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More on HIV symptoms

stop aids signI previously wrote an article on early HIV symptoms.

I am still receiving a lot of questions with regards to HIV symptoms so I am writing another article to provide more details.

What is HIV ARS?

When people talk about ‘HIV symptoms’ they are generally referring to the symptoms that appear soon (2 to 6 weeks) after a person is infected with HIV (as opposed to late AIDS symptoms which take years to develop).

These symptoms are a result of the body mounting an immune response to the HIV infection, NOT due to the infection itself. That is why you find similar or identical symptoms with other infections.

It is also commonly known as Acute-Retroviral Syndrome (ARS, ARVS), acute primary HIV illness, acute HIV syndrome and Acute Sero-Conversion Syndrome.

HIV Symptoms are due to the immune system responding to the virus that is why many other infections can cause the same symptoms.

What are the early symptoms of HIV infection?

Because the whole body is reacting to fight off the virus, it is not surprising to find a variety symptoms affecting all bodily systems.

General – Fever, Sweats, Lethargy, Malaise, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss

Skin – Rash, ulcers , Sore throat

Digestive – Nausea, Diarrhea, Loss of Appetite

Neurological – Headache

Musculo-Skeletal – Muscle aches, Joint aches

Not everyone will develop all these symptoms. These symptoms can develop in varying combinations.  The most common symptoms are fever, sore throat, rash and swollen lymph nodes.

Only 40% to 70% of people infected with HIV will develop ARS symptoms

Who gets HIV ARS symptoms?

It is estimated that between 50% to 90% (some say 40% to 70%) of people who have been infected with HIV will develop HIV ARS. There is no way to predict who will develop ARS and who will not.

When do HIV symptoms appear and how long do they last?

HIV symptoms can appear anytime between 2 weeks and 6 weeks after infection. Most people who do develop the symptoms do so at 3 weeks.

Symptoms generally last for at least 2 weeks but have been known to last up to 10 weeks.

‘Flu-like’ is not ‘Cold-like’

HIV ARS symptoms are often described as ‘Flu-Like’. Many people think having a Flu is similar to having a Cold and this has led to a lot of confusion.

Many patients see me for minor cold symptoms such as running nose, sore throat or a mild cough and are worried to death about HIV.  These are Cold symptoms, they are not Flu symptoms.

For those of you who have had the Flu before, you will know what I am talking about. With a Flu, you will be very sick. The fever is high and persistent, the bodyache is very bad and you literally cannot get out of bed.

To be more precise, ARS is also described as mononucleosis-like symptoms.

The HIV ARS Rash

This is a great source of worry for many people I see. I have seen people coming in with literally one tiny red dot on their forearm convinced that it was a HIV rash. It is not.

The HIV rash usually comes on 2 to 3 days after the onset of the fever and lasts for at least 2 weeks. It is a Morbiliform (looks like measles) Exanthem rash consisting of macules and papules up to 1cm in diameter which are pink to red in colour. Each lesion remains discrete and do not become confluent. It is widespread and always (100%) involves the upper thorax and collar region also commonly (60% to 40%) affects the face, arms, scalp, thighs and palms in descending order of frequency.

Basically, the rash is BAD. Your friends and colleagues are going to take one look at you and ask ‘Hey why do you have a rash? Go see a doctor’.  If you have to hunt for individual spots or patches randomly on your skin, it is not a HIV rash.

The HIV ARS Rash looks like Measles

The HIV ARS Fever

Where do I start? I have patients measuring their temperatures hourly and freaking out when it hits 37.1⁰C because they read somewhere that ‘normal body temperature’ is 36.9⁰C and therefore they have a fever and therefore they have HIV. That is paranoia.

The HIV ARS Fever is high, usually above 38.5⁰C when taken from the ear.  The HIV ARS Fever is long, usually lasting for at least 2 weeks most of the time longer. It is usually associated with other symptoms such as lethargy, malaise, muscle aches and joint aches.

The HIV ARS Lymph Nodes

This is another great source of worry. I have seen patients who cannot stop rubbing their necks feeling for lymph nodes and melting into a panic state whenever they feel a lump that they have not felt before.

First of all, you can feel normal non-enlarged lymph nodes especially in thin people. So being able to palpate a lymph node does NOT mean it is enlarged.

Enlarged lymph nodes are about 1cm in diameter. In HIV ARS, there are usually many of such lymph nodes in the neck, groin and underarms. They are usually tender (i.e. painful to touch).

The HIV ARS Sore Throat and Mouth Ulcers

The sore throat associated with HIV ARS is bad. It is not a little discomfort in the throat or the sensation of having to clear your throat. It is painful. If you ever had Strep Throat before, it feels like that.

It is commonly described as an exudative tonsillitis. In other words, you will be able to see white or yellow pus-like substance on the tonsils. The tonsils themselves will be red and swollen. About 20% of the time, there are also ulcers round to oval in shape, 5mm to 10mm in diameter with a white base and red halo on the inside gums, tonsils or roof of the mouth.

Anxiety can frequently cause the muscles around the throat to tighten leading to some throat discomfort. This is NOT HIV.

What other diseases have the same symptoms as HIV ARS?

First of all, the Flu. And by that I mean an Influenza infection, not a cold. See above for details.

HIV ARS symptoms also mimic the symptoms of infectious mononucleosis very closely (also known as Mono or Glandular Fever). HIV ARS symptoms can also be mistaken for an acute Hepatitis A or B infection, Parvovirus infection, Cytomegalovirus infection and Toxoplasmosis. It can even be mistaken for Rubella (German Measles).

Take  home message: Do not assume and do not self-diagnose based on symptoms. Go get tested.

Click here for HIV Testing FAQ

Conclusion

The only way to know for sure if you are infected with HIV or not is to get tested. Until that is done, try not to worry about your symptoms.

If you have to worry, then worry if you fulfil the following criteria:

  1. You have had a high risk exposure 2 to 6 weeks ago
  2. You have a fever above 38.5⁰C that just does not go away
  3. You have multiple small red spots covering your face, neck and upper chest
  4. You have a really bad sore throat with ulcers in your mouth
  5. You have been diagnosed with another STD like Gonorrhea or Chlamydia
Click here to learn about other factors that increase HIV risk

If you had a high risk exposure to HIV within the past 72 hours, you can take medicines to reduce your risk of actually contracting HIV. Find out more on HIV PEP Treatment.

Click here for info on PEP Treatment at Our Clinic

Remember, you are not doing yourself any good by hunting for symptoms. Take a deep breath, calm down and focus on getting the HIV tests done.

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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.

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1,277 Comments

  1. Hi Doctors,

    Really appreciate if you could help me here.
    I had unprotected oral sex with a CSW, with me being the insertive partner.
    It’s been 13 days now and I keep feeling cold for no reason, I do have some cold sweats in the day the past 2 days, no fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes etc.

    Could the feeling cold and cold sweats in the day be symptoms of ARS and/or HIV?

    Thank you
    Ash

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      risk of HIV transmission via oral SI is extremely low. Your symptoms do not sound like ARS.

