In mid November I had unprotected sex with a man of unknown status, and a few weeks later in early-mid December I developed extremely swollen tonsils, a stuffy/runny nose, and a cough that lasted for approximately 3 weeks. I saw the man again around this time period, and again engaged in unprotected sex. Stupid, I know. I got sick again with similar symtoms a few weeks ago, and I'm still not over the cough. I'm really scared that I have the ARS thing that happens with early HIV infections, but I have little money to get tested right now and to be honest, I'm terrified to. Does anyone have any advice?
HIV infection cannot be diagnosed by symptoms. Some people have symptoms 2 - 4 weeks after exposure whilst others do not have any symptoms.
The only way to know your status is to go for an HIV test. An HIV test 12 weeks or more after exposure will give you a conclusive result. I know in many countries you can go to a GUM clinic and get a free HIV test.
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