I'm sorry for posting again. I know at one point there was a specific HIV Anxiety forum on MedHelp, but it doesn't really seem active anymore. I have been having extreme anxiety because of a swollen submandibular gland after a low risk exposure. It is definitely swollen (not my imagination) and goes up and down throughout the day, sometimes it's slightly painful. I've had 2 courses of different antibiotics with no change. All I can do is cry and scour the internet trying to find some information. I've read on reputable sites that submandibular swelling is a common symptom of acute HIV infection. I've read studies that HIV affects submandibular function. I can't find much other information on causes - other than blockage or infection. I think an infection is unlikely in my case since antibiotics aren't working. And from what I understand a blockage/dysfunction can be caused by HIV, among other things. It just seems too coincidental that I would get this 3 weeks after exposure and that it would still be persisting (2 months since I first realized it, 3 months since the exposure).
My exposure included manual sex with semen making contact with a cut on my hand, and licking of genitals with possible precum getting in my mouth. I've been told on here many times that this is no/low risk exposure. But I can't stop thinking that maybe he had blood in his mouth when we were kissing or something, anything. Maybe I'm someone who contracts HIV in an unconventional way. I just can't stop thinking about this submandibular gland and how common it is for HIV to affect it.
I know a test would be conclusive at this point, but I am terrified to get tested. I am pretty young and this was only the second person I'd ever done anything sexual with. What I want most in life is to get married, but I know as a woman it would be unlikely for that to ever happen if I had HIV.
I know that I'll be told I have anxiety and that I should seek help for it. But I have. I've talked to counselor about this many times, but it doesn't alleviate my worrying. It doesn't change the things I have read on the internet. I can't find other explanations for this swollen submandibular gland and that is the only thing that would make me feel better other than a negative test.
Apollo and myself are still answering posts in the HIV Anxiety Support GROUP (it doesn't get as much traffic because it's a group, not a forum). If you post there one of us will answer.
Please keep in mind however that when you have more than 30 posts and multiple threads on the same topic, there comes a point where there isn't much else people can tell you on a forum that hasn't already been said.
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