  2. Scared girl

    Hi Dr. Tan,

    I got drunk January 11th and can’t remember the whole night .. I was at a friend from work house and I don’t know if anything happened because I’ve been through a similar situation before and ended up having intercourse with someone and not remembering. I feel horrible and I’ve been very worried. I was tested for all stds including hiv antibody test on February 17th how conclusive is this ? I had a very bad flu about 8 weeks after with really high fever, body aches , and really sore throat that only lasted 2 days could this be Ars? Also if the chance that i did have intercourse then what’s the chances of me contracting hiv from someone one time of unknown status ?

    • Scared girl

      Forgot to mention all test came back negative after when I was tested February 17th

    • It depends on which HIV test was done. You had the test done at slightly more than 1 month post exposure. In this case, it would be conclusive if it was a combo test. The chance of you catching HIV depends on a lot of factors including your partner’s viral load, the presence of sores, ulcers, blood, concurrent STD infections, type of sex act (vaginal, anal etc) making it rather impossible to put a number to it. That is why you see reported risk statistics of anything from 0.1% to 10%. At the end of the day, the risk does not matter. You either caught it or you did not catch it and the only way to tell is to test.

  3. Worried Guy

    Hi, Dr. Tan.

    I had an unprotected oral sex 5 months ago with a guy whose HIV status is unknown. I was the receptive one. He ejaculated in my mouth – the volume of semen was so little that I even found it strange, but I know it doesn’t matter much… does it? Anyway, I spit it out right away… if cum sat in my mouth it was for about 5 seconds and I didn’t move it all through my mouth – I tried to keep it still on my tongue and spit it all as soon as the guy finished. Exactly 4 weeks after this ridiculous unsafe sexperience I started developing some symptoms. I’m from Brazil. The weather here at the time was very irregular. We had been through a very hot and umid weather for a couple of days and then it got a little cold. It all started with a very light sore throat. Actually it was more of a discomfort in the throat, very similar to the ones I had felt before when I had caught colds. I’m a teacher, so I talk a lot and the discomfort got worse as I talked, but I drank a lot of water and to help to ease the discomfort I sprayed some propolis into my throat. This kind of sore throat lasted for two days, maximum three days and after it my voice become a little hoarse for two days. I didn’t develop a fever. The only thing that happened besides the sore throat was that on the second day I sneezed a lot and I got a runny nose – it was very similar to previus allergic situations I had been through – I have rhinitis – so I didn’t get so scared. As the symptoms vanished, my parter started developing a similar sore throat which lasted for about 3 days as well, but with fever that occured for a night only and no sneezing. And that was it. No swollen nodes, no rash, no body aches.
    I know I shouldn’t be evaluating symptoms to determine whether I have HIV or not. I’m aware that the only way to put all this fear and anxiety to an end is to get tested, but I’m so scared of being positive that I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what I would do if were confirmed positive. I’m just waiting for the right moment to get tested… I’ve read so much on the Internet and I know it doesn’t help much. I’m from Brazil and honestly I couldn’t find clear insights about the situation, only very generalized stuff which scared me to death. Then I started searching for more data in English and I ended up finding this post of yours which somehow gave me a kind of relief about the symptoms (even though I’m aware that the presence or absence of them lead me to anywhere). It’s just that I can’t talk about it to anyone. I’ve been dealing with all this on my own and it’s been so hard, so heavy – I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m so ashamed I was so weak to the point of cheating on my partner and that I migh have ruined his life if I got infected and consequently infected him as well. Sorry to bother you, Dr. Tan, with all this, but could you please comment on my symptoms? What about the oral sex situation and its risk? Thank you for your patience.

    • Worried Guy

      PS.:

      Dr. Tan,the only thing we both, my partner and I, took to help to ease the sore throat and the discomfort of what it seemed to be a cold, were the propolis spray into our throats and a common anti-cold drug which is called ‘Resfenol’ here in Brazil. http://www.kleyhertz.com.br/products/hertz-remedies/remedies-exempt-from-prescription/resfenol

    • Your risk of getting HIV from receptive oral sex is very low. The calculated estimate is 0.04%. You can read more about it HERE. Your symptoms also do not sound like HIV ARS. Anyway it has already been 5 months since your exposure. You should just get a HIV test to calm yourself down.

  4. I had a sex wit a gal. Not commercial sex worker.i used a condom.during the intercourse she was on me, I was under after I ejaculated she dint stand up immediately till my pennis went finally down.wen she eventually stood off d condom dropped off.nd I picked it up to do a water test it was intact.no breakage all my semen we seen in d condom.but I noticed some pre – menstral blood on d comdon.2 weeks after I took her for a bio-rad combo test.she was negative so I am.but am still kinda scared cos of d blood I saw.

    • You risk is extremely low but not zero. Your combo test at 2 weeks is very accurate but you should get it done again at 1 month post exposure to be 100% sure. Also, go get screened for other STDs.

  5. I would like to ask is a 4th HIV test conclusive at 45 days post exposure?

  6. Hi Dr. Tan,

    I appreciate your views on my situation. I’ve read a lot of similar posts, but I’m sure you understand some personal reassurance (regretted what I did and this will be my FIRST and LAST). I have never had sex before with ANYONE before. I was very depressed (work and family issues) for the past year and I thought going there would ease a certain degree to my depression.
    Am 31 yrs, uncircumsized.

    Used the condom provided, however I didnt check the expiry date. Condom used was intact after the act (no tears, rips, breakages). After 3-4 mins, ejaculated outside saw semen still contained within the tip. I didnt do any water test. I’ve read you say that condoms are effective in preventing the transmission of HIV when used consistently and correctly.

    Sequence of events:

    August 2014 – Had HIV test when signing up for an insurance (negative)

    30 Nov 2014 – protected oral & sex in one of Geylang houses with one of chinese worker. I didnt ask if these girls hold the yellow card

    27-29 January 2015 – Was hospitalised for 3 days after vomitting, slight fever (body temp 37.9 – 38.5 Celcius), and strep throat. Doctor found high leukocytes 19.7 (normal 5-10), lymphocytes 7 (normal 20-40)

    11-13 February 2015 – was hospitalised again for 3 days after vomitting. Leukocytes 10.3., lymphocytes 4 (very low!). the hospital doctor was worried if i might have HIV or any other viral disease.

    13 february 2015 – upon discharged: lymphochytes 13. all other hematology blood test good. urine test good.

    20 february 2015 – doctor asked to do another blood test. lymphochytes 40 (good!), CD4 795 (29%), CD8 977 (35%)

    Since the doctor mentioned the word “HIV” and other possible viral disease, Ibecame a hypercondriac and freak about small little possible symptoms.

    My questions:
    1) I’ve read a post you wrote, highlighting that chinese CSW has the lowest risk. on what basis?
    2) you mentioned that ARS happens between 2 and 6 weeks. In my case, I had slight fever and vomitting 8 weeks after. I have no rash, no enlarged lymph on neck, tongue looks normal without ulcer. What are my chances of getting HIV?? Your honest answer.
    3) can depression caused this low body immunity ??
    4) I have had no HIV test since exposure (nov 30 2014), do you think I should get tested? If so, am planning to come by to do the 4th gen quick finger prick test.

