[Question #6437] Follow up on [Question #6385]

15 months ago

Dear Dr’s, sorry for posting a follow up, but I really need your help as I’m still not feeling well, actually it’s getting even worse. I’m reading your initial response everyday to make myself believe that I don’t have HIV, but my symptoms are killing me every single day:

Current symptoms

Tired legs and achy muscles - my legs feeling like I’ve been marathons every single day.

Joints pain all over my body. I feel it in my ankles fingers and knees.

Loose stools and diarrhea I’m still having it and I’m even scared to go to the toilet. It’s been 3 times when I saw lots of candica/mucus in my stools. (Waiting for the stool test results to confim)

Candida on my tongue (waiting for the test results to confirm)

Non itchy red spots all over my body-they stay for about a day and then the new ones show up. Some are in the size of pencil tip but some are bigger.it comes on my torso, legs arms, face.

Rash in the morning on one of my arms. This is weird one. It usually comes in the morning and the fades away within 30min.

I had very intense muscle/nerve twitching of my right arm for 2 days

Started having lots of dandruff, losing hair and itchy skin

I got my blood/liver test results but nothing suspicious or abnormal reported and actually that keeps me even more worried.

My follow up questions are

  1. Can the ARS last for more than 2 months? I read that it can be up to 10 weeks or 3 months.
  2. Can ARS last for more than 90 days?
  3. Considering that I have candida in my stools, could it be that my immune system is damaged to the level that I’m not able to produce antibodies?
  4. I think  we ruled out hiv-1 as p24 and hiv1 rna test were negative at 10 weeks, but could this be hiv-2? As I understand the symptoms for hiv-2 can be different and may last longer?
  5. Previously you mentioned that it’s impossible to transmit virus to wife after 15 days from exposure? May I know why? As I understand the virus shows up in the serum within 7-12 days. I also read that it may take longer to show up in semen, but Id like to understand how quickly you can infect your partner after exposure? We had sex 15 days after my exposure. Just to add, after 15 days she started having her early period with abnormal pain for a day, then next her period came 1 week ealrier again. During the time, she had chill and heat flashes, sore throat, coughing. 
  6. Any ideas what else if not hiv can be causing all of my health problems? Candida overgrow? That’s the only thing I can think of, but still it would not explain my rash and tired legs.

I really hope this was not HIV, I went to the church and prayed a lot of all of never ending symptoms are killing me every day. Please help me...

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
15 months ago

Welcome back to the Forum.  On this occasion I will be answering.  In preparation to answer your question I have reviewed your earlier interaction with Dr. Handsfield and agree with all that he said.  Most importantly, you do not have HIV.  Your tests prove this absolutely without question.  You have had three different sorts of tests (PCR, antibody tests, tests for HIV p24 antigen) and all are negative at times when the results are completely reliable.  This is NOT HIV.  I do not doubt your symptoms and feel strongly that you need to address the with the help of a trained health care provider.  For you to continue to worry about HIV will only interfere with what is really going on.  Again, this is not HIV!!! 

As a courtesy, I will briefly address your follow-up questions. 

1.  No the ARS rarely lasts long than a week.  This is the wrong time for the ARS.  You do not have the ARS.

2.  NO!

3.  No.  Candida can normally be in the stool, particularly if you have taken antibiotics. 

4.  You tests absolutely rule out the possibility of HIV-2 and well as HIV-1.  Your symptoms are not suggestive of HIV-2.

5.  You cannot transmit HIV if you do not have HIV in your blood.  Your tests prove that you do not have HIV.  If HIV were present, your PCR test, as well as the p24 antigen would be positive.

6.  As I said above, at this point you need to see a good health care provider, perhaps and interval medicine specialist or an infectious diseases specialist.  When you do, I would expect that this person may need to see you repeatedly over time to help you sort this out.

Finally, it seems to me from your posts that you have been looking for answers on the internet.  It also seems to me that you have gotten a lot of misinformation which is typical of persons searching the internet for answers to health related problems.  Please stay off the internet, it will just mislead you.  Go see a good doctor and find out what is really going on.  It is NOT HIV.  EWH

15 months ago

Thank you again so much for your response! You made me feel a bit better, however I still have some additional questions:

  1. Below is the statement from Dr. HHH. I’d like to understand why 2 weeks is not enough time to infect your partner. As I understand the level of virus is on peak at this time and you become contiguous. Also why it’s not enought time to have start to have such symptoms?

“Nothing can influence menstrual pattern that quickly. Because you do not have HIV, the article you cite about hormones and mesntruation is irrelevant to your situation. And even if you had were infectged with HIV October 1, there has not been enough time for you to infect your wife and for her to start to have such symptoms”

  1. In one of the recent responses from Dr. HHH mentioned that sometimes some STD requires 3-4 months to become positive. May I know what are these STD?

