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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.

Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Men
Click here for Info on STD Symptoms in Women
Click here to see the full range of our HIV/STD Services

 

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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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2,131 Comments

  1. 30 days ago, I had unprotected sex with a prostitute. About two weeks later, I developed muscle aches and severe diarrhea that persists till today. I had a 4th generation duo test 18 days after exposure, which was negative. Am I seroconverting?

    • Your symptoms are not due to ARS because if they were, your duo test would be positive. That does not mean you conclusively do not have HIV, but it is a fair indication at day 18. You should repeat your test at 28 days.

  2. Hiv from barber shop

    Hello doctor ,

    Thanks for your service you are doing , really great full to you .
    one day back i went to barber shop for having hair cut , so barber shaved my beared with trimmer and suddenly it got stopped due to low battery , and he immediately taken the trimmer from person beside him who is shaving beared for some other person , i have small pimple on my face which is around 0.2 MM it got broken with trimmer so my question is

    1) he has taken trimmer immediately from the person beside him who is using the trimmer on another person if it contains any blood on it , will i get hiv infection from this please help me sir .

  3. Scared

    Hello doctor ,

    Recently i went to STD clinic for getting tested for hiv infection,
    Nurse without using any gloves she is drawing blood from the patients , my Bad luck the guy before me nurse while drawing blood from him the blood got spilled outside the arm and she has cleaned with sponge for him , after 10 minutes the nurse has drawn blood from me without any gloves i have seen no visible blood on the nurse hand . Do i need to get tested for hiv or any other infections and i think she has cleaned her hand with some medical spirit , it it inactivates hiv virus . Please help me .

  4. I had unprotected sex rapidly with my ex 5 months ago, I dont know his status,but I hear he is not well healthwise,I have been well no flu,no sore throat no night sweats and i don’t get tired.but lately I feel pain only on my hands and a slight diarrhea could I be hiv positive???im scared

    • I cannot tell you based on these symptoms whether you have contracted HIV, and the only way to know for sure is to get tested.

  5. siraj

    Dr. I have unprotected sex 1 Month ago and I have back bumps on the back of my toungue and white layer on toungue and headache ,eyes pain And cough.and little bit flu like symptoms and I am worried about it and I have tested for HIV and it’s negative .
    That HIV test held on 7 days after unprotected sex .
    Some one tell me that in seven days HIV not show’s in blood.plesssszz help me out doc..

    • The HIV test at 7 days post-exposure is too early. If you are concerned, come down to the Robertson Walk clinic for an anonymous test 28 days post-exposure for conclusive results.

      • siraj

        So…Doc can I test my blood in this week then result is coming it’s true or not

        • siraj

          Can u tell why this happened to me
          and one thing more I am hepetatits B petiant
          I am using livovir tablet
          doc plezz help me out I am very depressed Everytime I am thinking about my problem… Sometimes I decided to go and. Kill my self

          • If it has been more than 28 days since your exposure, just go and get yourself tested to relieve your anxiety.

  6. Santosh

    Hello Doc,
    About a year and two months back I had protected vaginal sex with a person who is sexually active with many partners…I had used two condoms for safety….I just licked her vagina for few minutes…I did not ejaculate at all during the course of sex…and neither once I had finished…I have never had any sore headaches,fever,diarrhoea,enlarged lymph nodes,weight loss ,no night sweats etc post that …recently I have had cold from two weeks and a mild sore throat which is not at all painful…I had slight skin rash just on my chest from some months but the dermatologist said it is kind of sebo soriasis and normal sweat rash…it goes away on medication and arises only if I sweat a lot… Is it possible that I have contracted hiv?? Please suggest as im going too paranoid and scared…

    • I can’t answer if you have HIV – that’s what testing is for. Why don’t you just head down to a clinic to get screened? And more importantly, using two condoms together?? This is not how to use condoms and increases your risk of breakage/slippage. Please do not do that ever again.

  7. Hi Doc,

    I had exposure with a prostitute 3 weeks ago..I found out that the condom had a small hole on the neck of the condom after the session which was intense..the condom still had my cum spread out evenly inside the condom. After 3-4 days I developed a throat irritation (hardness on throught that made me swallow saliva most times) and sometimes made me rub my neck just to feel it. This went on for a week until I visited a health facility where I was given “Allerfast-120” drugs which I took for the next 5 days but to no avail. I went to another hospital a week later (now 2weeks post exposure) and explained my case of which I did STI tests (urine and blood) tests but they came out negative. I was however given “Azithromycin tablets” and chewable “Montekulast” drugs to take as the doc felt it was only anxiety that had crept on me. I’ve taken this drugs for the 3rd week now but only a slight improvement but the irrritation is still there. Its remaining 2 days till i finish the medication. Could this be a sign of Hiv if the irritation has persisted for this long? thank you.

