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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Is it possible to have an acute HIV fever few days after unprotected sex?

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Dr. Enrique Molina

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 364 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 5 Feb 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Question: Is it possible to have an acute HIV fever 5 days after sexual contact? Met a girl in a bar, had vaginal sex only, not protected, did not finish inside of her. Now I am worried sick. I had a trip to vegas over the weekend, then started having syptoms late sunday, slight cough, low fever, nothing else. Actually felling better today. Also, got a flu shot yesterday.
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Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 46 minutes later
Hi XXXXXXX,
With any unprotected sexual encounter there is a possibility of acquiring HIV infection. Some people when acquiring the infection develop what is called "acute retroviral syndrome", where patients can get fevers very soon after getting the infection (days) and enlargement on lymph nodes throughout the body, which usually goes away. Therefore I highly recommend you getting tested against HIV now, and then again in 3 months (sometimes the test is initially negative, but becomes positive after a few weeks).
However common things being common, the fact that you have a flu shot makes me think it could be a normal side effect from the vaccine. However I want you to get checked out for any sexual transmitted diseases.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Enrique Molina 4 minutes later
Is there an OTC test that I can purchase that will be accurate this early?
...and just FYI, the fever I had is virtually gone now without taking advil
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Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 32 minutes later
There are some pharmacies and walk in clinics that can test you for free. Check with your local health department. Otherwise any physician can order it for you.
Again none of these routine test can detect it so quickly, unless you get an actual HIV viral load count on the blood, which is an expensive test usually reserved for patients that actually have the routine "HIV Elisa" test positive.
There is also an oral saliva test called OraSure or OraQuick test, which you can do from home (you may have to mail the sample to the lab).
It is good that you are feeling better so quickly, and makes me think this is most likely related to the flu / flu shot.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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