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DO I HAVE AIDS? (SYMPTOMS?)
Mar 2, 2003

I have noticed recentely the development of swollen lymph nodes on the side and back of my neck. I had protected gay sex just once over a year ago, would these nodes be a result of that or am I worrying too much?

Response from Mr. Kull

Guessing your risk for HIV infection based on diagnosing symtpoms that you might or might not be experiencing is unreliable and can be quite aniety provoking. Leave that task up to your doctor.

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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