[Question #69] ARS question

39 months ago
Dear Doctors, I have a question about ARS.

It's now 24 days from my exposure and I don't feel anything. No fever, no swollen lymph nodes, no sore throat or rash (at least nothing like what I saw on the internet). I just have some very small skin irritation on the arms near the triceps. Looks like a foliculitis.

Is it possible to have the rash without having fever of augmented lymph nodes ? I decided to do the test at day 27th (next monday), I delayed my trip. I'm really anxyous, I admit.

Please advice.



39 months ago
3 days, no answer :(

What are the chances of being contaminated with HIV and not showing any symptoms after 4 weeks ? The only thing I feel is dry mouth. Never had fever, rash, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throat, fatigue or anything else.

This is about question #58. I'll be tested tomorrow at 28 days.




Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago

Welcome back to the Forum.  I realize you are anxious about your exposure and must start by pointing out that anxiety all too often causes many persons to think that unrelated things are related or to notice things which, although present for some time, had not been noticed in the past.  All of this leads to creating worries when there should be none.  As I told you earlier, the exposure you described was close to zero risk and was not something to be concerned about.  I know that is hard to do.  I will provide some information about the ARS below but in doing so need to again point out that this is not something you should be worried about based on the information you have provided.

The ARS occurs in many but not all person who acquire HIV. When the ARS occurs it is generally described a flu-like illness with high temperatures, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and/or joint aches, and a rash (when the rash occurs it is generalized, not localized to just one part of the body as yours seems to be).  Some patients may have loose stools as well.  Even among most persons who are at risk, when they have a flu-like illness, their problems turn out to be not ARS but the flu or some other viral illness of the sort that most people get from time to time. 

In your case, the rash you describe does not suggest ARS at all and is most likely due to something else.  I do understand that you continue to be anxious about this and hope that your test on day 27 will provide you with confidence that you were not infected by HIV through the low risk exposure you described in your first post.  I hope you find my comments helpful.  EWH

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39 months ago
Hi Dr. EWH,
Thank you for the information. I received the results today and like you said, it was negative (at precisely 28 days, Roche Ag/Ab P24 COMBO). The problem is obviously anxiety and the bad habit to seach the internet about things like this. This is not good.
I also checked if the antibodies for HEP-B were created by the vaccine I took one year ago and they are ok.
Now the screening was complete.


Again, thanks for your help and patience.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
39 months ago
Thanks for the follow-up.  I know that actually seeing those test results can provide needed reassurance and trust that with your current results you will be able to move forward.  Please believe your test results.  I will now close this thread.  Take care.  EWH
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39 months ago
Thank you again Doc.