HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

ARS question


Good Evening,

I understand symptoms are never a good indication of what someone's HIV status is however being that I never get sick I am a bit concerned about a recent possible exposure and symptoms I experienced 2-3 weeks afterwards. A couple of months ago on a drunken night I had partial unprotected vaginal intercourse with an exotic dancer who is an acquaintance of mine and I have known to be very promiscuous. I was responsible at first by wearing a condom during most of the interaction however towards the end, like an idiot, I took it off and had unprotected vaginal intercourse for approx 2-3mins. 2-3 weeks after this incident I experienced only the following symptoms - mild sore throat that hurt mainly when I swallowed and a swollen lymph node the size of a pea under my chin. These symptoms went away in 3-4 days. I do not think I had a fever.....does someone know if they have a fever? Since I canít remember the last time I had a fever I donít even know what one feels like now. With these symptoms I wasnít bed ridden..didnít feel too bad (i.e I went to the gym every day during this time). Anyway I plan to get tested but I just want some reassurance that these symptoms don't sound typical of ARS. Again I understand that symptoms are never a way to determine someone's status. I have read these boards and others and this is reiterated time and time again. I guess I am just looking to relieve some of the anxiety I am going through over thisÖ.

Thanks in advance,

I appreciate the opportunity of being able to submit a question on this forum and hope that by asking a question about "symptoms" that has been asked many times over this it has not offended anyone.

Matty the Damned:

You're right, symptoms don't mean anything when it comes to diagnosing HIV. What's  relevant here are not any symptoms you might be having but the fact that you had unprotected vaginal sex. This is indeed a risk factor for HIV transmission.

But be of good cheer. HIV is not an easy virus to transmit. Particularly from female to male. It's unlikely that you've contracted HIV from this incident, but it can't be ruled out so you need to test at 12-13 weeks from the date of your drunken encounter.

You should also know that other STD's such as gonorrhoea and chlamydia are far more prevalent and contagious than HIV. Sexually active people should have a full STD screen at least twice a year. A full screen includes an HIV antibody test. I would recommend you make an appointment with your doctor or local clinic to have a full screen performed.

Please read our Welcome Thread.


Thanks for the reply

I guess it won't be possible to get a YES or NO here aye? To put my mind at ease? I am just wanting an opinion if the symptoms described above could possibly be ARS related. Being that the odds on are 5 to 10000 per an act of penile to vaginal intercourse that it's probably not ARS related....


Andy Velez:
What you want us to say is something we cannot responsibly do, although I certainly can appreciate your wanting greater reassurance.

All we can do is tell you what we do know as Matty has already expressed.

Female to male transmission is much harder to accomplish than the other way around. Given a single incident such as you have described with very brief possible exposure, the odds are very significantly in your favor against infection having occured. But of course low risk is not the same as no risk so testing at 13 weeks is necessary for a definitive answer.

What you need to do is to learn from this experience. When you're having intercourse always use a latex condom and keep it on. They really do the job. 

As for your symptoms there is absolutely nothing in what you have described which is in anyway HIV specific. If they persist you should discuss them with your doctor.

I do expect you will likely test negative. That's as far as I can responsibly go.

Good luck with your test and keep us posted.


Thanks Andy! Will do


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