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Possible HIV infection from heat rash?
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Possible HIV infection from heat rash?

Long story short, my wife and I separated so I decided to get over the sad feelings by going out of the country. During that time I got a heat rash on my inner thigh, about an inch from the groin due to the constant walking in the hot weather. Then, pressured by my friends, I had sex with a prostitute. I wore protection but I am afraid I got infected through the heat rash. At exactly 3 weeks I developed a flu like illness. I have malaise, fatigue, clogged nose, runny nose, sudden weakness, low fever under 100, another rash on the hip area, burning sensation on neck, and still clear mucus at 5 days in. It is flu season right now and I am hoping it is just that. Prior to this I took no meds, have no food allergies, in great shape and eat very healthy.

I was so scared that i took a STD test including HIV 2 and a half weeks in and it was negative but I know that it is too soon to tell. What are my chances of being infected? I am so worried...
23 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Zero chance of HIV. The fllu went away so you didn't have a weak immune system either. You just got a flu like you normally do 3 times a year, but because you are so worried you are searching your body for confirmation that things could be adding up. Relax if you can, because you have a long healthy life ahead of you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am still paranoid that the vaginal fluids with HIV got into the heat rash. But thank it made me feel better.
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Avatar_f_tn
HIV anxiety happens to a lot of people who can't have it, so you are not alone.
Read the below link post and see how the poster eventually reasoned it out and stopped worrying. Write back if you wish, because I am not saying it is easy to overcome.Some people can never get used to the fact they don't have a disease they can't contract, however you haven't been worrying too long so perhaps fact gathering and dialoguing on this board can help you through this.
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Anxiety/2-month-hiv--std-anxiety/show/1873534?personal_page_id=890501
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Avatar_m_tn
Update:

Concerns:
1) I just found a raised red rash that does not itch on my pelvic area.
2) I got flu-like symptoms 3 weeks after possible infection
3) There might be an open sore on the heat rash where the vaginal fluid can get in
4) Mucus is clear but I have been sick for 5 days
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Avatar_f_tn
Someone who knows more about HIV than me will show up eventually on this thread, but for now I will say there is no risk. Football and basketball players don't catch HIV despite playing in games when they have cuts.
You had a heat rash before you even saw the woman, so why is a red rash now a worrisome symptom?
I have been sick half the winter but it isn't HIV. You probably get sick every winter in which case this one is just one more.
Anxiety makes you over analyze your body so anything that you note now as a symptom needs to be reviewed to see if it also happened before and you just ignored it.
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Avatar_m_tn
I know its mostly anxiety but waiting so long to get tested is a killer... Thank you =)
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Avatar_f_tn
If you don't mind a joke, here goes. Even if it is a killer, I still bet you won't die from it.
On a serious side, I hope someone like nursegirl shows up here and discusses the chances of HIV as I am betting they are zero.
Did you discuss this risk with the doctors when you took the test, or did you buy an at home test?
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Avatar_m_tn
I went to a clinic but the expert that administered the test, although not a doctor, said it was low risk.The source of my anxiety is fueled by the fact that the heat rash itches and cause discomfort in the area so I had to scratch it. This results in the abrasion of the skin. So microscopic viruses like HIV can enter the area and cause an infection. Since leaving a heat rash in a hot and humid area with constant abrasion can also get it infected by bacteria and viruses so what's keeping HIV from entering through the vaginal fluids. Also the the time frame of 3 weeks match up with the Acute HIV symptoms window and I developed a rash that's not a sweat rash because it's cold back home and I haven't been sweating.

Sorry if I keep contradicting what you say but it's really what I feel and why I am so worried =(
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Avatar_f_tn
Did the prostitute request you wear a condom?
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480448_tn?1397235344
Sorry, but like we commonly hear, you were misinformed.  This was not "low risk", it was "no risk".  In order for HIV to be transmitted via the skin (in a "blood to blood" scenario)...a few factors MUST be present.  HIV transmission from exposure to genital fluids (even with an infected person) NEVER EVER results in transmission.  Even with the presence of cuts, scrapes, rashes, etc.

Just FYI...for a "blood to blood" skin exposure to be a risk..these following factors must ALL be present...every one of them, or the risk is negated.

First, there would have to be a severe wound, one that would require medical attention (think stitches).  Two, there would have to be exposure to a copious amount of infectious  blood...not just a drop or two.  Three, that blood would have to be fresh, as HIV is a VERY weak virus that can NOT maintain its infectiousness outside of the host.  The moment HIV is exposed to the elements, it begins breaking down.  The outer shell of the virus becomes compromised, and that's the very structure of the virus responsible for transmission...the outer shell latches onto the T-cells of the receptive person.  It cannot do that when it is damaged.

Sadly, many of the clinics and healthcare providers out there are still not educated enough about what a REAL risk for HIV is, and they inform people incorrectly that activities were a risk when they weren't.  Some of that is the continuing poor education, and some is money motivated.  You never had a risk, you never needed testing to begin with, so rest assured, if you haven't had another REAL risk, your test will be negative.

