[Question #1049] Unprotected intercourse and Hiv

49 months ago
I am a 33 year old female.  On July 16, 2016 I had unprotected intercourse with a guy.  Then on August 7, 2016 I noticed a sore throat.  I looked at my throat and my tonsils are swollen and covered with white pus.  I had a strep test done and it was negative along with the culture.  This similar kind of situation happened with my tonsils about 15 months ago.  I went to walk in clinic then and ended up in the ER because the pain was so bad when I swallowed anything.  I don't have a fever.  It's just my throat is hurting and feels miserable.  Could this be an early sign of Hiv from the incident last month?  I was recently tested for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea and both were negative.  I know that Hiv takes longer to show up on a test.  When is the best time to test for Hiv after an exposure? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
49 months ago

Welcome to our Forum.  I'll do my best to help.  I doubt that your sore throat represents recently acquired HIV.  When persons experience the symptoms of recently acquired HIV (sometimes referred to as the acute retroviral syndrome or ARS), it rarely presents as a single set of symptoms such as a sore throat but rather as a syndrome which may include high fevers, severe muscle and joint aches and a rash or diarrhea as well as a sore throat.  Some patients have referred to it as "the worst flu ever".  Further. statistically, if your partner was a heterosexual male, given his age, there is far less than a 1% chance that he had HIV on average and even if he was, HIV is transmitted on average only about once in every thousand acts of intercourse.  Having said that, I also know that testing can provide peace of mind.  I suggest that if you choose to test, you wait until 4 weeks after your exposure.  At that time, the results of a combination HIV antigen/antibody test (sometimes called a "duo" or 4th generation test would be completely definitive.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  EWH


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49 months ago
I went to see an ENT about the swollen tonsils which are still very painful.  He couldn't really give me an answer as to what is going on.  He prescribed a steroid, pain meds, and antibiotic.  I did start having body aches and a bad headache, but still no recognizable fever.  I am so confused as to what's going on. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
49 months ago
Thanks for the follow-up.  The treatment provided to you is non-specific and will probably make you better.  What you describe remains unlikely to be HIV.  If it would give you peace of mind, testing with the "Duo" test mentioned above will rule out HIV.  If your sore throat were due to HIV, the Duo test would be positive at this time.  EEH---
49 months ago
Just wanted to add that my HIV 1/2 antigen/antibody fourth generation results were negative.  Thanks so much for your guidance. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
49 months ago
Thanks.  Glad I could help.  This result proves that you did not acquire HIV form the exposure you described. Take care.  EWH
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