    • 1. Pointless question. Those are purely stats. It says nothing about whether the girl you were with had HIV or not. 2. Again pointless question. Your symptoms are obviously not caused by HIV ARS but that does not mean you are not infected with HIV. 3. Yes it can. 4. Of course you do. Dude, you are obviously scared and therefore you are trying to find reasons to allay your fears. I can see that from the first 2 questions. This is neither helpful or practical. In short, it does not solve your problem. Let me summarize your problem for you – You had an exposure to HIV. Even if the risk was 1 in 1 million, it is still an exposure. You developed symptoms of an infection and had tests which showed your immune system is compromised further raising the specter of a HIV infection. Now you are scared to death about whether or not you are infected with HIV. Because of that, you are jumping and every symptom you have and trying to convince yourself your risk was low. The solution to your problem is VERY SIMPLE. Go get a HIV test. Find out it is negative and go pop a champagne. Problem solved.

  7. Hi dr tan, how accurate is oraquick at 18 days post low risk event?

    Thank yiu

    • I don’t know. But I know it is definitely not 100%. I would ballpark it at maybe 80%? This is an absolute wild guess.

      • Thank You Dr. Tan,

        I had exposure with a Transgender female, she was insertive partner, with condom but I have a fear that the condom broke or might have come off, she inserted and pulled out bc of pain so it didnt last longer than 20 seconds with condom but this fear has caused me to get checked early and it was at 18 days so thats why I was wondering what the percentage would be, ive heard 70-80 percent by another ID specialist as well.

  8. I am a male 23 this year

    I visited a brothel in New Zealand 54 days ago. I had a protected oral sex and vaginal sex 3 times using different condoms. From what I read from your articles I should have close to negligible risk of getting HIV from this encounter.

    The last time I had unprotected oral sex and analingus with a China prostitute was 56 days ago. She did however use mouth wash while doing these things.

    About three weeks ago I had rash on my right chest, shoulder and neck. And I started to notice a had a lymph node on my left neck. No sign of fever or fatigue or any flu like symptoms. I went to see the doc for my rash and after giving me a medication it was gone within 4 to 5 days. I took my temperature and the highest it went was 37.6 which was taken in the afternoon(I assume due to the heat and I was feeling very hot)

    The lymph node still persist and started getting uncomfortable and I went for a HIV, syphillis and Hepatitis B Lab test. 6 weeks after my unprotected oral encounter which is 2 and a half weeks after my “safe” encounter in New Zealand. It was negative for all.

    1 week after my encounter I have swollen tonsils on both side of my neck, my left tonsils have very mild white substance which you see when you have tonsillitis and my right tonsil has an ulcer no bigger then 5mm

    Through out this month I have ulcers on my lips that heals within a week and still no sign of fever, fatigue or body aches except for a stiff neck.

    May I ask:

    1. Is my encounter at New Zealand safe?
    2. Am I going through ARS
    3. Is my test considered conclusive.
    4. Is my symptoms caused by tonsillitis instead? Or other forms of illness

    • 1. It is very low risk but definitely not safe. 2. Does not sound like but you really never know until you get a test done. 3. No and your dates are all wrong. You said you had a test 6 weeks after your oral encounter which is 2.5 weeks after you NZ encounter. But you said your oral encounter was 56 days ago and your NZ encounter was 54 days ago. So they are only 2 days apart. So how is it possible that the test done at 6 weeks post oral is 2.5 weeks post NZ? 4. I do not know. You have to see a doctor to get a diagnosis.

      • Sorry ignore the number of days that I have just stated. In short what you said is is right I did the test 6 weeks post oral which was 2.5 week post NZ.

        May I ask why does my symptoms don’t sound like ARS? I would like to have a better understanding. And is there a very high chance it might be ARS?

  9. Hi Dr Tan,

    Last Question to ask about the HIV (ARS). as your article as stated that a person will appear the ARS 2 wwek to 6 weeks. It is the incubation period right? so my question is can the incubation period extend to 1 years or 5 years or maybe longer? i found this at the website. i dont know whether it is reliable or not? (my last question regarding to the incubation period)

    thks and regard

    • HIV ARS are early symptoms of HIV infection and if they do occur, they occur between 2 to 6 weeks post infection. There are other late symptoms of HIV infection that can occur years after infection.

      • ok noted doc tan. so with this issue can the hiv test detect the infection at early before the symptoms appear? As this isdue actually make my mind very scare and cnt sleep.

      • noted doctor. So can our hiv test (after 3 month exposure) can detect it at early time? As the information at the website already make me confuse and scare.

  10. Hi there,

    Firstly I love your answers to some of these questions.

    Quick question. I’ve had unprotected anal sex with another gay man with a low sex drive (he doesn’t meet anyone.) We’ve had unprotected sex and I had flu like symptoms roughly a week after having unprotected sex with him the second time. I think I’m scaring myself but have I contracted HIV from this man? If it helps, we’ve been seeing each other for 7 months and we’re the only sexual partners we have.

    • When you say things like “we’re the only sexual partners we have”, you are basically saying that both of you are definitely free of HIV or any other sexual disease. If that is truly the case, then your fear and worry is quite simply illogical. I’m sure you know that you cannot get HIV or any other STDs from a person who is not infected with HIV or STDs. So unless you tell me that you think there is a chance he has HIV, I have to say your fear is unfounded. If you DO think he has HIV, then there is definitely a chance you are infected. However, HIV symptoms do not appear 1 week post infection. Although we can say your flu like symptoms are not due to a HIV infection, we cannot say you are not infected with HIV until you get a test done.

  11. Thomas

    Hello Dr Tan,

    I had Sexual encounter with a prostitute in Vietnam last June, it was protected, but I am not sure the condom broke or not, I was very drunk and I am not sure whether my penis went inside. But after 30days , when I came back to my home country, I started developing a very bad cold and runny nose, the next day I got a fever and it was around 103degC , the doctor said I have pneumonitis after seeing my chest X-ray, the fever just lasted for 1.5 days and I was back to normal. I am very very scared, whether I have contracted HIV. Please advice

    • Dr Justin Sim

      In all likelihood your symptoms are likely due to the pneumonitis diagnosed by your doctor. Although fever can be a sign of HIV at 2-4 weeks, it is very unlikely that changes would be seen on the xray so early on. However if you want peace of mind then you should get tested for HIV – at least a negative result can put your mind at ease.

      • Dear Dr

        After a week when I took another X-ray, the infection was cleared . Also, the doctor gave me antibiotic injections, and some steam, the fever was gone in a few hours, my doubt is , is it likely that Ars fever be gone in 1.5days? Also , I am pretty sure my condom did not break, I even doubt whether I got inside even for a brief time.

  12. NEED ADVICE

    I’m a female and was sexually assaulted a little over 2 months ago. It was unprotected of course, and his HIV status is unknown. One week later i got a fever that lasted for only a few hours and went away. I felt pretty much okay after that but then about 5 weeks later i got symptoms such as swollen glands, fatigue and slight difficulty breathing. Which are more mild but still persisting currently. Can different ARS symptoms come weeks apart like that? I took an antigen/antibody test at 6.5 weeks and it came back negative. But i still have my symptoms and am waiting to be tested again at my 3 month mark. It has been awful. Any thoughts or advice for me on all of this? me. I’d greatly appreciate it at this difficult time.

