[Question #906] Worried Seroconversion

51 months ago
Returning customer. I was reassured and asked to test despite stating testing not available to me for some time.

History. Since only negative HIV test 2013-14 one partner except;

1st exposure 'oral without' for 5 seconds from female July 2015 during shared shower. No symptoms.

2nd exposure sports massage early 2016. Stopped after turned erotic. Blood on masseuse hand (Asian female in private flat) and after shower noticed blood on towel from my scrotum (blood blister) or groin (chaffing cracked skin). Blood likely mixed during massage.

5 weeks later high fever,  joint and muscle pain, nausea and vomit, hospitalized with community pneumonia. Night sweats tiredness and 3kg weight loss. Unknown cause. Viral or bacterial or both? No HIV test done. 

Petrified HIV seroconversion and ARS. My Dr (overseas) recently told me seroconversion can cause temporary big drop in immunity leading to pneumonia. 

I remained unwell for 3 weeks. Never been sick before.

HIV pops up whomever I speak to and whatever I read. Fueling my worry. No testing available for 4 months until return to live in my home country again.

Please comment sympathetically on my case.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
51 months ago
Welcome back. However, these questions were answered (directly or indirectly) in your thread a little over two weeks ago. The answers have not changed.

Pneumonia itself causes all the symptoms you had, including the 3 week duration. There is no need to look to HIV as a possible explanation. As discussed last time, your recent non-exposure event (massage) could not have given you HIV.

HIV "pops up" in your various conversations because it is a popular topic on the internet and on a lot of people's minds. New HIV infection shares symptoms with a hundred, maybe a thousand, different medical conditions. That some of your symptoms also occur in people with HIV is meaningless.

As we discussed last time, standard community acquired pneumonia is almost never a sign of a new HIV infection. CAN that happen? Maybe, but only rarely.

In your previous thread, you didn't give a reason for your mysterious statement that you couldn't be tested for HIV. This time you mention being somewhere other than your "home country". My guess is the middle east (UAE/Dubai?). Accurate HIV testing is available here and anyywhere else. And there is no place where legal action or questions arise just because of testing, only the possibility of being sent home if positive. But in that case, you have to go home anyway for life-extending treatment. If you indeed have a new HIV infeciton, you need treatment for it now, not in a few months. In any case, if your risk history is accurate, there is NO chance your test will be positive.

In other words, I still do not buy the notion that you can't get an HIV test. You can and you should. Suck it up and do it. Or if you don't, stop worrying so much!  As we discussed last time, your pneumonia has nothing to do with your massage a few months ago.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
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