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Author Topic: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms  (Read 35603 times)

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Offline andy75

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Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« on: February 04, 2008, 07:18:13 PM »
Dear Members,

I had an exposure with a Thai CSW during vaginal intercourse about 7 weeks back. We used protection, but for a brief time i.e. about 5 seconds my condom boke. We replaced the condom and continued our sex. After I returned to US and 10 days after exposure I got my entire STD panel and HIV test. All were negative.

However, there are some symptoms that are really worrying me and I would really appreciate honest feedback. Even though I know that getting tested is the best solution and symptoms are never reliable.

Here are my symptoms:
I DONT have any FEVER
At  about 2-3 weeks, I got some dryness/itching in my throat. It went away after some time on its own
At about 3-4 weeks, I had some burning like sensation in my throat/chest, but went away in 3-4 days
At 5 weeks, I got a slight rash. It was limited to my cheeks, under the eyes only. No where else on my body and it looked worse sometimes and sometimes it was OK. It wasn't too bad, but noticeable. Can this be ARS rash?
At 6-7 weeks, I started getting some pain in my left lower leg. The pain too is sometimes more noticeable and sometimes its not there at all.

Can someone please let me know if any of these above things are indications of ARS.
Do ARS symptoms usually show up in 2-4 weeks
Do they usually come with Fever or not really.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2008, 09:37:11 PM »
Your risk was absolutely minimal. HIV is not an easy virus to transmit. It's significantly harder to accomplish from female to male. Given that you were protected most of the time and that it was a single incident the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor that you will test negative. Get tested at 13 weeks past the incident for a definitive result.

None of your symptoms are in any way suggestive of HIV. If they persist you should discuss them with your doctor.

I don't see this as an HIV situation. Period.
Andy Velez

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2008, 09:58:16 PM »
Thanks Andy. I really appreciate your reply and assurance. Do you have any info if testing after 10 days mean anything. The fact that I dint get STD mean anything about my possiblity of getting HIV? Finally, I am really worried about the symptoms, but it seems from your reply that none of the symptoms are worrisome? Does this include rash and leg pain. Also is absence of FEVER encoraging?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2008, 10:07:57 PM »
As Andy notes:

None of your symptoms are in any way suggestive of HIV.

You do not have HIV.

MtD

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2008, 07:55:05 AM »
Just in general you need to know that neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms is ever the way to know about your HIV status.

The ONLY way to know your status if you have had a risky incident is by getting tested at 13 weeks. Everything else is guesswork.

And I still expect you will test negative.
Andy Velez

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2008, 02:29:33 PM »
i am indeed plannning to get tested at 13 weeks and get an answer one way or the other.  i was trying to get some assurances from the symptoms or lack of them  and trying to guess my status. Obviuosly not a very good idea....

the only thing that worries me the rash that i got on my cheeks. though it was NOT accomanied with fever and was limited to my cheeks, it sort of met the description of ARS rash. Does anyone know or give me pointers to what ARS rash is etc.

Finally, I was wondering if anyone have idea what %age of people that get affected test +ve 10 days after exposure?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2008, 02:47:40 PM »
Andy75,

What have we told you? Your symptoms (whatever they are) are not ARS. You were not at risk of HIV infection in first place.

Now I have to say that it's probably not helpful (and more than just a little bit creepy) for you to be hunting down your previous fucks and interrogating them about their symptoms. Stop doing that, it makes you sound like a weirdo.

We are not going to get into a discussion with you about symptoms or rashes or anything of that sort. The ARS rash is a rash not unlike those associated with a number of viral infections.

Now you can test at 13 weeks if you want to. The result will be negative.

MtD

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 03:13:43 PM »
Whoa! Stop with the numbers and percentages right now.

You're on a bad path, Andy. All it will do is fuel your anxiety without giving the answer that only an HIV test can. Your rash? The one associated with ARS turns up on torso and limbs, not the face. It's flat, appears for a week or two and is gone. But I don't even want to discuss symptoms with you. Another not good path.

