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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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Consultation $20.00-80.00
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(not inclusive of test)
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Standard HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and II $ 200.00
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Comprehensive (Male) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIUrine – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas, NSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Urine Culture, Candida $ 390.00
Comprehensive (Female) Blood – Syphilis, Hepatitis B/C, Herpes Simplex Virus Type I and IIVaginal Swab – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea PCR, Monilia, Trichomonas PCR, Gardnerella PCR, Candida PCR, Group B StrepNSU, Mycoplasma, Ureaplasma, Direct Microscopy, Candida, Vaginal swab culture $ 525.00
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Add $100 for expedited results
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2,298 Comments

  1. Dear doctor

    I had negative rapid test result at day 35 and day 77. After that I did Rna Pcr test at day 87. The test result is “not detectable”. I have now mouth ulcers reddish ring type white spot red spot dry cough and runny nose. I had also done for TB test and it is ok. Also I had many pimples on my cheeks. I had a needle exposure. Kindly guide Sir.

    • Your tests are conclusive. No HIV.

      • Dear Doctor

        Thank you so much for your kind reply. Kindly guide what could cause this symptom ie full of mouth ulcers runny nose dry cough etc. I had also done Hepatitis B C test at 77 days. All are negative. I want to know Sir what disease can spread from an used syringe. Thank you again for your kind help.

      • Dear Doctor

        Thank you very much for your reply.Could you Sir please guide me if it is no HIV what else it could be ie mouth full of ulcers dry cough runny nose etc. I had a needle exposure. Thank you for your kind help. I have done also hepatitis B and c test at 77 days both are negative(rapid test)

  2. Hi Dr Tan,

    Earlier I went to a massage parlor to do a full body massage, halfway through the masseuse asked if i would like to have a handjob which i obliged.

    Eventually I did not ejaculate as I was too nervous due to my first time receiving a ‘happy ending’ massage. There was no oral nor sexual intercourse involved, just purely handjob.

    Am I at risk for HIV/STD? Im just worried that if she did provided such service to a previous client, there would be remains or smudges of his cum on her hand which may risk infection. I cant sleep well because of this as im really worried…

    • There is no risk from HIV from a handjob. Negligible risk for any other STDs as well. If you have any concerns, please visit us for a proper consult and evaluation.

      • Thank yu for the reply Doctor Jonathan.

        What worries me is that she used an oil essence/lubricant to give me a handjob, im just worried if there are any presence of STDs or HIV from a previous customer which may have tainted the oil. 🙁

  3. Hi doc

    I had a condom break situvation with a CSW in a high hiv prevelance area on 28 of aug 17. Started pep next day. Completed without any side effects . Testing done at

    baseline negative 4th generation test

    2nd week a penilefungal infection and still there

    3rd week while on pep negative fourth gen test

    7th week negative fourth gen assay
    8th week stiff neck pain and one small occipital lymph node below 0.5 cm wide only palpable, hard, painless no tenderness. Tonsil stones but no sore throat, white tounge Occasionally muscle aches and joint pains but not presistant. Tested again with rapid test at 9 week negative. Now at 10 week neck pain still there lymph node reduced but palpable. Will my status change at 12 week post exposure ? Pls help

  4. Dear doctor
    77 days after exposure I did antibody test( method immunochromotography screening test result given in 40 min.) still having problem of gas. I went through all the symptoms of hiv after needle exposure. Kindly help.

  5. Jhonny Khan

    Is acne sign of HIV?

    • Symptoms in acute HIV are non-specific. We do not make or exclude any diagnosis based on symptoms or lack thereof. If you have concerns, please get tested.

  6. Jhonny Khan

    Dear Sir!
    I had unprotected sex with a girl( may be for 5 min) almost a year ago. I haven’t seen any specific symptoms yet. The girl had tested which was negative before we had unprotected sex. I have small whitish dot on my corona of glans, I don’t know what it is? Is there possibility of infection?

    • It seems pretty unlikely to be HIV. But there are other possible conditions such as fungal balanitis that would need evaluation and treamtnet. If you have any concerns, please visit us for a proper assessment.

  7. Hi doc,

    I’m wondering, during massage, if the massage master put his finger into the Virginia together with massage lotion will it have chance to spread hiv virus?
    I’m not sure weather his finger have a cut or not if yes, will it spread hiv virus?

