I had an exposure in May 2016. I tested two days later for chlamydia/gonorrhea and HIV; chlamydia was negative, but gonorrhea was positive. HIV was negative, but this did not mean much as it was in the window (although it did let me know I had not gotten HIV up until February). I will be retested for HIV at 6 weeks. I was given a dose of azithromycin (4 x250mg pills all at once) and shot of rocephin. Experienced fatigue for about a week at the three week mark and also noticed texture of the top of my tongue had changed. Fatigue has since dissipated but tongue still weird, one month after taking the antibiotics.

My partner and I had been going out for for six months. She had complained about pain in her lower right abdomen on several occasions and had had a rash on her arms at one stage. In March, she experienced short illness with flu like symptoms (about three days) and rash, which lasted a few days after the fever.

My questions are:

1. Can a person experience acute HIV symptoms "twice"? My 25 yr old partner experienced these symptoms in March, but we were exclusive partners since November. I was negative up until at least February, which makes the timing seem off. If she were HIV positive, it would have happened between last June and November (which, I assume, would mean she would have had these same symptoms earlier, if she had had any symptoms). She recently also tested, is waiting on results.

2. Is fatigue on its own a common symptom of ARS?

3. Is it typical my tongue is still weird after one month of taking the antibiotics? I went to the dentist, who said it was just drinking too much coffee but I was not convinced.

4. Are fungal issues on the toe nails a symptom of acute HIV infection, or only later HIV infection?

Thanks for your time.

Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you're concerned about the possibility of HIV transmitting, and about some symptoms you're experiencing. We're happy to answer your question for you.

Unfortunately we at the AIDS Vancouver Helpline are not healthcare providers, so are not trained in assessing and answering detailed questions about symptoms. What we can say is that HIV infections are never diagnosed based on symptoms alone. Testing is the only way to know for sure if a transmission occurred. You seem to have quite a few questions about symptoms, so we'd really encourage you to see your healthcare provider about them. They will be able to answer your questions best, as they'll have the most information about you individually. What we will say is that the term "ARS," or "AIDS related symptoms," is a term used to describe the symptoms HIV positive individuals experience many years after becoming HIV positive. You seem to be aware about the concept of window periods, but according to Canadian guidelines you'll need to wait at least 3 months after the activity you're concerned about to know your status conclusively.

You didn't mention the activity you're concerned about. We'd encourage you to check out our [risk assessment page]( to see the risks associated with various activities. It's great you went for testing as it is recommended routinely for all sexually active individuals, but it may be the case that perhaps you did not even need a test after that specific encounter.

Thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope it has been answered fully.


AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online


Charitable Registration #
10668 9896 RR0001

© 2019
Privacy Policy


1101 Seymour Street
Suite 235, 2nd Floor
Vancouver, BC V6B 0R1


Main Phone: 604-893-2201
Fax: 604-893-2205