    • I also plan to go for an Elisa test 3 days from today which shall be the 24th day after exposure. Will the results be conclusive?

    • No, HIV symptoms do not start so soon after exposure. Probably just a bad flu virus. However, your exposure would still put you at a small level of risk, so if you are concerned please do get tested.

  8. The fever is 38° aand my body pain for 5days..andbefore i ate sporacid and sporanox for the candida..after i check dont have anymore for the candida..after i recover from fever,the candida showed up again,,already did the uretrha cultur and resistency and i ate the diflucan now…is it the symtomps of hiv?

    • Please speak to your doctor for appropriate testing. But from your test results, you definitely do not have HIV.

  9. Hi dr…from August-septmbr last year i did sex few times unprotected vaginal with the sexworker(5girl different time)…i dont know the girls infected or not..but i already did the test in the hospital for the 2st week rapid NR…6week rapid NR..10 week rapid NR..12week rapid Nr…4month after last time exposure i did rapid again NR…5mnth Cmia ab/ag combo NR…6mnth Rapid Nr..7mnth Elisa,Eclia,Imunocormatogrphy NR…what shoul i do doc?after i did many times the test Now im really sick at the last april after i do so many times and i ate many antibiotics for my fever,headache,neck pain,running nose,,is it all of the test i did bfore still false negative…i got candida again on my genital..before i already recover from that and the candida show up again..is it posible because the antibiotic i ate for my fever and the candida showed up again…what test shoul i do to get thw valid resuld for HiV…thanks doc..i need ur answerr..because i want do test for viral load and cd4 ..is it posible to get false negative…?because i read the forum pozz..many2 case they did the test and the result false negative after in three months ir more after the window period..and suddenly the result change positive without do any seks risk.thanks

    • Your tests are negative. You do not have HIV. Stop worrying. You can get candida infections from recurrent antibiotic use. Please speak to your doctor about your recurrent infections/symptoms, but stop being paranoid about HIV.

  10. Hi dr. I just get tested with combo test at 21days after i got hives or skin appear the hives rash (come and go). The test is non reactive. So cn i confirm the rash is no ars ?

  11. Hi doctor, i had a single exposure unprotected with a woman of unknown status. After 9 days , i had a feverish feeling with 37.4 celcius temp. At 10th day, i had gastric stomach bloating with mild diareeha and severe headache…this lasted till 13th day….it was all gone…then at 16th day i had groin boils which disapears the next day….the boils appears again on 25th day and disappears the next day…..on 4th week i had unconfortable pain at liver and spleen area….during this 5 weeks i had phelgm at the time on my throat but without any pain…there were 3 red spots on my left arm which disaapers in 4 days ….are this ars symtoms….pls help …thanks

    • Your symptoms are non-specific but overall do not sound like ARS. If you are concerned, please drop by our Robertson Walk clinic for a rapid anonymous HIV test.

  12. Hi Dr, i am J from malaysia, this is what i was done from the csw. touching the gal breast and masturbate myself with condom. (without sex and oral sex as well) after 2 weeks, i was develop hives rash and i was worry about std and hiv. the rash was like appear and disappear. itching and abit burn a large bump.
    1. is the hives is the symptoms of ars?
    2. dr i was waiting the combo test at 21 days, is the test reliable and good indicate? can i drop by your clinic?

  13. Hello good doctor. My question is your opinion on recent test results. They are as follows;
    Days after possible exposure;
    8 days – RNA TMA
    15 days – RNA TMA
    23 days – 4th generation
    28 days – 4th generation

    All test were negative, but recently I started getting discomfort in my throat, slight head ache, and night sweats. Do I need to test again or can I trust the tests done?

  14. i dr. I have exposure last week then on the following day I have a flu and stomach ache and bloated i used condom vaginal sex but the girl scratch my skin and it has a cut but not to deep only the skin has remove if ever she put her blood on it can hiv transmit to me dr.? I am very scared right now now i have a rush in ny back and it is very itchy and my scalp is itchy im very stressed right now dr. Everytime i always think that i have hiv please help me thankyou im very weak

    • Hi,
      HIV will not be transmitted from a scratch on the skin as you’ve described. However, it can be transmitted during vaginal sex (although lower risk with a condom). That being said, your symptoms are NOT from HIV as it is too early after your exposure for any symptoms to develop. Therefore I would advise you not to worry, and to come down to our Robertson Walk clinic for anonymous testing 28 days post-exposure.

