Hello Dr. Frascino! I thoroughly enjoy reading the questions and answers in this forum as they provide me with valuable information in regards to the "situation" I'm currently facing. As others have noted you have quite a unique style of communicating. Of all the HIV/AIDS forums I've searched yours is the only one that doesn't practice selectively answering questions. You respect each individual's concerns and address them so thoroughly. The encouragement you also offer is top-notch; thanks for ALL you do!
OK, on to me. I had an unprotected oral/protected vaginal sexual experience on the 16th of Jan this year. I feel dumb for having gone forward with giving the guy oral because my lips were severely cracked at the time due to me not properly moisturizing them. I know you always say that oral sex carries such a minuscule risk of transmission, but I read through the archives and haven't found any one saying their lips were SEVERELY cracked. So I want to know, when one's lips are terribly cracked how much more does the risk rise? This male has been confirmed for having slept with a known positive female without using a condom on a regular and consistent basis. I'm not sure if she caught it from him so I don't know his status and am no longer in contact with him or her. My concern is so great because exactly 2 weeks after that encounter w/him I had a low-grade fever, continuous and very uncomfortable headaches, and night sweats which all lasted for a week. When this period ended my bowel habits changed and I had some (at times) intense stomach aches. I wouldn't exactly categorize it as diarrhea, it varies between constipation and diarrhea, and I don't go as frequently as I use to, even when I eat fiber (which use to ALWAYS get my bowels easily moving). Now when I use the bathroom it comes out in one relatively small lump as opposed to medium-large sized groups of them (sorry if I grossed you out). And I know this doesn't count as conclusive, but I was so paranoid that I was experiencing ARS that I took the Home Access test at the 2 week post-exposure mark which was negative.
I would just like some reassurance Dr. though I know I'm not suppose to diagnose based on symptoms. I plan on testing again at the 3 month mark in April and I will post my results then. This greatly concerns me Dr. so any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated! Do you predict that I can whoo-hoo once my second test is done?? Thank you for your wonderful work in trying to fight this disease and, yes, I am donating.
Thanks for your warm comments about me.
OK, now on to you! Even with severely cracked lips, oral sex would still carry a relatively low risk for HIV transmission. I tend to doubt your lips were actively bleeding during the penis popsicle activity. It is true that any non-intact skin that comes into contact with infected bodily fluids (including pre-cum as well as spunk) poses a potential HIV-transmission risk. A three-month HIV-antibody test will provide you with a definitive result. The odds remain all in your favor that you did not contract HIV.
Regarding your symptoms, you are correct: You no one should attempt to diagnose HIV based on symptoms, as they are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. A quick read through the archives will confirm this fact.
As for your poop, all I can say is TMI! Your gastrointestinal complaints are most consistent with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month test is negative. I strongly suspect it indeed will be.