  8. Hello doctor ,

    In the month of february 28th 2018 , i went to one lab for getting tested for hiv , so the technician collected the sample and he has performed the test in front of me , with tridot test kit , so the thing is he has touched the kit membrane with his hands as the hiv antigents are immobiolized on it and he has poured the reagents in to the kit and some of the liquid came in to his fingers , so at the end he has given shake hand to me , i had burns in my hands , can i get the virus from it as he has touched the reagents , and after that i got tested for hiv once again after 5 months of this incident with hiv pcr dna test , and ag/ab test and the result came back negative , is should i tested once again after 6 months . please do reply doctor .

  9. Hello DOctor,

    I had sex CWS 10 days back, we had Oral and Vaginal sex with same condon and continued sex for little while after ejaculation.
    As per CSW she was HIV -ve (Not going by her word).
    Symptoms:
    – Sore Throat.
    – Tendered Jaw
    – Muscle/Joint Pain
    – Tonsil Pain
    – Fatigue
    – 6-7 red bumps on my back.

    Is HIV Test warranted ?
    Im at risk?

    • If she does not have HIV, then there is no risk. If she does but was in the window period during her last test, then yes there is a low risk. If you are concerned, please speak to your doctor and get tested.

  10. Sandy C

    PROBABLY I had a needle exposure during blood drawing.I was not sure.From the very same day I had fever muscle and joint pain.Very mild problem in throat. I tested negative at 35 days by immumnochromotography by 3rd generation test.Today is 63rd day.I have mild headache now and some white spots in mouth.Kindly suggest.

    • Dr Elaine Loh

      It is quite impossible to not know if you had a needle stick injury. If it is PROBABLY, then most likely there wasn’t any.
      However, your HIV test on day 35 is not accurate. I suggest you get a HIV combo test done if you are concerned.
      Click here for our locations.

      • Thank you for your kind reply. I have read Hiv symptoms come generally after 2 weeks.But from the very same day of the probable exposure I had fever joint and muscle pain.Today is 63rd day.
        Kindly suggest.

  11. I had protected anal sex first time i have had on and off symptoms include

    Rash chest face and arms like pimples and redish face that looks like a rash

    Cold like symptoms on and off and keep needing toilet but its not diarahhe i had ghonerea and chlamadia tests negative getting hiv test 5th week this week he didnt cum i dpnt think as he tolde he cpudnt finish with condom

    • On sprry my phone playing up was the receiptive he told me he was clean but reqlly worried

    • If your HIV test was 4th generation, it would be conclusive. If you are concerned, please visit us for a proper evaluation and testing as there can be other medical conditions causing your symptoms.

  12. Dear doctor,
    I received unprotected oral sex a few months ago. I have a lot of aymptoms but they were mild. The most prominent one is a skin rash. My whole body is filled with pimples and goosebumps now.
    Do you think i have hiv?
    Have you had any patient who got hiv through such transmission?
    Thank you

    • No, I do not think you have HIV. I have not had nor am I aware of any patients who have contracted HIV through oral sex.

  13. Curious about ars. Does the joint and muscle pain show up as being all over or can it be in spefic areas i ask becuase i have what looks like the ars rash under mu arms and down the sides of my torso around my nose and pain in my thumb area.

  14. Hello – I have had unprotected sex with a lady around 11 weeks ago and have been under a lot of stress since (drunk attitude!) Below is all I noted down for last few weeks as symptoms:

