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Are fever, muscle pain, headache and rashes on forearms signs of HIV?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2843 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 30 Aug 2016 in HIV and AIDS
Question: Hello Doctor, on the 28th of July, I had protected sex with a woman including oral sex from both of us. Two days later (July 30), I received oral sex from another woman and inserted my finger inside her for a few moments but we did not have sex. 4 days later (8/3) I began feeling sick (low fever that became high fever 102, joint and muscle pain, headaches) the fever broke by morning. On Friday night (8/5) I developed a rash that covered my forearms, chest and parts of my lower legs (Picture attached). The rash last for about 18 hours then went away. I have never gotten a rash like that before in my life.

As soon as the rash went away I have been symptom free since then. I am concerned that the fever, rash and sickness I got has something to do with the sexual acts I engaged in, specifically Acute HIV.

1. Is there a possibility that those encounters caused my sickness the following week?
2. Can I show symptoms of HIV that soon after a sexual act?
3. Could it be something other than HIV?

I have already sent out my blood work for a rapid HIV test, but I will have to wait almost a week to get results. Can you please answer my questions?

Thank you.
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Symptoms are not necessarily be due to HIV.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome to HCM.
Thanks for posting your query.
Earliest manifestations in HIV disease can occur only after 3-4 weeks after the exposure, if there is an infection. That too, it will not occur to all with infection, but only to 50-70% of the individuals.
Any fever or rash before three weeks after exposure is unlikely be due to HIV infection. Not to worry. I saw the picture sent by you. It could be due to some other viral fever or due to some drugs you would have taken at that time.
Not to worry.
Rapid HIV tests can not be reliable in early disease. It can be considered conclusive only after 12 weeks after the exposure (window period).
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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