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Thanks for your time, Dr. Bob!
Oct 26, 2008

Hi Dr. Bob!

My boyfriend and I are in a LTR, therefore, I'm positive in the timing of all of this.

5 weeks after the last time we slept together (vaginal sex protected with latex condom!) I developed unexplainable symptoms. sore throat for one night, followed by weeks of muscle pain, weakness, tingling, night sweats, fatigue, malaise, and diarrhea.

A simple google search of my symptoms led me to be worried about HIV, however, never did I once think my symptoms were ARS due to having sex with my current boyfriend. We have never had unprotected sex!

My worrying led me to get tested for HIV for the first time in my life (6 weeks after sex with current boyfriend, and over a year after intercourse with previous partners)! It was so nerve wrecking and scary, but the relief I experienced after testing negative was unbelievable!

Currently, my boyfriend has been sick. Seemingly, he has been going through one illness after another. His symptoms have my mind on HIV once again. It has only been in the last few days that I have been thinking back on my previous symptoms as ARS and it has me worried once again!

I asked my boyfriend about getting tested for STD's and he non specifically told me he got tested recently before we got together and I have nothing to worry about, but I am still worried because he was not specific as to what he got tested for and when. I did not really want to press the issue because I did not want to accuse him of anything or come off as not trusting!

So, my question is should I be worrying as much as I am? I KNOW that protected sex is not a risk, but what if something went wrong that I was not aware of? Also, about my HIV test that I took 6 weeks after we had sex. I know 6 weeks is not conclusive, but should it make me any less worried? Due to my previous symptoms, do you think I should be tested again? It is now over 3 months since the last time we had sex. -Chill Bear

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Chill Bear,

If indeed you "never had unprotected sex," your HIV-acquisition risk would be essentially nonexistent, assuming the latex condoms were used properly and did not fail (break). The symptoms you describe could be related to many medical conditions other than HIV. A six-week negative HIV test is encouraging, but not yet conclusive. For a definitive result, you'll need to retest at three months or longer from the date of your last potential exposure.

I think it is logical and appropriate that you discuss STD/HIV screening with your LTR boyfriend! Tell him you want to go and get screened together. If he refuses, you should be the one to get upset, not him! This isn't a trust issue; it's a health issue for both of you.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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