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HIV or Mono Symptoms? Please help!
Jan 19, 2013

I had protected sex with an escort in early December. Around December 21st I came down with a really bad fever, swollen glands, night sweats and tenderness in my lower left abdomen. My primary doctor diagnosed me with diverticulitis even when I told her I was concerned about HIV. The symptoms cleared up, but last Sunday (January 13th) I started feeling tired and my joints started to ache. I went in today to see my primary doctor again and she said I might have mono. Currently, I have slightly swollen lymph nodes in my armpits, groin, and neck. I do feel tired and my joints ache on and off. For instance my right shoulder was really bothering me yesterday, but today is fine. Also my skin around my neckline is getting really dry (I do work outside though & I live in Denver). I did take an Oraquick (about 6 weeks after suspected exposure) test today and it showed up negative. Should I still be worried? What are the odds it is HIV? Does mono cause dry skin?

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi fellow Denverite, Having protected sex is the best way to prevent HIV transmission. First, the testing guidelines are to be initially tested at 3 weeks post exposure then again at 90 days if this test is negative than so are you. As for your symptoms, yes mono and HIV symptoms can be similar. Because again, your sexual experience was protected the risk of HIV is decrease dramatically. With your primary doc giving you the diagnosis of mono and with the symptoms you are experiencing I would agree that it is mono. Of course the only way to truly know your HIV status is to get tested again at 90 days post exposure. Your 6 week test was a good sign.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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