Anonymous
Hi,

Two weeks after having protected vaginal sex with a sex worker I started to have symptoms very similar to early HIV ARS.
I went to urgent care and I was diagnosed with the flu, which complicated into pneumonia.

Could the flu and pneumonia still be related to HIV ARS?

Also, I had an qualitative RNA test two weeks after potential exposure and it came back negative.
Is this conclusive?

Thank you!
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver, I'm happy to address your concerns.

HIV symptoms are very similar to that of other infections, such as the flu. Having HIV related symptoms are not an indication of having HIV, the only way to know your status is through testing.

It's important to be aware that there is only two tests that are available and accurate 2-3 weeks post-exposure:

1. the NAAT (PCR RNA & DNA) tests: RNA PCR NAAT tests measure how much virus is in the blood of a positive person, and the accuracy is 99.6%.

2. Pooled RNA NAAT aka "Early Test", which detects viral RNA in blood of individuals who do not have detectable antibody levels yet. The window period is 10-12 days, and follow up testing is recommended. The accuracy ranges: 90% at 10-12 days, at 6 weeks it is 95-98%, and at 12 weeks is 99%.

I would recommend follow-up testing, because HIV test results are considered to be conclusive at 12 weeks (84 days).

For more information, please visit

All the best,
Leila
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