    • I am very sorry to hear of what happened to you. The little silver lining I can offer you is that your symptoms sound nothing like HIV. Also, the antigen/antibody test you took at 6.5 weeks is already conclusive. So I am already sure you do not have HIV and that your test at 3 months will also be clear. I strongly suggest that you also test for other STDs especially Chlamydia, Syphilis, Gonorrhea and HPV. These can have severe consequences if left untreated. For STD Symptoms in Women click HERE. For Women STD screening click HERE.

      • NEED ADVICE

        Thank you dr, I appreciate it. I’ve looked around on your website and have found it very informative. I have got one screen of std’s done already, but have to go back for more when i get my 3 month HIV test. Again, thank you for your response.

  13. Hi Dr, I am a male had protected sex with a female escort. When i was done i noticed the condom had broke. Only the tip, the condom was still covering my penis, but I cannot be sure i wasn’t exposed. I took and hiv antibody and rna qualitative test 5days after exposure and came back non reactive. 82 days later I took a 3rd gen antibody test and was non reactive. Can i be certain that I don’t have hiv?

    • If the condom breaks at the tip, you are considered to have been exposed. The HIV antibody and RNA test at 5 days post exposure are both not conclusive. The 3rd Gen test at 82 days is really as good as 100% accurate. To be pedantic about it, the 3rd Gen test is 100% accurate at 3 months post exposure. So you are a few days shy. I am sure that does not make much difference but rules are rules.

  14. dude123

    Hi dr Tan.
    I recently had protected sex with a woman of unknown status. The condom did not break.
    3 days later i experienced a loss of appetite and the next day a very gluggy throat and slight chills when i went in the sun. Now 5 days latet i have a bad cough but it seems the chills are residing.

    I intend to get tested but in the mean time do you think I have too much to worry about regarfing my
    symptoms? I have been extremely stressed out the days after this encounter, which i think may be causing my loss of appetite. Thanks and look forward to gearing your reply.

    • dude123

      Also, would like to add that my sinuses have become quite painful aswell. And have developed a bit of a furry tongue. Thanks so much for the selfless work ypu are doing on here. It has helped ease my tension a little. Thankyou all the way from Australia!

    • Of HIV you mean? 3 days is way too early to develop HIV ARS symptoms. Read the article, it says 2 weeks to 6 weeks.

      • dude123

        Thanks for the reply doc, all my symptoms have basically left me now (7days after intercourse). Do you think the gluggy throat and chest cough/runny nose could be a sign of some other sort of STI? Only other contact was open mouth kissing. Thanks very much.

  15. scared168

    Doctor, is it likely that ars could come up at 10 weeks past exposure? I have no symptoms beside swollen lymph node in my neck and groin.
    I tested negative duo test which is COMBI PT ( how is it different from combo) at 40 days past exposure. How bad is my situation?
    Thanks !

    • ARS does NOT come up at 10 weeks post exposure. The combo test at 40 days is also conclusive.

  16. paranoid

    Hello Dr, I would like to find out, can ARS begin 4 days after infection as GI symptoms with fatigue that comes and goes… And last for a maximum of 4 days… On the 10th day sore throat which lasts 2 days… I did not have fever, rash and any other symptom…

    • No it cannot. It takes at least 2 weeks.

      • paranoid

        Thank you soo much for that.. I’ve been extremely paranoid when it comes to HIV.. I had GI symptoms as the main, all did not last a week

  17. Dr i had sex with sex worker and i wear condom but my condom breake for last 2 mintues only and after 8 days i feel slighty headache continues from 5 days is it sign og hiv or not only headache is occur

    • HIV symptoms do not occur so early. So your headaches cannot be due to HIV. That does not mean you are not infected with HIV or STDs. You must still go for screening.

  18. Hi dr

    I have a protected oral sex wif a guy on new year eve.. after 60 days i went for a 4th gen test which result in negative.. so shuld i do another one after 3 mths?

    • You can if you want. But there is really no need to. You test at 60 days is already 100% accurate.

  19. The last time I had unprotected oral sex with a prostitute was 49 days ago, 10 days ago I experienced swollen lymph node on my Below my left jaw, around my left neck and between the bottom of my neck and collar bones. I do not have fever or flu like symptoms, no fatigue/lethargy and I am eating well. I do experience night sweats sometime in the night as it was very hot but I wouldn’t be drenched in them when I wake up. I have 3 ulcers on my lips. I had a mild rash that covered a little of my neck, right chest and shoulder(the rashes didn’t look like measles) and has completely healed now. I did a HIV anti body, Hep B and syphillis lab test 6 days ago which was 43 days after exposure. It was negative. My left tonsils are slightly swollen. May I know whether the test for HIV is conclusive or am I even experiencing ARS at all? If not what could be the reason for the swollen lymph nodes on my neck.

    Please reply as I am suffering from anxiety each day.

    • And my tonsils seems to be swollen. Could it be tonsillitis?

    • The HIV test at 6 weeks is as good as 100% accurate. There is some other reason for your symptoms. Please see a doctor about them.

  20. Dear Doctor,

    I have tested at 7 months and 10 days of post exposure with Abbott Architect HIV 1 and 2 ag/ab combo with a negative results.I have also tested rapid kit(TRI-DOT) at 90 days with negative result.

    1.Is it conclusive?

    2.Further test is required?

    Please help.

    regards

  21. DeAr sir,
    I had first time sex with call girl 7 years before
    After 1 month my gp get tested through screaning that was negative
    I relaxed after 1 year i agAin tested hiv test through eliza that was non-reactive
    After thAt i got married
    Now 6-7 years passed i got worried about hiv i again simple screen my test hepatitis b & c , Sifilics, & hiv that all was negative
    But don’t know i am very afrAid even 7 years passed
    During this 7 years i never got symptoms like rash,severe fever ulcer etc
    Please advise my cbc remain normal since thAt time
    My doctors said don’t worry you don’t have hiv & no need of anymore test

    • So why are you worried?

      • Sir I am suffering from flu since last 9 days along fever 99-100F taking daily 3-times panadol &-coldress but not getting well &
        Sir i have also seen lemph node at my left neck not appears but if I press n trace then i feel but not feel pain if i press
        I just want to clear as 7 years passed no still no dairea, & no rash in my chest
        Still I have to worried or not
        As my wife also don’t have such symptoms as we never sex protected by using condom
        Please clear n help me out
        I am very worried i have 3 babies the most eldest is 5-years age

        • One more important thing , after how much maximum times symptoms would be appear ,
          I think now a dAys which symptoms i am facing these would be the sign of enxity
          Fever 99-100F
          Flu since last 9 days
          Whitish tongue ETC
          I am very hopeful n believing on you definitely your further detail reply will help me out
          God bless you
          Anxiously aWaiting for kind reply

      • Respected Dr.Tan i am waiting for your kind response

  22. The doctor I visited done combo test for me at 22 days post exposure (yesterdy) and it was negative. He said that I need not repeat my test as the test is more or less conclusive.

    Should i be of concern of what he said as I remember conclusive should be at least 28 days.?

    Also, are all combo tests the same?

