HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Hiv scare
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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 scare

Dear, Drs.
Over the last couple of months I have come to respect your knowledge & ability to put an ease to so many people like me. I am ashamed of the position I have put myself in & even more ashamed It never occurred to me the consequences. I know I could take the advice from other posts, but I have not been able to see very many women in my situation. Anyway,  I am female from the U.S. While I was separated from my husband in early October I had unprotected vaginal & anal sex with a man I had known a couple months (unsure of his testing status). But, later I found out he meets & has sex with women regularly from the Internet.  In the first few weeks I had probably every symptom you could have, except fever & rash. I took the Oraquick home oral swab at 3, 4, 7, 9, & 11 weeks, all negative. Tomorrow will be 12 weeks. The last couple of weeks I have been getting little bumps coming up 2 or 3 at a time on my neck & side of my face. Today I have fever & sore throat, as a lot of people do now. Before this I am never sick. My 1 st question is am I good to go with the tests that I have taken or should I have a different kind of test? 2) now that I am back with my husband is it ok to have unprotected sex with him? I would greatly appreciate your wisdom.
Tags: Oraquick oral swab
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

From your threads on the OCD and HIV community forums, and from this question, it is apparent that the problem here isn't really your HIV risk, but much more closely related to your emotional/psychgological makeup.  You had entirely accurate replies on the HIV community forum, and yuou have been seriously overtested for HIV.

To start, the chance your partner last October had HIV is extremely low, assuming he isn't bisexual, an injection drug user, previously imprisoned, or otherwise at special risk.  Without those risk factors, even the most promiscuous male in the United States has a very low chance of having HIV, probably under 1 chance in 1,000.

Second, your HIV antibody tests are 100% reliable.  After the 7 week test (and for sure after the one at 9 weeks, it was certain you weren't infected.  If you want more information about time to reliable results, and why the official advice remains for testing at 3 months with the standalone antibody tests, read the thread linked below.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/HIV---Prevention/Hiv-scare/show/1704700

Third, your symptoms clearly are not due to HIV.  They don't sound at all suspicious -- but even if they did, the test result prove HIV isn't the cause. Test results always overrule symptoms in judging whether or not someone has HIV.  And of course occasional sore throats etc are normal at any time of year, but especially in the winter.

Those comments pretty well answer your specific questions, but to be sure there is no misunderstanding:  1) You are good to go, do not have HIV, and don't need any further tests of any kind.  2) From an HIV standpoint, you can safely have unprotected sex with your husband.

My only concern is that you don't say anything about being tested for other STDs.  Given your partner's history, your risk of catching chlamydia, gonorrhea, or other STDs was a whole lot higher than the chance of HIV.  Since you don't say anything about it, I assume you haven't been tested.  I would recommend you visit your personal physician, a public health STD clinic, or your nearest Planned Parenthood clinic for physical exam and testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.  (The chance of syphilis is just as low as for HIV, but still, better safe than sorry.  And conceivably your genital area bumps could be syphilis.)

Bottom line:  No worries about HIV; but play it safe and be tested for the other STDs.  Feel free to return with a follow-up comment to let me know the outcome of your additonal tests.

Happy new year--  HHH, MD
12 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
Forgot to mention: over these months I have been given flagyl , zpak, & now today penicillin. Would all the medicines cover any other Stds? Thank you so much.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Oops, I didn't see this before I replied above.  Were tests done for the other STDs?  Why were you treated with azithromycin (Z-pak), Flagyl, and penicillin?  From all you say, I don't see any particular reason for any of them!  However, they would have cured chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis -- so at this point you can ignore my advice for additional STD testing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your quick reply. I was given the flagyl for a uti 4 days after my stupid mistake. I went back when some of the other symptoms started & was given the zpak..... Then ran a fever Friday & really red throat today & was given penicillin.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Hmmm...  metronidazole (Flagyl) isn't effective against UTI; it's an STD drug against trichomonas or bacterial vaginosis, and certain intestinal parasites.  You should clarify with your doctor exactly what he was treating you for.

Anyway, persistence of many of your symptoms despite all those antibiotics is pretty good evidence the problem is primarily a garden variety respiratory virus, not an STD or anything else related to the sexual exposure.  Still, check again with your doctor if your symptoms continue, and especially if you're still having abdominal pain or vaginal discharge.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease. This has been long, hard, emotional 3 months. This was the first & last time I do anything like this. Thank you for all your help for me & everyone else. Happy New Year!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry to take your time again, but I had bloodwork done this week & got my test results back. My WBC was 11.7 & my SED rate was 36. I mentioned std testing , as I live in a small town I guess it is not tested for as much. I have called the local health department & cannot be seen until March. My questions are:

1) do these elevations indicate a need for the stds testing, I have a small bump on my finger & 1 bump in my hairline at my temple? Since you mention syphilis, could it be that.

2) I know you said the hiv test were 100%, does these tests indicate I need further testing for that.
Thank you so much for your time. I'm sorry to be a bother 1 more time!
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Avatar_f_tn
Also, every few day my hands will get this blotchy look for a few minutes that comes & goes.
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239123_tn?1267651214
You need to see a general physician for advice about your symptoms and the elevated WBC and sed rate.  That doctor or clinic will be able to arrange STD testing if they think it is indicated, but no STD would cause those lab abnormalities.  There is no point in trying to work this out online via this forum or any other online source.  HIV diagnostic tests always overrule symptoms, other lab tests, and exposure history.  Your HIV test results show there is no chance that these findings or any symptoms are due to HIV.

That's my last comment on this thread.  Good luck with it all.
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Avatar_f_tn
I just wanted to come back for an update to maybe help someone that might be in the same situation for me. I finally got an appointment for testing. I was tested for chlymidia, gonnorrhea, syphilis, & hiv. All tests were negative! I did finish up my penicillin antibiotic about a week before taking the test, but am assuming since it have been 3 1/2 months that it would have shown up on the test if there was a problem the antibiotics didn't help. Thank you so much for your advice to help me stay
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry about the post .... But anyway thank you for all the help you give so many in need of a little bit of sanity!
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239123_tn?1267651214
Thanks for the kinds words.  Take care.
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