HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
HIV Risk? Help me with symptoms please!
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HIV Risk? Help me with symptoms please!

Hi Doctor,
Please reply with your experience and knowledge on this.

I went to a shady strip club a few times in October 2012 and December 2012.
One stripper allowed me to suck on her nipples (This one I met only in October). 3 or 4 times, not more than 2-3 minutes in total over different days but I also used to kiss her breasts, face etc. She was the mother of a 1 year old.
In December 2012, I met this other stripper (never saw her earlier in that strip club, a relatively older lady). I sucked on her nipples too for a few seconds (totaling around a minute). This was on 12th of December 2012.

Symptoms (started 17th December):
1. First a very itchy rash on the back of my hand that went away after 3 weeks.
2. A watery bump on my chest (not itchy).
3. Fever and hot body for a couple of weeks.
4. And now the worst, for the past 3 weeks (around 1st Jan, 2013) I have been feeling extremely tired. I am breathing heavily many times, feel the need to just lay down all the time, am always sleepy, do not have any energy to help my wife with any work, cannot play with my small kid. Just always feel the need to lay down and sleep! And this is not going away.
5. Mild headache, haziness in the eyes / heavy eyes with some pain and burning, drowsiness for the past 2 weeks.
6. I also feel much colder than usual (shivering).
7. Loss of appetite (always feel I am full upto the neck!)
8. I have started having pain on the right side of my neck too on movement.

Questions:
1. Is HIV a possibility for me from these encounters and these symptoms? If yes, why? If not, why not?
2. If not HIV, then what else can it be that is causing all this tiredness and sleepiness and everything else that I experience today with my body that never happened before?
3. Please please do reply doctor and help me understand
  a. my risk for HIV and
  b. causes for my symptoms in detail.
Any other information you think I should know.

Many thanks,
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

You had accuate replies in your discussion with joggen on the community forum. You had a zero risk exposure and symptoms that are not suggestive of a new HIV infection.  To your specific questions:

1) HIV may in theory be a possibility for such symptoms, but exceedingly unlikely.  The absence of fever is, all by itself, strong evidence against HIV.

2) This is like asking "Doctor, since my fever isn't due to pneumonia, what could it be?"  There must be at least a hundred medical conditions that could cause identical symptoms, most of which are more frequent than HIV, even in people at high risk (which you were not).

3a) You are at zero risk for HIV from the events you have described.

3b) We don't advise about causes of symptoms other than HIV.  It would be pretty wild guesswork on my part.

The surprising aspect of your question is that even though you had an exposure you are concerned about, and have symptoms that make you fearful of HIV, you apparently have not been tested for it.  You should do so -- not because I believe there is any chance you have it, but because you obviously are going to worry about HIV until it has been disproved.  If you decide to be tested, feel free to return with a follow-up comment with the result.  Without a test, there is nothing you can add that would change my opinion or advice -- so I won't have anything more to say until then.

PS:  I recommend you re-read joggen's wise words about the psychology of symptoms when people are worried about HIV.

Regards--  HHH, MD
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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