  1. Are you 100% confident I don’t have HIV2? The symtoms are killing me. My legs are in pain and very heavy and the rash does not go away for 2 months now:( I’ve just found one case which is very similar to what I’ve been experiencing. But I guess my normal live enzymes levels confirms that I don’t have any of hepatitis.


Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
15 months ago

I think you are overinterpreting Dr. Handsfield's thoughtful, fact-based response.  Typically when a person is infected with HIV the virus appears in the blood by two weeks after exposure/infection.   The amount of virus in the blood hits maximal rates a few days (up to a week) after the virus begins to appear in the blood.  As the body begins to produce antibodies, the reaction of the circulating virus and antibodies to the virus leads to the symptoms of the ARS.  All of these events occur over a range of time periods.  Two weeks is too brief a period for the virus to appear in the blood in sufficient quantities to be transmitted and cause symptoms in another person.  For this reason, your questions about the possibility of having infected your wife to cause symptoms just two weeks after your own exposure is scientifically implausible.  Further, at this time, having PROVEN that you are not infected with HIV of any sort for you to be continuing to worry is a waste of time and emotional energy.  For the same time, continuing to test is a waste as well.

In addition to your further questions:

1.  HPV infections can take more than three months to become apparent.  In theory, some experts state that it can take up to three months for blood tests for syphilis or HIV to become positive but these statements are overly conservative and both syphilis and hepatitis are typically detectable within 30 days after exposure.

2.  Please re-read my original post.  You do not have HIV of any sort!!  Repeating the question is a waste of time. 

Please note that you have one additional follow-up that you can use for clarification.  PLEASE do not repeat questions that have already been answered.  Further, please be warned that upon completion of this series of responses, further repetitive, anxiety-driven questions may be closed without a response and without return of your posting fee.  Repeating questions will not change the answers and repetitive questions are of little value to clients or others who come to our site looking to learn from questions others have already asked.  I trust you understand.  EWH

15 months ago
Thank Dr. Hook for your patience. I’m trying to convince myself that this is not HIV, but due to all the symptoms that me and my wife have been facing it’s really hard to do. 

There are few things I’d like to clarify. Please let me know if this info would chance your assessment or increase my risk of being hiv infected

My exposure was on oct 1st. I had sex with my wife after 14 days (2 weeks). Her period came 1 week earlier on oct 30th, which is 2 weeks after we had sex (I did not ejaculate inside, but some precum is possible) And she was in terrible pain with a high fever for one day. That never happened before. The next day she felt better. Her next  perdiod came earlier again, it was heavy and last longer than normally. Later on she started having sore throat and coughing, chills and heat flashes. She said I don’t know what’s happening with me. On oct 30th, I started having very dry mouth which last for a mounth or more, then I started having all other symptoms like rash, diarrhea, mucus in the stool, terrible tongue, restless leg syndrome and etc.  As you can understand, based on all the symptoms, everything indicates this could be hiv. I do have a lovely daughter who is only 3 years old  and I’m scared that due my stupid mistake I put her in risk. 

My test does prive that I dont have hiv1 but Im scared of hiv2. Tomorrow Im planning to take my 13 weeks test. I know that the chances are very low of testing positive of hiv2 by giving oral and tested negative at 10 weeks (and  having symptoms for 2 months) but I’m affraid that for some reason my antibodies are not getting produced due to weak immune system - some years ago I got Mono, I had some stomach infection for 3 months and I had h.pylori which was treated last year, I still have overgrowth of citrobactery freundii and lack of good bacteries.

Dear doctor, I hope you understand my fears, especially when my wife is not feeling well. Have you ever seen women infected with hiv where abnormal period was an initial symptom of acute hiv infection? 

I don’t think I could ever forgive myself for putting my wife and daughter in such situation..
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
15 months ago

Please understand, there is NOTHING unique to HIV about the symptoms you report.  In fact, the specific symptoms you describe are, if anything, unusual for HIV as is their duration.  Similarly, early periods is NOT a symptoms of HIV.

I am confident that your repeat test this week will also be negative.  With all due respect, I believe that your guilt and resulting anxiety over your misstep are leading you to not think through this very clearly and is leading you to not accept the results of very sensitive scientific tests.  I would urge that, instead of repeatingly wasting time, resources and emotional energy on further testing that you see a trained physician to find out what is really going on and to seek the input of a trained counselor to help you work through your anxiety.

This will complete this thread which will now be closed.  Please understand that further repetitive posts may be closed without a response or return of your posting fee.  I wish you the best.  EWH