8 month and still scared....need a quick answer

Question

Hey Dr. Bob

Hope you had a great time in France. Happy to hear your brother is doing well. I hope you are also doing well. I have been an avid reader of this forum and you are really one outstanding person.
I wrote to you the last time in May and I promised that would be the last time. But I need some more reassurance. I know what your last statement will be. But here goes:(i will try to be brief) Went on a business trip in Dec 05. Hired a massuese who did more than just a massage. We had protected oral and vaginal sex.(assuming the quality of the condom was good.I would have noticed if it broke) Both were brief. The oral 2-3 mins, The vaginal intercourse lasted maybe 5 minutes-2 positions. I do not believe I even ejaculated. I was upset because even though it was protected I had a sore right below the rim of my penis. I was afraid some of her secretions may have touched the sore when I removed the condom. I showered right after.
About 2 days later I felt lethargic and just tired, and had bad stomach pains for about 1 week. The stomach pains went away. A few days later I developed pains in my pectoral area of my chest, my ankles, my elbows, and my knees. My elbows became very tender and sore and were very sensitive to touch. My knees became stiff after sitting for a while. My elbows were also very red at times.I also had a feeling of light headedness at times.None of these symptoms affected my daily life. I never had night sweats or lost any weight or my appetite. Nor did I ever have a rash. I may have had a slight sore throat for a few weeks, but that went away as well.I also may have had a swollen lymph node under my arm but that may have been from pressing on it so much. Then about 16 weeks later(end of March) I noticed my fingers and toes were very red and looked swollen. I was on doxycoline at the time for another reason. After I finished the Doxy all of those symptoms seem to have gone away. My symptoms lasted about 17 weeks, and the joint and muscle pain almost seemed arthritic. I know you cannot diagnose over the internet and because of your great advice I know symptoms do not mean you are infected but after reading your advice for the last 8 months I noticed many people have the same symptoms and your advice is that it is not suggestive or worrisome for HIV.
1)Do my symptoms seen indicative of HIV 2)Will the symptoms persist for 16 weeks or so 3)Is it possible to get HIV from a condom that is being remvoed if it touches a sore or your urethra 4)How come many people seem to have the same symptoms if they are not suggestive or HIV 5)Will the symptoms usually occur together or can they be spread out over time. It has been 3 months since all of my symptoms subsided but I am still panicked. Please answer one last time so I can have more reassurance from you. You are truly and amazing person who helps so many people. Thank You again. Also, thanks again for the CD Hope to hear from you soon.

Answer

Hello,

I'll be brief, because as you point out in your post, you already know what I'm going to say. And besides, you are breaking your promise, right?

  1. Nope.

  2. Nope.

  3. Chances would be so remote as to make them essentially nonexistent.

  4. Because these "symptoms" are so nonspecific, they can be associated with a gazillion different underlying medical conditions.

  5. ARS symptoms greatly vary in severity and scope form patient to patient. Generally they occur around the same time.

As always, my advice remains the same: if you are worried that you placed yourself at risk for HIV, get an HIV test. Rapid test results are available in as little as 20 minutes. Stop panicking; stop worrying. Get tested if you need reassurance. It really is just that simple. And no matter how many times you write to me, the facts are the facts and they will not change.

You're welcome for the CD!

Dr. Bob