[Question #2314] Hiv worry

45 months ago
Hello,

Was looking for some advice. I am a 26 year old man from the United Kingdom. 
I had protected sex with csw and the condom broke towards the end of me finishing.
Within a week I was suffering from bad anxiety due to the worry of stds. 
I got tested at the local NHS clinic at 13 days (urine and blood) and I had a PCR blood test at a private clinic at 14 days. All results come back negative.
I also had blood tests and urine at 33 days and another blood test at 54 days which both came back negative for hiv antibody and antigen. During the past 8 weeks I have had a mixture of symptoms, sore throat, sore ears , headache, diarreah, sore roof of mouth. I had some random blood spots come and go on different parts of my body. 
I am also suffering from bad pains in my left leg, arm and shoulder at the 8 and half week mark. You probably get asked this a lot and I appreciate any advice you can give. 
There is a lot mixed information on the internet and I just need to put my mind at rest as I am really worried about HIV.
45 months ago
Sorry but I also forgot to mention the below.

I have been sweating a lot more during this time and between week 3 and 5 I was feeling really warm at night. Checked my temperature a number of times but was ranged between 36 and 37 which I believe is normal. 

I have had 2 blood spots come up on my bottom lip on desperate occasions. Flat and not raised but just find it strange. Is any of what I have mentioned in my 2 posts a sign of HIV?
 The worrying and stress is really affecting my day to day life.

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

The important part of your question is your HIV testing frequency. The tests you had are 100% conclusive and prove for sure you didn't catch HIV during the exposure you are concerned about. The modern HIV tests are among the most reliable diagnostic tests that exist, for any medical condition. When done sufficiently long after the last possible exposure, negative results overrule all other considerations:  no matter what symptoms you might have, or no matter how risky the exposure at the time, the results prove you were not infected. In fact, your symptoms are not typical for HIV, and in the UK, few female sex workers have HIV, so your risk was low regardless of the condom break.

I have no comment about the "blood spots" on your lit, except that neither this nor any of your symptoms point to HIV. Even if they did, the test results rule.

So all is well, no worries about HIV. Continue to work with your doctor (preferably your GP) about your symptoms if they continue and/or if you remain concerned about them. But for sure they are not due to HIV.

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

HHH, MD

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45 months ago
Thanks for the reply. 
Are some of the symptoms stated above not linked to HIV?

The csw in question was not British. She was from somewhere in South East Asia and I went to her premises as opposed to finding her on the corner. She has assured me she has nothing but for some reason I just ain't felt right with in myself. 

Is there any need for me to re-test as the NHS advise to 're test at 12 weeks?


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
HIV can cause some of these symptoms. However, the pattern of symptoms that occur together is far more important than simply presence or absence of symptoms. All the symptoms you mention occur in a hundred or more medical conditions, most of which are a lot more common than HIV. Where your partner was from, or whether or not she has HIV, also doesn't matter, as explained in my reply above. Regardless of symptoms or exposure, your test results show you don't have HIV. Whether or not you feel "right within yourself" sounds psychlogical due to all your worry, and does not suggest you have HIV.

My understanding is that most if not all NHS GUM clinics use antigen-antibody ("4th generation") HIV tests. Those results are always conclusive after 6 weeks. Perhaps your clinic takes a more conservative stance, but I have never heard of any patient having negative results after 4-6 weeks and then a positive result later (unless they have been taking post exposure prophylaxis, or PEP -- i.e. drugs to prevent HIV after exposure -- which might delay positive results). Your negative PCR at the private clinic also is extremely reliable.

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45 months ago
So the random blood spots and bad muscle pain is due to something else?

Does this mean I can now put this behind me and I do not require any more tests for HIV ? 

This is having a big effect on my family life  and I can't stop beating myself up about it. 

Thanks for the help. 


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
45 months ago
You're having trouble understanding or believing what I have said so far. Any and all symptoms you have now or the rest of your life are not due to HIV from the exposure described above. Unless you are reexposed someday, you will never catch HIV. Don't confuse your apparent worries about a sexual decision you regret, or about the broken condom, with medical risks from that event. They aren't the same. Deal with the first however you need to, perhaps with counseling. But stop worrying about infection risks.

If you remain concerned, check back with the GUM clinic. But there's nothing more this forum can do for you. And that completes the two follow-up comments and replies included with each new question, and so concludes this thread.

Really, mellow out. I've been trying to help, but you're fighting me at every turn. Re-read all my replies and concentrate on exactly what they say and mean.

And please do not start a new thread with additional questions about this event, your symptoms, or your test results.


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