ZocdocAnswersAt what temperature is it considered an ARS fever?

Question

At what temperature is it considered an ARS fever?

At what temperature is a fever considered a possible ARS risk? I'm worried about a possible HIV exposure I may have had a couple weeks ago, so I'm monitoring my health very carefully. I felt warm when I woke up this morning, but my temperature is only 100, and I'm pretty sure that I usually run high anyway. Is this a risk?

Answer

In general, physicians consider a fever to be any temperature above 100.4. This is somewhat arbitrary and temperatures less than 100.4 may be considered abnormal in certain circumstances. If your body temperature normally runs a little high, a temp of 100 may not be abnormal. On the other hand different methods of measuring body temperature carry different accuracy meaning that your actual temperature could be higher or lower. The symptoms of the acute retroviral syndrome vary and can include fever, night sweats, muscle aches, feeling crampy, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, and lymph node enlargement. Symptoms usually appear between 2 weeks and a month after exposure. 90% of patients that have contracted HIV will get the ARS, so being symptomless is somewhat reassuring, but does not exclude infection. I would monitor your symptoms closely and document all your temperatures. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician especially now when you may or may not be having symptoms. He or she may be able to give you some insight into your risk of contracting HIV especially with respect to the likelihood of exposure (not every sexual act carries the same risk). In a couple months, you can get the HIV test. Good luck.

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