    11 weeks now of full stress!
    12 J: Dday, unprotected sex, poured vodka in penis tip to try and kill any potential STD
    20 J: penis tip burn , no discharge, no problem peeing
    22 J: zitro course 1g, burn goes away
    23 J: skin on arms significantly peel off alone – all in one go
    24 J: burn restarts stronger and across tip and scrotum, no discharge, no problem peeing
    26 J: no sleep, panic, constant peeing (every 30 mins) – ARS worry start in full mode
    27 J: full anxiety, tingle all over body, 1st doxy at night
    28 J: 2nd doxy am, strong side effect, stopped doxy
    29 J: triaxone + zitro 1g
    30 J: Zitro 250mg + stom cramps
    31 J: zitro 250mg + metallic taste for 1 hour
    1 A: urologist check, all clear, no infection and highlights no discharge could be sign of no STD
    6 A: rash burn on hand starts, not sure if the two small lesions were there before antibiotics
    11 A: juice detox start with healing symptoms (headache, tiredness, peeing more)
    13 A: mouth sore at day three of detox
    14 A: sharp pain in pancreatic area, completely gone by midday after proper meal
    15 A: acid reflux feel + slight swallowing annoyance
    17 A: heavy anxiety persist, no one to talk to, people slightly realizing something wrong
    20 A: mouthsore gone, hand rash bigger, oval now
    22 A: sever heavy dry mouth throughout day, Colleague sick with sore throat and fever
    26 A: my sore throat, severe dry throat, no fever
    27 A: family have same symptoms: throat infection and fever. No fever at all for me – stayed at 36.8.
    29 A: 3-4 pink blemishes on trunk all far from each other and small – gone after a day or two
    30 A: dermatologist visit + provided ointment for her assessment of discoid eczema
    5 S: dermatologist visit again – eczema clearing up after nearly a month
    8 S: 3rd gen test done – negative result; 4% false negative possible
    22- 29S: New symptoma: significant Peeling fingers, arms and palms (both hands, never had anything like this); tingling of right arm, fingers (thin and index primarily) left leg and foot (like slight constricted blood flow / carpal tunnel); peeling of arms. Constant Ringing left ear!
    29 S: alight pain in left side, under ribs(kidney area)

    Is this HIV symptoms gone awry?

    Very annoying feeling. Stress starting again!
    Please help!

  15. Dear Doctors,

    I would like to check if AHT is available at Scotts medical center? And also if MC can be provided if an AHT is done?

    Thank you!

    • Rapid HIV testing is available but not anonymously. It will be under a registered account. Anonymous testing is only available at Robertson Walk clinic. MC is not provided as it is anonymous.

  16. Hi dear Dr Jonathan and Dr Tan,
    on 2 March 2017, i had few seconds of unprotected vaginal exposure with a prostitute and I put on condom after that. But after 2 weeks I had lots of symptoms such as white tongue with bumps at the back, fever, nausea, loss of weight, chills, itchy body. I did so many HIV tests and all came negative.
    4 weeks- HIV alere combo test negative
    6 weeks- abbott architect Ag/Ab negative
    8 weeks – Eclia Ag/Ab negative
    12 weeks – Abbott architect Ag/Ab negative
    13 weeks- Eclia Ag/Ab negative
    14 weeks- Alere Hiv combo negative
    20 weeks- Eclia Ag/ Ab negative
    26 weeks (6 months) – Eclia Ag/Ab negative

    but what i’m worrying is what could be the reason for my symptoms such as white tongue(im still having it, looks furry and white and bumps at the back) and I remember i had genital ulcer once on the shaft of my penis and it bled.

    also tested negative for HSV1 and HSV2 at 26 weeks
    also tested negative for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis at 3 months.

    I just tested for EBV as I heard it has similar symptoms for HIV and I’m waiting for the result. I have wasted lots of money and depression and anxiety. please advise me doctor,
    what could be my infection?
    1) is my HIV test conclusive?

    from Malaysia,
    thanks

    • today I received the result of EBV and it is IgG VCA- positive. so is this the virus that cause all the symptoms?

      • IgG results just means you have been exposed to EBV in the past. It says nothing about acute infection or symptoms. Please speak to your doctor for clarification.

    • We do not give medical consults over the internet. If you have symptoms of concern, please get them assessed. The only thing I can say confidently is that you do not have HIV and you do not need to test further for HIV.

  17. Hi doctor, I recently had an exposure that worried me. I went for an erotic massage and the lady rubbed her vagina up and down my penis shaft while I was lying down. There was no penetration involved but I cannot recall if her vagina rubbed my glans or not. Am I at risk of HIV transmission? Thanks.

  18. Quick question i have heard about hiv transmission through open wounds. As being theoritcal. So if i get a handjob from somone with unknown staus how worried should i be if theres a cut on thier hand and i have an open sore in my groin area

  19. Dear Doctors,

    I had protected BJ with a freelance escort about 2-3 months ago. Am I at risk for contracting HIV? Do I need to be tested? Can you kindly advise me please.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Risk of HIV from oral sex is extremely low to zero. I would not be too worried; however, if you have concerns please see your doctor for testing.

