M2M oral sex - Anxiety/HIV+


I have spent at least an hour reading questions on your site, but wanted to write and ask a question.

On February 28th I was exposed to HIV. I had oral sex with a man who showed me paperwork that he was HIV negative. I allowed him to ejaculate into my mouth after giving him oral sex for about 10 minutes. About one week later, he called me stating that he might be HIV positive. Apparently he was also having unprotected anal sex with someone else who was an avid drug user (including meth). At the end of March, he officially tested positive and had a viral load of over 10 million. A week after the initial exposure I came down with severe flu like symptoms. Now I have not had the flu or a cold in 10 years. The symptoms of headache, fever, cough, chest congestion, night sweats, fatigue, loss of appetite lasted about 40 days. I had gotten tested 30 days post exposure and my test came back negative. The clinic asked me to come back after 3 months post exposure, but since that time, I have developed anxiety over this. There is no way I can wait another few months not knowing and therefore scheduled another test for this coming Monday. This monday would make it 51 days post exposure. The past three days (starting at 44 days post exposure) I have developed stomach discomfort, loose stool/diarrhea, and the feeling that I need to vomit - though I have not. Could these be the symptoms of anxiety or are the possibly related to ARS/HIV? With so much conflicting information on the internet, it has caused me a lot of confusion and only increased my anxiety over this.



I'll make a few general comments:

  1. Whether someone "showed me paperwork" or even had a lie detector strapped to his Mr. Happy, I would not believe his claim to be HIV negative. We must assume all our sexual partners are HIV infected and take all the necessary precautions to prevent transmission of the virus. Your case dramatically highlights exactly why someone should never rely on "paperwork" or other claims of being HIV negative. The "negative-guy" could have had unsafe sex and contracted the virus in the interval between his last test and hitting the sheets with you.

  2. Generally speaking oral sex carries only a low risk for HIV transmission/acquisition. However, extenuating circumstances can increase that risk. That your guy was only recently infected, had a sky-high HIV plasma viral load (over 10 million!) and was not on effective antiretroviral therapy could all increase HIV-transmission risk.

  3. Symptoms are unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected.

  4. Could your symptoms be related to anxiety (and a common cold/flu)? Yes.

  5. Could your symptoms possibly be related to HIV ARS? Yes.

  6. Most HIV-infected folks will have detectable levels of anti-HIV antibodies in their blood within four to six weeks after primary HIV infection; however, you'll still need to wait for your three- and six-month test results to definitively confirm your HIV-negative status.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob