7th request. PLEASE! Hopeless in Asia
Apr 2, 2003
Sir, I am in a rural area of Korea and the doctors here speak little english. They can't really help me. I need guidance. I don't want to die this year. I'm sorry this is so long, but I have no one to talk to here. I had what began as protected sex with a prostitute in Thailand. The condom came off and I stupidly kept going. The sex lasted for quite some time. After sex I noticed a reddish discharge on the sheets. Also I woke up robbed. Some days later I noticed two red marks that looked like bites on my inner thigh. Now at six weeks ae (after exposure)they are finally almost gone. I'm affraid that she may have drugged me with a needle to rob me. Or may just hate americans and literally tried to kill me with her blood. I have not had a symptom free day since leaving Thailand. Six days ae I got Diareah while staying on a small island. This lasted 2 weeks. 10 days ae I noticed swollen lymph nodes in both groin areas and began urinating nearly constantly. The urination lasted about a week. The nodes persist to this day at 6 weeks. About 3 weeks ae I had some body aches and a few night sweats. 5 weeks ae I had some aching in the muscles near the nodes in groin and pectorals. Also caught a cold and a minor sore throat at 5 weeks, but nearly everyone in my office was sick too. At about four weeks ae I began having dull pain on the right side just below the rib cage (liver, Hep?). This also persists to this day at 6 weeks. I am just a lowly english teacher without financial means, and I am quite lost and beside myself with fear and guilt over my stupidity. My questions are: Keeping in mind that I was travelling in a 3rd world country, is there another illness that comes to mind that could explain my symptoms? Based on the textbook nature of my symptoms should I begin medication even before I test possitive? Should I run away back to the states to spend time with my family? I could never tell them what happened, and I would be jobless, homeless and without insurance. Perhaps I should just let the disease run it's course here where I can at least support myself and save my family from pain. Give it to me straight. What would you do if you were stupid enough to be in my shoes?
Thanking you through tears
Response from Mr. Kull
It seems like you are plotting out the absolute worst fate imaginable for yourself which is not necessary at this point (or at any point!). You are experiencing some minor symptoms after your sexual encounter which are concerning you, but there is no evidence that these are related to HIV or your sexual encounter. As I've stated in this forum many times, analyzing your symptoms on your own in order to determine whether or not you have HIV is a fruitless task. The only way you are going to be able to determine your status is with antibody testing 3 months after exposure.
It sounds like you are pretty isolated over there, which must make this tough for you. If there is any way for you to find a professional that you feel comfortable talking to, please do that. It would be good if you could have someone talk to you about your symptoms and risk in person. See if there are any AIDS service organization in the surrounding areas, maybe in the closest urban area, and make a phone call.
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