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Can symptoms of primary infection recur?

Oct 31, 2000

First of all I would like to say it has been reassuring and soothing to read the responses of others that have agonized over symptoms. It's good to know we're not alone. My question: I engaged in some risky behavior -- unprotected anal with a female, and protected vaginal with 4 sex workers. Approximately 6 weeks after the anal sex and 2-4 weeks after the other encounters mentioned, I came down with flu-like symptoms -- 99.5 fever, aches, sore throat. The symptoms abated after less than 48 hours. At this point, I became completely obsessed with the notion that I had contracted HIV. I saw a doctor while symptomatic, and she said she did not believe it was an HIV reaction (no rash, no swollen lymph). She said I was at "moderate" risk. About 16 days later, I discovered that I had a fever of 98.9. I saw the same doctor. She told me it was probably just a cold coming on. Along with the fever I had a sore throat and felt like I had a cold (as opposed to a flu -- no aches), and again the symptoms abated within about a day. The doctor suggested I consider medication for anxiety; I told her I'm already on medication, though for depression. A few days later, I again felt somewhat warm late in the evening, so I took my temp. I again had 98.9. The question: do symptoms of primary infection recur over a period of several weeks? Thank you so much for your help.

Response from Mr. Kull

I think it sounds like your doctor knows what she is doing. I am not aware of any information that demonstrates that primary infection symptoms recur over a period of time. People get colds and the flu all of the time. The timing of your symptoms may just be a coincidence.

Try to take your doctor's advice and look at ways of identifying what causes your anxiety and how to treat THAT. Depression and anxiety are very closely related. I encourage people to combine psychotherapy with psychotropic medications. There is evidence that the combination of treatments works better than they do independently.


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