[Question #4998] Hiv and symptoms

24 months ago
Dear Doctors, thank you for the service you provide. I will try to be concise:

Place of exposure and testing: eastern europe

Type of exposure: protected vaginal & unprotected fellatio with female CSW

Tests done: 2 different labs, hiv duo ultra & hiv combo, 1, 2, 3.5, 6, 7.5 months post exposure, negative. Syphilis vdrl at 5 months. Negative.

What i know (mainly from reading this forum): with these test results, i can be sure i dont have hiv.

Why i worry: even though i have read in this forum no matter how risky the exposure is (mine was very low risk) or how suggestive of hiv the symptoms might be (even though they are unspecific), test results always overrule symptoms.

However, since the intercourse, the number, severity and the persistence of the symptoms keep worrying me.

Ulcers/sores in mouth and tongue. Started after 2 weeks, on and off until now, 8 months later.

Had a 'white tongue' quite a few times. Cleared upon brushing but came back.

A fungal/yeast infection on my penis 3 months after, for the first time in my life.

A horrible skin rash that started 4 months after and wont go away. Upper legs, trunk and upper arms.  First time in life.

Painful spots on the head that started 4 months after and continue to date. First time in life.

Swollen lymph glands after 4 months, under the chin, groin and armpits. Lasted for a month. First time in life for such a long time and in more than one spot at a time.

A headache that started 6 months after the intercourse and lasted non stop for 6 weeks. Had a ct scan. Came back clean (except for an arachnoid cyst, which -as i was assured by a professor of neurology- had nothing to do with the headache). Now it comes and goes but now also have a ringing in the ears.






24 months ago
Apologies for the long post.

The negative tests and the timing of the symptoms somewhat help me keep sane. My understanding is that you dont get acute infection symptoms 4-6 months post exposure. Unless of course you could get these in the second stage.

My question is, with this testing history, is there even a remote chance that this could be hiv? Hiv 2 or a rarer subtype that might be hatder to pick? Or can i really, utterly and totally rule out both hiv and syphilis?

Thank you very much for your patience in reading this and kind assistance.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
24 months ago
Welcome to the forum and thanks for your confidence in our services. However, you have provided the same answer to your quesitons that I would have given:  

"i have read in this forum no matter how risky the exposure is (mine was very low risk) or how suggestive of hiv the symptoms might be (even though they are unspecific), test results always overrule symptoms." Exactly right. Thank you for reviewing questions similar to your own.

"However, since the intercourse, the number, severity and the persistence of the symptoms keep worrying me." I'm sorry you are worried, but the statement above is true. It is not possible to have HIV and have the negative test results you report.

The rest of your quesiton just reports more symptoms. Your test results PROVE that HIV is not hte cause. See a doctor if you remain concerned.

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

HHH, MD
---
23 months ago
Thank you Dr. Handsfield, your answer is very clear. From what i read in your and Dr. Hook's replies to questions, i understand my latest test result, 7.5 month post exposure would be conclusive even if i had pep for a month and in the absence of it, it should be abundantly conclusive (if that makes sense).  It's just having so many health issues, and many of them for the first time ever, worries me. As far as this incident is concerned i need to move on with my life without worrying about hiv, but having read possibly hundreds of questions and replies in this forum, i am a lot more aware of std's now.  Even though this makes going celibate seem a bit of a viable option at this point, i doubt it will happen. So thanks to your invaluable service, i know a lot more about safer sex practices, and the course of action to be taken when that fails.

Thanks!

H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
23 months ago
I agree wih all you say and am glad you understand. Best wishes and stay safe.---