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Scared that I might be infected!
Aug 11, 2011

Hey Doc, well about two months ago I stepped out of my box and wanted to see what it was like to be with a dude. I was the top and used a condom. About a couple of minutes into it I felt the condom break. I did ask if he was clean, he said yes. I pulled out and changed condoms. I was also given oral sex. About a week later I lost my appetite, got really thirst. two days after that, I Went to the doc and he gave me a z pack for sinuses. Three days into taking the z pack my stool started to turn yellow and greasy it wasn't diarrhea. two months still dealing with yellow stool changes and other colors and still no appetite. I lost 10 pound in two months.I was to scared to get tested for HIV because of my weight loss. With in those two months i did something that I shouldn't have done and that was searching the internet. I was constantly checking my mouth for sores. no sore throat or coughing. I did get three pea sized lymph nodes on the left side of my neck that slowly began to swell then went down, but I can still feel them. Burning gas in my stomach that doesn't relieve until I urinate or have a bowl movement, rash between my legs, but I always get rashes between my legs because of my legs rubbing together. Today, I decided to go get my test done. Have to wait three days. The wait is definitely going to hurt me. What do you think doc?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello.

So you decided to see what it would be like to have sex with a dude. Yes, that would definitely qualify as "stepping outside the box" (so to speak).

You want to know what I think about your situation? Sure. I think three days from now, when you get your HIV-antibody test results back, you'll be screaming WOO-HOO at the top of your lungs like a banshee in heat while doing cartwheels down Main Street.

It's true that condom failure during anal sex does put you at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV, and consequently HIV testing is warranted. Your exposure, however, was very brief. Your symptoms are not worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS). They are much more consistent with anxiety. I would also mention Dr. Google is not helpful for this type of problem. Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Dr. Google's "advice" tends to suggest that almost any symptom could be HIV related, which often scares the bejesus out of folks.

It's important to note that even if your test comes back negative (the statistical odds are all in your favor), you'll still need another HIV test at the three-month mark for a conclusively negative result. HIV-antibody tests taken before the three-month mark are not considered to be conclusive. But don't go getting all freaked out gain. A negative HIV test at two months would be extremely encouraging, because the vast majority of HIVers would have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within four to six weeks (and therefore would test HIV positive).

Your intense worry about HIV may be related to psychological issues. Obsessing about HIV is easier than addressing more complex problems, like guilt, sexual orientation and "stepping outside the box." As you get this HIV issue settled, I would suggest you consider consulting a licensed mental health professional to explore your HIV fears and issues of sexual orientation. It doesn't matter if you're straight as a lawn dart or gayer than the Xmas windows at Macy's; you need to be honest with yourself to find true happiness.

Good luck. I'm here if you need me, okay?

Dr. Bob



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