    • From the guidelines I have read, the official window period for the combo test is 28 days. However, you should always take your doctor’s advice. Like I have said time and again, this forum is not for dispensing medical advice. Not all combo tests are the same.

  23. Hi Doctor :)

    Love your articles as they really give me a greater understanding of HIV. But I am down with some anxiety about me having HIV. The last time(23 days ago) I had sex was overseas we did both oral and penetration which was both protected. The last time I did unprotected oral sex but with protected sex was 44 days ago. I am a frequent visitor of the commercial sex area and get tested frequently. The last lab test I had was 4 days ago and I am HIV, syphillis and Hep B free. What bothers me is that 1 week ago I flew to Thailand and was issued malaria prevention pills(Doxycycline). After a day I had mild rash on my neck and right chest. A day later I started to have a swollen lymph node underneath my left jaw and on my right collar bone. My left neck seems to be a little more swelled compared to my right. I constantly take temperature and the heightest was 37.6 degree(it was scorching hot in the afternoon). I would sweat before sleeping but wouldn’t be soaked in my sweat when I wake up, I believe all this is due to the temperature in Thailand as its very hot. I have 2 ulcers both about 1mm in diameter on my lower left lips. At day 4 I visited the doctor in Thailand and they gave me fexofanadine HCL to fight against my rash. After taking the fexofandadine HCL for 5 days, my rash is 90 percent gone and still no sign of fever or other symptoms. I seem to have another lymph node underneath my right jaw but all lymph node seems to be at a palpable state and it hurts only after I press on it with a lot of force and all of them are giving me very mild discomfort. May I ask it this a sign of ARS or it’s just the side/allergy effect of doxycycline as I have read that people may get allergy reactions to Doxycycline.

    • I also did another HIV,syphilis and Hep b test lab test 7 days after I first took the Doxycycline Pill. The test shows negative.

    • sorry one more crucial point. Up to today my lymph nodes has not enlarged till its visible.

    • Does not sound like HIV ARS at all. Stop scaring yourself.

  24. Dear Sir,
    (Hiv 1&2 Abs+p.24 Ag) this test I did already. is this is a combo test. i did this three times and (HIV- Enhanced Chemiluminenscence Detection- ECIQ) two times with in 1 year margin. now i have some eye concentration problem started and swollen lymb nodes. Also i read that in some person hiv virus cannot be detectable in blood for more than years.
    Pls Help sir and iam worried because of this i cant even do anything. Pl help me Sir 1. Is this a case of Sero-negative HIV. 2.If iam in sero-negative HIV which test i have to do for the conclusion or the test which i did already is covering the sero- negative hiv 3. Is the test which i did is a combo test.
    Awaiting for your valuable rply sir.

  25. Forgot to mention it lasted about 6 days…

  26. Dear doctor, 38 days ago, I had unprotected anal sex around 5 minutes without a condom, im a gay and role as a bottom. and then I did CMIA test at 36 days or 5 weeks after potential exposure. and the result was negative. The method of my hiv test was CMIA, but it is not mentioned that duo/combo or p24 antigen and antibody on paper only CMIA, is my test already using the fourth generation with p24 antigen/antibody?, because I don’t know. and is my test result conclusive enough with the cmia method?. because im so scared, and really in a big anxiety. help me doc, to reduce my anxiety.

    • If the tests does not mention if it tested for P24 or not, you should assume that it did not. In other words you either go get a combo test now or repeat the test after 3 months.

  27. hi from 6 weeks i had prptected sex and unprotected oral sex on her after 2 weeks i haver sore throat go after week then it back again after 2 weeks then it gp at week 5 now im after 6 weeks it back again it could ne ARS by the way i test antibodies at week 4 was negitve

    • You cannot diagnose HIV from symptoms. There is no way anyone or any doctor can tell you what you have is ARS or not. You antibody test at 4 weeks is good but you must get it done again at 3 months.

  28. hie doc tan…lam from South Africa…, when l was researching about HIV thats when l came through your website…lam a young man.., last year l had unprotected sex with my long time girl friend for the first time..and after weeks l began to develop symptoms like sore throat, joint and muscle pain, headaches, mouth ulcers, gum infection and a blurred vision…one thing that then came into my mind was that l was hiv positive..,but l did not have the courage to go and get tested until recently.,,n um yet to collect the results very soon…what confuses me is that my doc is quiet confident that my symptoms are due to stress..

    • That is your doctor’s assessment and since he is the professional to saw you, I think it would be very wise to trust his judgement. This should give you confidence instead of confuse you. Sicne your doc is sure your symptoms are due to stress, it means your HIV test will be OK.

  29. I feel crazy

    Hey Doc,

    I’m having a panick attack over recurrent fever I’ve been having for the last 10 mths. It always came with bad sore throat. I was a fool and did 2 unprotected sex with the same person. After abt 2 weeks or so I got terrible fever and sore throat that prob last for a week. It was really bad like that it fits the description of “the worst flu ever”. Since then the combination of fever/sore throat has been coming back quite regularly. Now I’m currently having is again and the fever is still not going away (day 6 alr). I should add that I never exercise/eat healthy food and always knw I have a pretty bad immune system. Is this a strong sign of HIV??? Please reply I’m really scared. Also I wanna know how much is the chance to get HIV from oral sex (unprotected, not swallowed bt a couple of guys cum in my mouth). Thx before!

    • Honestly there is no use to analyze risks and symptoms in the hope of knowing you are HIV positive or not. The only way is to test. Although you are scared you must bite the bullet and test. If not the anxiety will just eat at you and probably ruin your life. Anyway, the risk of getting HIV from oral sex is next to zero. Click here for more info.

      • I feel crazy

        Thank you so much for your reply! I woke up this morning feeling much calmer than last night and I know that I need to get myself tested immediately. Wish me luck doc!

  30. Hello Dr!

    I had an insertive fellatio to a gay men, who later tested positive for HIV+ and Syhpilis… I also had some chlamydia now we found out about. I have done test 2 weeks after exposure, ag/ab 4th gen duo test, it came back negative!

    1.Could you estimate my risk from this?
    2.How conclusiv is my test in %?

    I also expirience some symptoms but it could be duo to anxiety:

    1.Slight fever – 37-37.2 under armpit
    2.I think i have swollen lymphs under my armpit and groin area.
    3.Mild headache(mostly when i shake my head or squint my eyes.
    4.Cold feet(sometimes sweaty at night when i sleep)

    Please advice! Thanks for helping.

    • 1. There is no risk of getting HIV from insertive oral sex. 2. My very rough guess is 90%. Your symptoms do not sound suspicious of HIV at all.

      • Thank you Dr.Tan!

        Im slightly more concerned now, since the last two days i had high fever and lots of sweats, 39.3+ .. now 2 days later everything is back to normal only some slight cough.
        I lost some weight and I am really scared, tomorow is 28 day and i will go for Ab/Ag duo test again.
        Could you please explain, how is my chlamydia not getting the risk higher, it is resulting in inflammed urethra (red) and by my knowledge this is increasing the risk isnt it? Also this guy did not knew it(assume he had high Viral Load) I somehow think that i am the first one to get infected that way, i promise to let you know the results !

