Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and HIV


Hi Dr. Bob - I have been asking this question for two days now. I know it is literaaly impossible for you to read all your inbox. My question is the Prague prosttiute in April and feeling the symptoms later. But I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago and went through went through some extreme stress. My question is how long can HIV symptoms last - I have been sick now for weeks - perhaps eight or more. My exposure would have been on April 2 - I have a new job overseas waiting for me at the end of July and I am afraid to get tested - so afraid. Thanks for all you do and I will donate. Scaredy Cat

HIV, Fibromyalgia, and Lupus symptoms (Submitted Jul 10, 2009)

I know you a such a busy man and I understand the time constraints but I am scared to death. I went on Spring Break to Prague on April 2 and went to a strip club. I had sex with a black girl from Africa and we discussed HIV testing for her to work there. She said she was very careful - and she was careful. She put the condom on with her mouth then rode me for about ten minutes. I didn't cum because I drank too many Czeck beers. About 6 weks ago or so I had a virus that was going around the school and I had some toilet problems and had a slight stomach problem for a couple of days. However, many of the students and teachers I worked with were also sick with the same virus. I thought I got over it but later felt sickly for a while and my neck was hurting and it is still hurting. I am taking antibiotics for sore throat and had a slightly elevated white blood count when I went to the doctor yesterday. I also had a 99 temp that went up and down no higher than 99 degrees. I need to say that I was diagnosed eight years ago with fibromyalgia and my mother was diagnosed with lupus, Raynauds disease, and scleroderma - her doctor at OHSU said that they believe it does have inheritable properties. I have three cousins with these autoimmune diseases. I am a teacher and I am on my way to Curacao to teach - the sun does seem to bother me just as I was leaving Saudi Arabia. What are my chances of being infected with HIV or having these symptoms realted to lupus and fibromyalgia. Mind you, I was as careful as possible with my beautiful girl that night. Please I will donate $100 dollars. Please give me your opinion

Sex with Prostitute in Prague during Spring Break '09 (Submitted Jul 9, 2009)

Hi Dr. I would like to say that your forum is excellent and I see you truly care for people - you are a healer. I will try to be as brief as possible with my question - I teach in Saudi Arabia and went to Prague for Spring Break. Beautiful City; however, I visited a strip club and had sex with a 24 year old girl the second night I was there. She put the condom on with her mouth and then rode me for about 3-5 minutes. I didn't cum and I told her I had to much Czeck beer in me to do so. What is my chance of being infected with HIV. I am having pain in the neck and I itch all over. Sore throat after camping with my parents in British Columbia a few days ago and I came home from Saudi feeling like crap (of course it was a 31 hour trip after layovers in London and JFK before getting to SFO). I still feel terrible - but I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia around eight years ago and I have been going through a tremendous amount of stress leaving Saudi Arabia (leaving Saudi is nerve racking at the least). I am scared to death - I talked to my sister and advised me to go to the emergency room before I went camping with my parents in BC. I thought at the time that I had lymphoma since I had all the symptoms. He checked my white blood count it was normal and lymphcyte count or whatever was normal. I had more blood drawn and go to see my VA provider today at 1 pm. I know you are going to say get tested to be sure. I don't think I ever want to have sex again - this worrying is making me feel like crap. I will donate if you answer - tell me where to and the money will be there. Thanks for all you do. 47 year old scaredy cat


Hello Scaredy Cat,

I've combined several of your questions.

Your HIV-acquisition risk, assuming the latex or polyurethane condom was used properly and did not break, is essentially nonexistent. HIV cannot permeate intact latex or polyurethane. No way. No how.

"Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. That said, the symptoms associated with HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) generally manifest themselves two to four weeks after primary HIV infection and persist for two to three weeks.

I cannot evaluate autoimmune illnesses, such as systemic lupus erythematosus or fibromyalgia, over the Internet. I would suggest you see a clinical immunologist or rheumatologist for that type of evaluation.

Regarding HIV testing, being afraid to test won't change your HIV status. Not knowing your HIV status can be harmful in many ways. Fear of being infected, even though in reality you are HIV negative, can cause anxiety, depression, psychosomatic illness and a host of miseries. A quick perusal of the archives of this forum will provide ample proof of this unfortunate fact. Not getting tested, if you are HIV positive, can allow the virus to decimate your immune system leaving you vulnerable to opportunistic infections and malignancies. I can assure you that if I was "too afraid to get tested" in 1991 after my occupational exposure, I would be pushing up daisies right now rather than responding to your concerns! Not testing and not knowing your HIV status is a lose-lose proposition.

Thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation ( It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive HIV test (three months or more after your potential exposure) is negative. From what you've told me about your risk, I'm confident your result will indeed be HIV negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob