[Question #4529] Flu Like Symtoms

29 months ago
Dr, Handsfield,

I am freaking out a little bit. I just got back from my Dr.s office. I've had a sore throat for over a week along with constant back pain in the S1 joint. As of yesterday I've developed flu like symptoms. Sore Throat, Headache, chills, body ache. I was convinced I had the flu but they did another flu swab which came back negative. They did say I was running a low grade fever. He did a physical on me when I was there last week and my Lymphs (Absolute) came back a little high at 3.4. I'm not sure what that means. I guess my body is fighting off whatever I have. Am I reaching trying to connect these symptoms  to my exposure almost 2 months ago? I'm at Day 58 I believe. Does anything of this change your mind on your original assessment of my risk?

I'm supposed to go back on Monday for a blood test which includes Syphillis, HIV, HEP A, B, and C, HSV 1 and 2. He said my  AST and ALT were both high in the 50s and 70s respectively so he wanted to rule out Hepatitis. They have been high in the past but have gone up about 8 points since the last time he saw me last year. I was drinking more a few weeks afterwards of my exposure due to stress but have since stopped. Not sure if that has anything to do with it.

He also prescribed me Prednisone to get me to feeling better. Would this drug in any way effect my blood results that I am scheduled to take on Monday? Or can I go ahead and take them now and not wait?

I was not going to write you until I had my final results next week, but given these developments I wanted to get your expert thoughts.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
29 months ago
Welcome (sort of) back to the Forum. It saddens me to see that you have returned for a 4th time in less than a month to our Forums with continued concerns about STIs from your exposure which occurred about two months ago.  I agree with the advice you have already received from Dr. Handsfield and Ms. Warren.  the exposure you have described was virtually no risk, you have tested and effectively ruled out any possibility that you acquired gonorrhea or chlamydia from your exposure and to be honest, there is virtually no risk for HSV, HIV, or other STI.  My sense as well is that your anxieties and possible guilt over your encounter nearly two months ago, coupled with visits to the internet where you are likely to be misled and alarmed by the large amount of misinformation there has caused you to be hyper vigilant and to assume that the sort of every day aches. illnesses, and even your current flu-like illness is related to the encounter that you now regret.  I agree with you that your doctor likely ordered those tests to address your anxiety rather than because there was any real concern that you are infected.  When you get the test results, I am confident that they will be negative and sincerely hope that those results will allow you to relax and move forward.  

My sense is that you have a flu-like, non-STI viral illness of the sort that are common in all communities.  the sorts of low grade LFT abnormalities you describe are common with such illnesses.  Time will resolve them.  In the interim, prednisone may make you feel better and certainly will NOT invalidate you test results.

At this time I urge you to get a grip on yourself, do your best to relax and wait for your test results which will show that you were not infected.  EWH
29 months ago
I have been dreaming of this moment everyday for the past 2 and a half months.

You all have been so spot on regarding your assessments so I'm sure I already know the answers to my following questions. However for proper closure here goes!

I was finally able to get tested on Day 75 post exposure ( I couldn't test earlier because of how sick I was)

Day 12 -  I tested negative for Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, and HIV RNA

Day 75 test results: (everything else came back negative!)

   HSV 1 and 2 Ab, IgG w/Rfx - both came back Normal <0.91
   HIV Screen 4th Generation wRfx - NON REACTIVE
   HEP A, B, and C - NEGATIVE

Are these tests conclusive?
Can I move on with my life and presume that I am STI free?
Can I resume normal unprotected intercourse with my wife? (I have not as of yet)

I do have some lingering symptoms that I can now assume are in my head and most likely anxiety related which are:

   A burning pain on the tip of my penis after masturbation that lasts a day or 2.
   Intermittent skin burning. ( Usually on my thighs)
   I still have a sore on the side of my tounge going on close to 4 weeks. I think I can safely presume this is indeed a canker sore. I also have one on my tonsil 
   (they  showed up at the same time. Probably stress related. 

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
29 months ago
These results are all conclusive and prove that you do not have any of the infections tested for. Your new complaints in no way change my assessment and do not suggest an STI.   It is time for you to accept. That you were not infected an move on.  EWH---
29 months ago
Hello Dr. Hook,

I accept the test results as conclusive. I have read enough of the questions on this forum to know better than to doubt them. (I have probably read and re read hundreds of exchanges) 

Between the expert analysis that you all have provided and these negative test results at Day 75 ...  I am finally able to accept that I was NOT infected and I am READY to move on with my life.

I have no further questions. I just really wanted to take this moment to Thank YOU, Dr. Handsfield, and Ms. Warren. I'm sure it gets a little aggravating at times to have to continually reassure guilt ridden / high anxiety filled people such as myself with facts that you know to be true. However ... PLEASE know that the service that you all provide is what has been able to get me and I'm sure countless others through some of the darkest and scariest moments of our lives. I don't know how I could have been able to survive this ordeal without you all and your invaluable services. So from the bottom of my heart .. THANK YOU!!! I will never be able to properly articulate how highly I think of all 3 of you. I have learned so much not only of STIs but also of myself.

I promise to never put myself in this situation again. I will cherish my wife for the rest of my days and I truly appreciate what I have. My one time stupid indiscretion will never be repeated. And though I think the world of all 3 of you experts .. I hope to never speak to you again :-) 

Take Care!

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
29 months ago
Thank you for your kind comments. They are appreciated. We are here in efforts to help clients and it is rewarding to hear that we have succeeded.  Take care.  EWH---