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Is it possible that I caught new strain of HIV from Singapore and it's undetectable?
Oct 6, 2008

Dr. Bob - I have been reading the forum for the longtime and I really need your help. This is my third time posting the question. Here's is the brief history of my troubles. I visited the Singapore in March of 2008 and for the first time in my life I had unprotected sex (twice) with a prostitute. Since I got back, I got sick with the flu like symptoms, fever, diarrhea, and swollen lymph nodes in armpits. I saw the primary care physician and explained what had happened. He performed the antibody test at 5th week and it was negative. Given that it was only 5th week, I asked to get another test done and he did the viral load test and it came back negative. However, since then I have been OK until in July I visited Asian massage parlor for my 40th birthday. At that time, I had oral sex (without a condom) and vaginal sex with condom. I am certain that condom was intact, however, it was possible that when she rolled the condom, I suspect some vaginal fluid may have touched my penis. About 3 weeks after the incident (early August), I started to have a fatigue, fever, pain in my armpits (possibly swollen lymph nodes - but I am not able to detect it with 100% certainty) and diarrhea (about 2 to 3 times a day with somewhat liquid). All this lasted for about a month and now I am having a mild sore throat, continue to feel that I have a fever - but it does not record on thermometer, as well as extreme fatigue, swollen lymph nodes (mainly in my right arm pit and right groin). I am also having occasional pain in my right testicle. I have also developed a rash on my penius under the foreskin - it's red and doesn't hurt - but feels itchy time to time. Now I am in my seventh week of this symptoms with only one week during the early Septembers that I felt bit better. When I wakeup in the morning, I don't have any pain in my armpit however, as day progresses I start to feel the pain - even though I mainly feel pain in my right armpit, I am also having a mild constant pain in left armpit as well. My shoulders and neck is very itchy as well as I have a small red rash on my left arm. Given that my symptom points to HIV, is it possible that I caught some new strain of HIV while I was in Singapore and HIV test that were performed did not get detected during my initial tests? Or is it possible that I caught HIV during my massage parlor visit based on the classic HIV symptoms (fever, pain in arm pits, soar throat, diarrhea and rash on penis). I have always been in good health all my life until now for the first time. Please help me as I am extremely stressed and constantly thinking that I am now HIV positive. I am going to make the generous donation. Thanks in advance for your help.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your symptoms do not "point to HIV." In fact, they are much more consistent with stress and anxiety than HIV.

Your negative five-week HIV-antibody test coupled with your undetectable HIV viral load test at five weeks makes it extremely likely that you did not contract HIV from either your Singapore-fling or your Asian happy-birthday-to-me 40th birthday treat. My advice is that you try to stay calm and repeat your HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark for a definitive and conclusive result. See a dermatologist if you have a persistent rash. Spend some time perusing the wealth of information on this site related to HIV transmission, HIV prevention, HIV testing and HIV-related symptoms. We have chapters on all those topics in the archives. I'm confident you'll find the information and testimonials there both enlightening and reassuring.

Thank you for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. It's warmly appreciated. In return, I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test remains negative. I'm confident it will.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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