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unprotected oral sex, HIV negative at 5.5 months
Jul 31, 2011

I had unprotected oral sex on January 20, 2011. In february I tested positive for Influenza A, and in May I had Mono. I should trust that since those tests were positive, they weren't mistaken for HIV correct? Also, about 5.5 months later (July 8th to be exact) I tested for HIV with a rapid antibody test, and the results were negative. I was relieved at first, but I recently had a sore throat and slight fever and the doctor said it was a viral sore throat. Hearing "viral" sore throat sparked my anxiety again, and now I am worried because my tongue is a whiteish color. I still cannot shake the thought that I might be one of the people with a weak immune system who takes longer to develop antibodies. PLEASE HELP! I just want to move on with my life and stop worrying :(

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

Unprotected oral sex carries only a very slight risk for HIV acquisition. I would consider your 5.5-month negative HIV-antibody test to be conclusive.

Your symptoms at 5.5 months would not be related to HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). ARS symptoms generally manifest two to three weeks after exposure (not 5.5 months!).

There is absolutely no reason that you should consider your immune system weak. Are you "one of those people with a weak immune system who takes longer to develop antibodies"? No, of course not. You're one of the astounding number of folks who have irrational fears about HIV. If my reassurance is not sufficient for you to put your unwarranted worries permanently to rest, talk to your doctor about getting a referral to a licensed mental health professional for counseling. Irrational obsession with HIV could be a sign of underlying depression, OCD, hypochondriasis or other psychological condition.

Good luck. Remember, HIV is not your problem; fear of HIV is!

Dr. Bob



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