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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is diarrhea post unprotected sex a symptom of HIV infection?

Hi, i ve just recently (about 5-6 days) had unprotected intercourse and have been really anxious since then. I have had random diarrhea for the past 2-3 days and after reading that it is a symptom of acute HIV i ve gotten really scared. What should I do? Am I getting anxious for no reason? Or should i go and get the p24 test anyways?
Mon, 8 Feb 2016
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  Anonymous's Response
's  Response
Hi, I just went through your question and what I can tell you is that it is true that intermittent diarrhoea is a symptom of HIV infection. However, it should last at least one month for it to be considered. Besides, it usually takes a few to several years after contracting the virus for the diarrhoea and other AID-defining symptoms (such as intermittent fever for at least one month, more than 10% weight loss over one month) to manifest.

So going by what you said, an unprotected sexual encounter 5-6 days ago is unlikely to be the cause of your diarrhoea as a symptom of acute HIV infection, which typically manifests as a flu with fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headache. There are so many causes of diarrhoea besides HIV and these could be investigated first. So doing a p24 at the moment seems premature. However, you could consider it if the diarrhoea lasts up to a month.

I hope you find some relief in my response, but if you have any more concerns, feel free to get back to me.
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Is diarrhea post unprotected sex a symptom of HIV infection?

Hi, I just went through your question and what I can tell you is that it is true that intermittent diarrhoea is a symptom of HIV infection. However, it should last at least one month for it to be considered. Besides, it usually takes a few to several years after contracting the virus for the diarrhoea and other AID-defining symptoms (such as intermittent fever for at least one month, more than 10% weight loss over one month) to manifest. So going by what you said, an unprotected sexual encounter 5-6 days ago is unlikely to be the cause of your diarrhoea as a symptom of acute HIV infection, which typically manifests as a flu with fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headache. There are so many causes of diarrhoea besides HIV and these could be investigated first. So doing a p24 at the moment seems premature. However, you could consider it if the diarrhoea lasts up to a month. I hope you find some relief in my response, but if you have any more concerns, feel free to get back to me.