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Please help possible exposure. Will donate $30
Nov 12, 2009

On November 3, 2009 I had protected sex with a female that I met that night. The condom came off and I was unprotected for maybe 2-5 minutes. She also performed unprotected oral sex on me. Two days later the lymph nodes in my right inguinal area was tender. On November 7, 2009 I developed mild flu like symptoms which included; fatigue, extreme loss of appetite, tiredness, mild night sweats, insomnia, a body temperature as high as 98.8 f, and on occasion I could hear and feel my heart rate increasing. On November 9, 2009 I had an HIV antibody, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis tests performed and results are still pending. They also gave me two shots of penicillin as a preventative measure. On November 9, Im still having difficulty sleeping and a loss of appetite but most, if not all of the other symptoms have subsided, except the insomnia and the mild discomfort in the right inguinal lymph node area. Im suffering extreme anxiety and thought that the lymph nodes under my chin were tender as well, but a nurse at the medical office didnt notice any swelling. Does this sound like a typical acute HIV syndrome? I plan on taking the HIV PCR test, but when should I take it? I also took the third and last shot of the hepatitis b vaccine on November 6, 2009 but didnt have any side effects with the first two shots. Im feeling a lot better now, (November 10, 2009), despite not being able to sleep. Please Help

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Unprotected sex does place you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. "Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Whether to get HIV tested depends on your level of HIV risk, not whether symptoms are present. That said, your symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).

The best HIV screening diagnostic test remains the HIV-antibody test taken three months or longer from the date of exposure. HIV PCR tests are not recommended for routine HIV screening, due to their level of false-positives, other technical considerations and cost.

I agree with you when you write: "I'm suffering extreme anxiety." I strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor about your anxiety problem. Anti-anxiety medication and/or counseling (psychotherapy) can be extremely effective in ameliorating this condition.

Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org).

Good luck. Be well.

Dr. Bob



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