Symptoms and uncertainty
May 15, 2008
Hello Dr. Frascino,
I had unprotected sex with a woman on Jan 31st 2008. I took a PCR DNA test 6-7 days later and the test came back as negative. The Company Quality Life Group said that the accuracy rate is 98%+ after 72 hours of exposure. I also took a oral hiv test after 3 months of exposure and that came back negative. I'm still very paranoid I have been having the following symptoms: Tingling and burning in my feet, Red rash that comes and goes on the penis, Urination issues (no pressure), headaches, dizziness, tingling in the genitals. Do any of the following symptoms sound like HIV. Please note: I'm married and have never had any other affairs. I literally gave this woman oral sex for 20 seconds (she orgasmed in my mouth) and I had intercourse with her for 10 seconds. What are my chances I have HIV. Also note. The woman I had an affair with had a Blood HIV antibody test 25 days after we had intercourse. Please get back to me. I'm an absolute wreck. I have seen 2 physicians, a urologist and a dermatologist. They think it's anxiety. The thing is, I know my body and something is not right.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Your three-month negative rapid HIV test is definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. The PCR DNA qualitative test is not recommended for routine HIV screening, but the undetectable (negative) result merely corroborates your HIV-negative status.
Your "symptoms" are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). They are, however, extremely suggestive of anxiety and stress. Add me to the list of physicians (urologist and dermatologist) who believe your problem is anxiety related.
To sum up, you have minimal HIV risk, "symptoms" that do not suggest HIV and definitive negative HIV tests. Gosh, you just can't get any more negative than that! I agree that "something is not right" with you. However, that "something" is definitely not HIV disease! Rather it's fear of being HIV, possibly coupled with guilt, anxiety and depression. My suggestions are:
1. Level with your wife. It's not only the best way to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do.
2. Get psychological/psychiatric help to confront and conquer your totally unwarranted HIV fears and anxiety.
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