Question #25217

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HIV Early symptoms and When is it best to be tested?

I had unprotected anal sex as a bottom last May 21 (Saturday), a week ago. I want to know how soon the symptoms show and how long do they typically last for HIV. I will be in Jakarta next week and then in Borneo for a month.
I had diarrhea since Wednesday evening, but it goes away then comes back, after the unprotected sex and today I experienced a fever in the afternoon at 37.5 C which went up to 38.3 C.
I am from Manila, Philippines and had an intense few days in Jakarta and Bogor commuting and going to different offices for my work so I am not sure if it is just because of that or maybe because of the unprotected sex.
Now, after taking loperamides, paracetamol and antibiotic, my diarrhea (which might also be from food adjustment) has subsided so is my headache from the fever. But the temperature upon last check is still at 38.3C. I am just scared that it might be a sign of HIV.

Answer

Hi there,
 
thank you for reaching to Angsamerah. The earliest time for an HIV symptom to occur is 2-4 day after infection, usually it presents as flu-like symptoms. However some people will not feel sick during this time.
With currently available testing methods, if a person get an HIV test during this period, the blood test will come up negative. The latest kit to test HIV can detect infection up to 2 weeks after exposure. If the test showed negative result, that person still required to do blood test in another 3 months to ensure the valid result due to a window period of HIV infection.
In Angsamerah, usually we encourage people at risk to take the HIV test one month after exposure.
Regarding your symptoms, there are many possibilities of the causes. Diarrhea is rarely present as early sign of HIV infection. Your stomach upset might as well caused by any other infection and it is related with the occurrence of fever and headache. It is better for you to check yourself to a doctor so you can get a thorough examination and determine the case for appropriate treatment.
Dont hesitate to contact our clinic to make appointment and we can help you feel better. Hope you'll get well soon.

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