      • thankyou very much dr. im very weak beacuse of my anxiety it kills me everyday thinking that i have the virus. my anxiety attacks my whole body im not feeling well everyday i think about it

        • this is my first time in a risk dr. in the first risk dr. can i get instant the hiv virus dr?

          • hi dr. somebody says that the hiv virus can transmitt in your body in hours only? is this true doctor?

  15. Neil Macpherson

    Just wanted to say thank you. I had unprotected sex 8 weeks ago with someone from a high risk group and have been worried about contracting hiv. After the encounter a started a course of PEP (36 hours later) and am booked in for my test next week. Last week I developed a chesty cough sore throat and runny nose. Immediately thought the worse and convinced myself u had hiv. All the other articles I have read say flu like symptoms but human nature being what it is you tend to concentrate on worse case scenario. Only after reading your article describing exactly what the symptoms of ARS are and that what I have is just a common cold do I feel less worried. Can go for the test now still concerned but not in a complete state of panic.

    • drtan

      Thank you for sharing. We are very happy you found the article useful and wish you all the best.

  16. Hi doctor, ypu all are doin wonderful work.. i had a ruptured condom with sex worker a few weeks back, on 7th day post exposure did dna pcr qualitative in my country in africa_kenya then elisa ab 4 weeks and 7 weeks and again dna pcr on 8th week.. all negative. I have several symptoms esp lymph nodes all over. How accurate are my tests. Is dna pcr accurate at 55 days post exposure or does it fail to detect the virus at that time. Will appreciate your insight into this.. thank you sir

    • drtan

      I am not in a position to comment on the accuracy of your tests. You should ask the doctor who did the tests for you.

      On the surface, I think your tests are conclusive.

  17. Fernando

    Dear Dr. Tan,

    I did something very stupid about 20 months ago unprotected sex with a girl I met twice. Then I was tested using a 4th gen from Roche from a large diagnostics laboratory here in Brazil. They collected the blood in a flask and put a label with my name and a barcode on it, so I think it’s an automated system.

    Well, the test at 28 days came negative and I repeated it at 90 days as they suggested to do. Again it came negative.

    Are those automated systems trustable ?

    Thanks for your attention !

    • Hi,
      We can’t really comment on the reliability of your lab systems in Brazil, but personally I can’t see why there should be any problems. These systems are commonly used worldwide.

  18. Hi Doctor ,

    I went to one hiv clinic for getting tested for hiv , my results were non-reactive , the test is hiv tridot test kit the person gave me the kit unfortunately i have touched the sponge kind of material in the kit , as he poured the hiv proteins and antigens for testing , and by mistake i have put my fingers in my nose, is i will be infected with this exposure , as the exposure to me is i am a regular smoker , i have taken cigratee from one person he has visible blood stains on the cigratee and i have smoked the cigratee .

    Please help me i have to get tested for hiv once again .

    • You will not get HIV in any of the ways you described.

      • Thanks doctor for your reply , if we have any sores on lips , is it causes the hiv infection , if we smoke the cigratee .

        • kumar

          Hi Doctor ,

          I Have done pcr test and the result is

          Not detected .

          Is this means a negative result , Please respond waiting for your response .

  19. Dear Doctor,

    After having few taquilla shots i end up with sex worker. This was my first time always been loyal to my wife. I have my own doubt whther she got operated for vagina (maybe man to female) as it looked very different. Since it was my first time, she was the one who put on the condom and gave oral. And later i was nervous so it was not as hard… so i have to shake it with hand and then had quick one… all with same condom on… i know for sure condom was still intact.. never notice any break as well ( not like i looked for). Its been 3 weeks. I have no such symptom… but i am still guilty n scared… please advise what are my chances…

    • Just a mild pain corner throat… but that didnt disturbing much… like while drinking or eating… have to really focus for the pain… and general stress n anxiety as i look for symptom everytime.

    • The risk of getting HIV from protected sex is very low. You are however also at risk of other STDs. To be sure if you have been infected or not, you should see your doctor for screening tests.

  20. Hi doctor,
    I did. Sex with one girl, in the year of 2015,november 7…I was tested after 6month,and after 9th month …I got negative report….but I am sufferng from skin problem since 8 months….and breathing. Problem plzz give me reply sir

    • Please see a doctor for a proper consult. For what it’s worth, your symptoms do not sound related to an STD, especially as your HIV testing is negative.

