Anonymous
After a possible exposure to hiv (unprotected vaginal) with a female of unknown status I have had a negative combo test on the 13th day and the 26th day post exposure. Since about 4 weeks post exposure my eyes have been twiching, I had low grade fever, sweats, and a touch of a sore throat at 7 Weeks post exposure, and now it seems as if my feet have a numbness to them. The fever, sweats and sore throat lasted 2 days, the eye twiching is still here and the numbness of the feet come and go. I am 52 days post exposure. So here are my questions:

1. Is peripheral neuropathy a sign of hiv infection (I have been reading it is)
2. My fever, sweats and throat started at 7 weeks...is it too late for ars symptoms to appear.
3. Are my combo tests reliable at the time I tested.

Thank-you
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for using AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source for HIV/AIDS related information.

Having unprotected vaginal intercourse is for sure a high risk activity for HIV transmission. However, "high risk" does not mean "absolute risk." Think of it as drawing a lottery- you have a chance of winning, but in the end the winner is not you.

A Combo test (4th Generation EIA) detects both p24 antigens and HIV-specific antibodies. The antigens is detectable immediately after infections and is only for the first 2-4 weeks (14-28 days) , whereas the antibodies has the window period of 4-12 weeks. Therefore, the test is considered conclusive at 6 weeks (42 days) by many HIV specialists.

Your test result at 26 days is a good indication that you do not have HIV. However, it may be a good idea to get a retest at 6 weeks (you can do it now) though result is unlikely to change.

1. So far, there is not yet a set of "clinically defined HIV symptoms" of a HIV infection. That is because symptoms vary a lot and not all people may experience symptoms. In fact, many people claim that they are experience severe "symptoms" and believe that they have HIV, though their multiple test results are negative. Their test results are negative simply because they do not have HIV.

2. As mentioned before, symptoms are not a wise indicator of a HIV status. For some people who do show symptoms, they would usually experience a strong flu-like illness 2-6 weeks post exposure and that will last for 8-10 days.

3. A Combo test at 42 days is considered conclusive. Therefore, if you wish to confirm your status, it may be a good idea to get a retest at anytime from now.

I wish I have addressed your concerns. Please feel free to write us back at anytime for further information.

All the best,

Tina
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