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Scared to Death
Oct 24, 2008

Hi Doc Bob, On 21 june I went to Tijuana and had sex with csw in one of known red light area of TJ Mexico. While having sex condom slipped which I realized 10-15 sec later. i changed it with new one. Later I realized what happen and got very scared. Then went to emergency room and started PEP 4 week course, after 60 hrs from exposure. PEP was very bad and expensive. ( I am a student and cant afford insurance). I felt so sick with nausea, malaise although never had fever. Then after end of four week course things came back to normal. I ask ppl on many forums and they told me for conclusive results I need to get tested after 13th week from my last dose of pep. Sir from 3 oct which is 11th week from me last PEP dose (16th week from exposure) I started having sore throat which become very bad (very painful in my whole throat) which stared subdue and I am still having it. I noticed some maculopapular rash on my back which is painful when touched. I feel very fatigue and malaise and nausea lost my appetite from last 1 week. I checked my fever today and it was 99F. I am having stabbing pulsating pain in my sub medullar area (near jaw line) and I can feel my enlarged tonsils (and i guess some lymph nodes) swelling in my throat. Sir are these symptoms of ars?? Is because of PEP I took the seroconversion is taking place late( in 11 week??) What are the chances of mine being hiv. Sir I am getting scared to death. What percent of people do get ars in 11th week. I am feeling very sick and malaise Sir I am waiting for my 13th week to be over to get my first and final HIV test (from which I am very scared now) which type test should I get to have conclusive result.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I'll make several quick points:

1. Yours is one more example of why we need affordable universal health coverage in this country. PEP is indeed quite expensive, if you don't have health insurance with medication coverage to help with the costs. One more reason we must all vote for Barack Obama and the Democrats on November 4th!

2. "Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in determining who is and is not HIV infected. Rely on your HIV tests, not on nonspecific symptoms that could be the result of any of a great number of underlying illnesses.

3. The post-PEP HIV-testing guidelines recommend HIV-antibody tests at three and six months from the date of exposure. You can read much more about nonoccupational post-exposure prophylaxis (nPEP) in the archives.

Good luck and remember to vote!

Dr. Bob



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