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five years since exposure, but still worried
Feb 19, 2005

Hi. I performed oral sex on a man one time five years ago, and I do not know his status. Although I had been previously diagnosed with herpes, I decided to get tested for hiv after an outbreak five months after the possibly exposure. The results were negative. After getting tested I developed alot of guilt and became depressed. I also experienced other symptoms of possible infection: severe headache, neck ache, loss of appetite and weight, tiny pin prick dots under my skin. The symptoms went away after a while (a month or so). I haven't been really sick or anything since then. My doctor said I did not have viral meningitis, although she did not perform a test. I had no fever. Can anxiety and stress even after negative results cause symptoms to appear? Do you think I should get retested?

Please help me decide what to do--I'm so scared of getting tested again.

Thanks

Response from Dr. Horwath

A negative test 5 months after an exposure is about as reliable an indicator as you can get about your HIV status. Oral sex is a fairly low risk exposure (although not zero risk). The symptoms that you experienced are not due to HIV infection. Yes, they could be due to anxiety. If you've had other exposures, then you should get tested again.

Most importantly, don't expose yourself to HIV infection. Practice safe sex!



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