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possible exposure?
Jan 25, 2001

I've been in a monogomous relationship for 12 years and recently had unprotected vaginal sex with a person of unknown status. Not a sex a worker, but rather a business collegue. About 2 months later, I developed fatigue for a few days. Accompanying the body aches was a horrible sore throat which made swallowing difficult and painful, some occasional night sweats (not drenching), but had to throw the covers aside. No fever, no diarrhea, no rash. But swollen lymph nodes, knee joint pain and tingling in two fingers on my left hand only.

The tingling in my hand is still present and I often wake up with it completely numb. My neck still feels swollen and stiff and these two symptoms along with the knee joint pain have been hanging around for 5 weeks. I've been to the doctor and had a blood workup which came out normal. But am wondering if I should be considering HIV symptoms.

thank you.

Response from Dr. Henry

The risk for one sexual exposure is low (no details regarding type of exposure) but HIV transmission is possible. I would consider an evaluation for herpes, other sexually transmitted diseases (did your work up include cultures for gonorrhea and Chlamydia?), and an HIV antibody test. If you want an immediate handle on the HIV issue, then you could get an HIV RNA level which would be high if you were just infected in the period before the antibody test may be positive. I would go to an STD clinic or discuss further with your doc. KH

Keith Henry, M.D.



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