[Question #1025] STI negative but symptoms bothersome

49 months ago
- Exposure on Feb 4th - No sex, just breast licking, legs licking, touched the vagina and received hand job.  During this time I was on travel and ate in various restaurants/airports etc.

- 7 days later there was blood with stool.  After that experienced diarrhea and loose stool having to go many times a day.  Was experiencing stomach rumblings and noises.  Did internet researched and panicked when list of symptoms included HIV.  Since then was anxious.

- Mid Feb - went to physician he said must have been a stomach virus, should pass.  Symptoms included headaches,  burning palms and feet, numbness of hands while sleeping.  Redish palms.

- End of Feb symptoms continued.  Saw DR, did stool tests and stool showed low Blastosystis Hominis.  Was given Metronizadole.

- Was worried so took STD panel on March 8th - all negative.

- Stomach issues continued but less rumblings and less bowel movements down to once or twice a day.  Stool still lose.  Exposure incident in mind daily and worried.  This through April, May, June.

- Early July - itchy genitals then leading to intermittent genital, penis pain/burning. Which led to more worries.  Urine has been foamy since exposure.  Was worried again and took HIV and STD tests again.  As if 7/25 all Negative - HIV, HSV 1/2 (Igg), Hep C, Gon/Cyl, Syh.  All negative.    Groin pain, loose stool still persistent and groin pain intermittent.

Are the tests wrong?  What could this be?  Physician thinks could be kidney stone. 
Coincidence?  Please help.





49 months ago
I forgot to add that in Feb and March besides headaches I had some ringing in my ears.    Also besides groin pain/discomfort today there is back pain and some neck pain.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
49 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

They call certain infections sexually transmitted for good reason:  they require sex for transmission. That means genital penetration; there are virtually no exceptions. Certainly there is zero risk for any and all STDs from oral contact with a woman's breasts, legs, or any other non-genital body area. Also no risk from hand-genital contact, fingering, etc. Further, your symptoms do not fit with any STD. Further, you do not describe a single symptom that is typical for any STD.

You cannot look at lists of associated symptoms and conclude there is a chance of HIV because some are present. Every symptom associated with early HIV infection occurs with innumerable other medical conditions. Most of your sympotms sound like normal body sensations that you are more aware of than otherwise, probably due to anxiety over a sexual decision you regret. Finally, your negative test results also show you were not infected. Blastocystis hominis is present commonly in healthy people and in any case is not acquired or transmitted, at least not by exposures like yours.

So yes, all your symptoms indeed are a coincidence with the sexual exposure described. I would point out they are also a coincidence with a hundred other events in your life in the past few months. What I mean by that is that there is no more reason to suspect the sexual event than there is all the times in the past few months you shook hands, exchanged money or credit cards during purchases, or were in the vicinity of someone who coughed or sneezed in your vicinity. I don't believe your symptoms had anything to do with those exposures either, only that your sexual event was no more risky than they were.

So the tests are accurate; you have neither HIV nor any other STD. Stop testing. Continue to work with your doctor about your symptoms. (I see no reason to suspect a kidney stone, but that's an issue for discussion with your doctor.)

I hope this has helped. Best wishes and stay safe--  HHH, MD

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49 months ago
Hi Dr H, thanks for the response.  This was a CSW I had contact with.  It was a mistake and decision I did not make with sound mind (under influence) and in a place where it was easy to get into this kind of trouble.  I am 100% sure it was a hand job and no oral sex despite being under influence.  Still no chance of Clymidia or Gonnorhea? I had urine tests for those.  Also is there such a thing as HSV lesions internally that cannot be seen since I licked her skin (in case of HSV shedding)?  The symptoms are so varied over 6 months and I was worried. I believe the tests but it seems a llot of people worry despite many tests. Thank you so much for your response.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
49 months ago
Whether or not your partner was a sex worker makes no difference. Even if she had gonorrhea, chlamydia, or other STD, you could not have been infected through the exposures you have described. That your symptoms are variable supports a non-physical cause, i.e. absence of infection -- more consistent with psychological, aniety, etc.

I can't say there is "no such thing" as internal herpes outbrekas that can't be seen. But it has never been medically documented; if that happened, it would not cause symptoms like yours; and your negative HSV blood test shows you don't have it.

It's certainly true that "a lot of people" keep worrying despite negative tests. But it's probably still well under 1% of tested people; the large majority of those with negative results accept and believe them, don't worry, and move on with their lives. It's easy to get the impression that this is more common than it is. The non-worriers don't post their fears online!

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49 months ago
Thanks Dr H.