Desperately need your help!!!
Apr 23, 2011
Hello Dr. Bob; I know you are very busy with all the things you are running, but I desperately need your attention and I would really appreciate to spend sometime and drop me a few lines. This is 3rd time I am writing and I really am in a lot of anxiety and worry. I check your answers like 5 times each day to see whether my question has been answered. I really appreciate all you are doing here. I have had a risky exposure on 5th of January. I live in a country that I cannot anonymously have HIV test, as if it comes back to be positive it will cause a lot of social problems. Therefore I have to go through symptoms and if required to go for a test and possible treatment elsewhere. I had sex with this guy and I was the insertive person. He gave me an oral sex and then we ended up in unprotected anal sex. Now I have realized that he is HIV positive. On 16th of February I had a fever and fatigue, chills for 2 hours and the whole thing didnt last more than 2 days, and I thought it was due to work as I was very busy during that period and didnt have much sleep for a couple of nights. On 10th of March I had a swollen gland about 1/4 in the shape of a lens with a tender and sore feeling right under my skin under my left arm, which was not significant after a couple of days. On 17th of March I had flu, sore throat, runny nose, but no fever, which didnt last much, but I still have runny nose. On 26th of March I had another swollen gland with the same description as the 1st one under my right arm. Another one came on 31st of March under my right arm and a very tiny one on 2nd of April under my left arm again. I didnt experience HIV rash, but I have been having single bumps appearing on my skin, which would go in a day or in few hours. The other important thing that I have read through going to lots of articles about the problem is that, the viral load plays a crucial role for the probability of transmission and I have found out that this guy was infected with the virus shortly before the time I had sex with him, which indicates that the viral load might have been significantly high. I understand that the only way one can assure whether or not he is infected is HIV test, but regarding circumstances I would highly appreciate if you could advise me about the whole thing as much as it may. Many thanks and regards.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Consequently if you had absolutely no symptoms or "every symptom in et book," my advice to you would be exactly the same. You had a significant and risky HIV exposure and therefore you need HIV testing at both the three- and six-month marks. There really is no way around this.
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