  31. hi , i had virginal sex protected and perform oral sex on her from month ago yesterday i did the test elisa test it is what available in my country and dr told me it is ok to do it , my result came 0.04 negative . should i test again can i move on in my life

    • I think your risk is very low. But the ELISA test as far as I know is not officially conclusive at 1 month post exposure. As far as I know it needs to be repeated at 3 months.

  32. Hi Dr Tan, ytd i went to get a 4th Gen HIV test post 30 days after my low risk exposure, it cane out negative. Do i need to get another test at the 3rd month? :O How accurate is it at post 30days fpr the 4th Gen Test? Can it be considered conclusive? :O

    • In my view the 4th Gen test is conclusive after 28 days.

      • Thank you for your reply doctor :) but would it be advisable to go for an oraquick on tje third month?

  33. I had a possible exposure with a prostitute. We used condom but before I put the condom on we were both naked. I was on top of her sucking on her boobs while I was on top of her I think my penis has touched her vagina fluid but at that time I wasn’t thinking about hiv so I put the condom on without cleaning my penis first. We had sex for about 30 minutes. In about 4 weeks after the exposure I had recurring fever for 3 weekends straight. The fever came every Friday and Saturday and gone by Sunday. The fever was like hot flashes. My chest and face was the only part of my body that got so hot and had little sweat on my chest. During that time I had the fever I developed a sore throat for 3 weeks that was mild. The sore throat mostly bother me at night. I had a little difficulty to breath at night due to the sore throat but I didn’t not have difficulty to swallow or pain in my throat. I also had a small rash on my nose, the rash was gone within 3 weeks. The rash was not itchy but my face was. My whole face was itchy and it is still itchy but not as bad as 3 weeks ago when the symptoms started. During the 3 weeks of my symptoms I always felt a little malaise but no fatigue, nor muscle aches. All my symptoms are gone now except my ithchy face. Are my symptoms hiv ARS? I’m so scared. I contacted the prostitute to ask her if she is hiv positive, she said she is not, she told me if I catch something it’s on me but since then she blocked my number so I’m assuming she has hiv because she wouldn’t block my number if she was hiv negative.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      Firstly, don’t panic. Although your symptoms could be that of HIV (ARS) it is more likely that something else has caused them; something more common such as a cold or even flu virus. Judging by your story your risk is still fairly low.

      It is possible that the prostitute may have HIV but you don’t have to assume the worst just because she blocked your number. Imagine how many worried clients she gets calling her so she may block numbers to prevent herself from being harrassed.

      Either way, if you are 4 weeks post exposure the best thing to do is get tested. A 4th gen combo test would be the best test for you at this stage. If you are negative then you know your symptoms are not associated with HIV.

      Hope this helps.

  34. Hi i had protected sex and unprotected oral on her lick vegina for less than min with sex worker 21 days ago after 2 weeks i felt sore throat and then some runny nose and gone after week i had no temperature. but my nose still have stuff anyway today im in 4th week tomorrow my last day in week 4 and today i wake up and i found have 2 spot one in both side in my tonuh in the tip looks like mark burn with white around and painless

  35. Hi doc,
    I’ve deep kissing smoothly just about for 20nd and suck gently her breast n lick…no sex activity…just kiss,suck,n lick…but after one week until now (now it’s already 11 weeks after exposured,i’ve rash.Rash just come n go about 1-2 hours,itchy,big pink n red…my question:
    1.Is rash apart of hiv ARS?
    2.Can i get hiv just from doing above..?
    3.should i tes doc
    Thanks doc..sorry my english really bad

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      firstly HIV transmission via deep kissing is close to negligible. Rash that came and went after 1-2 hours definitely does not sound like ARS at all.
      That being said, It will still be advisable to do a check at 4th week with HIV combo just to be very sure. hiv combo

  36. Hey everyone Im new to these boards. I pretty much have no one to talk to so these anxiety boards are all ive got. October 10th like the idiot that I am I had unprotected sex with my friend who i have known for 10+ years. I have had sex with him numerous times before and always came out clean. (hes straight and not a iv drug user that im aware of) But I know he gets girls. And if he doesnt use protection with me chances are he doesnt with other girls either. Before October 10th I had sex with him in July too but I know he could not have had anything then because all stds including HIV came back clean after 6 months which is this month of January. Here is where my nightmare begins. A little over 6 weeks after October 10th I came down with horrible horrible fatigue which continued for weeks, along with dehydration, dry eyes, pimples all over back/chest itchy dry skin, diarrhea, numbing tingling in hands feet legs, constipation some days, my vagina even dryed up. I was also nauseous and dropped like 10 pounds. I looked up these symptoms and thought ***** I bet I contracted HIV. I ***** bricks so at 8 weeks post exposure I bought an oraquick it was negative. I wasnt convinced so at week 9 I took another oraquick also negative. I thought no way I dont trust these tests so I went to my GP and requested an HIV Elisa blood test at 10 weeks post exposure. It came back in 2 days Non Reactive for HIV 1/2 from Questdiagnostics with reflexes. I still was not convinced even though most people who have a normal immune system would of converted by then considering my symptoms started at 6 weeks. But the thing is my CBC blood count was elevated so I totally thougt that means I probably havent converted yet from negative to positive even though Ive always been relatively healthy with no ilnesses or any issues I know of. So my doctor resheduled me to come back for more blood work just to see if my blood count goes back to normal. He never believed it was HIV infact he thinks im nuts. So pretty much I had to wait another 1 month in a nightmare. I cried everyday, quit my job cuz I couldnt focus because my odd symptoms kept persisting, drove all my family and friends crazy, contacted numerous HIV hotlines and even been on all kinds of HIV forums only for people to tell me im negative and to move on. Sotime for my conclusive test on January 22nd which would be around 15 weeks past my sexual exposure. I go get blood drawn for a CBC count and a final HIV test. I was absolutely sure it would come back positive. But to my surpriseI called my doctors office and they said my CBC was normal and my HIV test came back Non Reactive once again 15 weeks past exposure which is over three and a half months. But I am still not convinced due to persisting symptoms. My anxiety and nightmare continues. I still have tingling, numbness, diarrhea, abdominal pains, red burning eyes. I am so tired of living in fear of this disease. I read that although HIV tests are conclusive after 3 months Im scared im one of those people who do not create antibodies to the virus or that I still could be in the process of seroconversion still and although its rare maybe I will convert at 6 months. And the thought of living like this for 2 and a half more months makes me want to drive off a clif. I do not what to do. Pretty much I would have to be the unluckiest person live and my guy friend would have had to contract HIV somewhere from July 11th to October 10th and he would of had to have been in the HIV window period himself and have infected me. I am undeniably depressed and lost all my marbles. Noone will listen anymore. My doctor just keeps telling me that I dont have it and that Im blowing it way out of proportion and my family and friends wont listen and pretty much laugh at me. So pretty much that is how I ended up on these boards. I feel so alone.   

