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will she still love me?
Aug 12, 2001

Hi,

I'm currently feeling really depressed about life and would appreciate your help.

I'm 99 sure i'm infected with hiv.

Why am i so sure? Baecause of the following symptons: 1. Sore throat after 2 - 3 weeks which lasted for approx. 2 - 3 weeks, but quite mild 2. White tongue and dry mouth after 3 weeks, persistant, but getting better 3. One case of diarrhea after four weeks 4. Fever (approx. 37.5C, but definite 'chills' and feeling weak) after almost 6 weeks 5. Feeling sick, especially when food's in front of me (after almost 6 weeks) 6. Some joint pain in my left hand after 6 weeks Pretty conclusive?

Exposure: the 'supposedly' safe sex act of receiving oral sex just over six weeks ago. Partner of unknown status, but high risk

I was tested -ve after 1 month (as expected).

I'd now really appreciate your help during this difficult period. My questions are:

1. What's my life expectancy with hiv, if i'm good with the meds?

2. Do people normally carry on with their present relationship if one is hiv +ve, the other not so?

3. What about sex? i'd never want to put her at risk?

4. Based on your experience, would you agree with my diagnosis? is another illness more likely? can mono be spread by oral sex? can stress cause a fever?

Please answer, and sorry for all the questions.

Response from Dr. Remien

You are asking many questions, some of which cannot really be answered by me in any definitive way. You have described a very low risk scenario for getting infected with HIV. The only way you can know if you are infected with HIV is by repeating the test, up to at least 6 months of possible exposure. All of the symptoms you describe are "non-specific" symptoms. That is there are many infections or illnesses that can cause those symptoms. So again, only HIV testing can determine whether you are infected.

Life expectancy for people living with HIV is widely variable. However, given the currently available therapies, most people can expect to live very long lives with HIV. Among other things this will be influenced by age when infected, other illnesses, and whether the person has been infected with a strain of virus that is already resistant to current HIV medications.

Many people who are HIV+ have successful and fulfilling relationships with people who are HIV-. If you spend some time on this forum you will see that to be the case. And there are ways of having sex that is both satisfying and "safe" in terms of avoiding transmission of HIV. You may also want to spend some time reading the questions and answers on the "Safer Sex, Transmission, and Prevention" forum to learn more about this issue.


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