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What about lack of symptoms? an answer would really help my grandparents out...
Aug 21, 2008

I just want to say up front that I know symptoms are not a way of determining HIV status. However, I am not going to be able to take a test for a couple weeks and am stressing like I didn't think possible (like so many others on here). I'll be detailed just in case others that might read this have similar happenings as I haven't found any in the archives that seem to match what I'm feeling.

Stupidly, I had unprotected vaginal sex with a girl I met at a bar in Manhattan (didn't realize NYC was so dangerous, great failure of the US awareness). Anyway, long story short, I'm wigging out and haven't been in contact with the girl since, bad character judgement on my part. Also, my penis was a bit chaffed/rubbed raw from an internet "help-put-me-to-sleep" session the night before, just trying to be honest.

The stress then hit me like a brick after a couple days of thinking about what I'd done. After about 1 week, my neck got tight and tingly around my jaw, cannot tell if my lymph nodes were swollen or if I am just paranoid, but I can feel them when I think about it. That lasted about a week before subsiding a bit. Week two brought a couple upset stomachs that lasted a couple hours, clammy hands, and a numb tired feeling in my arms and legs. Again thinking stress, but also thinking worse.

At the end of week 3, my face started to feel like it was slightly sunburnt. Though my face has felt like this before for no reason, the timing is horrible. This has been the most stressful part so far. Still feel weak in a nervous sort of way.

During week four I felt exhausted mentally and physically from carrying the weight, and at the end of week 4 my stomach, intestines started to ache and gurgle, a lot, which isn't at all normal for me. I had a loose bowel movement (admittedly I have not been eating well lately), then after a couple days my stomach really hurt and I had a very emptying instance of diarrhea (only once).

Oddly, I have felt much more relieved since the diarrhea episode, even though that was something I was praying wouldn't happen. My stomach has eased and things are starting to feel a bit more normal physically (now at the end of week 5). This is what has me most concerned, that even though only one episode of diarrhea occurred, it seems to have been the climax, almost as if my body had just turned the tides in a fight, not something I want to think about much. My neck still feels stiff and I can still feel all the abnormalities, but they just don't seem as intense. I never really felt sick in any way, just felt not normal, very very anxious and ashamed that I put myself in this position. Now I realize that stress could very well be the cause of all of this, but would like to hear what your thoughts are. I have not had a fever of any sort, no sweats, and no sore throat. I can't tell if my lymph nodes in my neck, armpit, and groin are swollen and hurting or if it's just in my mind.

Wow, the more I write the sillier I feel about even asking about this. But, I am not going to be in a position to take a rapid test for the next couple weeks and the questions about what I'm feeling is making concentrating at work very difficult. In your opinion, does this at all sound like ARS symptoms and timings? If I WAS going through ARS and showing sypmtoms, would it be safe to bet that I would have also displayed a fever and probably a sore throat?

I know you are probably rolling your eyes at another crazy person, but please can you tell me if what I've described resembles ARS? Oh yeah, I just got back negative results for all other STI's.

On a different note, this site has been very helpful and helps me realize that I'm not the only one that made a mistake and am concerned about it, it gives me some hope. I will not forget your foundation and I have become pretty vocal to my friends about the possible consequences of bad behavior, just trying to do my part to help the situation.

oh yeah, about the gparents part, going to see them in a week (not doing well) and would like to hear your opinion so my brain isn't wondering as much when I'm spending time with them.

hope to hear from you, but regardless, keep up the great work. you obviously are a blessing to many.

thanks

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Very clever! Trying to get me to respond because of granny and gramps! (Well, as you can see your crafty strategy worked! Here's your reply!)

Having unsafe "sex in the city," however, was not such a clever strategy, as you now well realize. The bottom line is that since you placed yourself at risk for STDs, including HIV, you need to be screened, symptoms or no symptoms. That said, your particular symptoms (or lack of symptoms!)are not worrisome for or suggestive of HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). I absolutely agree that stress and guilt are most likely the cause of your current ailments.

So relax Max. Being a nervous wreck is not going to change the results of your HIV test. The odds remain very much in your favor that you did not contract HIV from your tryst with the Manhattan mistress, OK? Tell Granny and Gramps I said hi.

Dr. Bob



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