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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Reged: 07/02/12
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HIGH RISK - Immensely Worried I've Been Infected
      #264258 - 07/02/12 05:58 PM

To anyone who can provide guidance/advice (and make it through this long-winded post) I am very grateful.

Approximately 3 weeks ago I engaged in receptive anal sex with a male that I have been seeing off and on for about the past year. It was unprotected and he ultimately came inside of me (horrible idea, I realize this now). We've both also recently tested negative (within the past few months, but I know that's no assurance in this instance).

About 1.5-2 weeks later I began developing a somewhat dry cough (which I attributed to the changing weather where I am and the constant back/forth between air conditioning and the 90+ degree weather outside). A few days later however I developed a mild fever (some chills) and became congested both nasally and slightly in my chest. The fever subsided within a few days and I was back to feeling rather normal. The only residual symptoms I have had is the congestion and coughing. The nasal congestion produces LOTS of mostly clear and sometimes lightly green mucus that I'm constantly expelling via tissue. The cough has lingered for almost a week after the fever subsided - it is not completely dry as I can tell there is still some mucus build-up in my chest and it is noticeable at times when I cough.

Two additional areas of concern is what I believe could be an ARS rash and thrush. The possible rash developed a couple days into the fever period. It doesn't itch, it is very faint (and sometimes I can't even see it). The possible thrush is on the very back of my tongue and it appears in a cream-like, off-white color. I've made attempts to examine it closely but it is too far back to see it. Other than that small patch my mouth shows no other symptoms of thrush. I'm not sure if the rash and thrush are actually what I claim them to be or the intense anxiety I have been experiencing as a result of this scare is causing me to have an overactive imagination.

I know HIV cannot be diagnosed on symptoms alone (and based on the symptoms I've had it could quite possibly be acute bronchitis) but the mental torture I (and others) have put myself through is really taking a toll. I've worked this up in my head to the point where I'm almost ready to receive the news I have it, but it still is bothering me to no end.

I still have a few weeks to go before I will be able to go in for the rapid antibody test but the symptoms have been weighing so heavily on my mind it becomes very hard to ignore (I also plan to go back for the 3 & 6 month tests). If anyone who has experience a similar situation can offer advice (I know, I know I shouldn't be self-diagnosing) or some words to help me calm down I would appreciate it. Or if in fact you think the symptoms are ARS I appreciate that feedback as well.

I know what I did was very irresponsible and plan to correct myself from letting it ever happen again. This certainly has been very eye-opening. Thank you in advance.

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Reged: 01/19/10
Posts: 660
Re: HIGH RISK - Immensely Worried I've Been Infected new
      #264263 - 07/02/12 09:31 PM

hey there. sorry to say, but your encounter was on the riskier end of the spectrum. a risk of about 50 out of 10,000 exposures from a person confirmed positive, according to the <a href="">CDC estimates</a>.

here's a fact sheet about <a href="">Acute HIV Infection</a>.

However, before you read about symptoms, as you noted, they are not a reliable way to diagnose HIV. only a test can diagnose HIV. so try not to read up on symptoms too much because they vary and can be caused by a many number of things.

But basically, "About half of the people who get infected don't notice anything. Symptoms generally occur within 2 to 4 weeks. The most common symptoms are fever, fatigue, and rash. Others include headache, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, feeling achy, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and night sweats."

having said that, try not to worry too much until you get a definitive test result. stress and worrying will only exacerbate your symptoms. just remain calm and know that it's out of your hands now. good luck!

Bartleby at The Body
Bulletin Board Administrator

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