The ONLY ways a person can get HIV are the following:

1.  unprotected vaginal or anal sex
2.  sharing IV drugs/drug works
3.  mother to child

That's IT!!!  That's the facts.


So microscopic viruses like HIV can enter the area and cause an infection.  Incorrect.


Since leaving a heat rash in a hot and humid area with constant abrasion can also get it infected by bacteria and viruses so what's keeping HIV from entering through the vaginal fluids.  Bacteria and the HIV virus are completely different,...apples and oranges.

I would recommend not even folowing up on your testing...but if you need to do so for peace of mind, then by all means, do so...but IF after you get your negative result, you STILL aren't convinced, seek some professional help for the anxiety.

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Avatar_m_tn
Update: Rash under armpit now too...

I only had 4 hours of sleep last night due to anxiety. From what you are saying I have no risk and that is a very good thing and I am hoping that is the case. Unfortunately, it might be from other STDs or diseases which is still worrisome. I have never had a rash that accompanied the flu before.

I will get another checkup soon at 4 weeks, 8wks, 12 wks, 36 wks. It's the only way to know for sure.Your post was very informative. Thank you for your detailed explanation! God Bless!
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah condoms are mandatory. I wouldn't have done it without a condom otherwise. Since she might have done it bareback with other people too, my risk would be much higher.
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Avatar_f_tn
The only thing I can conclude from NG's details is no one in history has got HIV from a rash. Hopefully you can forget the matter and not waste time and money on a test, now that you have the facts.
The reason I asked if the prostitute asked for the condom was if she did then there is probably no chance she even had HIV, but that is just overkill when you read NG's assessment so you can ignore my question.
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480448_tn?1397235344
I will get another checkup soon at 4 weeks, 8wks, 12 wks, 36 wks

Woah!  You do NOT need to keep getting checked!!  That is going to fuel your anxiety!

IF you had had a real HIV risk (which you didn't)..a test at 3 months would be conclusive.  There is NO need to test beyond 3 months...and I'll tell you another reason (besides anxiety) why it's a BAD idea to overtest.  While not SUPER common, false + test results DO happen with some frequency, and I cannnot tell you how many people I've seen, due to overtesting...ended up with a fasle +.  Can you imagine the anxiety related to THAT?  Oh boy!

If you WANT to test for HIV, then take ONE test at the 3 month mark.  Trust me on this.  As for other STDs, I am not aware of any you would have a significant risk for.  The biggest risk of getting vaginal fluids into an open skin area would be a bacterial infection, which you would have identified by now.

You can ask on our STD forum..there are a lot of very knowledgeable posters there.  I'm pretty confident they will tell you you didn't have a risk for any STD..but double check with them.

As for HIV...not a concern at all.
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480448_tn?1397235344
The reason I asked if the prostitute asked for the condom was if she did then there is probably no chance she even had HIV,

This is another common misconception.  While there are certainly infected CSW's, MOST of them are NOT infected, and most are very vigilant about staying that way.
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480448_tn?1397235344
BTW...here is the link for our STD forum:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/STDs/show/98
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Avatar_f_tn
I am confused; What is the misconception you are referring to?
I was asking if the prostitute asked for a condom which means she was trying to avoid getting diseases from others. If she was trying ot avoid getting diseases and taking protective steps that would be a lower risk person than someone who didn't take precautions.


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Avatar_f_tn
I don't think there are other STDs that give you rashes under armpits. You seem susceptible to rashes, but in your anxious state are trying to determine if there is any disease that can be causing them.
Did you have a history of rashes prior to the heat rash on the inner thigh? Even if not, that still doesn't make then created from a disease, especially since you do not have a disease.
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480448_tn?1397235344
I was simply saying that there is a common misconception that most or all CSW's are infected with HIV, when in reality, most are actually NOT infected.  And, most insist on condom use with each "John" to make sure they don't get infected.

I wasn't saying YOU were repeating a misconception...just your post was a perfect opportunity to mention it.
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Avatar_f_tn
ok, no problem, even if I was saying something incorrect. I like to know if I am giving wrong advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
Not surprisingly, thanks to all the great information from you both, my rash under the armpit went away as my anxiety decreased. The rash on the pelvic area is still present though.

As recommended, I will get one final  STD/HIV testing at 3 months. If my symptoms does not go away then I will test for STD again prior to the 3 months. Thank you for all the help! =)
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Avatar_f_tn
It is not recommended, as it is not possible that you contracted HIV.
It will be your choice if you go.
You say your armpit symptom went away. That indicates it was not a symptom. You are healthy, so I hope you can soon enjoy life to the fullest.
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480448_tn?1397235344
No worries...it wasn't very clear to begin with!

Tuna...hopefully you can accept the facts soon and move on with your life!  Best to you.
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