HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
What are the odds?
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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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What are the odds?

I had unprotected sex with a guy that I have known for about 2 weeks on 1/17/13, I know this was stupid of me. We only had sex twice and the first time we used a condom and the second time we didn't, but he did pull it out before he came. I know even with him pulling out I'm still at risk, but my question is how likely is it that I could have contracted HIV from him? I have asked him about his status and he said that he is clean and that he is a Medical Technician and that they get tested all the time, but I don't see a job regularly testing their employees for HIV and STD'S.

On 1/21/13 I woke up to my left arm being sore under my arm pit. I checked and felt around for lumps and thought I felt one about an inch below my underarm where my hair is at under my arm, but I've been checking it for the past 2-3 days now and don't feel anything there now. But my underarm is still sore and I have a heavy feeling throughout my arm and I'm wondering if this could be an early sign of HIV infection?

I have checked my neck and head to see if there any swollen lymph nodes, but there aren't any. I feel fine, I'm not coughing, no night sweats, not losing weight or any of the HIV symptoms except for the pain in my arm.

I'm so scared right now and don't know if my mind is causing me to have this pain in my arm or what. Can you please let me know if I could have contracted HIV from this encounter and if the pain I'm having in my arm id related to an early HIV sign?

Sorry I know I'm all over the place with questions and thoughts.
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Welcome to the Forum.  Just as you heard on the HIV Community site from Vance, I can't give you a precise estimate of your risk but I can assure you that it is low and that your sore armpit and other recent symptoms are not due to HIV.  Let's break this down.

I am going to assume that your partner is heterosexual and does not use IV drugs.  If that is the case, while like you I doubt that he gets tested "all the time" because of his work, his likelihood of having HIV is less than 1% and probably closer to 1 in1000 (0.1%).  Further in the unlikely circumstance that he has HIV, the risk of getting infected from a single episode of unprotected sex is less than 1 in 1000.  Thus, just putting these numbers together, your statistical risk is less than 1 in 100,000.  Pretty low!

As far as your symptoms are concerned, the symptoms of recently acquire HIV typical occur between 2 and 6 weeks after sex, thus your symptoms have begun too early to be due to HIV.  Further, even if you were to find swollen lymph nodes, that would mean little- swollen lymph nodes are a non-specific finding and should not worry you.  Your other symptoms (the heavy feeling) likewise are not suggestive of HIV.

Finally, I should point out that your risk of other STDs, chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichamonas are substantially higher than your risk for HIV.  You may wish to test for HIV in the future as a matter of good sexual health practices but what will serve you better is to be tested for other STDs, and that can be done at this time.

I hope this information is helpful to you.  EWH

Edward W. Hook III, M.D.
12 Comments
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Thank you for being so detailed in explaining this to me. I will go get tested for all STD"S and then wait 3 more weeks to go get tested for HIV because at that point it will be 4 weeks.

You are really doing a wonderful thing on here and once again thank you so much :)
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I'm pleased my comments were helpful. thanks  EWH
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I did have one last question for you that I meant to ask yesterday. I'm feeling something weird going on in my throat. It doesn't hurt and doesn't hurt when I swallow or eat, it kind of feels like I'm getting sick. Yesterday made it 7 days after possible exposure and today make it 8, is that still to early to start having HIV symptoms?
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300980_tn?1194933000
Yes, this is too early for symptoms of early HIV to be occurring. further, difficulty swallowing is not a sign of early HIV.  EWH
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Alright so I have gone and done my testing for some STD'S 1/28/13. My Dr. tested me in the office for Trich, BV and yeast and all came back negative. He also tested me for chlamydia and gonorrheawhich had to be outsourced to LabCorp and I should get the results back by Friday. My Dr. is having me wait until 2/28/13 to take my HIV, HPV and syphillis (syphilis) test.

My question to you is can I take the new OraQuick Advanced HIV 1/2 test at 2 weeks from exposure and will that give me a good indication of my status until I go and do the test by my Dr. on 2/28/13?>
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At two weeks a test for HIV antibodies, whether done in your doctor's office or with an OraQuick test will detect a bit over 50% of recent HIV infections.  Test results for HIV antibodies are definitive at about 8 weeks following exposure.

In your case I anticipate that the test results will be negative whenever you test.  EWH
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Thank you so much Dr. Hook, I guess I will just wait until 2/28/13, makes no sense to take a test that I can't rely on. Hopefully my anxiety will slow down some.
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I got my results today and no chlamydia, gonorrhea and found out yesterday no Trich, BV or yeast. It's looking good so far. My Dr. told me no the Oraquick because it's to early he said to wait at least 4 weeks and he will give me the HIV NAAT test. Will that be conclusive at that point?

2 more weeks to test ugh... do you have any suggestions on what I can do in the meantime to keep from worrying?
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300980_tn?1194933000
Last answer.

At 4 weeks the Oraquick test will accuratly detect over 90% of recent infections.   At 8 weeks a blood test would be conclusive.

Your risk is quite low, please do not worry.  EWH
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Thank you. Just in case you were wondering why I'm updating you with all of my test results, is that maybe this can help you with other people like myself who come to you looking for answers.

Once again your work and efforts are greatly appreciated :)
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Take care. EWH
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