HIV Anxiety Support User Group
anxious about symptoms after high risk encounter
About This Group:

This support group is for those who are suffering from stress or anxiety associated with uncertain HIV status. HIV anxiety is extremely isolating for those who are going through it, as it is often very difficult to discuss with friends and family members. This group is provided for sufferers of HIV anxiety to discuss their fears in a supportive environment. Those with anxiety over non-HIV STDs are also welcome. For personal advice concerning HIV risk, testing, and prevention, please post in the HIV Prevention Community.

Founded by joggen on October 4, 2009
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anxious about symptoms after high risk encounter

hi everyone. i've been reading this site for the past hour and understand the only way you can know if you're + is with a test.

however i'm anxious. and i guess part of me wants people to speculate that i didn't have a high risk encounter and that i'll be fine. i want to be fine. i know the truth is the most important thing though, and maybe i'm not fine.

3 weeks ago now, i was coming back from a concert on my own. i was very drunk and grave and lonely, - my bad luck with the opposite sex over the past couple of years has been haunting me recently. on my way to the bus stop a woman appeared out of an alley asking if i 'wanted business'. i thought about it and said yes. i asked about condoms and she said she was wearing a femidom. as i was drunk this seemed ok. i've no experience of them though, and couldn't tell if she was actually wearing one. she masturbated me and then i penetrated her. after about a minute or two of penetration i came to my senses and pulled out. i seemed sober all of a sudden, ran to the nearest shop, bought antibacterial hand lotion and put it on my penis - naively thinking this would have some kind of  effect. it stung so much i nearly cried. anyway, while i was penetrating, i realised that this woman showed signs of being a drug addict - her job, where she was doing it (outside behind some shops), her rates, her bodyweight. she tried to sell me fountain pens as i ran away from her.

btw i empathise with her, it's terrible that anyone is in her position.

as far as potential symptoms go - they started about 48 hours after the encounter, and have come and gone ever since but have not been severe. on and off i have had a temperature - although not severe. i have needed more sleep than usual. including taking long naps during the day. my leg muscles have ached. i've had a cough and a slightly sore throat. my hands and sometimes forearms are numb upon waking up. i have shortness of breath. despite all this i can still go to the gym and do my normal weightlifting routine - almost but not quite with the intensity i can normally do it with. i also sweat more while doing it and need more time to catch my breath.

a few days ago i thought the symptoms had gone, but they come back, as i say.

oh and as far as seeking medical attention goes. i went to the Accident and Emergency dept of my local hospital 2 days after the encounter. they told me to get an appointment at a sexual health clinic. i got an appointment at a clinic 3 days later, had a chlamydia test which came back negative. and the nurses there said i should go back 6 wks after the encounter for the hiv test. i haven't spoken to anyone about this encounter since then, which was 16 days ago now.

any advice or comments are extremely welcome.
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
This encounter was not as high risk as you are imagining it to be. Most CSWs don't have HIV (even street prostitutes) and HIV is not efficiently transmitted.

Test at 6 weeks as schedules and expect a negative.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks joggen, you could be right.

thinking about the numbers a bit, it works out that about 1 in every 1200 women in the uk have the virus. you can imagine how that figure would come down for stats of women sw on the street who work for their drug addiction. so it does seem like a high risk encounter. my symptoms are also strange. it's like i've got a mild flu, and it's lasting about as long as any flu i've ever had. i kind of feel like it's a feeling of something slowly infecting me. although that could be anxiety interpreting the situation, possibly. what a stupid thing for me to have done. part of me wants to go back to visit her to ask her what she uses and what she knows about her health etc. i don't know though, i probably won't do that.

thank you again for your advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
Probably 1 out of a 100 women of that description have HIV in the UK. HIV is transmitted, on average, at a frequency of 1 in 1000 vaginal exposures. Combined, the chances of catching HIV in that situation are 1 in 100,000. That means that you could have had that same exposure every day for over 200 years before you could expect to be infected. Like I said, expect a big fat negative.
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Avatar_f_tn
i hope those sums are right joggen. i read that the chance of contracting the virus from intercourse was 1 in 10. but you also sound like you know your stuff. either way discussing this has really lifted my mood. the first couple of weeks after the encounter i was convinced i had the symptoms of a viral death sentence. now i'm not so sure, but have learned lots from coming to terms with that. i'll post any significant updates.
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