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You could be infected with HIV if you had unprotected sex or shared needles or "works" with someone who is HIV positive and then a few weeks later had flu-like symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Severe fatigue
  • Rash
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Night sweats
  • Sores in your mouth
These symptoms are called Acute Retroviral Syndrome (ARS) and last from a few days to a few weeks. You could get sick enough to go to the emergency room or just feel a little unwell. Even if you don't experience symptoms, you could still be infected.


If you think you might have been recently infected and live in the San Francisco bay area call the OPTIONS Project. We will test you for HIV using a viral load test that can detect infection within two weeks of exposure. Regular HIV antibody tests (the kind you get at a test site) might not detect HIV in your blood for several months.

We have a dedicated team of doctors, nurses and counselors. We will help you determine if you were recently infected. If you test positive we will be there to support you and provide you with healthcare options.

What do you do now?




The OPTIONS Project is a research study sponsored by UCSF. The goal of the OPTIONS Project is to learn as much as possible about early HIV infection and how transmission of HIV is occurring. OPTIONS is a study for people in the San Francisco area. ALL OPTIONS PROJECT SERVICES ARE FREE.

Updated 03/17/2010 by OPTIONS Project team