[Question #290] Follow Up to #246

35 months ago
I already asked a question (#246) and received super advice from Dr Handsfield. I am still concerned, and wanted to consult again. My bronchitis has lasted more than 2 weeks and is only 80% clear after 2 courses of antibiotics. My sore throat still comes and goes. However I have now developed quite some tenderness and swollen lymph nodes under my jaw. Muscle aches in my arms come and go. The doctor says that I still have a viral infection. I took another 4th generation HIV test last week (13 weeks post-exposure) and it was negative. But this is before the lymph nodes developed. Would appreciate your thoughts on this, as to whether there is a chance I could still be infected. Thanks. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
35 months ago
Welcome back. But your anxieties are getting the best of you. These exact repeat questions were answered directly in our discussion in your previous thread. The rest of this reply is directly copied from that discussion, with some increased emphasis here and there.

"The HIV tests are among the most accurate diagnostic tests ever developed, for any medical condition. The results are never wrong as long as HIV testing is done sufficiently long after the last possible exposure (4-12 weeks, depending on the particular test or combination of tests). Symptoms of HIV, by contrast, are the very worst way to judge whether or not someone is infected. A hundred or more conditions cause some or all the symptoms commonly associated with a new HIV infection. same reply exactly responds to your question....

"No matter now high the risk of HIV at the time of exposure, your test results prove you were not infected. And your exposure was zero risk anyway, or close to it. You cannot catch HIV from massage, hand-genital contact, etc."

Your repeat test proves it yet again. Enlarged lymph nodes in HIV are not localized in one site, such as under the jaw. Your doctor is correct. Time to move on. It seems clear you are reacting to a sexual decision you regret. Deal with that aspect as you need to, but disregard any infection consequences of it. There are none.

Good luck--  HHH, MD

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35 months ago
Thanks a lot Doctor. Sorry to ask, but to close the loop:
1. Would it be unheard of for me to be experiencing ARS symptoms after 14 weeks?
2. I also have developed a sore on my tongue. So that, combined with a sore throat that comes and goes, periodic muscle ache and lymph nodes under my jaw should not be an indicator of ARS?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
35 months ago
What is it you don't understand about "The results are never wrong as long as HIV testing is done sufficiently long after the last possible exposure (4-12 weeks, depending on the particular test or combination of tests)"???

1. Yes. 2. No.
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