[Question #4580] Sti and HIVtests help

27 months ago
Ive read a lot of the threads from your medhelp forum and this one and can’t thank you enough for the service you provided to many. I’ll get straight to it. I’ve been married for many years and on 9/10 while away for work I stepped outside my marriage like a moron with a woman of roughly the same age 35-40, who worked the desk at my hotel. No oral on either, but unprotected vaginal sex that lasted a few minutes. 10 days later I became very anxious about it and ordered through online std check a full 10 panel plus trich, all neg. 35 days post I did another 4thgen test, neg. I was home by then but hadn’t had sex with my wife, but started to have odd symptoms. My left upper chest node began to ache and also down my left arm (inside the arm, from my elbow to mid bicep). I also had ear clogged feeling like when your on a plane, neck pain intermittent. Within days of that I had a 1-2 day sinus type infection that produced very green mucus. Since then I had another full panel done through LabCorp 47 days post exposure , rpr+ct/gc naa+havigm+hbcigm+hep c, hsv1-2,hiv 4th gen ag/ab. All non reactive, except hsv1, high 57.20. I’ve read hundreds of the threads and feel confident in my results, but my problem is that I’ve had unprotected sex with my wife and now she has the same symptoms. Had the same 2 day sinus mess, and  left upper chest node, plus soreness behind left shoulder,although my symptoms have all but gone, hers which followed mine by 1-2 weeks, still persists. The sinus mess is gone, but the node pain and she has what looks like a small sore where her gum and lip meet in the front of her mouth, has her worried which of course heightens my anxiety. I’d hope to conclude that my tests were somewhat conclusive at 7 weeks, but am still afraid of what her dr. May find if she decides to go. Everyday I anxiously await her to tell me she’s feeling ill, but other than the upper chest node firmness and hurting she says she feels fine. If I left anything out that can help illad
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
27 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your quesiton and for reading other questions similar to yours. I suspect you have predicted my reply.

Active STDs are uncommon beyond age 30, so on that basis you had a low risk exposure, even considring no condom use. (Probably I needn't lecture you that a condom still would have been wise!) Second, all your tests are valid and for the most part either the first or second test was long enough after exposure to be conclusive. Third, neither your symptoms nor your wife's are suggestive of any STD. Almost certainly you are sharing a garden variety upper respiratory viral infection. I'm not sure what you mean by noticing an "upper chest node", but inflamed lymph nodes are common in such viral infections, and so are various body wide aches and pains. Aphthous stomatitis (canker sore) is common in this situation, a good bet for the sore in your wife's mouth. And of course anyone sharing the same household, and certainly the same bed, regularly transmit colds and similar viruses to one another. That your and your wife's symptoms are similar doesn't imply an STD. 

All things consider, you really needn't worry. I don't recommend any further testing -- and this is the advice I would follow myself, including unprotected sex with my wife, if I were in your situation. All is well!

I hope this information is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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27 months ago
Being that this is my first ever slip up outside of my marriage, I have had an anxiety level as hi as Mt. Fuji. To clarify a few things for you, my tests were:  Rpr, gc,ct,all heps a,b,c, hsv1/2, hiv 1/2( 4th gen) days 10 & 47. On both of these the hsv1 was +, I’m assuming I’ve had it since a kid. After reading 100’s of you and Dr. Hooks threads I did the 4th gen at 35 days and of course at the 47 day marks. The hiv tests ,I will not argue with expertise, I will accept as conclusive. The other tests were what worried me. The “upper chest node” I referred to is at the meeting of the pec and arm but not in the armpit. Also, some down my left flank, and inside of my left arm maybe 2” back from my elbow. Hers is prominent swollen in the same “upper pec “ area and tender to touch. Thank you for your reply and I will save my last follow up in case something else comes up, but I am trying to just get a grip. This has been the most anxiety I’ve had in many years and I’m trying to move on.  So in closing I’m going to accept that hiv is conclusive and the full panel would be conclusive by the 7 week mark, correct.? BTW, you 2 docs have educated me about hiv testing to the point I could probably teach a class on antigen and antibodies 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
27 months ago
You listed all those tests in your original question. Based on the exposure, you were rather seriously overested (not unusual, since so many labs offer such "comprehensive" panels including several infections irrelevant to most sexual exposures). But the results are valid, as noted above.

Assuming you're not a health professional, I take with a grain of salt your belief you have inflamed lymph nodes, and certainly tenderness in any of those areas doesn't suggest anything significant to me. Certainly this finding isn't consistent with HIV or any other STD.

Until now, I missed your positive HSV1 test result -- sorry. But it does't change anything. It wouldn't be surprising if your wife also has HSV1, which conceivably could have caused the lesion in her mouth. However, recurrent herpes usually occurs more externally, and in any case you clearly didn't catch it from your extramarital encounter.

I'm sorry you're so stressed by this. It really isn't warranted, and everthing I've said should be reassuring. All we can do is provide the facts, statistical probabilities, and our expert judgment. I've done that -- the rest is up to you!
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27 months ago
I will forgo saving this last  follow up to simply offer a sincere hand of gratitude. I am definitely not a health pro, but I can say that the spot described is definitely hurting her to the touch. Mine has subsided. I will however attribute it to the respiratory troubles as you have recommended. I will definitely take this recommendation from you and resume my normal life with my spouse with no anxiety towards symptoms and stds, as you have had a tad more experience in the 40+ years of medical practice than my 40 days worth. You’ve done a great service to an aging moron who for the first time in his life, bobbed when he should’ve weaved. It’s truly been a pleasure corresponding with you even under these circumstances. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
27 months ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.---