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You always say its not a symptom of HIV
May 4, 2005

In so many of these posts people post symptoms that on every other website are possible symptoms of HIV. The flu like feeling, pain in the joints and muscels, etc. And you usually respond that these are not symptoms of HIV. What should I be looking for. A week after possible exposure (sex was protected, expect for making out) I am having swollen glands, dry cough, pain in my joints, chills, and a sore throat... everywhere I look it seems that I possibly could have HIV ... You seem to dismiss these symptoms often? But real worrying comes from a month before last week I had unprotected oral sex and the girl had a lip ring ... Does that increase your chance of getting HIV? How long would it really take symptoms to show up and other than the ones I listed what should I look for?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

OK, another QTND (Question That Never Dies)!

What should you be looking for? You shouldn't be "looking for" anything. Symptoms, no matter what they are, are notoriously unreliable for diagnosing HIV disease. The only thing you need to know is: if you put yourself at risk for HIV, you need to be tested three month or more from the last potential exposure, whether you have no symptoms or "every symptom in the book." It really is just that straightforward. OK?

Regarding your risk, "protected sex," unprotected "making out" and unprotected oral with lip-ring girl are all minimal to no-risk activities. With essentially no risk, your "symptoms" are most likely due to something other than HIV, OK?

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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