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HIV Symptoms Horribly scared please help
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HIV Symptoms Horribly scared please help

Dear Dr. I posted a question recently on this forum where you said i was low risk for HIV but I believe you may have misread. I had a condom break during vaginal sex with an unknown woman. Since then i have tested negative for everything except herpes and HIV

My symptoms are as follows
Confirmed (by a MD) swollen lymph nodes in the neck and groin
Approx 3 weeks after the event i had a sinus infection that took a while to clear even on antibiotics
About 3 days ago I went to the Dr. due to the lymph nodes. He said i had slight weezes and an upper respitory infection. put me on zithromax
I have had pain in the tip of my penis since the event that comes and goes.

My questions are
is having a condom break during vaginal sex really low risk?

I know you are overwhelmed by lymph node questions but I just cant ignore the fact that at 6 weeks after the event now i have a swollen lymph nodes. I have gone to 3 different places looking for testing and none of them will offer it until 3 months. I am extremely nervous to the point that it is starting to disrupt my life. how at risk am i really for an infection?

also planned parenthood told me that HIV/Aids does not show symptoms for up to 10 years. from what i have read online this just does not seem true at all.  
please answer my questions thank you
Tags: scared, test
Related Discussions
239123_tn?1267651214
I empathize with you, and I don't understand docs who won't test you before 3 months; you clearly have not seen providers who are very knowledgeable about HIV and its diagnosis.  The persons you spoke with at Planned Parenthood either didn't understand your question or is confused about the difference between overt AIDS and lab test results.  AIDS itself indeed can be delayed until 10 years or even 20 years after infection; but the blood test always is positive within 6 weeks.   (Few health care providers at most family planning clinics have ever provided ongoing health care to people with HIV, and few have even had a patient with a positive HIV test.)  Try your local health department STD clinic.

But in the meantime, it is very unlikely you have HIV.  Many conditions other than HIV cause enlarged lymph nodes; most are not serious.

I didn't misread anything about your risks.  Vaginal sex is pretty low risk, even without a condom, even if the woman is HIV infected, which she probably wasn't.  "Low risk" is relative, of course; vaginal sex is much higher risk than kissing or oral sex, for example.  But it's still true that even if she had HIV, the chance you got infected was on the order of 1 in 1000.

Good luck---  HHH, MD
15 Comments
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97676_tn?1340408973
Symptoms mean nothing.  Tests are the only indicator of an infection or lack there of.  Sinus infections are not a sign of HIV by the way.  This is cold and flu season, and I dont believe your symptoms suggest HIV.  Swollen lymph nodes are caused by so many other things, other than HIV.  To my understanding, HIV causes generalized swelling of nodes throughout the body (swelling to large size about the size of a walnut).  But again, swelling is caused by many other things, more common than HIV.  I really dont think you have anything to worry about, but im not a doctor so wait for HHH's response.  I will however say that the people at planned parenthood are wrong, or you misunderstood what they had stated.  In persons who are infected with HIV who dont know they are infected, HIV can become AIDS within about a 10 year period.  In US and most other countries around the globe, HIV tests are on the cutting edge of technology and almost 100% of persons will have a reliable test at 6 weeks, around 99%.  The only acception to this is people who have immunocompromised systems (IE. persons recieving chemo treatment, iv drug users, organ transplant recievers).  If you have had a test at 6 weeks, its reliable and you should put the worrying to rest.  If you havent, get one to put your anxiety to rest.  Its been 6 weeks so you can surely rely on an HIV test result at this point.  To add, symptoms of initial HIV infection, ARS, usually take place between 10-14 days after an encounter.  Put it this way, even if she did have HIV, the chances of transmission are 1 in 1000.  The odds are highly in your favor.  

Herpes Simplex Virus testing is somewhat reliable at 6 weeks, (maybe around 90%+, could be wrong).  Herpes usually takes 12 weeks for a 100% reliable result.  With the absence of lesions or sores, you really have nothing to worry about.  Symptoms of herpes usually occurs around 10 days past an exposure(ie lesions, sores).

