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Am I Crazy??? The Body: Rick Sowadsky M.S.P.H., C.D.S, Answers to Safe Sex Questions
Dec 31, 1996

Hi, I had unprotected oral sex and protected intercourse with a woman I know. I don't know if she's positive or negative, so I'm obiously assuming she's negative. Anyway, about a year ago I was in the same situation and I got really worried about it. I think it was 2 days after I developed a slight fever and then all these other symptoms appeared, but 1 year after testing I'm still Negative. So after this encounter wouldn't you know it a day or two later I developed a slight fever and nausea and now I'm scared to death again. I'm just curious can anxiety and stress cause these things to happen? I will be tested though for my own piece of mind even thouh she says she's totally clean.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question.

Let me first point out that if you tested negative a year after a possible exposure to the virus, the test indicates that you were not infected. Remember, the tests are more than 99% accurate at 6 months (or anytime after) a possible exposure to the virus.

Your symptoms could be due to almost anything, and there's no reason to assume that your symptoms are HIV related. And yes, stress and anxiety can themselves cause many symptoms.

You cannot assume your partner is not infected. Remember, a person can feel fine, and look fine, and still be infected with HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's). You therefore have to assume your partner has an STD (including HIV) unless you know otherwise. It's also important to remember that having a fever and nausea alone does not indicate HIV infection. Those symptoms can be due to numerous other causes.

If you are concerned about HIV/STD's, then consider testing. But you cannot assume your symptoms are due to HIV at this point in time. I hope this answered your questions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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