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Avatar universal

Sore throat within 3 days

Hey docs,

Around Jan 1st at 3 AM I had unprotected vaginal sex with a friend and in the morning of January the 3rd I woke up with a severely sore throat and a swollen lymph gland on my neck right beside the sore throat pain's location.

I know what most of you will say, 3 days is way too early for Acute HIV Syndrome. I thought so too but my paranoia sent me lurking through the internet and I found a very well put document from Australia stating that symptoms from ARS can appear as early as 3 days, as late as 10 weeks and most commonly between 10 and 14 days (unlike the 2-4 weeks as stated by most other websites).

After 12 days of ongoing severe throat pain I got diagnosed with Strep throat by a rapid swab test. However, I know that some people are just Strep carriers and aren't necessarily affected by the bacteria. Moreover, I read everywhere that strep goes away between 5-7 days and mine lasted for more than 13 days.

After 5 days of penicillin and 18 days of the initial pain, the throat pain was gone but I started to develop skin peeling on my fingertips. It started on one of my ring fingers as a small white bubble and it started peeling off and it spread through the rest of my fingers. It starts as a white bubble too and it begins to peel a lot; I have never had skin problems this bad on my fingers that I can recall. It's painless, non-itchy, and non-red.

My biggest concerns is my confusion regarding the time-frame where ARS can appear. Is it commonly 10-14 days as the article says (and as early as 3 days)? Or is it commonly 2-4 weeks as most other people say? Also, does my skin condition resemble the HIV skin rash? As I stated, the skin from my fingers feels dry and it starts to peel after a white bubble appears.

One of my theories was that my severe sunburn could have accelerated ARS by lowering my immune system. I got a severe sunburn and I haven't got sunburned in over 4 years. Would it make sense that the sunburn could have accelerated ARS from happening? Or is it not related at all?

Help me please. I really need to clear my doubts. Thank you.
8 Responses
Avatar universal
If one has ARS it comes on 2-4 WEEKS post exposure and lasts 1-2 WEEKS.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your quick response!

The accuracy of that statement is exactly my worry. Here's the document that I wrote about that speaks of a completely different timeframe regarding ARS.


They say that symptoms usually appear after 10-14 days (less than two weeks) and can appear as early as 3 days after exposure.
Avatar universal
Let me quote what it stated so it's easier to find:

"Signs and symptoms of acute HIV infection can present
as early as three days or as late as 10 weeks following
transmission. Most commonly they occur at 10–14
Avatar universal
The ONLY way to know that you have had ARS is that you test POSITIVE and your test results are confirmed POSITIVE. There is no other time that ARS exists. Symptoms do not diagnose HIV.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much.

As for the second part of my question; is there a specific way the "HIV rash" manifests itself? I'm getting tiny white bubbles under my finger skin and then it starts to peel off. It started on one finger and then it went on to the rest of the fingers.

No redness (other than new skin redness), no itchiness, no pain. Just finger skin that looks dry and eventually develops a white bubble and starts to peel.
Avatar universal
Little white bubbles have nothing to do with HIV rash. See a dermatologist if you are concerned.
Avatar universal
You're not going to be able to figure out your status by looking for "signs" in your body. HIV doesn't work that way and you already have a logical explanation for your sore throat anyway. If you have no reason to think your friend has HIV, she most likely doesn't have it. Your exposure barely registers as a risk- most people who catch HIV have multiple high risk exposures for weeks, months, or even years.

Stop wasting your time worrying about HIV and find something more productive to occupy your time. Schedule a test for 3 months, approaching it as you would a dental appointment, and put HIV on the backburner until you test. There is absolutely no point in "symptom speculation", reading up on HIV on the internet, posting on forums- it's all going to waste your time because you either have HIV or you don't - and the test is the only way to know, and nobody on a forum can tell you what your status is. Your chance of catching HIV is minuscule and it isn't worth your time obsessing over  it over the next 3 months.
Avatar universal
Thanks guys,

I was concerned since I have never had any tonsil problems before but I guess there's a first time for everything. My skin was troubling me a little bit too because my fingers just won't stop peeling but I hope it's just the dry winter or it might just be stress.

I'm going to take an EIA test in about 1-2 weeks. I took one on January the 10th, my tonsil problems started on Jan 3rd, I think I read somewhere that if the cause of the "symptom" is HIV, the EIA test should be positive around 1 week after initial symptoms because the body starts to develop antibodies.

Thank you again, I'll update this whenever it's necessary for those interested.
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