Scared and Helpless !! Please help

Question

I had unprotected sex with a female on 29th May 2009. After 7days i traveled to Jordan and on the 8 th day i had flue like symptoms... like common cold... no fever... i had night sweat... on that day... the cold was not sever .. I came back to bahrain after 7 days and next day onwards I have a light sweeling on my knees... general feeling of tierdness and feeling feverish it come and goes i have watery nose which also comes and goes...... a feeling of not well being. for the pas 10 days I have a pain at the back of my eyes and slight knee swelling... I know that it is only 29 days now and i need to wait for testing for 2 months atleast... Please help me i am very very scared... I called the female and she said that she is not hiv + but i cannot trust her... i never had knee sweeling in my whole life... Is Knee sweling a early symptom of hiv...please.. help me..The cold just come and goes... is it a sypmtoms.. When i take deep breath i have this feeling when you have a feaver... I am really stressed out...Please i will be greatful if you answer my post....

  1. do you think it is HIV symptoms. please help me.. Also i woud like to contribute to your great work ... please let me know how i can send money..

Answer

Hi,

By having unprotected sex you did place yourself at some degree of risk for STDs, including HIV. Consequently HIV testing at the three-month mark is warranted whether or not you have any symptoms.

"Symptoms" are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. The only reason to worry or to get an HIV test is HIV-exposure risk, not the presence or absence of symptoms! That said, your current symptoms (swelling of the knees and a cold that comes and goes) are not at all worrisome for or suggestive of HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) or HIV disease.

My suggestions are:

  1. Get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark.

  2. Get help for your anxiety and stress during the three-month window period if you continue to feel generally unwell.

  3. Never put yourself at risk again!

Thank you for your desire to make a donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. Donation information can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. The foundation's mailing address is:

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 145 Los Altos, CA 94024

In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma that your definitive HIV test will be negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob