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weight loss is scaring me!
Feb 20, 2008

Dr.Bob, I engaged in unprotected giving and recieving oral sex with another high-risk man WITH ejaculation in the mouth.

The following day, I felt fatigued and 48 hours later I had full-blown diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, NO APPETITE what so ever and dry heaving. It lasted about 10 days, but I wasn't particualarly worried because my normal bloodwork came back with no abnormalities except liver enzymes found in my urine?? Doctor's said they had no idea because hep. test was negative and i dont drink and i am young. I told myself that this was too early for ARS so i relaxed.

However, 3 weeks after exposure when i thought that i was getting back to normal, IT hit even harder, this time lasting for 2.5 weeks, however, diarrhea was a different color and i had a swollen/stiff neck this time which i didnt have before. So I'm thinking i just had a stomach bug before but now its ARS. Also, my CBC showed noticable variations that the doctor said looked like i was fighting an infection. If it was a reoccurance of the first thing, my Blood cells would have been varied before too! It's now been almost 3 months since exposure and I feel almost normal except im never hungry since exposure, lots of burping/gas, bowel movements out of whack. But the scariest symptom has been the profound weight loss. I lost about 15 lbs in the couple weeks following exposure, and despite a normal fatty diet the past month that i've been feeling better, I can't put any weight back on. Everyone has noticed the weightloss, i looked flushed, my pants wont stay up. I've lost weight around my waste, my legs, face looks caderverous! I'm miserable because I think it's HIV no matter how much i try to convince myself its not.

So my question is, after losing weight during ARS, could you not put it back on? because a normal stomach bug i should be able to bounce back from with no problem but i continue to look like a skeleton! what could be happening to me? all tests are negative for bacteria, viruses, HIV (but im not out of the window period).

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Oral sex carries only a minimal risk of HIV transmission. Symptoms that begin within a few days of a potential exposure are not HIV-related. Symptoms associated with primary HIV infection take weeks to become manifest.

A single rapid HIV test at the three-month mark is all that's required for a definitive answer regarding your serostatus. The odds remain astronomically in your favor that you did not acquire HIV from this exposure.

I can't diagnose the cause of your symptoms over the Internet; however, I'm quite confident they are not HIV-related. Most likely you diagnosed your own problem when you wrote: "I'm miserable because I think it's HIV no matter how much I try to convince myself it's not." Depression, anxiety and stress can all be associated with weight loss.

My advice is to get a three-month rapid HIV test. (The result will most likely be negative.) Follow up with your general medical doctor regarding your weight loss and any laboratory abnormalities. You may "miraculously" begin to feel significantly better when you realize you dodged the HIV bullet.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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