself.

Anyways, thank you all for listening and replying.

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