HIV Anxiety Support User Group
dont think it's just anxiety
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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dont think it's just anxiety

Hi,

My condom broke during insertive sex with a random guy about 5 weeks ago. I started PEP after 17 hours.

Two weeks later, got a rash along my left groin (and a little rash on my left thigh). Felt my groin lymph nodes hurt for like two weeks. The rash got a bit flaky, and mostly went away, but there is still an area that is red from the rash (dont know if the rash is still there, or just left scarring).

Anyway, about a week and a half ago, my throat started to hurt. It still hurts (when I swallow for instance), and a lymph node on one side of my throat is enlarged. Also - my mouth is completely white-colored.

What is going on with me? I've never been sick for so long (I mean, who gets a sore throat for going on two weeks?) Is this ARS / HIV?
16 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
For starters hiv can't really be diagnosed through symptoms because the spectrum is to broad and some of the same symptoms that you have can also be attributed to a common no std- viral infection. Ars almost always attacks the entire body all at once, rash all over, fever of over 101 and all lyphnodes swollen to an extreme. Even then most people who get all of these symtoms (symptoms) do not have hiv. It is a rather difficult diseases because it can't survive outside the body and requires almost perfect conditions to transfer. The CDC estimates that the exposure rate for people who have sex with an hiv+ person for a one time occurrence is 1-1000. Yes the condom broke but you are making alot of assumptions and jumping to the worst one.
1. You don't even know if that individual had hiv less than 5% of the American population does
2. Most people that contract hiv have no symptoms, that's why doctors don't go off of symptoms
3. Their is a really good chance that all of your symptoms are related to something else or even yes made up!

Don't sweat it most of us have been their and thats why we are here, I am trying to get this monkey off of my back. I made a mistake and now I am going crazy but like you the numbers are in my favor. Go get a duo test at 6 weeks to help ease your mind. And read some of my posts they will definitely help you
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1629919_tn?1407244906
What your asking is about symptom speculation, well sorry buds that is pointless, its never been acuratewith HIV.

All that i can say is that you need to test 3 months after your last course of PEP. Their is not no short cuts here, but you have to learn to relax because nothing will change your status.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the advice, guys. I'm at almost 7 weeks post-exposure.

I know that one cannot diagnose HIV through symptoms, but I am extremely worried. Considering the high risk, and the symptoms - groin rash 2 weeks post-exposure (which lasted two weeks), along with sore throat, pain in the lymph nodes, current recurrent sore throat, especially when waking up in the morning, groin pain and general lethargy - I recognize that there is a real risk of testing positive.

I am young, gay and living with my parents. I am currently looking for a job. What should I keep in mind before I get tested? I don't want to tell my family (they would be completely completely devestated, not exaggerating). I want to mentally prepare before a possible diagnosis so that I would be able to cope effectively without telling others. How can I do this?

I would very much appreciate your advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
Apollo - really anticipating your response.
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1629919_tn?1407244906
Im not quite sure what your asking me buds?

Symptoms, i never comment on, they never help in any situation and are pointless in terms of your status.

In terms of testing, all i can say nothing will change the outcome, however much you do or dont worry. From experince being in your shoes, although im straight, was to just see the outcome. I did all the things your thinking about and it really created more confusion that good. So i just went out and enjoyed my life as much as i could until i tested. I just put it to the back of my mind as it was taking over my life with worry and more so a i could not do a thing about it.

Is this 7 weeks past your exposure, or 3 weeks from the last dose of medication?
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Avatar_m_tn
Both - 7 weeks post-exposure and 3 weeks post-PEP.

I guess I'm just trying to prepare for the worst, so that if the test is positive, I can mitigate the trauma, and so that the people around me won't be able to tell... although I'm not sure that it's possible to do that...

So part of me thinks it's best to release all hope and assume the test will be positive, just to prepare (especially given the symptoms)... and then a smaller part of me wonders whether I might still have a chance of testing negative, and if the symptoms are just wildly random.

Maybe there's no perfect answer to my question... Should I go on with my life thinking that I am positive (to soften the blow of a potential diagnosis)?
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1629919_tn?1407244906
Hell no. Go on living your live as negative, because currently you are and its all very unlikley the other person had HIV, unless you have confirmed their status?. Even if they have HIV the odds are in your favour in not getting HIV, certainly with having taken pep.

I dont belive in having a negative outlook, it never helps anything. Of course you know you had a risk but belive in looking forward to the future because even if you become HIV positive your life is certainly not over, by any means.

Be positive ( no pun intended ) and go out this weekend and enjoy life, it will take your mind off this as much as it can.

Hey when i had my risk, i when to the gym even more, lost 12lbs and looked great after :) Although stress did help towards that lol, but i just went out so much to take my mind off it all.
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Avatar_m_tn
It's been almost 8 weeks since exposure - not enough time for a conclusive test but certainly enough time for a test that would be highly indicative. I want to test today or tomorrow but I'm scared - so scared.

I know I had a real risk (and lots of symptoms) so testing positive is possible. I'm afraid because I live with my parents but absolutely would not want to tell them if it is positive but am worried that they would sense that smthg is very wrong from my behavior... any advice on possible ways to proceed??
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1629919_tn?1407244906
Get a rapid test which gives results in 20 minutes, saves the stress of waiting for me that was the worst part. Nothing you do now will change the out come, what will be, will be just that buds, no point sugar coating this.

You just have to get the test done if you need an answer.
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Avatar_m_tn
Apollo -
9 weeks after PEP (13 weeks after exposure) - tested negative (oraquick swab)
11 weeks after PEP (15 weeks after exposure) - tested negative (rapid blood test)

am i fine?
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1629919_tn?1407244906
Your last test confirms your status. Of course they say 12 weeks but really their is zero chance of that changing if you wish to re-test.

Your hiv negative and thank you for coming back to update the results buds.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your support Apollo
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1629919_tn?1407244906
no problem buds, glad i could help and best of luck to you :-)
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Avatar_m_tn
Apollo - I just called in to get the results of my STD tests and the results were not given. Instead, I was instructed to call a phone number from Monday to Friday. This can't be good news??????

Could it be HIV????

I know I wasn't at the 3 month post-PEP mark when I tested, but I was at 11 weeks!
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Avatar_m_tn
the doctor at the clinic said that after the gum test and the finger prick test both being negative (finger prick at 11 weeks post-PEP and 15 weeks post exposure), there is virtually zero chance that the HIV test could be reactive. so it must be another issue. right?
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1629919_tn?1407244906
I have never heard anyone getting a TRUE positive result when having a negative at 11 weeks. Of course i have seen many false positives. In this instance i think its nothing more than routine because if it was positive they would be saying you need to make an appointment with the Doctor asap, not call from Monday - Friday.So i fully agree with your doctors comment.
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