      • Dear doctor, thanks for the reply. Like you stated, it’s extremely Low to zero. I assume the one I had which was protected will be probably be non existent? Would you recommend me to go for testing in this case?

        thanks in advance!

  20. Hi doctor, I recently had protected sex but I’m not really sure if I was used correctly as it was my first time, on the 3rd day, I developed a sore throats, on the 4thday sore throats became worse and I developed a headache, it is the 5th day now and sore throats is still bad and lymph notes are swollen on the neck, also I have observed any/mosquito bite LIKE bumps on my legs and have also discovered a pimple on my leg which is very rare, I don’t knw if I’m freaking out over nothing but I just wanted some advice thank you! Also we did it the carpark floor so I’m not sure if it’s a germ thing?

  21. Somen Singha

    Dear doctor This is Somen from Bangladesh.I had protected sex with a female csw 3 years ago.Later I found der HIv positive.After 5 weeks I experienced almost all classical ARS like swollen lymph nodes in neck and under the jaw line,severe muscle pain,rash on both arms,loose stool,dizziness,nausea but surprisingly no fever.I had tested negative after 3 months by rapid test,after 5.5 months with 3rd generation elisa,after 6.5 months with rapid test.This is not the end of the story.Symptoms are not going way.Some of my symptms still persist like swollen lymph nodes,loose stool.Recently I have lost some weight(3.5 kg) without dieting or excersise.I know unexplained weight loss is a aids defining illness.What should I do?Doctor all of my tests were antibody test not duo.

    • Your tests are conclusive, you do not have HIV. If you have symptoms of concern, please get assessed properly at a doctor.

      • Somen Singha

        Have you seen any patient with such symptoms but come up negative?I am very scared of my weight loss.

  22. Hi,doc
    I am not feeling well got sore throat and white patches on tounge .sometimes I feel like my body is getting weak .I am worried coz I had sex
    With my gf in 2014 and now I am not in contact with her anymore she left to abroad .I was gone to shave my beared i was not sure that the saloon guy changed the blade. It was on 16 July 2017 .
    Now last month on from 22 July 2017 I am goin through this problem .
    Pls give me some suggestions are this symptoms of Hiv^aids

    • The only way to know would be through testing. There have been no cases of HIV transmission through barber shops thus far, so do not worry.

  23. I wanted to say thank you doctor for all this from the united states i had a hiv rna test 10 days (tested negative) after a possuble expoure going back for a retest 29 days later (8-30-17) and all the info has been extremly helpful and reassuring that im gonna be ok

  24. Hi doc, i was wondering should i be concerned about my fever 2 weeks after protected sexual intercourse with sex worker, Im pretty sure the condom used properly without slipping off or broken.

    First of all i was having a really bad sore throat and coughing like hell ysterday and today i checked my temp from armpit about 37.7 which is like above 38.5 if from eae ( via webd )

    Plus i also lost my energy to do activities… im worried now if i mst wait until 6 weeks.

    And also ive been wondering after reading your article about the fever that usually lasts until 2 weeks, if i give medicine will it work? Or still persist until 10 days or so if its from arv? Thanks in advance

    • We cannot diagnose or exclude HIV from symptoms or lack thereof. The only way you can know would be through proper HIV testing.

  25. John worried

    Thank you

  26. Hi I have received oral sex unprotected in Thailand with CSW. I have spotted a white spot in my tonsil and visited ent. Doctor told me it is nothing to worry about. My sibling is a doctor and she advised me just to gargle for a few days. After I gargled I cud see two more small white spots.

    After I observed first white spot, I had Elisa test negative after 30days of exposure.

    Should I be worried about these white spots with no symptoms except headache like 2 times a month.

    • The risk of HIV from receiving oral sex is essentially zero. You should not be worried about HIV in the slightest.

      • Thank you very much Sir, I had protected sex two times also with diff csw.
        I have told to my relative she is a highly qualified doctor and she says I am banging my head on the wall after reading google.

        She has advised me to stop googling

  27. Sir can one take ampiclox before hepatitis test?

  28. Hi doc

    What kind of body pain do you feel when you have hiv symptoms? Because i had protected sex with a csw last 5 weeks ago and lately i have this body pain in my arms shoulders and joints that comes ang goes the pain is mild it is about 3 weeks now that i am experiencing this body pain pls help.

