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Author Topic: Question on ARS  (Read 2742 times)

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Offline foxes

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Question on ARS
« on: September 03, 2012, 05:53:44 PM »
The flu-like symptoms I had that prompted me eventually to get testing started on July 21st. But it didn't just last a little while and then go away. It dragged on for weeks and weeks... almost all my symptoms are gone now, but I still have some: some swollen lymph nodes, odd bouts of tiredness, bodily weirdness.

My first appointment at the clinic isn't until Friday, and that's just to do paperwork. I don't think I even get to see a doctor yet. Should I be concerned? Should I be pushing them to move the process faster?

Offline jimbalaya

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Re: Question on ARS
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2012, 06:01:43 PM »
I was 'lucky' and never really had any symptoms during conversion...but my partner had fevers for 5 weeks....it was miserable....but his body leveled out on its own....he ended up going in the hospital because they couldn't figure out what was going on (they even thought it might be lymphoma), and that's where he tested positive.  In the hospital his viral load was 3 million, but after he got out and we met with our ID doc (which was 3 weeks later), his viral load had dropped down to 100,000.  I think that you are ok to wait for your appointment, I wouldn't stress too much about it.   Good luck!     :D

Offline Ann

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Re: Question on ARS
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 05:43:43 AM »
The flu-like symptoms I had that prompted me eventually to get testing started on July 21st. But it didn't just last a little while and then go away. It dragged on for weeks and weeks... almost all my symptoms are gone now, but I still have some: some swollen lymph nodes, odd bouts of tiredness, bodily weirdness.

My first appointment at the clinic isn't until Friday, and that's just to do paperwork. I don't think I even get to see a doctor yet. Should I be concerned? Should I be pushing them to move the process faster?

Technically, the "swollen lymph nodes, odd bouts of tiredness, bodily weirdness" are not still ARS. The initial flu-like illness you experienced was, but that has long since passed.

ARS is actually the body's reaction to the production of antibodies. It's not caused by the virus itself. The body produces certain chemicals during this time and one in particular, interferon, is notorious for causing flu-like symptoms. This reaction to antibody production is why ARS is also known as "seroconversion illness". As you have already seroconverted, you are no longer experiencing ARS.

Seroconversion means that your blood (sero, from serum) has converted (changed) or is converting from hiv negative to hiv positive. This occurs when enough antibodies have been produced to trigger a "reactive" aka positive, antibody test result.

However, that doesn't mean that you can't still be feeling unwell. Your body is fighting an almighty fight right now, trying to get hiv under some semblance of control. Your body will be busy lowering your viral load as much as it can and that takes a lot of energy, hence the tiredness and general weirdness.

Many people continue to have swollen lymph nodes for some time after initial infection and this just means your body is doing its job. A word to the wise - keep your hands off them. Touching them all the time to see if they're still swollen can actually irritate them and keep them swollen. Hands off!

When you're at the clinic on Friday, ask if you can have a brief discussion with a doctor. There may also be an hiv nurse-practitioner available for a quick chat. When you ask about seeing someone, stress that you are worried because you're still feeling ill. Be polite, but firm. More likely than not they will understand and try to help you out.

What you're experiencing isn't really anything to worry about, but a face-to-face chat with someone knowledgeable should put you more at ease and that alone can go a long way to making you feel better in general. 

Hang in there, you are going to be ok.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2012, 05:46:07 AM by Ann »
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"...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 foxes

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Re: Question on ARS
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 05:52:43 PM »
Thank you!

Offline Ann

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Re: Question on ARS
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 07:45:55 AM »
You're welcome, Foxes. Please let us know what happens on Friday.
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 foxes

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Re: Question on ARS
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 04:40:49 PM »
Answered lots of questions, got lots of blood drawn... go back on the 19th to find out results and move forward. Trying to be patient.

 


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