[Question #3245] Follow up to Dr H Hunter

37 months ago
Hi Dr

Few weeks back we had a discussion re a possible exposure. In my question I mentioned that symptoms were experienced after 6 weeks which you believe is a long period. After reviewing details, I realized that symptoms were experienced exactly 4 weeks after exposure. What I also realized is that on day one I woke up sweating like never before. Day 3 when I went to clinic I didn’t have fever. Day 4 I started feeling better. The Dr also mentioned that my heart beats are fast 

Question 1 : is 4 weeks still considered long and ARS symptoms are mainly in week 1 and 2 

Question2 : is 4 days short for ARS symptoms to go away

Question 3: can we assume that if no rash it’s not ARS and Does ARS cause faster heart beats 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
Welcome back, but I'm sorry to see you found it necessary.

1) 4 versus 6 weeks makes no difference. ARS symptoms indeed start within 1-2 weeks and usually are gone before 4 weeks.

2) Yes, ARS usually lasts 10-20 days. 4 days is too short.

3) Many people with ARS have no rash, so that makes no difference. ARS does not cause rapid heart rate or extra beats. However, anxiety about ARS (or anything else) can do so.

I previously advised you to have an HIV test, to help you gain confidence you are not infected. That remains my advice. I will have no other advice or comments until and unless you report you have been tested and tell me the result. This thread will remain open for that purpose for a couple of weeks, at which time it will be closed. After that, no further questions from you about this will be permitted.

HHH, MD
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37 months ago
Hi dr, today I did an HIv 1+2, syphilis and Hep C test. All came back negative which is in line with you advice

The only question before we close this thread is that the results came back after 90 minutes. Most comments states it requires a day or two. Can the results get back this soon?
37 months ago
Sorry forgot to mention that I have flu and on meds. I was wondering if there is any chance that this is a false negative due to flu or meds
37 months ago
Hi Dr It seems you kissed my comments below 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
37 months ago
Sorry for the delayed reply. (Missed, not kissed!) Anyway, I'm glad you were tested and of course not surprised by the negative result -- which is 100% reliable, regardless of how long it took to give you the result.

Most lab based HIV tests, as well as tests for viral hepatitis and syphilis, actually take only 20 minutes to an hour. However, for efficiency using the standard automated test platforms, testing usually is done in batches:  i.e. the lab doesn't run them until enough specimens have accumulated, which can take several days, depending on the lab's overall HIV testing volume. Then it may take up to a few days for results to be transmitted to the doctor's office or clinic. So it's typically a day or more, sometimes over a week, before results are available. Another possibility is that your lab did a rapid test, which gives results in a few minutes, but this probably is less likely (although you could ask your doctor or the lab exactly what test was done).

There are no illnesses, health conditions, or drugs that have any effect on HIV test reliability. Your possible influenza and its treatment make no different.

I hope the discussion has been helpful. Best wishes and stay safe.


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