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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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dot1974
Newbie

Reged: 07/25/10
Posts: 2
Possible exposure and ARS symptoms questions
      #251322 - 07/25/10 02:41 PM

Hi there,

I had a potential risky exposure two and a half weeks ago. I am a gay male and another male tried to penetrate me anally. I could feel there were trying to push in (it was a little sore) but it wasn't full penetration as I'm not a receptive partner normally and I would have known if it had been all the way in. It didn't last very long and I'm pretty sure that I was not fully penetrated. Therefore there was no ejaculation but possible pre-cum as a risk.

I got a little freaked out about the occurance, so went to the doctor the next day, and he said my risk of HIV transmission was low to moderate, based on my being the receptive partner. He prescribed NPEP - Truvada for 28 days. I am about half way through that right now.

He also did an STD screening, which on the rectal swab came back negative, but I was positive for penile gonorrhea. They told me that was a very common STD to get. Syphilis was negative and I had previously been given shots for HEP A and B, so that should be ok.

Since that time, I have been having symptoms that I am worried are mild cases of ARS. I've had a headache for over a week now plus soreness/uncomfortable feeling in my neck, right under my jaw and under my armpits - lymph nodes I'm guessing. Also some strange sensations of muscles/nerve endings in different parts of my body randomly. I have not had any fever/night sweats and despite having anxiety have felt normal, with normal appetite.

So my questions are related to the above:

1. Is my risk on the low end and was NPEP required.
2. Do these symptoms sound like a mild case of ARS? Would PEP mean that the ARS symptoms could be less intense?
3. I am taking an anti-anxiety medication once a day when I need it - could my symptoms be more based on stress than ARS?

Thank you for reading and I appreciate any advice you can give.


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bartlebyAdministrator
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Reged: 01/19/10
Posts: 660
Re: Possible exposure and ARS symptoms questions new
      #251346 - 07/26/10 06:44 PM

1. first of all, i like how you say he "tried to penetrate" you, almost as if you were standing at a bar and he just came by and tried.
in any case, your risk is hard to gauge. it's certainly not low based on you being the receptive partner. the "bottom" in anal intercourse is more at risk than the "top." however, your risk is lowered if there was no ejaculation. PEP is never required, but definitely advisable in your case. do you know the status of your partner? though you can never trust people's words alone, it would be even more advisable if he's confirmed positive.

2. ARS usually occurs two to four weeks after infection. the symptoms are almost identical to the flu.

3. most of the time, it's anxiety that causes "symptoms." just finish your course of PEP, which works extremely well. you should be fine. get tested again at 12 weeks to confirm.

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Bartleby at The Body
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dot1974
Newbie

Reged: 07/25/10
Posts: 2
Re: Possible exposure and ARS symptoms questions new
      #251349 - 07/26/10 07:28 PM

Thanks for your reply and some reassurance. In terms of penetration, he didn't penetrate me completely - it was maybe just a little bit inside or on the edge. I felt the pressure but it certainly wasn't full penetration - I would have felt that!

Does that fact plus there was no ejaculation, mean my risk is lower than someone who has full anal sex (receptively) even without ejaculation?

I am feeling happier about taking the PEP and know that I am doing all I can. Every little feeling of sore throat etc gets me panicked, but I am now at nearly 3 weeks and time is going by slowly but surely.

Just knowing that my risks are lower helps me deal better with the anxiety. Now it's just waiting for the time to tick by before I can take my first test.

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