I urge you to answer this one Dr Bob - please...


Hello Dr Bob

First of all I have to say that I really admire you as a person. Youre doing an amazing job answering all the questions and calming down all of us who are terrified and "convinced" that we have HIV.

Now to my Story:

Im european but I live and work in Africa (Angola) and one night, about a 2 years ago, I met a prostitute and we ended up having protected sex. I, however, performed oral on her for about 10 sec only licking her clitoris.

I checked the condom afterwards and it didnt break or anything. I however did find find a small cut on my penis way down on my shaft the day after when I took a shower. I do not know if the condom covered it or not but I think so as I applied it well.

The following day I got an upset stomach with a lot of gases (bloating?) and diarrhea.The diarrhea continued for about 2-3 months (on and off) but I didnt have any other symptoms of serocoversion at all. No fever, no rash, no headache, no flu, no nothing only upset stomach. My wife also had a period with a lot of gases...

My wife was pregnant at the time and now Im terrified that I have passed it on to her and to the baby.

Three months later I had a lymphnode in my armpit swelling up and it got really really sore. Eventually it bursted with pus-discharge for about three days.

Four months after the contact with the prostitute I got some eruptions on my skin (looked like mosquito bites) that were really, really itchy and they went away after a week.

This "mosquito bite looking" rash is coming back now and then without any obvious reason. I can sit at home in my sofa and suddenly it starts to itch on my e.g. stomach a when I look there is a rash that after a day turns into a small itchy bump. Then I can normally expect other bumps to appear during the course of a few days. Normally these bumps are not more then 5-7 and they stay for 4-6 days. I try to avoid scratching them but it is hard not to. I have periods of about 2-5 months with no rash but then it comes back.

The baby is fine but he seem to have seborrheic dermatitis behind his ears which we treat with mild cortisoncream. He is 15-months old. I know that it is common for babies to have this and I have even seen it on other babies to friends of mine. He also have developed, what I guess, a diaper-rash, he have had about three periods of diarrhea one that we had to treat with medication. Right now he also has white patches in his mouth on the inside of his left side cheek and that worries me alot.

As a "worried-well" I try to find information on the Internet and I have found something which is called "Pruritic Papular Eruptions of HIV" which is not folliculitis as it doesnt affect hair-follicles and they fit the description of my "pruritic bumps".

What I would like to know now doctor, based on your experience, can this be HIV?

Whats the possibility that you get all these symptoms during the first year after seroconversion?

I`m really scared and Im having a hard time thinking about anything else for the moment.

Thanks for being there for all of us



Hello Worried Well,

Your HIV risk was negligible to nonexistent. Your symptoms are not consistent with or worrisome for HIV acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) or HIV disease. For example, lymph nodes do not burst open and discharge puss. That was a pimple or a boil, not a lymph node! Stop trying to self diagnose! "Pruritic Papular Eruptions" associated with HIV is a distinct entity and not at all similar to what you describe.

My advice to you is identical to the advice I give all worried wells: stop focusing on potential HIV symptoms. If you feel you've placed yourself at risk for HIV you need to get an HIV test whether or not you have symptoms. It really is that straightforward.

An HIV rapid test will give you an accurate answer in just 20 minutes. I'll send you my good-luck karma, OK?

Stay safe. Stay well.

Dr. Bob