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acute hiv symptoms (hands/rash)
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acute hiv symptoms (hands/rash)

I am a straight male and had unprotected sex with a girl four weeks ago. Two weeks after exposure, my finger tips began to peel and became raw. Also, my palms have developed red spots and my hands have been sweating profusely.  In addition, i had a mild rash on my chest which has dissappeared and a mild sore throat that comes and goes. The main reason that this bothers me is because i found a website which stated peeling, red spots and sweating of the hands as signs of acute hiv.

I got tested three weeks after exposure and recieved my results yesterday. I was negative for hiv. I understand that is too soon to be tested given the "window period," but i was wondering if these symptoms are common in acute hiv infection. Also, can i have any reassurance from a test taken three weeks following exposure?
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239123_tn?1267651214
The symptoms you describe do not suggest HIV.  As I just said in another thread, virtually every symptom caused by most medical illnesses also can occur in ARS, which is why symptoms almost never are a valid indicator of new HIV infection.  You describe no reason whatsoever to be concerned about HIV.  But since you are, have another test 6 weeks after the exposure.  You can be sure of a negative result.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
16 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I dont know where you got those ARS symtoms (symptoms) from but they are not even close to ARS symptoms. Fever, rash, fatigue are the main ARS symtoms (symptoms), even then it could be something else beside hiv.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have rash on palm today and tested negative at 16 weeks. Dont let anxiety ruin months of your life. Get tested at 8 weeks and move on, the test will be negative again.
God Bless
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Avatar_n_tn
I plan on going back to be tested at the six week mark, but its gonna be a long two weeks. Does my test at three weeks after exposure provide any reassurance at all? Is there an average time span that it takes to detect antibodies?
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Avatar_n_tn
i was reading on this site it says the average time is 20 days..maybe dr hhh can fill us in on this?heres the link.

http://www.hivtest.org/subindex.cfm?FuseAction=FAQ#8

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239123_tn?1267651214
Cool it. You have no rational reason to be seriously concerned about HIV.  You obviously have no concept of how rare HIV is in sexually active women in the US and how hard it is to catch.  Odds your partner had HIV probably 0.1%.  Chance you caught it if she did, around 1 in 2,000.  Odds your 3 week test would miss a new infection, 50%.  These figures mean your risk of having HIV is 0.001 x 0.0005 x 0.5 = 0.00000025.  That's 1 chance in 40 million.

You didn't need testing at all.  Do you imagine that every person in the US who has sex with a new, casual partner needs to run out and be HIV tested?  Your chance of dying in the next week of some unexpected illness (other than HIV) or an accident is far higher than the chance you caught HIV.

You may not use this forum to vent such unreasoned fears.  This thread is over.
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Avatar_n_tn
I understand that many of the questions on this forum are rediculous and lame, but my anxiety and stress is real. I did not spend fifteen dollars or my time to come onto the forum and "vent." For the past 4 weeks i have had a legitimate fear for my health, my life, and i came here for a professional opinion. This forum exists to help people who are experiencing the same anxiety that i am and however unfounded and lame my situation is, i can assure you that it is real and i am scared.
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239123_tn?1267651214
I am not a counselor and this site is not intended for emotional support, except to the extent that my clarification of scientific fact helps resolve people's anxieties.  It obvously does that for many questioners, and I am sorry it didn't have that benefit for you, but that is not my fault and not my responsibility to solve.

I deleted a comment that was basically a religious promotion. Take that sort of stuff to the HIV support forum, not here.

This thread is over.
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Avatar_n_tn
I want to thank you doctor and let you know that your information really did releave some of my stress. I have one more question if you dont mind my asking it.

If my risk assessment is so low, like many others on this site, why is HIV/AIDS growing so rapidly? The odds of have sexual contact with someone who is HIV positive are pretty low. In addition to that, the odds that you will contract HIV from that person are extremely low as well. I guess i just dont understand why the AIDS epidemic is getting worse rather than better with such great odds against contracting HIV.
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79258_tn?1190634010
Actually, although it's growing in certain ethnic groups, I think overall HIV rates in the US are pretty stable.

And you really were at relatively low risk. The risk of contracting HIV from vaginal intercourse with a *known* HIV positive woman is only 1 in 2000. Most people on these forums were at equal or even less risk. But because we live in a sex-negative culture, I'm sure you've only heard about overinflated dangers of sex. The media makes HIV seem almost inevitable--unless, of course, you're only having straight sex in a straight marriage, and then only to procreate.

But the reality is that sex is nowhere near as scary or unsafe as they say. Believe it or not, sex is actually fun ;-) Be careful, choose partners wisely, use condoms for vaginal and anal intercourse. Enjoy your life.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thats very reassuring. Where does information like that come from? I have visited a million websites and none of them say anything about the odds of catching HIV, all that they say is how you can catch it.
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239123_tn?1267651214
As usual, monkeyflower is right again--this time about the real risks of sex in today's world.  Also see my response in http://www.medhelp.org/forums/hiv/messages/1045.html.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dr. I am really worried about this rash on my palms. I keep reading about rashes very similar to mine in ARS cases. I have had this rash for two weeks now and am really scared. I have read that if antibodies for HIV were present, they would apear 5-10 days following ARS symptoms. I want to go get tested today. Is this a bad idea? Please help me doctor
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239123_tn?1267651214
Anyone with unexplained symptoms that concern them needs to see a health care provider.  A rash on the palms is not a common symptom of ARS.

This thread is over.  I will delete any further comments or questions.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you very much doctor. I am truely grateful and wish you the very best.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well, after reading several posts on this site, I am glad that someone finally stood up to this "doctor".  As if doctors arent already on power trips, this one has just really gone over the top with his overexaggerated sense of power attributed to his ability to delete comments.  I thought doctors were supposed to be compassionate and caring.  People come on this site afraid for their lives only to encounter someone as rude and insensitive as this doctor.  Dr., you are a arrogant jerk.
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Multiple symptoms of HIV, what else could it be was started.
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A related discussion, Scared to the core was started.
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239123_tn?1267651214
H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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University of Alabama at Birmingham
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