Get yourself productively busy with other matters in your life. Don't shake your head and say you're too worried to do that because I won't buy it. Get busy and the waiting time is going to pass more quickly than you might imagine is possible.

Andy Velez

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2008, 02:21:44 PM »
Thanks a lot... I am going to stop worrying and try and be more positive... hopefully everything will be OK

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2008, 03:26:37 PM »
Andy,

Don't send me private messages soliciting advice or asking that I comment in your thread. I know about your thread and I'll post if and/or when I'm ready.

I've already given you all the information you need. No matter how you try to slice this thing, my answers to you will not change.

MtD

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2008, 02:50:38 PM »
Andy and Matty, Apaologies of the PM's... I was wondering if anyone of you can comment on my questions:

Does ARS (whenever it occurs) comes with Fever?
Does absence of STD's = absence of HIV (especially in low risk situation), especially if its more fragile virus to get?
Does taking a flu shot mask ARS symptoms?
Being uncircumsed increase my likelihood to get the virus

Thanks and apologies again

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2008, 04:02:39 PM »
ARS may include a fever.

Neither the presence nor the absence of other STDs can be the means of determining if HIV is an issue. The only way to know about HIV status if there has been a genuine risk is by getting tested at 13 weeks past the most recent risky incident.

A flu shot will not mask ARS.

Uncircumcised men are at greater risk for transmission during unprotected intercourse.
Andy Velez

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2008, 01:44:23 AM »
Thanks Andy for the reply.

I am really curious what makes you or Matty think that none of my symptoms are ARS related.

I would really appreciate your honest opinion of what are the symptoms among people that have ARS? I think this would help a lot of people who are gooing through these anxious times. 

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2008, 04:32:26 AM »
Andy,

As you've been repeatedly told, symptoms or even the lack of symptoms will tell you nothing about your hiv status. Only testing will.

Your risk was very slight. I've yet to see an insertive partner become infected following a condom break and I don't expect you to be the first. Test at three months and collect what I fully expect to be a negative result.

Read through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can avoid breakages in future. A correctly used condom rarely breaks.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2008, 03:35:07 PM »
Thanks Ann...

i am waiting for my 13th week post exposure to get tested. I was also wondering if anyone of you can validate the post that I read on medhelp from a Dr. that said about 50% of people will test +ve after 10 days even though CDC has tougher guidelines.

Also, my rash seems to have come back and is again limited to the same areas i.e. cheeks. smeone mentioned to me that it was LUPUS and its a leaing indicator of HIV. Is that true?

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2008, 03:44:56 PM »
Andy,

If you're worried about your rash, see a doctor. It's nothing to do with hiv.

The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks. As for 50% in ten days, it sounds plausible but there's no way to be certain. What is certain is that a test at three months is conclusive.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2008, 12:57:36 AM »
Can i ask one more questions. does ARS affect the cholestrol levels...

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2008, 01:33:00 AM »
No Andy, ARS does not have any impact on cholesterol levels.

MtD

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2008, 07:22:50 PM »
Andy, Ann and Matty,

What makes you guys so confident that none of my symptoms are ARS related? PLEASE share your rationalewith me. Is it beacuse I had a"low" risk incident or because of some other reason.  I am really getting scared about getting tested and think that I may have to hear bad news... It will make me more confident about going for my test.

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2008, 07:35:38 PM »
Andy,

We're confident because for a start, your risk was extremely low. Add on to that the fact that NONE of your symptoms sound anything like ARS...

I'm fully expecting you to test negative. So should you.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline andy75

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  • Posts: 17
Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2008, 09:41:04 PM »
friends, sorry for being so childish.. i hate to be like this, but in the last couple of days i started getting some back pain all the way to my neck (something like a muscle pull) and was wondering if this was any sign?

Andy, Matty and Ann,

One things that i forgot to mention in my symptoms is that when I was getting burning sensation in my throat/chest 3-4 weeks after exposure, I also got cut on my tounge (no ulcers)... Does this change your risk assessment for me?

Offline thunter34

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2008, 09:58:32 PM »
Quote
sorry for being so childish.. i hate to be like this

Then knock it off. 