  29. hiv from lab

    Hi doctor ,

    Please assess my risk factor here , i went to lab for blood drawn .The nurse drawing blood didn’t wear any gloves .

    1) Before me from one patient she drawn blood (don’t know patient history ) and some amount of blood got on her hands .

    2) She cleaned the fingers with the cotton ball ( No disinfectant used she just cleaned her fingers with cotton ) .

    3) After about 4 to 5 minutes gap , i went their for giving blood .

    4) when drawing blood from me she touched the needle edge that went in to my vein for blood drawing .

    5) As i see no visible blood on her fingers is iam risk of any blood borne infections like hiv,hep-v,hcv .

    6) it is been just 48 hours from now should i take any precautions .

    7) one more thing is they have one table and on the table , patinets will keep hands and some times some amount of blood got spilled on tables . And they place the cotton balls on the table . And directly they use this cotton balls to clean the patient vein for drawing blood , Is this a hygenic practice or not

    Please help me doctor as i am freaked out with this incident .

    • There is no risk of HIV transmission from what you have described.

      • hiv from lab

        Thanks doctor for your reply , my concern is she touched the needle edge , that went in to my vein . as she cleaned the blood fingers with cotton just 4 t0 5 minutes back.

        Thanks for your service doctor . May god bless u .

  30. Hi doc

    I had sex with a csw with condom last 5 weeks on day 3 i feel like my body is very hot and when i check my temp. It was normal i also had diarrhea and itching of the throat after few days my diarrhea was gone now i have body pains in my arms and shoulders sometimes its gone and again come back the pain is tolerable not severe but i also have clogged nose mild cough for about 2 weeks now and right now my neck hurts do i have hiv? Thanks for your reply much appreciated.

  31. Hi doctor, I had some white discharge after the erection. I had unprotected sex with my partner. Please advise what should I do?

  32. Hiv from injury

    Hi Doctor ,

    I think my question is bit confusing .

    My friend who frequently visits prostitutes for sex , so he was fighting with some person on the street , his hand got scratched with nails just a 3 MM scratch just a tiny amount of blood was coming , so i went to stop him and i got a tiny amount of blood in to my hands ( less than a drop of blood ) and i accidentally put in to my nose , is there any harm of hiv infection from this activity . Do i need to test for hiv , Please help me sir

  33. Mohamad

    HI.i just tested as below :

    1)Pcr [email protected] Day 61+HIV 1.2 ab (negative)
    2)[email protected] day 89(HIV 1.2 ab & p24) (negative)
    3)hepatitis B & C @ day 117 + HIV 1.2 ab (negative)
    _______________________________________
    But my tongue is white and I have Linea Alba in my checks and tongue. And so I lost my weight about 10 kg.what should I do. Please help me.

  34. 8 weeks pcr rna test

    Hi Doctor ,

    At 8 weeks i have taken pcr rna test it is not detectable , is this conclusive , and at 6 weeks pcr dna test . what is the difference between pcr rna test and pcr dna test . is both are accurate tests to detect hiv infection.

    Thanks for your service .

  35. Laerti

    Hi Doctor,

    I had a negative RNA test 12 days after a potential exposure, but a week after I experienced a dull ache in my lower left abdomen which lasted almost 6 days. The ache itself was quite subtle and came in random intervals during the day- first days it was more sparse, then peaked in frequency around the middle, and progressively wore off by days 5-6. I experienced no other unusual symptoms, gastrointestinal or otherwise.

    I’ve read that even though some symptoms are more commonly associated with ARS, generally ARS symptoms can take a variety of forms. Could ARS manifest itself as the above? Do you know if its indicative of another, say gastrointestinal condition?

    • Your RNA test is already essentially conclusive. We do not diagnose or exclude HIV through symptoms, or lack thereof. Only testing.

  36. Shared Beer with Hiv positive friend

    hello doctor ,

    I have my friend recently diagnoised with hiv infection just one month ago , just two months back i have shared beer bottle with him as i don’t his disease , can i get the hiv infection from him , i am really scared of it . is i have to get tested for hiv . waiting for your response .

