Okay here's what happened: 34 days ago I had unprotected sex with a guy from out-of-town that I met at a bar. A lot has been going on in my life and I unfortunately got really drunk one night. Everything is kind of hazy but I remember the guy (who was in his mid 30s) tried to have sex with me without a condom. I freaked out and said no because I didn't want to put myself at risk for STDs. He assured me he didn't have anything. The next thing I can clearly remember is him pulling out and jacking off to "finish." I asked him what happened the next day just to make sure and he said he gave me oral for an hour and we had sex for two minutes. The next day I took the morning after pill and I started to have back/abdominal pain. That has since escalated and my whole body (muscles and joints) hurt. I've also had muscle twitching. I know this is a big indicator of ARS. I admit that HIV is on my mind 24/7. I've had two or three anxiety attacks during my sleep in the past month. I don't sleep very well and sometimes I wake up sweating slightly. I had all my tests come back negative after 2 weeks but I know that doesn't mean much. I feel like I've had other symptoms of ARS too. My stomach was upset for a couple of hours about 3 weeks after exposure. I had what I think was a bruise on my ankle at about the same time. I've had what feels like a tension headache throughout the whole expeirence. My throat hasn't hurt but it's kind of scratchy and I have post-nasal drip...slight cough for 1/2 days. My body temperature has been between 97.5-98.9. I don't know if 98.9 is considered an ARS-related fever. My thoughts are so cloudy too! I I keep thinking I have pinkish marks on my chest but I don't know if it's my imagiation or not! What does a typical ARS rash look like? I've also felt numbness/tingling mostly in my arms and hands. My tongue even went numb once. My biggest complaint is the body aching. That's freaking me out. I got tested again at 33 days so I'm expecting my results back early next week. I'm praying I didn't screw up my life over two minutes I don't even remember! My question is do these sound like common ARS symptoms. I know it's in the right time frame but do they tend to come on one after the other? If it is ARS, will the test I just took come back positive? Any indication as to what results I should expect? My friends all think I'm going crazy, but it's nice to see that others on here get just as worried.
Any negative test is reassuring, but no, it's not correct to assume that if the symptoms you're experience are ARS then you would definitiely have a positive antibody test.
What you're experiencing doesn't sound like ARS to me - but then, what your symptoms "sound like" to me (or anyone else for that matter) don't mean jack ****. You had a risk, and you need to be tested.
On the positive side - a brief look at the anxiety forum will show you your symptoms are much more consistent with anxiety than ARS. Also, a negative test at six weeks (you're not far off that mark) is highly unlikely to change. But I'm sure you know all this anyway.
But the one thing you are probably only beginning to appreciate, is the extent to which HIV anxiety itself can wreak havoc on your body. Don't let it. Listen to your friends. Keep a level head. You're not alone.
Thanks for the answers! I definitely have learned my lesson...I just hope it's not too late. I know everyone says that it's rare to get HIV from one random time but a risk is still a risk. It's so not worth it. I totally have re-evaluated things in my life. One last question. Does the duration of the act (2 minutes) and the fact that he ejaculated outside lower the risk at all???
The only reason to try and quantify a risk is in determining whether the risk/benefit is justified in terms of starting PEP. Otherwise, it's a relatively pointless exercise that actually does nothing to alleviate anxiety (that's me speaking from experience).
Perhaps however, it will help you to know that everyone reading this post will understand that you will be worrying about this far, far more than is justified by your risk of contracting HIV - which is, in anyone's language, low.
Thanks for your patience. You actually have made me feel better...at least momentarily =). It's crazy how the anxiety can just take over your life. Once you think you're over it, it just comes right back. I guess I just feel so guilty because I've never ever done anything like this before. Is it allowed for me to post my test results when they come back?
Well I am by means any kind of "rule-maker" on this forum, but everyone else seems to do it, so go right ahead! We'll celebrate with you when the time comes.
I was bloody useless at anxiety-relieving, so I don't have the audacity to offer you any advice. But as I said, never underestimate the ability of the mind to produce some darn convincing physical symptoms.
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