  21. hi doctor
    i unprotected sex 19 dec16 6 week after my symptom sore thoart i test hiv 1/2 p24 non reactive, 8 week non reactive 11.2 week non reactive i have sympyom caugh and lymph noeds my uronoligist doctor conclusive my 8 week result hbsag hcv vdrl hiv 1/2p24 but my symptom occur i am very confused

    • Hi,
      What are you confused about? There are many conditions which can cause sore throat and swollen lymph nodes which are not HIV. Your tests are negative and you do not need to worry. You may come see us for a consult if you still have any further concerns.

      • thanks

      • Prabhakar

        Doctor please help.
        I had protected sex with a escort. While taking out condom.i pulled from downside and i am not sure if condom was broken.sex didn’t last for more than 2 min. Semen was inside the condom, but while removing i touched vaginal fluid. I showered afterwards. After one week, i had toothache. Then in the next weekend i felt low grade fever max around 99.7f. Went away in two day. Then the following weekend i had indigestion and vomitted. And now after that i feel urge to bowel. This symptoms usually occurs more on weekends. I go office on week. Is this ars symptoms. I am terrified. I will never do this again. Please help.

        • Symptoms of HIV seroconversion can be vague and will vary. We are unable to assess you over the internet. If you are worried, please come down to a clinic for testing and a proper consult.

  22. Hello Doc,

    I had a protected sex with a sex worker 6 weeks before. I had abscess on knee joint after 3 weeks of exposure & abscess on chin after 5 weeks. Abscess was treated, but in 5th week i have a little swelling on both sides of neck which is not visible but can feel pain, then muscle pain started in right thigh, stomach, arms, groin, legs, shoulders and all over the body. I have more pain in lower part of my body especially in groin, inner thighs & legs. This pain is so different, i have never experienced such kind of pain in my life. Pain comes and goes, occasional headaches. I have taken antibody test[3rd generation] at 3rd and 4th week, both came negative and at 43rd day i took RNA qualitative test, waiting for the result. I have read ARS symptoms starts after 4th to 6th week, for me symptoms shown up in 5th week. I would like to know the symptoms which i have is related to ARS or not and can i trust the result[negative/positive] of RNA qualitative test after 6 weeks. Eagerly waiting for your reply. I had protected sex before also but never had this kind of symptoms, i have doubts on quality of the condom.

    • At 43 days post exposure the best test to get is really the 4th Gen test. This will put an end to all your doubts. There really is no point trying to analyze your symptoms to know if you have HIV or not. What I can say is that your symptoms are not typical of HIV ARS. But they do sound rather serious. Please see a doctor about your symptoms. HIV is not the only thing that can kill you.

    • I have simillar symptoms .. did elisa ab 7 weeks and dna pcr at 8 weeks.. all negative.. did you manage to get any feedback regarding this case. How accurate are my tests.

  23. Jason Ray

    Hi Dr ,

    I have done 4th generation test after 5 weeks , could your please suggest your comment on it . After 10 weeks I got diagnosed for staph infection and there are. multiple mouth ulcers are coming inside my mouth . I am quite worrying about it .

    How reliable is my HIV test in 5 weeks . Is these symptoms are associate with hiv

    Thnx
    JR

    • Hi,
      Our 4th generation test would be conclusive at 5 weeks; however, please speak to your doctor regarding the test done as we are unable to comment on that test specifically.

  24. Herbert

    Hi Dr Tan,

    I did a STI Test at your clinic on 16th Mar 2017 with oral sex exposure on 1st Mar 2017, so are all the test conclusive? Or there is a need to re test? This week considered the 3rd week, right?

  25. Herbert

    Hi Dr Tan,

    I did the 4th Gen at your clinic on 17th Mar, which 17 days and it was neg. On 18th Mar, there was rashes on the arm, body and legs. Consider today is the fifth day, rashes are still there around, but no fever no sore throat and just feel tired. This morning, my hands and toes, seems to be stiffed. Should I return to your clinic?

  26. Anthony

    Dear Doc,
    First let me congratulate you on the great job.
    I need a help from your side.
    Well I was at a party got too drunk and woke up the next day with a cut in my hand and a bit of blood.
    I’m sure nothing sexually happened and wasn’t thinking of it until i learned that hiv can be transmitted through wounds.
    My wound wasn’t one that requires stitches or very deep.
    I had a flu and a fever after 2 weeks of the encounter for almost a week but was going to work.
    I did an Hiv test after a month(33 days) from the encounter(Serology test Hiv 1/2) i think it’s Elisa but don’t really know what it is.
    Then i started having legs muscle aches but my vitamin d is low and it happened previously (especially that i came back to sports 1 week previously)
    After around 5 weeks of the party i had a rash between my legs and back thighs (my doctor said it’s winter eczema) … very small red dots that feel bad when in contact with my jeans or when sitting.
    I’m really panicking over these matters… could these be ARS symptoms ? Should i do the testing once again ? Or this is pure anxiety ?

