Scared ..please help

Question

I had an unprotected sexual encounter with someone I do not know 3/17. I have been worried sick ever since. I was feeling ill the day I met him and have felt ill since. I now have an ichy rash , tingling skin and my nerves are raw. Please tell me when I can have an HIV test that will give accurate results and how soon I can take one. Thank you for your help.

Answer

Your question addresses many basic topics in HIV tranmission and testing that are covered in the archives in this forum and in the "Understanding HIV and AIDS" (http://thebody.com/whatis/underst.html#basics) page at The Body. Please review that material so that you will become better informed about HIV and AIDS. Knowledge can be a great tool in relieving doubts and anxiety.

For information about the window period (the time between exposure and an accurate antibody test) is three months, and in rare cases, six or more months. Read through "Definite Exposure" (http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/Testing/Q11060.qna) for more information on the window period.

If you read through the Symptoms archive in this forum, you'll see that it is difficult for anyone to diagnose symptoms on the internet. You'll also discover that many people convince themselves that they are infected, when in fact their symptoms may be inconsequential or a physical response to anxiety. Regardless, ongoing symptoms should be examined by a doctor.

RMK