If you believe you have been exposed to HIV and want help to judge your risk, would like advice about HIV testing, or have questions about the effectiveness of condoms or risks associated with specific sexual practices, this is the site for you.
A few years ago, I went through a very brief promiscuous phase. During this time (November 2009 to February 2010), I was admittedly very irresponsible in my decisions about sex and was not always safe. In January sometime, I contracted pretty bad strep throat and was bed-ridden for a couple of days because of it. I'm worried that this may have been the symptomatic "flu" that happens during the early stages of HIV. In May, I discovered a swollen lymph node on the back of my neck and my blood test tested positive for mono (though I'd had no other symptoms). In June, I confessed to my doctor about my escapades and she tested me for several STIs as well as HIV. I tested negative for everything; however, it was a urine test and not a blood test so I am not sure how accurate that is. Since that February two years ago, I have had a monogamous sexual relationship with my current boyfriend. But on and off, I get paranoid about that time in my life and whether I might have contracted HIV. I find myself getting coughs and colds more often than I used to, I have a rash on my lower back (I've had eczema on my torso and back since I was a child, but I still freak out that it could be the HIV rash), and I can't stop thinking about that bout of strep throat or that one swollen lymph node.
I plan to rid myself of my paranoia once and for all by going for a point-of-care HIV test tomorrow - or sometime this week if it's by appointment only - but I need my mind to be eased a little bit before I go. How likely is it that I have the illness even though I tested negative after 4 months of possible infection -- but using a urine test instead of a blood test? Are all of my "symptoms" just in my head?
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