You can rely on your tests at this point, so get tested.  I really dont think you have anything to worry about.  Quit trying to associate symptoms which probably have nothing to do with an STD with the thoughts that you have an std.  Tests are the determining factor.  Wait for the Docs response for clarification.  Good luck to you.
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thanks for the kind words, I hope you are correct. I have not had a 6 week test and cannot find anyone to give me one. 3 months is the best I can do
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97676_tn?1340408973
Testing can be done at any time at a local health clinic if you live in the US.
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Ryn,  I've seen you post some pretty good information. I have a question for you and others in the lymph node arena.  I have one swollen lymph node(close to the size of a walnut)on the left side of the neck just under the jaw.  I did go to the doctor as it was bothering my throat and ear.  I was prescribed zithromax the "z" pack, and am at day 4 of the pills, without any reduction.  Just curious if this could be a symptom of ARS, or as you mentioned does ARS USUALLY cause universal (all over the body) swelling of the lymph nodes?  My exposure was on 9/25, too early for reliable HIV testing, and I have had significant anxiety since.  I originally posted under "Staggeringly Low Transmission rate..." and have been on the site since, reading just about every post.  Just curious.  Thanks
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97676_tn?1340408973
I am not a doctor, but I will try and help you out based on my knowledge.  One lymph node swollen means nothing; the same goes if all were swollen.  The test is the only indicator.  One swollen node does not suggest HIV as HIV usually causes generalized swelling of all nodes throughout the body.  Most lymph node swelling has to do with an infection or a variety of viruses, more common than HIV.  Zithromax is one hell of an antibiotic, and im sure that if an infection is the culprit, the z-pack killed it off.  If your GP thought that there was something to be concerned about, im sure he would recommend testing.  To add, lymph node swelling does not go down over night.  It can sometimes take weeks for the swelling to subside.  There are a number of causes for swelling, much more common than HIV.  To my knowledge, ARS usually doesn
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Avatar_n_tn
Hang in there as best you can.  Have you asked your GP for an HIV test?  

The first and most obvious sign of ARS is a relatively high fever (101 or higher).  The other symptoms come after you develop this fever.  So unless you get a fever within a few weeks of exposure, you don't have ARS.  But as others have pointed out, symptoms are not a good indicator of HIV.

I too developed a sinus infection about four weeks after a potential exposure.  I was absolutely convinced that I had HIV.  I finally went into my GP, explained what had happened, and then a nurse drew blood for the test.  The blood was sent out to a laboratory, and the results came back within a week.  The test was negative.  I had this test done at 8.5 weeks after exposure.  

I really doubt that you have contracted HIV from this exposure.  But the only way to know for sure is to test.  So keep trying to get tested.
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Avatar_n_tn
hello,
Its been about 14 days since i received oral sex from a prostitude and i also tried to finger her but wasn't able to but felt something slightly wet with my finger. Yesterday i woke up feeling really tired, i almost felt i was gonna get the flu or something. All day i was slugglish with a headache and stomach ache. I didn't take my temperature but this morinig i did and it was 99.1. WHat im trying to say is how severe should the HIV ARS symptoms be. Right now i actually feel pretty good besides the fact that i have a case of diahrea. Also today i got my HIV and STD results that i had done at 8 days after my situation. But im going to get a 6 week test. I apreaciate everyone listening, please provide any input. My post was Oral sex with a prostitude on 10/5/05.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, As everyone has responded it is extremely unlikely that your problems are due to HIV. I dont know where you live but if you live in the uk i would like to offer you some advice. If you want to be tested for HIV and if you live in the uk DO NOT ask your gp to test you for hiv go to a GUM clinic and be tested,the reason being that if you go to your gp it is on record and he may be required to tell insurance companies etc that you have been tested ( which will hammer the premiums up.) at a GUM clinic it is confidential and nobody knows not even your gp is told. In fact on my test they told me never to tell my GP that i have been tested. Hope this helps you.
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Avatar_n_tn
All I can say is that I've had a swollen lymph gland in my neck for four weeks now and candidiasis (confirmed) on my tongue - I was so certain it was hiv (see my threads 'am I right to push for a test here? and 'a message of support for the site'). I tested for everything at 11 weeks, more at 12 weeks and, since I've just been referred to a clinic that specialises in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, anaemia, etc, they've just re-tested with my consent for Hep a, b, c, hiv and syphilis at 95 days since exposure. All negative, no hiv, its actually glandular fever! Hang in there - I am sure you'll be o.k. Rich.
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From everything I researched when I was going through my most anxious phase, the encounter is very low risk. Here in the u.k., the std (g.u.m.) clinic specialists said to me that in their experience, IF someone is or has suffered ARS, they are very ill, not just slightly. Nevertheless, as the doc says on here all the time - symtpoms and timescales cannot diagnose HIV, only blood tests. You can tie yourself in so many knots figuring out statistics and likelihoods - take care, it will be o.k.
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Dr. Please answer one more question: I called PLanned Parenthood and they agreed that they will give me the regular test at 6 weeks even though they say it should be given at 3 months. Before I pay for the test is the 3 month test the same procedure as the 3 Month test? My lymph nodes are still swollen noticably and i would like to know whats going on ASAP
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Avatar_n_tn
i did not have a sexual encounter, however i feel that i have hiv.  about a month ago, i may have shaken hands with a man that has a bunch of sores all over his body.  i know this seems very unlikely, but the right side of my neck has been stiff and hard for two straight weeks.  i have a whole list of symptoms that are real, and i am very concerned.  on the right side of my mouth, i have a glossy white (snot looking) on the later border of my tougue.  I have the white coating and it looks a bit hair-like.  Also, my body has become overly dry, and I am getting these circular lesion looking things on different sections of my body.  they are very small, and it could all be anxiety, but i am so nervous.  i have been waking up the same time every night, not sweating, but with a rapid heartbeat and a feeling of being hot and cold.  my beard over the last week was not growing up to potential, and my gums on my teeth look like they are receding on the same right side where the glossy finish on my tongue is located.  i know there are so many symptoms, and i am positive that they are all there.  my question is with all of these symptoms present, is it just in my head?  i mean, everything is falling right along line with what is symptomatic for hiv.  i had a test a week ago and it came back negative, however i think that it was too soon to tell.  i have testicle pain from time to time, and my hands feel like there are little pin-like dryness deposits (this is hard to explain).  i've lost a lot of weight and my clothes no longer fit.  i've felt weak and tired, and the waking up the same time every night is getting a bit old.  upon waking up, i cannot go back to sleep to save my life, and i just continue to lay there disturbed by shortness of breath and a hot and cold feeling.  i know that it is highly unlikely to get hiv from a handshake, but i can't remember if i had any open blood spots (i.e. broken cuticles) at the time of his handshake.  I know for a fact that his hand was all beat up, and he just doesn't look healthy.  the chances of it being hiv are slim, but i don't want to have to wait any longer to find out.  my last test was on friday the 28th, and now it is next friday.  is it possible that i could have a different virus?  my neck tightens up quite a bit, and everything is right-sided (the mouth, the neck, etc.).  everyone thinks i am crazy, but these symptoms are so real.  i am looking for help! thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
just wondering ..I had intercourse 2 wks ago and have been having a headache, nausea, swollen lymph nodes and sore throat.  I was told that signs and symptoms didnt show up till the 2mnth mark...is this true??
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a question for you regarding H I V risk.  I recently went to a dental visit, because I had a tooth abscess in my back molar.  I also had an ulcer in my mouth, which my dentist said would probably go away in a few days.  I was concerned about the dental equipment, but it is my understanding that the dentist sterilize their equipment although I didn't ask on this particular occasion.  Anyway they gave me an X-ray, which determined that the tooth needed to come out.  Ok, so after they removed the tooth, I paid the bill, used the restroom, and left.  On the way home, I noticed that my whole lip was numb, where the ulcer was and decided to mess with it on the way home to see if I could pop it, since I could not feel anything in that area.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I was wondering if there was any chance of exposure, since I did hold the x-ray dental equipment.  Is there any chance that I could have been exposed to the virus, since I was in a dental setting??  
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