[Question #1732] ARS Question

43 months ago
Hello Doctors,

Thank you for your wonderful site. I headed to this site to initially have my risk of HIV infection assessed, but I have since perused the site and have discovered based on your previous responses that I am at no risk for HIV Infection based on the risk I was going to ask you about. So, I will not ask you about my event.

I've also discovered that I shouldn't be paying too much attention to potential ARS symptoms. However, since I already have it in my mind, I was hoping to ask you about them, just to complete my inquiry.

9 days after my incident, I came down with a very bad, itching, dry cough. The next day it had turned into a high fever and the cough became slightly productive with yellow phlegm. The following day, it was accompanied by a very runny nose and clear nasal secretions. My high fever lasted 2 days followed by 2 days of mild fever. After that it disappeared (by 13 days post incident).  Runny nose and cough lasted a few days longer. No sore throat or rash or any other ARS symptoms that I've read about at all.

Does that sound like a typical ARS illness at all, based on my symptoms and timing?

Thanks,
Bill
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago

Welcome to the Forum.  I appreciate your looking at other posts.  It is our hope that our responses to folks on  the site will be helpful to others as well as those writing the questions.  There is a lot of confusion about the timing and signs and symptoms of the ARS, much of which occurs because of the misinformation present on the internet.

The signs and symptoms you mention are not particularly suggestive of the ARS and are more suggestive of a viral acute respiratory syndrome than the ARS.  The timing of your illness is in the range where the ARS might be initially considered with most ARS beginning about 2-3 weeks after exposure.  Most such illnesses occurring at that time are coincidental however and not the ARS.  The hallmarks of the ARS are fever and muscle aches, as well as a sore throat and, in some cases diarrhea or a faint to moderate rash on much of the body.  It is described as a "flu-like illness"" and does resemble influenza.  Interestingly, influenza and other related viral illnesses are much more common than the ARS and when studies have been performed, only 1-2% of at risk persons with these symptoms turn out to have HIV, the remainder having the much more common influenza or other non-STI viral illnesses,.   

On the other hand cough and sputum production are not typical of the ARS or the flu but are typical of upper respiratory tract infections and bronchitis.  Similarly, runny nose is not typical of the ARS.


I hope this information is helpful to you. EWH


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43 months ago
Yes Doctor, thank you very much again. The information is very helpful.

Reading the previous posts was very informative and made me realize that I'm not really at risk (situation was simply a lap dance encounter with a nude female stripper where I remained fully clothed...no sex...likely just my guilt making me come up with scenarios of how her fluids could have got into my bloodstream...but even then, the only fuilds I was in contact with was likely some saliva on my skin or soaking through my pants...I've now discovered that this is not a risk).

Combining that with the fact that my symptoms aren't typical of ARS, but point to more of a respiratory illness gives me even more comfort (although I did fail to mention that I was also fatigued, likely due to my fever, and had some loose stools, likely due to the fact that I wasn't eating much during those 4 days...just lots of juice).

I still haven't decided on whether or not I will take a test for peace of mind (this is my only potential risk), but even if I do, I think I can make it through the waiting period easily at this point, for which I thank you very much again.

Bill
  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
I think you are processing this all correctly.  If you choose to test for peace of mind, I am confident that your test will be negative.  As we both know, the events you describe represent a no risk event.  Take care.  EWH
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43 months ago

I can't thank you enough for your help and guidance...I also feel I have learned a great deal of important infomration from your site. I just wanted to commend you folks for your selfless work helping the public out.

And of course, we can close this discussion item if you wish now!  :)

Bill

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
Thanks for your thanks.  Glad we have been helpful to you.  We'll close the thread now- stay safe.  EWH
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