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ARS symptoms after PEP

Question: 

6 weeks after l finished pep l developed flu-like symptoms such as intermittent fever(37.4'C) for a few days and feel fatigue till now.
My question is:
1) Can pep failed to protected me from hiv and l just have an ars?
2) Can intermittent low-grade fever is include in ars?

PS.l test negative immediately after finished pep.

Answer: 

Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about the effectiveness of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) at preventing an HIV infection.

PEP can help lower your chance of acquiring HIV after a risky exposure if it is taken within 72 hours of the exposure for 28 days straight (1). It is important to note the the earlier PEP is initiated after an exposure, the better the chance of preventing HIV. Strict adherence to taking PEP daily for 28 days along with eliminating high risk exposures during this time is of great importance (2). Regardless, PEP is not 100% effective, even in the most ideal situations.

After taking PEP for 28 days the window period for testing begins. For completely conclusive results, an antibody test 12 weeks after finishing PEP should be conducted.

In terms of your concern about acute retroviral symptoms (ARS), here is a list of potential symptoms that may occur during the acute phase of HIV: rash, fever, chills, fatigue, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches (3). Please note that this is a non-exhaustive list and that any of these symptoms could be attributed to a completely different cause.

Recommendation: Refer to a physician for an HIV test 3 months after PEP completion.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online, Marie