HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
HIV or What???
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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 or What???

Hi,

About 6 months ago i had unprotected sex with a friend whom i did not know their status for HIV, after that encounter about 6 weeks later i fell really ill with something that felt like the flu. My body and muscles were in pain everywhere, I had discharge coming out of my penis, and i had constant headaches. I have been tested several times (once last week) and the tests have all come back negative but over the last 6 months i have just felt my health deteriorating. I had a rash that looked similar to bug bites all over my chest a couple months ago, and i have had diarrhea for about 4 months now also i have had nasal congestion for the last 4 months even though i have never had allergies before in my life and also I now have a fungal infection on several of my fingernails. I was told that since my test was post the 3 month waiting period and also past the 6 month period that they are completely conclusive. Is there any way the antibodies couldn't have shown up for this period of time or could there be something else causing these symptoms?
300980_tn?1194933000

Welcome to the Forum.  while i can understand your concerns, I can also assure you that HIV antibody tests performed at 3 or 6 months following an exposure are conclusive and should be believed, particularly if you have been tested on more than one occasion.

The flu-like symptoms and rash you describe might logically raise concerns that they represent symptoms of recently acquired HIV however they occurred at the wrong time (early HIV symptoms typically occur at 4-8 weeks after an exposure) and when test results and symptoms disagree, the tests always win.  There are many non-STD, non-HIV viruses that can cause the sorts of symptoms you describe and the symptoms you describe should be considered coincidental to your exposure but not related.

Please do not worry, you did not get HIV from the exposure you describe.  EWH
7 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the timely response doctor. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Do you have any idea of any viruses that may be causing these kinds of symptoms, because as of right now my doctors are running out of ideas
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300980_tn?1194933000
Sorry, the possible list of viruses is very, very long and there is little reason to test.  If this is a virus it should go away by itself.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
So I'm assuming if I took a combo test now since I've only taken antibody tests the results would be the same?
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Avatar_m_tn
is it worth it to take a combo test at this point, will that make the results 100% definitive?
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300980_tn?1194933000
The advantage of combo tests is that they provide earlier diagnosis.  For persons such as you there is no diagnostic benefit to testing with a comboe test.  Please try to move forward on this.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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