  37. Raven

    Hello doctor,
    About 4 to 5 years ago I gave oral sex to someone I knew immediately after my mouth burned. The burning lasted for a few then went away. I went on vaca 2 weeks later to see him again. We had unprotected sex. Within a week I had a bald spot on my tongue. I was nervous so went to hospital they said it was dehydration. I had been drinking a lot on vaca. They gave me meds and it went away. About 3 yrs ago I had white stuff on my tonsils but no sore throat. Went to urgent care the docs said it was tonsil stones. I had a endoscopy done they diagnosed me with lpr. Just recently I had a tiny bit of a sore throat on one side then the next day the other side. Then it went away and I woke up my uvula looked like it was dipped in white paint. I went to urgent care they said they were tonsil stones and did a cbc. All my numbers were normal. They gave me a mouthwash but it wasn’t magic mouthwash. I only used it once and it went away. The next day I was working in my yard and had an urge to look in my mouth again. The back of my throat around my uvula was covered in white stuff. I used a Qtip and wiped it away it was a bit red under it but no pain. I had some diflucan from a while back and read that it helped thrush. So I took the one pill and in 12 hrs it was gone. I’m really scared about hiv….if i had hiv would the only signs be oral? And does thrush go away that quick. I also quit smoking a year ago and I am an asthmatic that uses advair 2 times a day. Oh and recently for the last few months I can’t stop clearing my throat…. please help…

    • We do not diagnose or exclude HIV from symptoms or lack thereof. The only way you can know is by testing. Advair use can lead to oral thrush, as with any inhaled corticosteroid.

      • Raven

        Ty so much for you reply. I am just wondering if it is likely to have only oral symptoms 4 to 5 years later other then that I feel great. and if hiv causes immediate symptoms like the burning right after oral? I purchased the at home oraquick it’s on the way but I’m scared.

        • HIV can cause any number of symptoms or may not cause any at all 4 or 5 years after transmission, so that question has no straightforward answer. But it definitely will not cause immediate symptoms like burning right after oral sex.

  38. Hiv from salaiva

    Hello doctor ,

    when i was having conversation with my friend accidentally a tiny drop of saliva spitted on my eyes , the thing i am worried is he frequently visits prostitues for sex .

    is iam risk of hiv infection from this incident ?

    Should i get tested for hiv at time should i get tested and i am from india .

    Waiting for your response .

    • Nope, zero risk. No cases ever reported. You can relax.

      • Hiv from saliva

        Thanks doctor for reply , As i am worried as i got marriage within 2 months , can we consider this as zero risk , no testing needed for this exposure . I am bit worried please help .

  39. Hi doctor

    I had a possible exposure 11 days back. at the 9th day I begin to had bad running nose and slight sore throat.day 10 I had fever and visited a GP. prescribe me with normal paracetamol and anti inflammation pill. today is day 11 and fever has subside, no sore throat either. is this ARS? I have read somewhere in your site that ARS only come 2 weeks after infection. is my symptoms too early to consider as ARS symptoms? and is day 14 to go for a 4th Gen test?

    • We do not diagnose or exclude HIV based on symptoms. The only way to know would be HIV testing. Day 14 would be a good indication but it will not be conclusive until day 28.

  40. Hi Doctor,
    2 weeks back I had sex with csw in India and condom was used but I am not sure about its quality, itching and pain was there from first day, on 3rd day I went to visit a urologist due to continuous itching ,pain on penis and itching on testicles and anus. he diagnosed mild balanitis as I have an uncircumcised penis. He gave me medicines and asked me to get regular urine and urine c&s test but reports were absolutely fine. After medicines I got relief but now as I masturbate and from 2-3 days I feel as if those symptoms are coming back.
    Note- I also have constipation problem he told me anus itching could be because of that !

    • Sorry, what is your question? Your symptoms are not related to HIV infection.

      • Sorry Sir,
        MY question is are these all symptoms of any std except hiv ? Should I go for further testing ? Though I will get a test after 3 months for hiv ! But I think I could have some other std infection . Should I visit some other doctor for opinion ?

