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Red mark on side of face. Help!
      #78534 - 11/20/03 11:43 PM

I had one encounter with a woman of unknown status in May of 2000 during which I was protected but the condom may have broken, I just was not sure. In the days following, my doctor told me that I had either chlamydia or trauma to the area that caused me discomfort and to urinate frequently, he thought it was the latter since I had no discharge or other symptoms of chlamydia. I freaked out for the following 3+ months even though that incident was my only possible exposure. I imagined symptoms and perhaps psychosomatically developed others (such as a throat infection) during the weeks that followed. I tested negative in September of 2000 and the counselor told me that was a conclusive test and to move on with my life.

That incident is the only possible exposure I could have had. Now 3 years later I have had a small, faint red mark on the side of my face at the jawline for the past 8 months that is not going away. I have no other symptoms or reason to believe this is caused by HIV, but I am worried. After I was tested in September of 2000 I did what they told me to do and moved on with my life. I was married in 2001 and my wife and I are planning to start a family but I am worried that this mark on my face could be Kaposi's sarcoma. I took the first step and saw my doctor today and he did not seem overly concerned, but I have been referred to a dermatologist to resolve this once and for all. Is it possible to develop something like KS less than 3 years after initial exposure? I am otherwise in good health, eat well, and am physically active. I have no other symptoms or health problems and I am trying to reassure myself that my negative test in 2000 is enough. Could this red mark possibly be related to HIV? Please help!

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Reged: 10/26/00
Posts: 2028
Re: Red mark on side of face. Help! new
      #78541 - 11/21/03 12:54 AM

Why after all this time would you even jump to the conclusion that a red mark on your skin is in anyway shape for form due to HIV infection. You tested negative. It was conclusive. Even your doctor wasn't concerned.

People have loads of skin problems that pop up for absolutely no reason. Rashs, bumps, bruising, flaking, oozing, etc. So many things and no relation to HIV at all.

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Reged: 11/06/03
Posts: 173
Loc: We are in West Texas
Re: Red mark on side of face. Help! new
      #78560 - 11/21/03 04:17 AM

Dear Worried,

I am glad you are seeing a dermatologist; there are other conditions simple or otherwise that likely explain the "red mark" on your face. It is stressful to go through a period where you think you might be HIV+ and then relief sets in, you move on (as you did) and start a life. I understand what you are experiencing; some guilt perhaps in having that former encounter and not ever wanting to expose your spouse to HIV. It makes good sense to me. If the dermatologist does not find anything perhaps make sure "dental" is in order. An abscessed tooth or infection can cause skin around the jaw to discolor, redden, and so forth, so can an encapsulated lymph node (previous infection). You are doing the right thing and I sympathize with your concerns. You are negative for HIV and should rest assured that this is a given.

Karen :)

Karen G....
"Live with it!"

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