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18 year old high school student is scared
May 27, 2013

Hello, I never expected to ever write on the forum for advice, but I am eternally grateful that it is available. I am 18 and I just recently graduated from my high school. I am going to college in the fall but something is bothering me that I hope you can help me with. On either October or November of 2012, I was sexually attacked by an older Caucasian male. He pushed me against a wall, giving me fellatio and used my legs as a friction barrier for his penis. On mid-April of 2013, I got pretty sick. I had night sweats and my body felt weak and fatigued plus a fever. On April 27 or 28 I told my mom what happened and i cried alot. We went to my primary care physician on the very same day for an HIV test as well as testing for Hepatitis. It was the test which required 2 tubes of blood. A week later I got my results, they were negative for everything. I worry because the fatigue in my body comes and goes. I had a sickness a week ago (lymph does under jaw line swelled, tickling throat, cough) but the symptoms Subside. Now, I have chronic neck and lower back pain every morning. My fingers shake when I slightly open my palms. My arms feel weird when I hold light objects. My hands also have been falling asleep much more frequently (almost every morning when I awake from sleep). My legs sometimes feel weak when I walk. I think it may be neuropathy. I read somewhere that neuropathy is a sure sign for the presence of an autoimmune disorder. I am honestly scared, especially since I heard seroconversion could take 6 months. Could these things be symptoms of anxiety? Thank you for your time. I really appreciate this.

Response from Dr. Wohl

This is clearly a very unfortunate and horrible thing to happen to you. Regarding your risk for HIV, several points:

First, oral sex, especially when performed on you, does not transmit HIV. Really. The friction thing, ditto.

Second, your HIV test done months later is conclusive. 97% of people with an actual risk who actually get infected have antibodies detected by 12 weeks. That % goes up every day thereafter such that by 24 weeks all are detected.

Third, neuropathy is more of a later manifestation of HIV. Getting this within weeks of infection would be very unusual.

Lastly, your symptoms can be coming from anxiety. I would stop searching the internet for signs of HIV and talk to trusted loved ones about whether you should get counseling to deal with this trauma and your anxieties regarding infection.

Good luck

DW



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