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Worried Well?
Dec 12, 2012

Hello, I would like to start off firstly by thanking each of the experts for the amazing job you guys do! Ok so here's my story...about a month and a half ago I was at a party and drunk out of my mind...*1st mistake* I ended up having unprotected oral (with ejaculation) and unprotected insertive vaginal sex (lasted about 2 mins, no ejaculation) with a girl of unknown status. She was also super drunk so both our judgements were clouded. Afterwards I felt horrible (mentally) especially when I found out that she had slept with a few more guys at this party as well that same night...Anyhow, the next day I flew home and felt SUPER sick and fatigued on the flight...*Felt hot and could barely stay awake* Upon landing, I just had a feeling that something wasn't right. The next day I felt feverish *NO actual fever 98.6-98.9*, had NO appetite, nauseous, and fatigued. *Laid in bed ALL day* That night I sweated myself to sleep, and woke up in the same sweat *DRENCHED* I (the night sweats lasted for 3-4 nights)...I went to work the next day and researched my symptoms, which sounded like the flu to me (considering that it is flu season and I had yet to get my shot... Of course HIV popped up in the search engine and I began to FREAK OUT! I thought about my encounter that weekend before with the promiscuous party girl and my life began to flash before my eyes...At work I could barely concentrate, the malaise feeling/nauseousness overwhelmed me!!! I talked to a relative of mine and he suggested I take a dose of azithromycin just to cover myself...so I did...he gave me one of his...Amazingly I felt better for a few days, but soon after developed a rash on my upper clavicle area. I thought of this to be an allergic reaction to the antibiotic, and didn't think much of it. After about 2 weeks post exposure and constant web-searching on HIV, I noticed my groin area to feel very achy. I also developed a small painless lump in the bottom inside of my mouth/gum. This freaked me out further so I scheduled a visit for a physical. Also at this time I noticed my inguinal ligament to be somewhat swollen with small nodes in close proximity. In addition I developed a lymph node in my posterior neck area *Both of which I have till this day* At exactly 4 weeks (31 days to be exact) post exposure I got a full-checkup with STD Panel. My results were negative for all STD's including HIV. This gave me a sense of relief. However after researching further I realized that a 3 month test would be the only conclusive result. I still have occasional nausea, lymph swelling, and groin pain. I have not had diarrhea, vomiting, or severe headaches. I have had a feeling of a lump in my throat and dry mouth; all while awaiting my test results. I think my main concern is the odds of my test being a false negative at 4 weeks; especially when my symptoms "seemed" so "real" (The swollen inguinal ligament/nodes & neck nodes, the nausea). I know from reading and researching that the odds are in my favor, but there are cases of infection from a one time vaginal exposure. So I guess I'm on here looking for reassurance. I realized I made a horrible mistake and will NEVER put my life in jeopardy like that again. I just want to know what are my odds of being HIV negative at my conclusive test in a few more months??? Thanks in advance, any response is greatly appreciated....

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

Yes, I think you are one of the many "worried well" readers who write into the site. Overall, your risk was fairly low. Your symptoms are varied, and have nothing to do with HIV. If your symptoms continue then I would suggest following up with your doctor to rule out other possible causes. It is not HIV.

Follow-up with a test at 90 days; I am confident the result will be negative.

In health,

Richard



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