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Author Topic: ARS rash after initial symptoms?  (Read 21278 times)

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Offline InWanderland

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ARS rash after initial symptoms?
« on: April 27, 2009, 05:30:36 PM »
First off, many thanks to everyone who contributes their time (I've learned a lot).  Secondly, I'm aware that only an HIV test can diagnose me -- I have one scheduled for Wed., but it'll take at least two weeks to get the results back -- I'm merely seeking your thoughts/feedback as the anxiety/fear has gotten to me.

In early Jan. I was on the receiving end of unprotected anal sex w/a stranger (he pulled out before he climaxed).  Nearly 7wks later I developed a dry cough; a few days after that, I developed flu-like symptoms.  These were strong for about a week or two but I ultimately went to the doctor a month later as my cough persisted.  He took x-rays, diagnosed me with what he thought was pneumonia and placed me on an antibiotic.  A few days later (and just days before the 3-month mark of my encounter) I developed a rash--he assumed it was a reaction to the med, gave me a shot & changed my antibiotic.  I felt great for about a week but then the rash and my cough reappeared (or just became more visible).

I went back and my doctor expressed concern over the rash, claiming it was extremely rare.  He gave me another shot & cortisone pills to treat the ras.  While the shot and cortisone help the rash fade, when I ran out, it came back (three weeks after I first saw it).  My rash is not itchy, is flat, is comprised of many small (mostly the size of a pencil eraser, some larger) red circular markings & covers my chest/stomach/front-back of arms -- fully consistent with the prolific ARS rash (and pics I've seen on the Internet).  I've never had a rash before in my life (and have rarely been sick) and given my doctor's comments (my rash is not common/rare) and the timeframe, I've convinced myself I might've acquired HIV.

But does this timeline make sense?  Do rashes appear weeks after the initial ARS symptoms (and 90-days after the encouter) and stick around for at least three weeks (it's still here)?

I'm praying to be HIV-, and have definitely learned my lesson one way or another (my first & only unprotected -- and one-time -- encounter).  Thanks for any feedback, and best wishes to everyone.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: ARS rash after initial symptoms?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 06:18:27 PM »
OK. You definitely had risky sex so you know you need to get tested. It was a single incident, apparently brief and without ejaculation. All of that is in your favor that you will test negative.

As for your symptoms, there is absolutely nothing HIV-specific about any of them. ARS symptoms do not come and return. If they show up in a noticeable way at all, it's fairly early on and then they disappear. In any case, neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms is ever the way to know anything accurately about your HIV status.

I'd say the odds are in your favor to test negative. But you do need to learn from this experience. Anytime you have unprotected anal intercourse whether receptive or insertive, you are putting your life at high risk. It's just as stark and as real as that. You can have intercourse with anyone regardless of thier HIV status. But you need to do it the safer way which means always without exception, the insertive partner must be wearing a condom. No exceptions, no stories and no excuses no matter what you think you know about the guy's history or how great he looks or anything.

Good luck with your test.

Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: ARS rash after initial symptoms?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 05:39:15 AM »

You know, when I read scenarios like yours, I have to wonder how many times the person has had unprotected intercourse and didn't feel ill in the days or weeks afterwards - and so never thought twice about what happened. "I never felt sick so I never thought I'd been infected" is a chorus line we hear again and again and again when people are newly diagnosed with hiv. Symptoms, or even the LACK of symptoms mean fuck-all when it comes to hiv infection.

Another line we hear again and again is "he said he was clean!!!" (And by the way, "clean" is no way to describe your sexual health. People living with hiv are clean too.)

I'm here to tell you that both of these behaviours (barebacking and not worrying because of not feeling ill, and believing what someone says  about their hiv status) are stupid. There, I said it. STUPID. If you want to remain hiv negative, you're going to have to start making sure your top is wearing a condom before they put their dick in your bottom. No ands, ifs, or buts about it. I don't give a shit what he says about his hiv status, some people lie and some people only THINK they're hiv negative.

And by the way, how do you know YOU are hiv negative to begin with? When was the last time you tested? How many times have you barebacked without bothering to test because you didn't feel ill afterwards? How many times have you barebacked and thought you were ok because he didn't drop his load inside you? Are you aware that pre-cum is infectious for hiv?

Look, I'm not picking on you, I'm only trying to wake you up. As a bottom, you are extremely vulnerable to hiv infection and you HAVE TO INSIST YOUR TOP IS WEARING A CONDOM. No glove, no love, mate. Learn it, live it. Otherwise you're eventually going to end up hiv positive. Hiv negative people CANNOT serosort when it comes to barebacking. That's the stark and simple truth.

Good luck with your testing. The result will be conclusive, provided you've not barebacked with anyone during your window period. If you go to our service provider database and enter your zip code, you may be able to find somewhere near you where they'll do a rapid test and you can have an answer the same day. Beats the hell out of waiting two weeks for a result.

Again, good luck. I hope you test negative and I hope you LEARN from this mistake before it's too late and we're welcoming you to the hiv club. It's not a membership you want, trust me.

Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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


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