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Sep 29, 2000

in March I was raped (I don't want to go into details). 5 weeks later after the rape I developed so many different symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, numbness, sour throat, dry throat, headaches, really weird sensation in my mouth, muscle pain, and so many other things; I never took any medication to make the symptoms go away. I went to research some information about hiv and all the symptoms match just perfectly the acute stage. I was totally devastated because now I even had to face an hiv problem; all the symptoms lasted almost 5 weeks. Finally after 4 months I took the test and it came back negative; I was surprised because I was so convinced that I was infected. Now, should I trust those results and breath again? can the acute stage take that long to appear (5 weeks)? can those symptoms go on for over a month? Please help me and give me some good advice and information, please answer me; I really need to get my life back.

Response from Mr. Kull

I'm glad that you were able to send in your question. This must be such a difficult experience for you.

I consider testing after three months to be close to 99% accurate. Some people might suggest getting tested at six months for high-risk exposures. I believe that four months is sufficient.

Who knows what was causing your symptoms? We do know that you must have been experiencing some considerable stress and anxiety, so we should take that into account.

I really encourage you to talk with someone about the rape that you experienced. I know it must be hard, but identifying with others who can understand your experience can be tremendously helpful. Try finding a counselor or a support group that deals with sexual assault. It can really help you get your life back.

Best --


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