Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
January 22, 2018, 08:58:38 PM

Login with username, password and session length

  • Total Posts: 725433
  • Total Topics: 59142
  • Online Today: 372
  • Online Ever: 1421
  • (August 13, 2016, 05:18:44 AM)
Users Online


Welcome to the POZ Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Welcome to Am I Infected

Welcome to the "Am I Infected?" POZ forum.

New members -- those who have posted three or fewer messages -- are permitted to post questions and responses, free of charge (make them count!). Ongoing participation in the "Am I Infected?" forum -- posting more than three questions or responses -- requires a paid subscription.

A seven-day subscription is $9.99, a 30-day subscription is $14.99 and a 90-day subscription is $24.99.

Anyone who needs to post more than three messages in the "Am I Infected?" forum -- including past, present and future POZ Forums members -- will need to subscribe, with secure payments made via PayPal.

There will be no charge to continue reading threads in the "Am I Infected?" forum, nor will there be a charge for participating in any of the Main Forums; Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits; and Off Topic Forums. Similarly, all POZ pages, including our "HIV Transmission and Risks" and "Am I Infected? (A Guide to Testing for HIV)" basics, will remain accessible to all.

NOTE: HIV testing questions will still need to be posted in the "Am I Infected?" forum; attempts to post HIV symptoms or testing questions in any other forums will be considered violations of our rules of membership and subject to time-outs and permanent bans.

To learn how to upgrade your Forums account to participate beyond three posts in the "Am I Infected?" Forum, please click here.

Thank you for your understanding and future support of the best online support service for people living with, affected by and at risk for HIV.

Author Topic: Clinical ARS Question; Opinions Appreciated  (Read 17520 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline unnerved

  • New Member
  • Posts: 1
Clinical ARS Question; Opinions Appreciated
« on: January 26, 2007, 02:20:53 AM »

Thank you for reading. Understanding that the only way to know if one is HIV+ or not is by testing for it, and having scheduled a test for five days from now, I'm seeking information that I can have in between now and when the results come back.

I've read a lot about HIV. In fact, I worked in the HIV field for four years, which is exactly why I'm concerned about symptoms, now.

I'm a homosexual male with a history of unprotected anal insertive sex with a guy I was seeing for about four months. His last HIV test (12 months prior) was negative. My last HIV test (negative) was a month prior to engaging in sex with him. The sex I engaged in with him was my only risk factor.

Approximately two weeks after my last sexual encounter with him, I presented with symptoms of a viral/bacterial infection: non-exudative sore throat, swollen lymph glands in neck, frequent productive cough, clogged sinus passages, and most notably (and frightening), a slight rash across on my chest and abdomen.

I never presented with a fever during the course of the symptoms, which lasted approximately 7 days. However, the rash has not subsided with the rest of the symptoms. The swollen lymph glands do not worry me much, as for years they've mildly swollen off and on pretty regularly.

I realilze that my symptoms are almost all more suggestive of a common cold moreso than ARS. But its the rash that bothers me. My primary care physician saw it and prescribed Elidel for ezcema, although he stated that he was not sure whether or not it was ezcema. I did not bring up my concern over possible exposure with him.

While no one's ARS rash can be entirely alike, the pictures I've pulled off Google of said rashes are conflicting. Some look somewhat like what I have. Others look entirely different.

I understand stress can cause rashes (including ezcema). I'm a law student, now. I just got over an amazingly stressful court case of which I was a party, and I've recently become very worried about my HIV status do to my possible exposure. It may be stress, it may be ARS, it may be an allergy...it may be anything. But my question is, given the clinical presentation above, whether my symptoms fall in line with ARS or not.

I don't want to waste anyone's time. But I would like an opinion or two between now and the 2.5 weeks when my result comes in.

Thank you

Offline Coffeechick88

  • Member
  • Posts: 431
Re: Clinical ARS Question; Opinions Appreciated
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2007, 04:22:06 AM »
It really isn't useful to speculate on symptoms.  Why?  Because HIV has no specific symptoms!!!  No one can tell you one way or another whether you have an ARS symptom or not, since they all can mean many things.  The symptoms are also a big variety between people.  The only thing I can tell you is to test out to 3 months post exposure for a definitive test.  Also, don't forget other STDs as they are easier to pass than HIV--it is good practise to get HIV/STD tested every 6 months or a year minimum.  And as for condoms--use them.  You have no business having unprotected sex with someone unless you both are monogamous and both know each other's current status--ie getting tested together; it only takes one time--you don't always get a second chance. 

One thing that can help you while waiting for your result is to limit your internet use--you search obsessively for HIV symptoms, your mind can play tricks on you, you notice certain things about yourself, speculate is it HIV or not?, and become convinced you have it--increasing your anxiety.  Spend time on your favorite hobby, read a non-HIV book, anything.   Do whatever you can to stay busy so that you do not have time to dwell on it.  I hope this all turns out well for you.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2007, 04:53:51 AM by Coffeechick88 »
Lucas James is here
Born 6-14-08 at 1233 am
8 lbs 14 oz, 22 in long

Offline Central79

  • Member
  • Posts: 527
Re: Clinical ARS Question; Opinions Appreciated
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2007, 04:40:11 AM »
Dear Unnerved

I agree with coffee. HIV seroconversion is pretty non-specific, and can feel just like having a bad cold - when I seroconverted I thought I had the flu pretty badly. Many (some studies say most) people who seroconvert don't even become symptomatic, which is why it's so important to test if you're worried.

The symptoms you're describing sound more like a viral infection (that's not HIV) to me. The rash you get in HIV seroconversion varies, but does not look like eczema - it looks like a viral rash. So if your doctor thinks its eczema, then that's another factor in your favour.

As you mention, transient lymphadenopathy is common. If you've gone through a symptomatic seroconversion illness with lymphadenopathy, the kind you get is persistent and generalised (which means two or more sites outside of your axillae/armpits). That's what set alarm bells ringing with me - my LNs came up and stayed up in my groin, neck, armpits - so I went and got tested.

So I think you're on the right track getting tested, but I think you're going to get away with it. Please, please take more care of yourself. I really tried to keep myself safe but managed to get it through sucking cock, and there's nothing I wouldn't give to go back and change it all. Today is the first anniversary of my diagnosis and it's not easy. So stay protected. If you want to bareback you need to find somebody you trust, have protected sex with him for three months minimum, get tested together, have a discussion about the trust you're placing in each other and then go for it.

Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 32,277
Re: Clinical ARS Question; Opinions Appreciated
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 08:26:49 AM »
You've already gotten comments about the unreliability of symptoms including yours in knowing about your HIV status.

Hopefully you will come through this episode safely.

But you need to stay awake to the reality that unprotected anal intercourse is at the top of the HIV sexual risk list. It doesn't matter what you think you know about the guy you're with or how great he looks or how much you dig him, a condom is a must everytime for the insertive partner.

The only time you can dispense with using them is when both partners test negatively together and have decided to be in a firmly committed monogamous relationship. And that is not a decision to be made lightly. Otherwise keep those condoms handy and use them.

Good luck with your test and keep us posted.

Andy Velez


Terms of Membership for these forums

© 2017 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.