[Question #6734] HIV Scare Continued

11 months ago
I previously posted a question concerning an HIV scare. I’m back with another question because I’ve developed a new symptom and it has me extremely worried.

At the end of December 2019, I got ringworm on my face. I then had flu like symptoms in January which ultimately led to peripheral neuropathy in my arms and legs. 

Now, I have dermatitis above my mouth. It’s not severe but there’s clearly the appearance of dandruff and reddened areas around my lips and nose. I’ve read this is primarily associated with HIV infection.

My last exposure was  on 12-14-19. I’ve taken the following tests:

4th Gen From Vein - 33 Days Post Exposure
4th Gen From Vein - 54 Days Post Exposure
OraQuick Rapid Saliva - 81 Days Post Exposure

All tests have produced Negative results thus far. I am a gay male and my last encounter was unprotected oral sex. I was the individual giving the blowjob.

I’m concerned that I have literally every HIV symptom known to man, including neuropathy and fungal infections.

Is it possible that my 4th gen tests were done too soon? I’m starting to freak out. I plan on getting another 4th gen test next week. Do you believe this is a good idea?

Is dermatitis typically seen in acute HIV infection? How about neuropathy? 

When should I take my HIV testing as conclusive???

Thank you Doctors. I am truly falling apart over all of this. I just want to be myself again.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
11 months ago
Welcome back, but sorry you round it necessary. I reviewed your recent discussion with Dr. Hook and agree with all he said -- and that disussion really answers these questions. He advised you about the time to reliable testing and that ringworm (indeed most symptoms of HIV infection) are extremely common in people without HIV. The HIV blood tests are among the most accurate diagnostic tests ever developed, for any medical condition. They are never wrong when done sufficiently long after hte las tpossible exposure, and the results overrule everything else. No matter how typical the symptoms and no matter how high the risk of HIV at the time of exposure, your results are conclusive and prove you do not have HIV. And your symptoms are not as typical as you seem to think; you definitely do not have "literally every HIV symptom known to man" -- that's a ridiculous statement. In fact, you don't describe any symptoms typical of a new HIV infection. Those symptoms are sore throat, fever, enlargedl lymph nodes, and skin rash -- all occurring together and starting 1-2 weeks after exposure, then clearing up (without treatment) iin a few more weeks.

All is well. You don't have HIV. Believe it and move on with your life. Your symptoms are the random sorts of things often experienced by entirely healthy persons. If they continue and you remain concered, see a doctor.

I hope these comments are helpful. Best wishes and stay safe.

11 months ago
Thank you, doctor.

I got back my 3rd blood test result - it was Negative. That would have been roughly 90 days since my last exposure 

Am I in the clear at this point? Is additional testing for this exposure a waste of time?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
11 months ago
Of course your latest test was negative -- you were already "in the clear". The 90 day test was a waste of time (and money), as any additional tests also would be.---