  41. Conclusive

    Hi Doctor ,

    My condom broken , when having sex with sex worker , after 3 months post exposure that is exactly at 91 days . i have taken ELISA test and tridot test ( INDIA ) is it conclusive is iam free from hiv virus or do i need to retest after 3 months . Thanks sir

  42. PCR TEST

    Hello doctor ,

    In india i had pcr test which is done at 3 months post exposure , it came back negative and performed western blot test also it came negative , can we take this as a conclusive result , when it comes to my exposure , i went to get tested for hiv three months back in one lab and after the test she has given me one white colour spirit to clean my hands i doubt that it would cause an infection if i touched my fingers on my mucous membrane . Please help me sir as i have my marriage in next 4 months . do you have to take one more test . I didn’t had any sex with any one in my life . Just to make sure i am clean of hiv , hep-b,hep-c i went to clinic for getting tested that’s it . Please help me sir

    • You have no actual risk exposure to begin with. And your test is conclusive.

      • PCR TEST

        Thanks doctor for your reply , what if i had touched my hand with that spirit from where she has drawn the blood from my vein puncture , is there any risk from this . Thanks once again for your service you are doing to us

  43. Hi doc. I had the 4th gen test at 27 days & 3rd gen test at 6 weeks. Both results were negative. My exposure was unprotected oral sex and protected vaginal sex. I’m at the 8th week now and I’m having a fever. Should I be worried about it & get tested again?

  44. Hey Doctor, about 6 weeks ago I had oral sex (without condom) and protected vaginal sex with a CSW. During this 6 weeks I haven’t had any symptoms of ARS. Recently I noticed that I could feel 1-2 lymph nodes on the right side of my neck and groin. For the groin, one node can be seen when untouched, but it’s rather small, about 1cm and just slightly raised. I’m not sure if they were always palpable but they don’t seem swollen (Doesn’t buldge out, not painful and only can be felt when pressed). I’ve read your FAQ that lymph nodes can be palpable on the neck and that they are painful during ARS.

    I’d just like to check if there are any symptoms that I should look out for and if my current condition is something I should worry about.

    Cheers!

    • Hi, we are unable to comment on symptoms or signs without a proper consult and examination. HIV is very difficult to identify just with symptoms. Although your exposure sounds fairly low risk, there is still some risk. If you are concerned, please see a doctor and get yourself tested.

  45. Hi Doctor,

    I had unprotected vaginal sex 5 weeks ago with someone of unknown status. He did not ejacutulate inside me but I am aware of pre-cum. I reside in the UK.

    After two weeks they tested negative for HIV. This means in the two weeks before our exposure he could have had another exposure that infected him.

    Ive been panicking about this encounter as I’ve had a white tongue on and off and what feels like a burning tongue. About 10 days after this encounter I also had a sore throat and my left neck and shoulder has ached on and off since. Does this sound like ARS?

    I had a Rapid Alere Determine test 29 days after exposure which returned negative. How likely is it that this a false negative? Are rapid 4th gens tests really accurate at this time? I’ve read research that the p24 part of this test is not reliable at all.

    Please please could you help me?

    • We cannot diagnose HIV through symptoms, so I really can’t comment on that. The Alere Determine test is only conclusive after 3 months post-exposure. It is fairly reassuring that your partner was tested negative 2 weeks after your encounter. I would find it extremely unlikely and unlucky if he had contracted the virus in that short time period prior to meeting you.

      • Thanks Doctor.

        I’m slightly more worried now. So the 4th gen Alere determine combo I took at 29 days has no reliability at this time?

        • Ah, sorry. If it is a Combo antigen/antibody test then it is reliable at 29 days. The Alere Determine antibody only test is conclusive at 3 months.

          • Yes it was the 4th Gen Alere Determine Combo AG/AB test. It was negative. I have also take a 4th gen lab test (waiting for results) but having major anxiety that the results will be different. Should I be concerned?

            Many many thanks for your opinions.

          • I would not be worried if I were you.

  46. I have tested 4th gen test at 3 and 4 weeks. Both are neg.
    Should I continue be worried about the HIV infection?

  47. Hello Doctor,
    Two days back I had sex with 2 prostitutes, but I didn’t release any fluid I couldn’t cum . I wore a condom and after the Sex from past 2 days I have Itching and pain in my penis and my whole body is paining even I have a feeling of vomiting and I can feel rashes around my body. Is this any symptom of STD or HIV or is this symptom that in future I can get this disease. As far as I remember I had my condom on while the contact.
    Note: I didn’t release any fluid.

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