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Please, Please, HELP...

Jan 5, 2003

Dear Ryan, Could you please tell me if the following symptoms sound like the are related to acute HIV infection? Almost six weeks ago, I had unprotected vaginal sex. A week and half later, I started having joint pain in one of my joints (in my chest). (I also had shoveled my driveway a week before, the pain had started). Pain subsided about a week later. About 5 days ago I got a sore throat, which pretty much went away. My throat only bothers me still when I wake up in the morning. Not to mention, that I am very congested, (sneezing, & blowing my nose). I do not have a fever, or swollen glands. Then today I took a nap and woke up sweating, I didn't need to get changed or anything, nor were my sheets or pillow damp or wet. (My collar was a little damp). It scared me. And it happened two other nights, about two weeks ago. And I am literally going crazy. Please help! I am very scared. Thank you for your time.

Response from Mr. Kull

Recent HIV infection (acute HIV infection, acute retroviral syndrome) should only be considered if ALL of the following are true:

1) You had unprotected vaginal or anal sex (inserting or receiving a penis without a condom) within the past three months.

2) Your partner was known to be HIV infected, or is a person who is in a "high-risk" category (a man who has sex with men, an injection drug user, or a person who has sexual contact with others in an area of high HIV incidence or prevalence, like sub-Saharan Africa).

3) Your symptoms are indicative of acute HIV infection (febrile illness, sometimes compared to flu or mono). The specific symptoms can vary from person to person, but acute infection most often manifests in this "flu-like" manner.

If all of the above are true for you, see a doctor to have your symptoms evaluated. If all of the above are not true, you should still have your symptoms evaluated by a doctor, but it is not likely that they are related to HIV infection.

RMK



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