Diarrhea soon after sex is not a sign of HIV infection or of another sexually transmitted disease. Diarrhea may be caused by a wide range of infections and health problems that are far more common than HIV.
A Common Health Problem
Everybody gets diarrhea from time to time. In most cases, diarrhea signs and symptoms usually last a few days.
But sometimes diarrhea can last for weeks. In these situations, diarrhea can be a sign of a serious disorder, such as inflammatory bowel disease, or a less serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
There are some situations in which adults with diarrhea are recommended to seek medical advice:
- if diarrhea persists beyond two days
- if you become dehydrated (symptoms of this include excessive thirst, dry mouth or skin, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness, and dark-colored urine)
- if you have severe abdominal or rectal pain
- if you have bloody or black stools
- if you have a fever above 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius)
If a person with HIV has not received antiretroviral treatment, over time their immune system may become so severely weakened that health problems which cause diarrhea are possible. This would only occur several years (typically around 10 years or more) after infection.
Diarrhea is also a common side effect of antiretroviral medications.
More on Diarrhea at TheBody.com
Our Q&A experts sometimes address questions about diarrhea in our "Ask the Experts" forums. Here are some of those questions and our experts' responses:
- Diarrhea following sex
I'm a man who had unprotected oral sex with another guy. I've had diarrhea for about three weeks since. Am I at risk for HIV or other STDs?
- Diarrhea and weight loss
I had a protected vaginal intercourse with a prostitute. Afterward, I developed diarrhea -- so badly that my weight dropped by 4 kg.
In addition, this page has useful information for people living with diagnosed HIV and who are experiencing diarrhea:
Elsewhere on the Web
For reliable information on this topic, we recommend the following page on another website: