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about symptoms and low risk
      #92384 - 03/16/04 06:03 PM

I had sex with a sex worker about 4 months ago. It was protected but my concern is that she put the condom on with her mouth I noticed alot of saliva was inside the tip. since it was in there for a while during sex I am wondering if it had any blood in it if it could have worked its way down my urethra. I also fingered her with torn skin along the nail. I wasn't concered until I started getting symptoms:
week 2 - headache and dry skin, itching
week 4 - lymph node in neck swollen.
week 8 herpes sore on lip then moved into several in mouth.
week 10 sore neck and canker sore on gum.
week 12 weird feeling under armpits and tender groin lymph nodes.
could not find any swollen nodes.
now week 13 the canker sore and herpes is gone the sore neck is gone. I still have the armpit and groin tenderness. I would normally not think anything about all these things and I know that it was probably not ARS, but aren't these signs of early HIV infection. I am a little scared since there are so many signs. I read that there have been no documented cases from fingering even with raw skin or from recieving oral sex. I also read that is because most people just don't do fingering so you can't document that is where it came from. I called the local county board of health to see about testing and he didn't help my fear any. I was told that vaginal fluid can transmit HIV and it only takes a milisecond and an opening of 1millionith of an inch to become infected so I should get tested. I guess he wasn't aware of the no documented cases argument. He also told me that since it was only 14 weeks It would be a good sign if it came back negative but his exact words were "you aren't out of the woods until six months". I hope he is just in charge of the testing and not the counselor. After reading on this site I have calmed down some as there seems to be much more knowledgable people here then at the local testing and counseling center. Any helpful information on the early signs of HIV infection would be very much appreciated.

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Reged: 08/07/03
Posts: 251
Re: about symptoms and low risk new
      #92387 - 03/16/04 08:08 PM

Wow, the person you spoke with at your county health department is working with some SERIOUSLY outdated information. All he needs to do is call the CDC and they will tell him that three months is now the definitive, not six. And while yes, infected vaginal fluids can infect, it does not take a one-millionth of an inch cut on someone's finger. Perhaps he was thinking of mucous membranes? It doesn't matter. Maybe you probably got the cleaning person or custodian. Whoever it was, they know nothing of HIV.

Saliva does not transmit HIV. So the condom being put on with the woman's mouth carries no risk. The only theoretical risk would be if she had a mouthful of blood, but then the condom tip would be filled with blood, not saliva.

And unless you sliced open your finger and it was dripping blood when you fingered her, this is not a risk either. There are seven layers of skin and HIV is not able to penetrate them to access your bloodstream. That is why a deep, fresh wound would be required to allow this kind of access. And yes, the no documented cases is true. While many people do more sexually than mutual masturbation, there are many people that ONLY do mutual masturbation. The CDC would have found a case by now, after 24 years of surveillance.

Based on what you described, you did nothing to put yourself at risk. There are no definitive symptoms of HIV, that is why testing is so important. But in your case, the only reason to test would be for peace of mind.

Life is meant for living, not fearing.

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Re: about symptoms and low risk new
      #92389 - 03/16/04 08:37 PM

Thank you for the information. I may still test for peace of mind but I won't be going to the local county testing and counseling center.

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