    • The HIV ELISA test a 33 days is not conclusive. You need to get it done again. Please ask your doctor for details. I cannot say if your symptoms are due to HIV ARS or not. For what it’s worth, from your description, your symptoms do not sound like HIV ARS to me. This is not to say you do not have HIV.

  27. Hi doc,

    I have taken HIV test at one of your clinics 28th day from potential exposure. Your doctor told me my test was conclusive as negative as it is the 4th generation test done and according to my situation.

    I woke up with a sudden rash on parts of my back, with no other std symptoms. Could this rash be because of other causes? As i am currently feeling fine, and it has been 4 months from potential exposure.

    • Hi,
      Your test results are conclusive and your rash is likely from other causes. If you are concerned, you may come down to our clinic for an assessment.

      • Thank you doc. I just had a fever of 38.5 which doesnt has a sore throat, rash and running nose.

        Its already 4months+ pass potential exposure, might it be hiv or im over thinking.

        • If you have had no further exposure since, then you will not have HIV based on your recent tests. Your symptoms are likely from another cause.

  28. I recently met with a man and gave him oral sex he came over the bed sheet and his hands and then shortly after put his fingers inside my bum.
    Before meeting with him I remembered there was some blood when I was cleaning my bum and there was a little bit of blood when cleaning after the meet up.
    I was very worried and 4 days after meeting I started experiencing night sweats along my chest and stomach which have lasted five days. Along with this I had a pain in my gum again after 4 days which on the 8th day I saw was a sore. Looking up both these symptoms I saw these can be a sign of early HIV so again I’m worrying a lot.
    I’ve asked the man several times his status and he says he’s negative but I cant trust people over the Internet.
    If you could let me know the chances of this being hiv please as I said I’m really starting to worry myself.
    Thanks

    • Hi, it sounds unlikely to have transmitted HIV through this way. However, if you are concerned, you may come down to our clinic at Robertson Walk for a consult and/or Anonymous HIV test after a window period of 28 days.

  29. Dear dr Tan,
    I have done rapid combo test at your Robertson Walk clinic on 22Feb (exactly 61days from my last risk – unprotected sex with CSW) in Indonesia. At first i was relieve when the doctor said the negative result and also say its conclusive so i do not need any test for 12 weeks. But now i just having bad flu with the symptoms incl sore throat etc. what i want to ask: 1. Is it possible that my flu is sign for ARS consider i already 2 months from my last exposure? 2. Should i still need to go for test in 12 weeks or combo test in 61 days i already take is conclusive? Thank you

    • Hi,
      The consensus would be that the HIV combo test is conclusive 28 days post-exposure. Therefore, if you had a negative combo test 61 days post-exposure, you do not need to repeat your test at 12 weeks. Your symptoms are likely a viral flu. However, if you still have any concerns, you can always return to the clinic to speak your doctor directly.

  30. Hello doc
    How accurate hiv test using metho 4th generation cmia (ag/ab) on 90 and 130 days after expose if negative? Need i do test again? My activiti just hand job with massage worker.Sory my ingglish no good. I hope you understand.

    • Lee

      In my opinion your tests are very indicative that you are free from hiv.
      officially the testing window period for the 4th generation test is 28 days.
      please note that we are unable to verify the accuracy for your test. for that, please ask the doctor who has done the test for you.

      If you are concerned about the result of the test, I advise that you visit your local doctor so that he could assess you and your partner further to test for HIV and STD as there was unprotected sex.

  31. joan peters

    how i get cure

    • Dear Joan peters
      Unfortunately , there is no cure to HIV. HIV can be treated. Many people living with HIV start taking treatment and stay healthy as a result. Current treatment for HIV is not a cure for HIV, but it can keep HIV under control.

  32. Hi Doc,

    Three days ago, I had an encounter with a ladyboy. She penetrated my ass with condom and gave me oral sex with condom. I gave her oral sex without condom, she ejaculated inside my mouth and I swallowed her semen. I remember that her cock looked fine and there was no visible cut or ulcer. However, I just realised that I might not have recovered fully from my flu symptom, i.e. mild sore throat, and I might have had a little cut on my lip at that time. Am I at high risk of HIV infection? Today, an ulcer appeared on my tongue. I am really concerned. Your advise is deeply appreciated. By the way, she previously mentioned that she was tested one month ago and declared clear of any disease. I am not fully sure though if she is fully honest.

    • Akira
      Your symptoms could be due to other medical conditions .
      However, I recommend you to see a doctor for a consult and getting tested for HIV and STD as you had unprotected sex.

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