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Night sweat no fever
Aug 31, 2009

Dear Doc, I've done the worst I can do, read the net up and down for HIV. Please ease my situation and help me by saying 'It aint so' (donation is coming up).

I've had protected vaginal/unprotected oral sex with a female sex worker 8 weeks ago. I understand this is low risk, but...

Shortly after this I've started sweating at night, and this has continued for the past 8 weeks, every single night. Sometimes it's mild, sometimes I'm dripping all over the body. I've never had a fever, never had to change clothes or sheets, though. But I'm waking up sweating two hours after falling asleep, no matter when I go to bed, no matter what I do, no matter what the temperature is...

I may have swollen glands on the right side of my neck and groin, but I've never really felt sick.

After seven weeks I've taken a HIV lab test in Germany which was negative, and they have shown no other sign of any sickness either (they have drawn so much blood to test, I'm glad they left any inside of me).

I can't wait to get to twelve weeks to leave this behind me... By now I hate it all. A virus which may or may not show itself with totally unclear symptoms, which may or may not be detectable after 6 weeks or 12 weeks.

Does anything here point you to HIV? Could it be pure anxiety? Can you tell me anything to ease this situation?

Thanks for your reply, and as I said, donation is coming up.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I agree your HIV-acquisition risk is very low, assuming the latex condom was used properly and did not break.

Your "symptoms" are not worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). Could they be related to anxiety? Absolutely.

Your negative HIV-antibody test at week seven is very encouraging. But not yet definitive. It's worth noting that the vast majority of HIVers will have detectable levels of HIV in their bloodstream within four to six weeks after primary infection. The odds are now all in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this sexperience.

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending my good-luck karma that your conclusive three-month HIV-antibody test remains negative. I'm quite confident it indeed will.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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