[Question #5023] Symptoms or anxiety

25 months ago
slight temp for one evening - 37.5 degree C - but a friend of mine who is a GP said that wouldn't constitutea fever as temps can go up slightly during the evening and it was for just a day. At the same time and With the symptoms of ARS in mind I think one becomes hyper aware of sensations and body marks sex I get the occasional red bumps here or there across my body and in particular- though only noticed this since my scare - on purple-ish ones on my triceps. Again my gp friend looked at a picture and simply said "we're all pale in the UK everyone has these types of blemishes:. Indeed he sent me a picture of his triceps and it looked the same. Does this sound like ars to you? I wouldn't have said that anything was either "severe" though could be I tandem? The 37.5C temp was only for 1 day.

So here I am 5 weeks later and still worried sick. My stomach/bowels has been feeling odd for 2 weeks now, that nervous sensation- though I take a lot of protein shakes which doesn't help. In addition this past week I've had really dry eyes and feel off and  tired/woozy - difficult to concentrate. Worried that somehow I've gotten Hiv form this and this is it setting . The girl has told me that she was telling the truth. 

I know the logical thing is another test soon, but I'm hoping things are in my favour?  Quite scared of getting a test for the waiting anxiety would get the better of me 


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25 months ago
Sorry Docs the start got cut off somehow, I'll repaste the beginning below: Hi Docs, 5 weeks ago I had a condom breakage with a girl I was seeing. I asked her if she'd been tested and she said she had recently at her on GP in December 2018. I didn't ask why or if it was for any reason. As we'd been dating a while we did have unprotected sex the next day - something I really regret as it was so impulsive. I don't see her anymore currently. My last test was negative in October 2018. I don't know about any of her partners in say November or any time before 1st January 2018 when we began going out. 

At day 12 I had a burning sore throat which has been on and off for a few weeks now. Nothing sore or severe just a slight sensation and the occasional bit of mucus especially when I wake up horizontally . do have a sensitive stomach and take omeprazole sometimes though haven't had any burping issues or bad heartburn lately at all. This seemed independent. About day 14 I had a slight temp (where my message got cut off) 
25 months ago
Just one thing to add - it never seemed like these were all at once - I think I've always had he occasional tiny red bump on my skin. I presumed just from sweating/gym. Nothing really like a cluster or them or a rash. Bumps are easy to find on pale skin. He fever was 1 night only and the throat not really a problem - I've  had sorr throats 10x worse from the common cold. I'm also surrounded by people with colds/viruses as I work in education 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
Welcome to our Forum. I'll do my best to help.  I would not worry that the current "symptoms" you have detected are signs of the ARS.   I agree with your physician friend, the temperature of 37 degrees does not constitute a fever and the rash that you describe likewise does not raise and concern.  Further, HIV infections are uncommon in women.

My sense is that since the exposure that you describe, you  have been anxious and looking for any abnormal signs or symptoms of possible HIV.  This is important as I believe it reflects why you have experienced the symptoms you report.  The medical fact is that the exposure you describe is not an activity which is high risk for HIV or the most common STIs.  OTOH, when persons start to look for sensations, they find them  In any normal day we "edit out" lots of normal sensations, for instance how our clothing feels at sites of contact, etc..  The fact however is that when a person focuses on one area or another, they are likely to note sensations- this may be an "itch".  In addition, we tend to notice cutaneous irregularities which we otherwise would overlook.  I suspect that this is what is happening to you.  


I really would not be worried in the least.  I understand that you may opt to test and if you do, at 5 weeks after a possible exposure, current tests are more than 99% conclusive.  At 6 weeks results will be entirely conclusive.  If you choose to test (it sounds like you plan to) I am confident the test will be negative.


I hope that this comment is helpful.  EWH

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25 months ago
Thanks for your reassuring reply doctor. I know unprotected vaginal sex is a low risk activity and my former partners test in December should be reassuring enough. 

Would a lack of appetite and inability to concentrate be of any concern or more down to the state of worry I've been in?  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
Neither a lack of appetite nor inability to concentrate are suggestive of recently acquired HIV.  Rather the are suggestive of anxiety.   EWH---
25 months ago
Hi Doctor, I know this is my last reply and I want to thank you in advance. I know I half answer my questions myself but its a tremendous help to have someone look at it more rationally. I'll get tested next week at 6 week mark. 

I had a temp of 37.7C tonight but again my physician said it's too low and not continuous to be anything o do with ars? Slight elevation from regular 37 C - he also said home thermometers aren't perfect. It's also the hottest day in the UK this year if that can contribute? 

I had about a 15 second nosebleed but must admit to having (disgustingly) picked some dry skin out of my nose a few cm in about 5 minutes before. I've read that nosebleeds can be an associated ars symptom due to low platelets? 

The side of my neck is sore, I can identify the lymph node but just feels the normal pea sized shape and only one side? 

Sorry for three more things and thanks again  
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
25 months ago
Clearly you are beside yourself with anxiety.  I hope that the negative test you get back will allow you to stop worrying.  Regarding your three new concerns.

1.  The fever of the ARS is quite high and people are quite sick.  Like your physician friend, I would not consider a temperature of 37.7 a fever.  body temperatures can go up on hot days.
2.  Nosebleeds and low platelets as not a sign of recently acquired HIV.  Please stop picking your nose.
3.  Stop searching for lymph nodes.  A pea sized node in the neck is entirely normal.  Itcould be normal, it could be due to dental or gum problems, or any of innummerable other casues.  My guess is that it is not abnormal.  We all have lymph nodes which can be felt and poking and prodding yourself is likely to casue irritation

As you point out, this is my 3rd response.  Thus this thread will be closed shortly I trust you will not need to return to our site with further questions once you get your next negative test for HIV. Take care.  EWH
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