Acute Retroviral Syndrome

Acute retroviral syndrome or acute HIV infection is a syndrome that involves the appearance of symptoms in the initial three to six months of an HIV infection. Identifying the disease in this period can help control the spread and early treatment, thereby reducing the need for high dosage immunosuppressant medications. Symptoms include fever, malaise, anorexia, sweating, lymphadenopathy, lethargy, diarrhea, etc. The presenting symptoms may involve all the body systems. Diagnosis is made by a positive plasma HIV-1 RNA level exceeding 50,000 copies per mL.

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What kind of muscle pain is associated with ARS?

Query: Hi, I am a 31 year old male. About 38 days before I had sex with a CSW (Commercial Social Worker). It was protected vaginal sex and protected oral sex. Also there were deep throat kisses which lasted almost a minute. I am not sure if the condom was torn during the intercourse.  Since last 3 weeks ...  Read Full »

Dr. Sidharth Sonthalia

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Based upon your history, my answer to your questions: 1. Are My Symptoms Related to ARS? Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS) typically begins 7-14 days after the exposure to a HIV positive patient, and may last for up to 3-4 months. The symptoms are typically "flu-like" w...  Read Full »

Kindly answer some queries regarding HIV ARS symptoms and timelines.

Query: Hi doctor, I have a few query regarding HIV ARS symptoms and timelines. 1. What are the most common symptoms of HIV ARS? 2. How long does the symptoms usually last for? 3. How long after exposure do symptoms occur? 4. Can HIV ARS present itself with just one symptom?  Read Full »

Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Thanks for the query. I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have some queries regarding HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) ARS (antiretroviral syndrome), symptoms, and timelines. The most common symptoms of HIV ARS are fever, fatigue, headache,...  Read Full »

Are rash and lymph node swelling after oral sex signs of ARS?

Query: Hi doctor,I gave oral sex to a man, whose HIV status was unknown, six weeks ago. I have now rash under both armpits and a swollen lymph node in my neck. I am attaching pictures of the rash and the lymph node. Could this be ARS?  Read Full »

Dr. Shah Sushma Kant

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I saw the attached pictures (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Oral sex has the least possibility of ARS (acute retroviral syndrome). I do not think you have ARS. Do you have dandruff or an earache or a toothache? Do you have a history of a cold or a...  Read Full »

How accurate is my HIV 1/2 antigen and antibody test?

Query: Hello doctor, Actually, I had casual sex with a CSW a month back. I did my HIV 1/2 antigen and antibody test 15 days back, almost after 26 days. I got symptoms of swollen glands under my jaw and a stiff neck, as well as joint and muscle aches. Today I got small ulcers on my tongue. Can you please te...  Read Full »

Dr. Atishay Bukharia

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Sensitivity is up to 92 percent in your case. You need to repeat testing after 12 weeks.   Read Full »

How do I know if I have contracted HIV?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 35 year old male. I cheated on my wife and I am really scared that I may have HIV. When I say scared, I mean night terrors, huge anxiety, and no appetite (lost 15 pounds in three weeks). I cannot work and it is all I think about. The circumstances are as follows. I performe...  Read Full »

Dr. Meha Malhotra

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I understand that you are worried but it is not the end of the world. You actually have a very low risk of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) transmission from this exposure.Though the test is sensitive, you should get a fourth generation ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosor...  Read Full »

Does an increased WBC count after sexual intercourse suggest HIV infection?

Query: Hello doctor, I am a 28 year old male. I had an exposure with an unknown girl 43 days ago and the condom tore when my penis was still inside her vagina. The next morning, I saw a red mark on the tip of my penis. It disappeared in three days. I do not know the HIV status of the girl. I had done HIV 1...  Read Full »

Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I have noted your concern. At one month, this test is 95 % sensitive. So, it is fairly accurate at this stage. However, since a condom break amounts to unprotected sex (high-risk exposure), ideally you should follow it up by a retest at 12 weeks for an HIV antibody whi...  Read Full »

Are my symptoms and HIV tests related to ARS?

Query: Hello doctor,I am a male, 26 years old. My HIV tests were negative and I have attached them. There is a mild rash on face and upper arms (non-itchy red spots), little fatigue (all from three weeks and still there even after eight weeks). Are all the above tests conclusive? Further testing required? ...  Read Full »

Dr. Shah Sushma Kant

Answer: Hello, Welcome to You go for the required test every time. All times all the test are negative. No more tests are available. When all the above-mentioned tests are negative, there is no meaning of the p24 test. Sometimes the virus remains in a dormant stage, but if you take good diet ...  Read Full »

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