Anonymous
i had sex with a prostitute exactly two weeks back. Now i am having flu like symptoms since 3 days. i am having fever, tiredness, headache. But i read about other possible ARS symptoms and i am not experiencing any sort of diarrhoea,swollen lymph nodes, muscle joint pains etc. Now , after 3 days, my fever and headache are gone. But the online reviews suggest that ARS symptoms disappear soon after it occurs. i am so confused whether i am having a HIV infection or not. FYI:- i had protected sex, we didnt indulge in any oral sex. please help. what shall i do..?
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Anonymous
Hi there and thank you for reaching out to AIDS Vancouver with your questions! We're happy to help.

There are no specific symptoms of HIV. In fact, certain individuals may never develop symptoms, and for those who do, most symptoms will go away after a few days, or at most, a couple of weeks. This is why the only way to diagnose HIV is to get tested. Because HIV symptoms mirror so many other viral infections or can be explained by other things, we do not go by symptoms here at AIDS Vancouver. If these symptoms are causing you distress, then it would be a good idea to partner with a healthcare professional in order to determine their cause.

CATIE is a reliable and trustworthy website with great information regarding HIV transmission and testing. Here is their information regarding symptoms: [CATIE HIV Symptoms](http://www.catie.ca/en/practical-guides/hiv-drug-treatment/2-hiv-and-aids-basics/2-2).
In terms of your risk level, protected sex is considered to be a low risk activity, meaning there have been a few reports of infection attributed to this activity (usually under certain identifiable conditions). Here in Canada, all tests are considered conclusive 3 months after your most recent exposure. If you are interested in testing, here are a few options for you:


Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
Rapid or “Point-of-Care” Blood or oral swab test that looks for antibodies. Up to 95% of infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks post exposure. Most people develop detectable antibodies in 21-25 days. Two forms of rapid test available: finger prick blood sample or oral swab. Oral swab test is most common in the U.S. but in Canada it is not approved and blood collection is more likely. Many places in the U.S. and abroad may charge a fee for rapid testing. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure.

I hope I have answered your question, and feel free to contact us with any further concerns.

Regards,

Sierra, Helpline Volunteer

AIDS Vancouver Online Helpline

helpline.aidsvancouver.org

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Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
4th Generation EIA Blood test that looks for antibodies AND p24 protein antigens. Commonly referred to as the "combination," "combo" or "DUO" test. P24 protein is detectable immediately after infection but only for the first few weeks. The antibody (ab) test has a window period of 4-12 weeks post exposure. This test is widely available in North America. Most HIV specialists consider this test to be conclusive at 6 weeks but official HIV testing guidelines still recommend re-testing at 12 weeks for conclusive results. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure. |