    • I have to say I agree with your doctor, family and friends, You do not have HIV. Just as you are puzzled why no one listens to you, I am equally puzzled why you do not listen to everyone else. To me, it is plain as day that you do not have HIV. If you choose not to believe that, I do not see how anyone can help you. Imagine you take your friend to the park in the middle of the afternoon and tell her that it is daytime. But she insists that it is night time. How can you convince her? You cannot. She has an illogical belief. Just like you have an illogical belief. What you need to to do is to accept the fact that you are not infected with HIV and go find out what is actually causing your symptoms. Until you do that, no one on earth can help you.

    • I understand I’m in your same shoes.I’m at almost ten weeks after. I keep getting negatives. But you are outside the window, so be thankful. It’s stress that is making you sick. I have been down this road before.

  37. uneasy1995

    Doctor, I had a unprotected oral with a prostitute 9 days ago, me being the insertive partner. I have been taking PEP due too my concern and insistence. I know I am in very little risk, but I am already experiencing a mild sore throat.

    • Dr Justin Sim

      ARS symptoms can present as flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, sorethroat etc) but usually present between the 2nd and 4th week after exposure (peak symptoms at week 3). Your symptoms are appearing a little early for ARS. Another point is that you are already on PEP, which is minimising the virus should it be in your system. The last point is, as you mention, your risk is low considering your type of exposure.

      Common things are common and your sore throat is most likely down to a common cold virus, or something in the environment irritating your throat. Either way, continue to monitor your symptoms; if things get worse then it is best to get reviewed by a doctor.

      Getting tested for HIV once you finish PEP will be the only conclusive way to eliminate HIV as a cause but unfortunately requires waiting.

  38. Hi i had protected sex and unprotected oral on her lick vegina for less than min with sex worker 21 days ago after 2 weeks i felt sore throat and then some runny nose and gone in same day and tired im so afraid and scared i had no temperature im on antiputics for 6 days my sore still until now but better but i feel something inside my throat like phlegm but i cant spell it out im really so afraid it now will be week and i didnt get better

  39. Hi
    I have scratched the tissue inside my mouth trying to take some food out of my mouth and it started to bleed severley. I have been touching public surfaces all day and have not had washed my hands. Am i at risk?

  40. Hi Doctor

    Im a 29 years women, I had protected sex but had an “accident” with the condom (it splipped after he ejaculated) I got a flu with 2 days fever 5 weeks after and got very scared.

    I havent had sex since rhen and We both got tested 41 day after with a “combo test”(chimio and p24) both negative… can I consider this conclusive or should I test again?

    Thank u!!

    • By the way I tool this test in a recognized lab, it was not a rapid test.

      • In my opinion your test is already conclusive. Please do not worry.

        • Thank u for your advice Doc!! Saludos desde Mexico.

          • Eres bienvenido! I must admit I got that from Google translate. Literally the only Spanish I know is “Hola soy Dora!”

  41. Hi Dr. Tan

    I had a sexual intercourse with a female sex worker around 6 weeks back. I did used the condom but not sure if it was put rightly. I had some throat infection at the time of the encounter and it did continued for 5 days more. I had took Cefroxime followed by Amoxycillin+Pottasium Culvonate for the same.

    3 weeks after the encounter I have noticed 2 red spots on right side of my stomach and 4 red spots on the chest. these spots are not itching and are flat. 3 of the spots got converted to small bumps but latter became flat. Now its the sixth week and still the red spots on the skin are there.
    I wanted to know can these be a cause of ARS and how long do the rash in seroconverison last.
    Have gone through various web site and am getting confused.

    • What do you mean you were not sure if the condom was put on rightly? In what way can it be put on wrongly? Your rash does not sound like ARS. However, you should still get screened for HIV and STDs.

  42. hi doctor tan my name is steven i am a 19 years old teenager i had protected sex with a sex worker and i bought a rapid kit test for hiv on urine type and blood but came out negative in 42 days of my explosure do u think is it still possible for me to get hiv becuase i have a severe backpain that does not go away do u think it`s a symtom because i am tested negative by a rapid test twice by 42 days from today .

    • The only HIV test approved for home use is the OraQuick test. Even then, it is not 100% accurate. I really cannot comment on the accuracy of urine tests for HIV. I suggest you see a doctor for a proper HIV test and at the same time screen for other STDs.

  43. Hello Dr.

    Typically, how long after ARS a person will test positive? I had a possible exposure eight weeks ago. At 6 week, I had experienced a possible ARS. Then at 7.5 weeks, I had a rapid test done but it came back negative. It’s exactly 10 days after I experienced the symptoms before I had the test. Would the test pick up some thing if what I experienced was ARS ?

    • I don’t know. I don’t think there is any specific data on this. My guess would be 2 weeks give or take. That is purely a guess. Personally I do not take ARS symptoms into account at all when calculating testing window periods. So that is a moot point to me.

      • Thank you. If so, how much should I trust my 7.5 weeks hiv test ?

      • Parker gorley

        About 6 days ago i received oral sex from a sex worker in thailand. I did not ejaculate into her mouth and it was very short period of time. I got home after and cleaned myself with soap. Today I woke up and felt a bit of nausea, had diarrhea and have a rash behind both sides of my knees, and I am slightly fatigue. Should I be getting tested?

        • I do not think what you did put you at risk of HIV. However, it does put you at risk of many other STDs like Herpes, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia etc

  44. Hello Dr,

    I would like to find out if this would sound like ARS to you, 2 weeks ago I had what I remember as protected sex with some who’s status I don’t knw, exactly 2 weeks later I had heartburn and diarrhea and some nausea.. Heartburn lasted only one day, the diarrhea maybe 2 or 3 days.. the nausea is still there though not as strong… Could this be anxiety or would this be some strange symptoms of ARS… Please help

  45. Dear Dr. Tan,
    During the fifth week after the post oral unprotected insertive exposure with a prostitute, I felt burning back and developed a rash on the lower back. It was itchy,the pink area was big with some bump like and disappeared within 12 hours…again appeared the next day with same nature but changing the place and disappeared I had also sore throat and found that the neck was swollen.No fever because i took temperature three times a day.i had night sweat for only one that….i am scared regarding all these symptoms.Are these ARS,doc? I would be really grateful for your kind reply.
    Thank you.

  46. Hello Doc,

    I had possible hiv exposure with a female sex worker. I’m uncircumcised, I used a condom but before I put on the condom we were making love while we were kissing the tip of my penis touched with a vaginal fluid but I didn’t put my penis. The monent I felt my penis touched with viginal fluid I put my the condom on and proceed with vaginal sex. Exactly for weeks later I’ve been having symptoms like low fever 99-100 degree F, light sore throat, nasal congestion. All symptoms bother me mostly at night and the symptoms still going and been more than six weeks since they started. I went to see my doctor but he told that could allergies he gave allergy pill which helps but symptoms still not completely gone. Could that be hiv ARS last that long? I’m scared to death I don’t know if I can live with hiv.

    • What you are describing does not sound like ARS. But you know what I am going to say right? Go get a HIV test.

      • Yesterday I called the female sex worker and asked her if she is hiv positive, she said no but I don’t really believe her. I’m planning to go get an HIV test next month if symptoms still persist. What bother me the most doc is a possibility that my girlfriend can get infected because a week after I had sex with the sex worker, I had unprotected sex with my girlfriend so if I get infected my girlfriend could get infected too.

