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High Risk Exposure

Jul 22, 2011

Hello there. Well 2 weeks ago I did a huge mistake. I had unprotected receptive anal sex with another man, I am a male. The guy assures me that he's clean and well I am terrified, every night I cry myself to sleep, as of yet I haven't had any fever. I do have ulcers on my bottom lips 2 of em on each side. A week after exposure I went to get tested for any STDs the clinic drew blood and pee sample. The guy works in a hospital and he talks to me everyday to tell me that I am ok...but this anxiety will not leave. I have a rash on my forehead...its red and flat like I hit myself...could this be due to the extreme stress and anxiety? Do rashes come with fever or alone? All help is appreciated.

Response from Dr. Frascino


Unprotected anal sex is risky business! Choosing to have unsafe sex does put you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. Consequently testing is warranted. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. HIV testing recommendations are based on level of risk, not the presence or absence of symptoms.

Since your Brokeback Mountain buddy talks to you daily and claims to be HIV negative (a more appropriate term than "clean"), why not ask him to get a rapid HIV test? If he tests negative, your HIV-acquisition risk would be reduced to the remote possibility that your buddy has been recently infected and is still within his seroconversion window (HIV infected but not yet producing detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in the blood). You'll still need your three-month HIV test, but you'll at least be able to take some comfort from knowing your HIV-acquisition risk would be remote.

Regarding stress and anxiety, yes, they can cause all sorts of symptoms.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Anxiety, HIV and Lymph nodes
med student in need of reassurance

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