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Terrified married coulpe with time frame questions Please help
Jul 6, 2001

Dear Dr. Aberg, Here recently my husband and I have gotten back together after a 6 month separation and reconciled our problems. He informed me that he had a potential high-risk exposure with a person of unknown HIV status. Since I love him, he was honest with me, and we are going to stay together we agreed to use condoms until he received his 6 months test result. One night about 5 weeks after his exposure we were having vaginal intercourse and the condom broke. Now we are both horrified that he might have passed the virus to me and we have not been eating or sleeping right since then. I have had strong stomach pains for about 2 days, minor headaches and vomiting about 4 weeks after the condom breaking. I did have a pregnancy test done and I am not pregnant. Are the problems that I have had symptoms of HIV, or could they be some symptoms of another STD that did not show up on any of my husbands first STD screen tests? Or could those symptoms just be from the anxiety or stress?

My husband had an elisa taken 10 weeks after exposure and thankfully, it came back negative. He was checked for all Stds about 10 days after exposure and they also all came back negative. It has now been 13 weeks since the exposure and he just had another elisa test taken and we are anxiously awaiting the results. Since the first elisa was taken at 10 weeks, two weeks earlier than the recommended 3 months, is there still a good chance that his 13 week tests come back positive? Our doctor is telling us, that those two weeks probably wont show any changes and that I am just jumping to conclusions that he and I have HIV. Is this at all true?

This has got us terrified and I feel like we are back to day one again with the worrying. Thank you for your help it is greatly appreciated by all who read this forum looking for answers!

Response from Dr. Aberg

See my response to the question "Is my doctor correct?". This is basically the same scenario as yours only it was the wife who had the sexual encounter. Your symptoms are most likely related to anxiety. I don't know what your husband's "potential high-risk exposure" was but a negative HIV test at 10 weeks are very strong odds that he did not acquire HIV. He should get follow up testing as his doctor has recommended.

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