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Is this ARS?
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Is this ARS?

I know you will tell me to go and get tested and that symptoms does not mean anything when it comes to HIV. However, I have to say that I am that freaking out big time. I apologize for the long post but I need to put my thoughts somewhere. By the end of April I had sex with a female friend of mine. I was the penetrating partner and we had unprotected vaginal sex. We had protected and unprotected sex a few more times over the next month. Fast forward, a two weeks after the incident, I graduated from school and was partying like crazy almost daily for a week and half. Did not have enough sleep in over three weeks because of finals, graduation and parties. Plus, I was going to move back to my hometown. I was putting my body under a lot of stress. The day before I moved back, it was cold and I was hanging out with my friends until late with only a sweatshirt and shorts. Went to bed at three in the morning and woke up next morning at 8:00. That same day I had to pack all my apartment and that's where the freaking out saga starts. That afternoon I was eating spicy food and my throat was suddenly irritated and became inflamed. I did not pay attention to it. That night I finished packing my apartment and drove back home. Did not sleep at all during the night. I got home and finally slept at 6:00 am. The next morning I woke up and a crazy thought came to my mind “I have HIV.” I became paranoid and started looking for symptoms. I saw the soar throat, lymph glands, etc. I began to freak out and started to look for the smallest thing thinking that it was a symptom of HIV infection. The day after I arrived back home, I started at my new job which was a huge change in my daily habits. From waking up between 9:00 and 10:00 am, I suddenly had to be up by 6:00 am. No time to adjust or even rest a little bit after the partying. The soar throat was there and 3 days later I became extremely freaked out when I had a rash in my left sole. Three itchy bumps appeared in my feet surrounded by black dots (looked like ringworm). I went over the edge. I must say, however, that I had been struggling with athlete foot for a while and that the day before the rash appeared I was wearing some sandals that made my feet sweat like crazy. What went through my mind that whole day? I was sure I had HIV. I looked for more and more symptoms. I became obsessed with the idea. After the rash, the soar throat worsened and had mild sinus. At work, I sit below the AC all day long and for some reason it is always very cold. I also noticed that during the night the soar throat was worse and that the more I smoked, the more it became inflamed. It was never too bad though. Additionally, during the weekends when I was not below the AC, the soar throat was not bad at all.

Two days after the rash, I freaked out even more when my muscles starting aching. It was mild during the morning but increased as the day passed on. I have to say that at work I sit on a very uncomfortable chair, where the front part of my thighs are kind of stretching all day long because the chair is really high. I rationalized the pain by thinking that it was a reaction against the bad sitting. I also thought that my body was protesting because at the town where I lived before I walked everywhere and all by the sudden I did not walk at all and sat in a very uncomfortable position for eight hours. Additionally, during the mornings I did not have muscle pain or it was very mild, but as I sat in that chair below the AC, smoked and, as my soar throat increased, the aches in my muscles and joints increased accordingly.

Two days after the rash I had gingivitis in one of my moles. I switched toothbrushes since the one I was using was old and it went away the next day. However, right after the gingivitis went away, a mouth ulcer appeared in my lip. It disappeared within a day. I had the bad habit of going to bed without brushing my teeth. The night before it appeared, I did not brush my teeth. I began brushing my teeth three times a day and began using mouth wash too. It went away within a day but right after this one healed, a new one appeared which also lasted a day. I was going nuts and was convinced I had HIV. After  the ulcers disappeared, I noticed a bump in my tongue. I went over the edge. I decided to go to the doctor so she could take a look at my rash in the feet and I told to myself that I was going to get tested too. The day of the appointment, the nurse took my pressure and she said that it was slightly high. I am in my late twenties so this is not normal. The doctor looked at my rash and I explained to her that I caught athlete foot a few months ago and that I never treated until now that I saw the bumps. I did not tell her about the other symptoms. She said that it is normal because I did not treat it and the fungus was spreading out. She pointed at other parts of my feet where the fungus was growing. She gave an antifungal cream which began to work. I did not have enough courage to get tested. I also wanted to do an anonymous test and they did a confidential one. One more thing that I must add is that I also felt very tired for two weeks starting from the day I started to work. At the beginning, I was depressed and super stressed because of the thought of having HIV so I just wanted to sleep. I have to say that the waking up early was hard for me too; especially after not sleeping well for four intense weeks before I moved back. I slept for hours. I used to go to bed around eight and did not wake up until 6:30 the next day. The last symptom I had was that about a week after the soar throat, I began to feel like something was stocked in my throat. I felt it for like a day or two during the afternoons after having smoked at least 5 or 6 cigarretes.  

So here it is, I am freaked out. I have done research and trying to convince myself that I do not have HIV but the more I research the more freaked out I get. There are a few things that give me hope though. I never had fever during this time and if I did it must had been very mild because I never noticed it. I did feel chills some times at work but I was not the only one that complained about how cold the building was. Another thing that makes me breath, is that one of my coworkers caught a flu a few days after I arrived and I am almost sure I passed it to her. My brother also caught a very mild athlete foot. My rash never expanded from my foot and remained localized. My glands in the neck were not swollen. At last, I talked to this girl the last time we had sex and she said she got tested five months before and that she always uses a condom. She is also a white middle high class girl. She's traveled extensively though. Is it a ARS? Or is it an extreme reaction to stress? I mean, I had been under a lot of stress for over six months because my relationship with my ex-wife ended, then I was crazy pressured at school and not sleeping well. I graduated, partied to the limit for two weeks, moved from cities, and changed my life and daily routine from one day to the next. I am trying to convince my self that stress is the reason and that I burned out, but some of these symptoms match with ARS's description. I have been going to church everyday praying that I am HIV negative. This is giving me some confidence and I am gradually building the courage to go to get tested. I know that I will not know what is going on for sure until then. I am just asking for an opinion and I guess some words of support. That will give me more courage to go and get tested. I just want my life back the way it was before. Thanks and sorry for the long post.
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188761_tn?1320166132
Boy, so you party a lot..huh? :D

Okay, let me tell you this, every thing that you described is too unspecific, when it comes to HIV.

You seem to be fine and you are over-exerting your self for no reason whatsoever.

You do need to test because you had unprotected sex but the chances of you contracting the virus from this exposure is very very slim.

Don't waste your time in surfing for symptoms they mean no jacksh1t, I can tell you from my own experience and the number of people I have seen out here complaining about all possible ARS symptoms but running around with their negative result at the end of their ordeal, just go for a rapid 20 min test and end this.

You will be fine.

Mike
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