If you believe you have been exposed to HIV and want help to judge your risk, would like advice about HIV testing, or have questions about the effectiveness of condoms or risks associated with specific sexual practices, this is the site for you.
I am a bisexual male, not especially sexually active although on holiday recently I had two encounters within a week of each other. The first was with two guys, we all had receptive anal protected with each other although I dont know how the condoms fared, I would assume OK and unprotected oral. I tested with a duo (antigen and antibody) at 26 days and it was negative, they say 99.8% accurate after 28 days. The second encounter was with one guy I know to be promiscuous. I recieved anal protected and gave him oral unprotected, I know the condom was sound. I tested at 30 days after this encounter with an elisa, it came back negative. I have had pretty much from two weeks of the first exposure. Sore throat, doctor confirmed swollen lymph nodes and a rash on my neck. Some fatigue, maybe some light headedness and maybe muscle pain. No fever. This lasted until six weeks. However, I still have the lymph swelling now. I will obviously test at three months but I would be so interested in your risk assesment. I feel ambigious as I accept the duo test as conclusive where the risk was greater as I did know if the condom broke or not but the Elisa at 30 days for the second incident may be too early, but it was only oral sex as a risk and I checked the condom out. He did not ejaculate in my mouth, there was definite pre *** though. having these symptoms is really confusing me about my status
What do you think about the test timings. What value has the 30 day. The Doctor on this site says 4-6 weeks is conclusive for low risk. Why? a low risk situation can not change the way the disease progresses. If you can have symptoms of ARS until 7-8 weeks then how can a test pick up the antibodies so soon in all low risk cases?
Symptoms occur in up to 50-90%of pts within 1-4 wks after infection. Typically "flu-like" illness similar to other viral syndromes (e.g. influenza, mononucleosis). Some individuals remain asymptomatic during the entire seroconversion period.
The following describes in detail the symptoms related to "Acute Viral Syndrome." I must stress that the severity of the symptoms vary greatly from person to person. I can't tell you whether the majority of people's symptoms are severe or mild, since they vary so much from person to person. And remember, not all people will develop symptoms related to recent HIV infection. These symptoms are believed to occur in up to 70% of infected people, and symptoms can vary significantly from person to person.
Within the first 4-6 weeks after infection, some people with HIV (up to 70%) 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.). A rash is sometimes seen, primarily in the upper portion of the body. The rash may or may not itch, and can be raised. There is no such thing as an "HIV/AIDS rash," and if a rash is seen at all, it resembles rashes seen from many other skin conditions. All of the symptoms last for a week or two, then go away by themselves. They do NOT persist for many weeks or months. In some people with Acute Viral Syndrome, the symptoms can be very severe. 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 HIV test during this period of time. I must strongly emphasize here that ALL of the symptoms of Acute Viral Syndrome look exactly like the symptoms of other illnesses, so having flu symptoms or a rash 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 significantly from person to person. Because Acute Viral Syndrome looks exactly like the symptoms of many other illnesses, NOBODY can tell you whether your symptoms are due to this syndrome or not. Only HIV testing can determine if a person has HIV or not.
Thank you for your message, I appreciate your advice. I accept what you say about oral sex. I know you will want to simply dismiss my risk and of course that is fair but would like to comment on your statement that the duration of ARS is 1-2 weeks. I read a link posted on this site yesterday. It was from a washington health authority. It clearly stated a much longer period, something like 52-64 days was the avearge duration. I mean thats a massive difference. I know viral load is detectable as is the antigen during ARS, but is it my understanding that antibodies are not detectable at any point during ARS ? So if the avearge is as high as washington says, how can the majority of tests be accurate so early. I worry that people are testing negative so early because of low risk incidents only. ie they were always going to test that way. Therefore if you really have it, early tests may not be accurate?
I respect your advice, I have seen that you disagree with playing the odds as I do.
ARS symptoms if one would have them at all, happen 2-4 weeks after infection and last 1-2 weeks. Symptoms or lack of do not mean anything when it comes to HIV. Only a test will tell. I myself would not test at all for giving a blowjob. That's just me. The cases of being infected by giving a blowjob have been refuted. All studies that have been preformed have shown giving a bj to even someone that is HIV+ did not infect the negative partner.
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