A post in "The Body" triggered my fears. 4 questions.


Dear Doctor:

I am a married man and two years ago I had 2 episodes of sex with 2 different men. (In one experience I received oral sex, no condom, and in the other I gave him brief (one minute), unprotected oral sex without ejaculation, then I received proteced anal sex, and as I far I can remember the condom did no break and it was properly used.

I had forgotten this episodes until I read a post in this site about a person who shaked hands with a HIV positive man with "horrible peeling in his hands".

I remember having some weird symptoms after the last experience two years ago, that I disregarded because the low risk of my sexual "sexcapades", including: dispnea, shooting pain in my glands of my neck, peeling hands and feet, pain under my armpits, no fever.

The hand peeling problem is related because I have been suffering it from 9 months after the last sex episode (lasting one year and a half). Occasionally I also suffer from pain under my armpits, shooting pain in my glands and tingling muscles.

The question are: 1) could the weird symptoms that I experienced 2 years ago be related to ARS? 2)Could early simptoms of HIV infection occur 9 months after the exposure and running continously for so long (1 year and a half) 3)I sometimes have high level of sugar in my blood, can this trigger skin problems like hand peeling? 4)I have a past history of irrational fear of this disease. Could the fact that I am a married man, with children, plus the associated guilt related be triggering this odd symptoms?

I know I have to test and I will do it asap, but I want to hear your opinion first.

You are very kind for your time. Best wishes,

Scared Brandon.


Hello Brandon,

  1. No.

  2. No.

  3. No.

  4. Possibly.

I would suggest the following:

  1. Get an HIV test if you feel you put yourself at risk.

  2. See a dermatologist for your skin problem.

  3. Level with your wife regarding your indiscretions.

  1. Consider counseling to help you confront your irrational fears of HIV and also to discuss sexual orientation issues.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob