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Symptoms after initial HIV infection
I have had unprotected anal sex several times (combining drunkenness and stupidity unfortunately), and after one time last year I did get sick with a mild flu for a few days, but I was left with a cough that lasted a few weeks. Went to the doctor, he did blood work but refused to do STD testing even though I asked because he saw no physical symptoms of disease. I have felt fine since then but recently I read about initial symptoms after HIV infection being a cold or flu.

Questions:

I have not been tested yet (last test was several years ago and was negative) and am afraid to find out the answer, but assuming I am HIV+, how long would I be symptom-free? Are there any alternatives to HAART? I am scared to death of having to go on regular drug treatment, because of the side effects and the fact that I can't afford it. If I go to get tested, how am I going to face the result if it is positive? I know these questions are moot, but please humor me.

BTW no moral judgements please. I'm an alcoholic (recently admitted to myself that I am) and I've been going through hell these last few weeks trying not to drink and taking vitamins and trying to stay healthy. I've stopped smoking cigarettes. The worst part about not drinking though is waking up to reality.
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Also the doctor I mentioned gave me antibiotics to take for a week but they didn't seem to do any good. The cough eventually went away on its own two or three weeks later.
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There are no alternatives to HAART. Not all people have symptoms. You had a risk, so you need to test. Good luck with testing and your sobriety.
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