Body Aches For A Month
Jun 23, 2006
Hello Dr. Bob, I have written you before, but know that you can only answer a selected few. I cannot make a donation at this time (just graduated from college and paying off those dreaded student loans that your best friend Bush keeps raising the interest rates on), but will do my best to make one by the end of this year because your story is truly amazing. I had a low risk man/woman sexual encounter (mutual masturbation, unprotected oral, protected penis/vaginal intercourse) on April 20. I started experiencing body aches about a month ago and got tested May 19;negative. The body aches did not go away and I got retested June 1st; also negative. The reason I decided to get tested is because these body aches feel like nothing I have experienced before. I hurt all over and it switches from place to place. I also have sharp pains in the soles of my hands and palms of my feet. I have looked over the forum archive and have seen one doctor say that neuropathy can be an early sign and you said it is not. I have an appointment with a neurologist on June 28th, but I wanted to hear from you if this is a symptom of ARS. My doctor said he is stumped with me having body aches like this for a month, so I was wondering if HIV is still a possibility. I would really appreciate an answer and again will try my best to make a donation by the end of this year. You are the man!
Response from Dr. Frascino
First off your symptoms "I hurt all over and it switches from place to place. I also have sharp pains in the soles of my hands and palms of my feet" are not consistent with HIV-associated distal sensory polyneuropathy, nor are they consistent with HIV ARS or HIV disease.
I agree an evaluation by a neurologist is warranted if your general medicine doctor is stumped. Do I think this is HIV related? No, I do not. Your HIV risk is minimal (unprotected oral). Mutual masturbation is not considered a risk and neither is "protected" vaginal sex, if the latex condom was used properly and did not fail. However, if you remain concerned, a single HIV test at the three-month mark will give you a definitive and conclusive result. Testing prior to three months is not considered to be definitive.
Good luck. I very strongly doubt HIV has anything to do with your symptoms, other than perhaps the "fear of HIV" causing anxiety-related problems.
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