As you've been repeatedly told, symptoms or even the lack of symptoms will tell you nothing about your hiv status. Only testing will.

Seriously.  You should know that you are skating ever so close to a Time Out here. 

AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2008, 09:11:25 AM »
I can't help wondering if you're listening to anything other than the scary thoughts your mind is dishing out, thoughts which by the way have absolutely no basis in HIV science. Coming up with more so-called symptoms is not going to change what we have to said based on your description of the incident. 

We've told you that we expect you to test negative.

And Tim's right. You're on the verge of getting a time out. Get productively busy with other things in your life while you're waiting to test. It will help to pass the time more quickly than you may imagine is possible.

Then you can collect the negative result we all expect you'll receive.
Andy Velez

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2008, 04:47:31 PM »
Thanks guys... its after 3 full days that i am visiting the website... so the pattern is becoming better. Still waiting for my 13 weeks to get over and then get tested.

In the meantime, do you guys have any good ARS/HIV materials/websites to point me to. I would like to be better informed.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #24 on: February 19, 2008, 05:35:58 PM »
The only HIV/AIDS information that we warrant for people who post in Am I Infected is contained in our Lessons section. You'll find links to these in the Welcome Thread.

MtD

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2008, 03:18:02 PM »
Hey guys,

I am so sorry, but my annxiety levels are back high again. I was speaking to an AIDS activitist and told him about my story and symptoms. He was suggesting that many of my symptoms are STRONG indications of ARS and that I can expect to test POSITIVE. I am really scared now. This lack of clarity and conflicting information is definetly taking a toll on me.

PLEASE help me understand why all of you think my symptoms are not ARS related. Is is beacuse I dint get FEVER? Or is beacuse of some other reason. I am also told that there is conflicting information that ARS symproms are bundled or sequential (as in my case) and either is possible.

PLEASE PLEASE help me...

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2008, 03:48:35 PM »
You've spoken to someone you characterize as "an AIDS activist" who said something that scared you. And we're supposed to take that seriously and come up with some fresh convincing evidence to easy your fears? Uh uh. I don't think so, fella.

I've been an AIDS activist since 1987. So what! You can be a dumb activist too. Being an activist as such doesn't necessarily give you credentials to speak reliably about HIV issues. We're very, very careful here about the information we give you.

Whether you accept what we say or not is strictly up to you. But I can tell you we're not about to go any further on a merry-go-round of HIV fears with you that have absolutely no basis in HIV science.

Get tested whenever you waiting time is up and collect the inevitable negative result. How much you torture yourself yourself unnecessarily during the in-between time is your decision.

And this is your last warning. If you come back with more this self-indulgent dramatzing you're getting a time out.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 03:53:57 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2008, 04:54:13 PM »
Hi andy,

I am sorry if I offended the knowledge and advise that you and other forum members have offered. I fully respect it and take whatever you tell me very seriouly. I hope you understand the ups and downs of going through this waiting period without having too much of understanding on how to seperate good information from bad information.

I am trying to get your assurance that my symptoms are not reflective of ARS and I am sure there is a rationale for it which I was curious to know. I understand that my incident was low risk and had it been no risk, I would have been able to understand all this more easily.

I dont want to be the first or 1 in that 1:2000 that gets infected after a low risk exposure...

apologies again, i look forward to your continued support.

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2008, 05:38:45 AM »
Andy,

If you stick to the information on this website, you won't get confusing or conflicting information.

I'm fully expecting you to test negative. You must be pretty close to testing time - as long as it's been at least twelve weeks, go test and get it over with.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2008, 12:52:27 PM »
Hi Ann, Matty and Andy,

I am now is my 11th week post exposure and waiting for that magic cut-off of 13 weeks to get tested. However, I wanted to run one quick thing by you and would really appreciate your feedback.

Over the last couple of days I am having some severe neck pain that is limited to my shoulder area. After getting a little bit of massage it seems to have improved a lot but not gone. Is this anything that I should worry about. Is joint pain associated with ARS localized to one area or is it more generalized and spread throughout the body.