        Question is hiv rash always multiple can it be just one? Because I had one small black mark on my nose that last for about a couple weeks.

        • Doc,

          Have you seen hiv patients with one tiny hiv rash on nose and itchy face (not the tiny rash) the rash was not itchy.

          Thx,

          Bob

          • Nope. But I don’t see how that is relevant. You still need a HIV test.

  47. rapid test

    Hi Dr.

    I have experienced ARS symptoms after possible exposure 6 weeks after.

    have done rapid test 8 weeks after (venous blood drawn ,results in 30 min). the test came out negative.

    Currently waiting for the combo results and extremely anxious.

    What is the chance to get positive combo after my negative rapid test given that the symptoms were at 6 weeks and lasted for 4 days.

    Thanks a lot

  48. Jessica

    Good afternoon Dr. The article is very helpful but I still have some doubts regarding the symptoms. It has been around 8 weeks since I had a possible exposure with my ex boyfriend. We had a protected anal and viginal intercourse. The condom was intact after he finished. I experienced no symptoms during my 6 weeks and I already tested negative at that time using ELISA test. During my 7 weeks, I experienced some symptoms including fever, diarrhea, slightly headache and abonominal pain. All of the symptoms last only for one day. It went away after I met my doctor. So I want to ask:

    1. In the article, it states ARS occurs between 2-6 weeks after exposure. Is it possible if it occurs at 7 or 8 weeks considering with 3 months window period?

    2. Let’s say it’s possible. Are my symptoms that last only one day and went away after taking some tablet consider ARS?

    • 1. I have never seen or heard of HIV ARS appearing at 7 or 8 weeks. 2. If you say things like “let’s say it’s possible for symptoms to come on at 7 or 8 weeks” then what is stopping you form saying “let’s say it’s possible that symptoms only last 1 day”? It makes the entire question meaningless. Based on what we know scientifically, HIV ARS does not come on after 6 weeks and HIV ARS symptoms last for 1 week to 2 weeks. You cannot pick and choose which facts you want to stick by. A few more facts: Condoms greatly reduce the risk of getting HIV so your risk is low. The 3rd Gen ELISA test at 6 weeks is as good as 100% conclusive except in very very rare cases of sero-negative infections. So it’s time to take a deep breath and calm down Jessica.

      • Jessica

        Thank you Dr. Your further explanation made more sense than the fact I choose to believe. I will try calm down and wait for my 12 weeks test.

  49. Its been 3weeks after unprotected sex n im fine now all of my sysmptoms are gone after 12days if those symptoms were belongs to stds symptoms when i get conclusive result i was using drugs also at that time(cough syrup,cold syrup, nicotine chew gum and i was drunk also at that time )plz suggest me dr.tan

  50. Plz review my messages it could be easy to give answer of my question.

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  4. HIV Testing Fast Facts Infographic | HIV - […] on this link to learn more about the symptoms of […]
  5. HPV Vaccines for Men | GP Services - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  6. HPV Vaccine for Men and Women – Go get it!!! | GP Services - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  7. STD Treatment Services | STD - […] Early symptoms of HIV […]
  8. STD Testing Screening Doctor and Cost | Singapore Clinic Dr Tan And Partners | GP Services - […] More on HIV symptoms. […]
  9. HIV – Understanding the Window Period | GP Services - […] More on HIV symptoms. […]
  10. STD Symptoms in Men | STD - […] Fever. Basically anything and everything causes fever. From your common cold to HIV. So if you do develop a …
  11. There is NO CURE for HIV EXCEPT... (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) | HIV - […] If not read more about HIV symptoms. […]
  12. Rectal Gonorrhea | GP Services - […] Gonorrhea is also associated with other STDs such as HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis […]
  13. False Negative HIV ELISA test | HIV - […] More on HIV symptoms. […]
  14. Gonorrhoea Treatment in Singapore | STD - […] More on HIV symptoms. […]
  15. Genital Warts (Human Papilloma Virus) | GP Services - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  16. Perianal Warts | GP Services - […] Warts can also be associated with HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis […]
  17. Anal swab | GP Services - […] HIV Symptoms […]
  18. Medicines to Prevent HIV – PEP and PrEP | HIV - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  19. How long can HIV live outside the body? | HIV - […] If not read more about HIV symptoms. […]
  20. HIV latest news | HIV - […] If not read more about HIV symptoms. […]
  21. HIV CMIA Test Accuracy | HIV - […] If not read more about HIV symptoms. […]
  22. Dr Tan & Partners @ Novena – Infection and Andrology Centre | HIV - […] Analysis of HIV ARS Symptoms […]
  23. STD/HIV Clinic Singapore | HIV - […] Click here for more Detailed Information on HIV Symptoms. Do not worry in vain. Our doctor are …
  24. HIV Testing – FAQ | HIV - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  25. Hematospermia (Blood in the semen / sperm) | Men's Health - […] including  Chalmydia, HIV, Herpes, TB or other […]
  26. Tablets to prevent HIV – PrEP | HIV - […] If not read more about HIV symptoms. […]
  27. STD General Info | STD - […] The common symptoms usually occur about 3 to 4 weeks after exposure. They are fever, sore throat, rash and …
  28. When to test for HIV during and after completion of PEP | HIV - […] More on HIV symptoms. […]
  29. Anonymous HIV testing and Counselling | HIV - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  30. Rapid Anonymous HIV Combo Test at our clinic | HIV - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  31. Throat Gonorrhea | GP Services - […] More on HIV symptoms […]
  32. Anonymous HIV Testing at Our Clinic. | GP Services - […] If not read more about HIV symptoms. […]
  33. Most Popular HIV Articles | HIV - [...] More on HIV symptoms [...]
  34. Common Lumps & Bumps – Molluscum Contagiosum | GP Services - [...] Molluscum lesions do not pose a threat. They are generally self limiting and do not have any risk of …
  35. Condom Broke! | GP Services - [...] If not read more about HIV symptoms. [...]
  36. Video of Positive Oraquick Advance HIV 1/2 Test | HIV Test in Asia - [...] More on HIV symptoms. [...]
  37. Video of Alere Determine HIV test – Positive Test | HIV Test in Asia - [...] More on HIV symptoms. [...]
  38. HIV ELISA test and HIV ECLIA test | HIV Test in Asia - [...] More on HIV symptoms. [...]
  39. HIV P24 Ag/Ab Test, Duo Test, Combo Test at our Clinic | HIV Test in Asia - [...] More on HIV symptoms. [...]
  40. Hepatitis C affecting the HIV window period | HIV Test in Asia - [...] More on HIV symptoms. [...]
  41. All about HIV Types, Subtypes, Groups and Strains | HIV Test in Asia - [...] More on HIV symptoms. [...]
  42. Getting HIV from Oral Sex | HIV Test in Asia - [...] More on HIV symptoms. [...]
  43. Updates on HIV testing Window Period | HIV Test in Asia - [...] If not read more about HIV symptoms. [...]
  44. HIV PEP treatment at our clinic | HIV Test in Asia - [...] If not read more about HIV symptoms. [...]
  45. HIV Symptoms – Early Symptoms of HIV | HIV Test in Asia - [...] For more on HIV symptoms, please click here. [...]

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