[Question #2010] ongoing symptoms after 4 months 15days.

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83 months ago
Dear doctor,
this is a follow up question to question#1757 where doctor Hook answered my question. I had an sexual encounter with a csw on early december where the condom slipped off. Since then i had the following symptoms:
1. Very sore throat 
2. Extreme muscle and joint pain the likes of which i never had before. 
3. Drenching night sweats
4. Feverish feeling for one whole month 
5. repeated breakout of cold sores and canker sores in and around mouth which i never had before. 
6. Extreme muscle spasm/jolting/ twitching that last till this day.
 7. Swollen lymph nodes under jaw, under ears, armpit, groin. 
8. urine that is dark yellow even though i drink enough water. 
9. face flushing and rash on thighs. 
10. white gooey stuff under tongue. 
11. Testicle pain. 
12. Anal itching. 
13. chills. 
14. Severe back and leg pain.
 Right now all symptoms have left other than muscle twitching and persistent swelling of lymph nodes mainly around neck and jaw which are very very painful, confirmed by doctors, and cluster headache which does not respond to Tylenol. I had a INSTI rapid test exactly 18weeks after when I visited Canada last week and it was negative. How accurate is the test? Can it be deemed conclusive? Why am i having persistent lymph node swelling which are extremely painfull around my neck and jaw? I took augmentin for 5days during initial sore throat that started 5days after exposure the exposure being on 5th december, can that alter my test result or cause any symptom? I visited a doctor and he said it is an ongoing viral infection. What other virus other than hiv can cause infection for five months? Please help. Right now i have two swollen lymph nodes under my lefy ear and one under jaw which are very painful. What should i do? Could i have had a false negative? How accurate are insti rapid tests?
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
Welcome back to the forum.

But I'm sorry to see you remain so concerned after the very reassuring advice you had from Dr. Hook. The modern HIV blood tests are among the most accurate diagnostic tests ever developed, for any medical condition. They are 100% reliable if enough time has passed since the last possible exposure -- which is 4-12 weeks, depending on the specific tests. As a result, the test results overrule all other considerations, such as exposure history and symptoms. No matter how high the risk at hte time (and yours was very low) and no matter how typical the symptoms (your symptoms are not at all typical for HIV), the test results rule. Your negative tests prove that HIV is not the cause of you symptoms. Period -- no argument and no possibilityf or error.

For additional reassurance, suggest you see a doctor to frankly address your symptoms and your fears; and to have a laboratory based (non-rapid) HIV blood test. It also will be negative, and you can then work with your doctor to figure out the cause of your symptoms. You do not have HIV.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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83 months ago
Dear doctor,
I work in a country (Kuwait), where nothing is confidential and even taking a hiv test is risky as the word might get out and people might start judging me and will hamper my professional life. I visited toronto earlier this month because of a ceremony of my alma mater, university of toronto, where i completed my under grad. I visited the hassle free clinic there and i took the insti rapid test. The nurse was very assuring there and she told me that the test is 99.8% accurate at 12week and insisted i no longer test for this specific incidence. She said the test might give false positives but never false negative.  If you tell me that i do not require any more further testing i will believe you as i know you are one of the biggest hiv expert in the world. If you tell ne to retest i will retest. But i can only do it next September when i will be able to leave kuwait again. I will do whatever you advise me to do regarding this particular matter. I checked the website of the insti test and it seemed quite reliable. And it is also used by dr sean Cummings regularly at the freedom health clinic, London.
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
I agree with the nurse. You did not need this additional test, but it confirmed you do not have HIV and do not require any more teting. For still more reassurance, I suggest you carefully re-read the entire discussion you had with Dr. Hook and my previous comments above. We have given you many reasons, in addition to the test results, to be confident you did not catch HIV. Do your best to move on with your life with no further worry about any of this.

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83 months ago
Dear doctor, this test also was a rapid test, insti. Both were rapid tests and both were insti rapid tests. Will it suffice?
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H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
83 months ago
I knew what tests they were. The rapid oral fluids test is somewhat less reliable, but the rapid blood tests are completely reliable and your results are conclusive.

That completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each question, and so ends this thread. Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure. This will have to be your last one; future new questions about this exposure, testing, and your fears about HIV will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, experience shows that continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties rather than reducing them. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. I trust you will understand.

Best wishes and stay safe.

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