Also, at the same time that I started having neck pain my tounge seems to be acting up again as well. It is cut from couple of places and though its getting better, it doesnt seem completely normal. I dont have any mouth ulcers, just cuts on my tounge. I did a huge mistake of looking up symptoms and came across what is know as Oral Thrush, which according to people is a leading indicator of HIV/ARS. Is cut tounge a symptom of oral thrush and HIV? Please let me know. I am also concerened since this is the second time this has happened in last 6 weeks. The first time I got cut tounge was around 3 weeks after exposure and was accompanied with burning sensation in my throat and chest (that time I dint have mouth ulers also). Is this something that I need to worry about as sign of ARS or just something that is annxiety driven and can ignore it.

Thanks a lot guys for your continued support....

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2008, 01:03:40 PM »
Andy,

How many times do you have to be told that symptoms mean nothing? We do not discuss symptoms here.

Come back with symptoms one more time and you're getting a time out, regardless of where you are in your window period. You've been told you are unlikely to test positive after this condom break. Now give it a rest.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2008, 12:12:09 PM »
Hi Ann and Andy,

Thanks for your help. I was reviewing your comments in response to another members query about the risk associated with condom breakage and brief exposure where your advice was that the risk associated after these types of incident is "theoretical."  Is that beacuse there needs to be sufficent amount of liquid exchange that needs to take place for a sufficent amount of time for risk to be elevated? Does the advice given to him apply to my case as well? Please let me know.

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #32 on: February 29, 2008, 03:08:59 PM »
Hi guys,

I would REALLY REALLY appreciate if you can help me ONE LAST TIME. PLEASE answer these question for me and I promise not to bother you guys again.

In reading about HIV and ARS, I came across a couple of reports that said that oral ulcers are highly specific and predicitive of ARS. Looking back at my symptoms about 25-26 days post esposure, I got a tounge ulcers or cuts on my tounge (not sure if they are the same thing). This was accompanied by burning/pain like sensation in my throat/chest which went away in a couple of days. I dint have any fever or any other symptom at that time.

I wanted to know from you:

1. Can oral ulcers associated with ARS be reflective in "cuts" on tongue or tongue ulcers. I dint have any canker sores or any other sores in my mouth? is that possible?
2. Are oral ulcers in ARS usually accompanied with some other ARS symptoms or can they be a ymptom themselves?
3. If they are not ARS related, what can it be?
4. I got tonge ulcers with a very mild white tongue 10 weeks post exposure also, is this a worrying sign.

 PLEASE PLEASE help me!!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #33 on: February 29, 2008, 03:26:55 PM »
Forget about anything you have read on symptoms of HIV infection. HIV has NO SPECIFIC symptoms.. You have a concern about oral ulcers then I suggest you see your dentist or your family doctor.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #34 on: February 29, 2008, 04:04:13 PM »
Oral ulcers are a very common occurence. They are absolutely not an HIV specific event.

You need to stop surfing the web because in your current mindset you're seizing on anything and everything which only feeds your fears.

The risk for transmission during your incident with a broken condom was very, very low. I expect you will test negative. Frankly, I am unwilling to discuss this any further with you. You need to stop indulging in all this unwarranted drama and instead get productively busy with other things in your life until you can test. The waiting period to testing will pass more quickly than you imagine is possible.

Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #35 on: March 01, 2008, 05:03:53 AM »
Andy,

I warned you about coming back with more symptoms talk. I'm giving you a seven day time out to prevent you from doing it again. I don't want to hear from you again until you've been tested.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline andy75

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Re: Need Clarification on ARS Symptoms
« Reply #36 on: June 04, 2008, 06:28:19 PM »
Hi Andy, Matty and Ann,

I just wanted to let you know that after 6 months of torture and extremely anxious waiting and fear, I got my blood test yesterday and Thank God everything turned out to be fine.

Thanks a lot for your supprt, assurance and help. Your assurances and help really helped me a lot.

I have learned a personal valuable lesson and hope to never repeat the mistake. Please accept my best wishes for very happy life.

Please continue to help people like you helped me!

Thanks

 


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