HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Scared please help!
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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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Scared please help!

I am a 32 year old black man. I received unprotected oral sex from a girl that is a sex worker. 3 weeks later I received unprotected oral from another girl(not a worker). We did have intercourse with a condom but the condom slid off during the end so was exposed to her insides for probably less then a minute. One week after that I came down with a terrible illness. Just like the flu. Went to doctor they said it wasn't the flu and said it was pharyngitis. I had chills, temp of 103, headache, slightly sore throat, my legs were extremely sore along with my legs and back being slightly sore, spitting up alot of phlegm, and a bad cough. I felt very weak also! I have had a syphillis (syphilis) and a hiv test 5 weeks after the first incident. It was negative. Waiting a while to take another one. Ok this is the bad part... It's been over a month since I was sick and everything is back to normal except my muscles ache and I have joint pains everyday. They come and go everyday. It's freaking me out! I told a doctor recently and he gave me antibiotic pills and ibuprofen for pain. It helps the aches but they come right back once the pills wear out. I also have a dry cough. I maybe cough only 6 times a day the cough isn't bad at all! I do not have the same energy i did before this sickness. Please help
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Welcome to our Forum.  I'll be pleased to comment.  Let's talk about your exposures first, then your symptoms and finally testing.  

Your exposures are relatively low risk.  Receipt of oral sex is a virtually no risk event- no one has ever been shown to get HIV from receiving oral sex and many, many people have looked.  Thus, your only real risk for HIV is your brief, unprotected vaginal exposure three weeks ago when the condom slipped off.  Statistically this too was a low risk exposure- unless your partner used IV drugs there is a less than 1 in 10,000 chance that she had HIV and even if she did, the risk of infection form a single exposure is 1 infection in 1000 exposures- thus mathematically your risk of getting HIV from the exposure you described is less than 1 in 10 million.

As for your symptoms, I do not know where you live but your symptoms are classical both for the flu and possibly for the ARS.  it is much more likely that you have the flu than HIV.  Several reasons for this- these include that the flu is much, much more common than HIV and it is flu season and that the onset of your symptoms may be a little on the early side to be due to the ARS.  

As for testing, it sounds as though the HIV test was about 2 weeks after your flu-like illness- is this correct?  If so and the test was negative, then you can be confident that your symptoms were not due to HIV.  Typically when persons have the ARS, their HIV blood test is positive about a week after the symptoms BEGIN.  Thus, if I have my time frame correct, your test result largely rules out the possibility that your symptoms were due to HIV.  Flu-like symptoms do have an ability to linger however and I suspect this is what is going on.

I hope my comments are reassuring to you- they should be.  Getting a follow-up HIV test about 8 weeks after your last unprotected encounter will provide definitive proof that you did not get infected but, in the meantime, I would not worry.  I hope my comments will help you to do the same.  EWH
10 Comments
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They tested me for the flu.... They said it was negative
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300980_tn?1194933000
The current flu-tests are correct only 60% of the time, at best.  Further there are many flu-like viruses (non-STD) which can cause similar illnesses.  No change in my assessment or recommendations. EWH
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Thank you
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You are right I believe I had the flu. It's been about 6 weeks since my sickness. I was sick nov. 14 - nov. 22 but I am still suffering from joint and muscles pains and some fatigue. Is that normal? I swear I won't ask you anything else and thank you sir.
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300980_tn?1194933000
Flu-like symptoms typically resolve within a week or two of their onset and for your symptoms to linger is unusual.  This would also be virtually unheard of for HIV as well. You may wish to discuss this with your doctor but I would not worry that this is manaifestion of an HIV infection.

Please let us know what your doctor says- we're always interested and benefit from the input following a direct examaination. EWH
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Hello today made 8 weeks since my exposure. Took oraquick test today it was negative, going to see a doctor next week about my fatigue and muscle and joint problems. I will let you know what he says. Thank you soooooo much!
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300980_tn?1194933000
Great.  Your test result is proof that you were not infected.  Glad to hear it (but not suprised :)).  EWH
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Just giving you that follow up you asked for. Had my 3 month hiv test. It was negative. The doctor also tested comp. metabolic panel, ANA test, rheumatoid factor screen, TSH test, CBC, venipunture test. All negative. Still having muscle aches and joint aches and a pulled bicep muscle that won't heal. 3 months and it still won't heal. The doctor even seems to be a little lost.
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300980_tn?1194933000
I'm glad to hear of your negative results.  Not sure I have any further advice regarding the muscle aches, etc but I would point out that sometimes things take a little while to declare themselves. Thus it is sometimes best to find a doctor you feel good about and work with them over time.  

Take care.  EWH
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