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A study of HIV-negative gay men in Seattle shows that while most are aware that recent HIV infection can cause a bout of flu-like symptoms, most of the men still do not seek HIV testing when they've experienced the symptoms, AIDSMap.com reports. Writing in the Journal ofAcquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, the researchers say that about 70% of the 150 gay and bisexual men they surveyed were aware that flu-like symptoms--including fever, fatigue, night sweats, rashes, nausea, and other symptoms--can occur two to four weeks after HIV infection. But only 39% of the men said they would seek screening with nucleic acid tests that can identify recent HIV infections if they experienced those symptoms. Twenty-three of the study subjects also reported having had a rash and fever lasting more than five days during the previous year, but only seven of them--about 30%--sought HIV testing.
The researchers say these low testing percentages are particularly alarming given that 28% of the men reported recent unprotected anal sex with a partner who is HIV-positive or of unknown serostatus. (The Advocate)