STDs Expert Forum
Scared of Herpes or HIV
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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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Scared of Herpes or HIV

Dr. H,

Seven months ago, I had unprotected oral sex and unprotected intercourse with a girl I had previously been with (one time) but used protection.  Two weeks after the encounter I had symptoms for chlamydia and was tested (also for other STDs), proven positive, and treated.  At the same time, I was given an HIV test (ELISA) and it came back negative.  I have since found out she is promiscuous, but normally uses protection.  Understand chlamydia can make a person 3-5 times more susceptible to HIV.

Five months ago, I had unprotected oral sex and intercourse with a condom with a different girl, but one I have been with for 2 years off and on.

Two months ago, I French kissed a girl and nothing else.  A week and a half after, a large fever blister showed up on my mouth.

One and a half months ago, (5.5 months after the unprotected sex and a couple of weeks after the fever blister) I had another HIV test (ELISA) and it has recently came back negative.

Two weeks after I took the HIV test, blisters showed up on my penis and two weeks after that I started having the following:  fever, lymph nodes hurting, lower back pain, burning in my groin area when I sit, stiff neck, difficulty swallowing, and not hungry.  I know some of these were from anxiety also.  These obviously came two weeks after I had the HIV test.  The above went away and just the other day some of the pains in my groin area have come back.

What are my chances of having HIV?  Do I have herpes or do I need to get another type of STD test?  I am going next week to have an HIV and HSV-1/2 test done.

Thank you.
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All very confusing, but you needn't worry about HIV.

Blisters of the penis usually means herpes, so that seems a pretty good bet.  But still atypical, in that first-episode herpes usually shows up within a few days.  And further atypical because of your apparent oral herpes a couple months earlier.  (How certain are you the oral lesions was a fever blister.  Have you had them before?)

As far as HIV is concerned, the negative test 5-7 months after exposure is definitive evidence you weren't infected.  (It is true that chlamydia increases the risk of HIV acquisition if exposed.  But doubling an extremely low risk still means a low likelihood of infection.)

As implied above, I can't quite connect your oral lesion, genital blisters, and fever.  The symptoms suggest herpes but the timing is off.  Your idea of having diagnostic tests for HSV-1 and -2 is a good one.  It can't hurt to have another HIV test, but I don't expect it to be positive.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Dr. H,

Not sure it was a fever blister - just what I called it.  Could be oral lesions as I have never had a fever blister before.  leisons showed up between 1-2 weeks after kissing the girl, but do not remember exactly.  So oral leisons, followed by blisters on my penis followed by the other things I had.  All about two weeks apart.

Thank you.
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Avatar_n_tn
Doctor,

A couple of follow-up questions to my initial questions above.  As stated I had an HIV test 5.5 months after the unprotected vaginal sex and 2 months (8 weeks) after the oral sex.  It was negative. As stated, a week after the blisters on my penis, and two weeks after I took the HIV test, I had the above listed symptoms.  I am fairly sure I have genital herpes, but I will confirm it with a test.  I am still, however, concerned about HIV.  I am sure I have a lot of anxiety as I cannot stop thinking about it even though you have stated I can be fairly confident I am not positive.

Do the symptoms for herpes normally come after an initial outbreak or before?  

Since I wrote last, it seems I have oral thrush now.  Tongue is covered with what I would say is an "off-white carpet" that I can scrape off.  I also have small red spots on the tip of my tongue and it burns as if I have burned my tongue from drinking something hot.  The front part of the roof of my mouth also has a burning sensation.  At times I have a hard time swallowing and it seems food gets stuck in my throat.

If this is oral thrush, could I have acquired it through stress or anxiety? Or is it a tell-tale symptom of HIV?

Is a person detectable for HIV even before the symptoms, no matter how long it takes?

Can having many vaccines cause a delay in the time someone will develop antibodies and test positive?  I travel a lot (Africa and elsewhere) so I have taken the full compliment of Hep A and B shots, Yellow Fever, Cholera, Typhoid, plus others when necessary.

Again, just trying to find out if I still need to be worried.

I will get another HIV test tomorrow.

Thank you in advance.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Doc,

I don't know if you read all comments, or will respond.  last night i had unprotected sex with a sex worker in china - i was very drunk - i am a complete idiot.  i have a beautiful family and i am so worried about what i may have done to them, never mind myself.  we had unprotected vaginal sex one time as well as i performed oral sex on her and she on me.  today my abdomen is noticeably sore, but no other symptoms.  

i have read alot about hiv testing and know to go in about 3 weeks and again at 2 and 3 months.  my questions are (1) what are the odds i have contracted hiv, and (2) how do i protect my wife other than celibacy - is she properly protected with condoms?

i am freaking out big time here, and any message back, would mean a lot.  thanks

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Avatar_n_tn
hello i had protectected sex with a condom on. It was about 10 min the most i pulled out checked the condom a few times it was still on but when i switch position the condom popped so i was un protected for about two min and i just stopped and did not finish what are my chances of catching hiv.
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Avatar_f_tn
my boyfriend just broke up with me tonight.  I told him about 5 months ago that I have herpes.  she was okay with it, but today came pick me up from work and broke up the relationship;-(
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Avatar_f_tn
I feel very sad, I'm hurting in my heart.  he left and told me it's hard for him to deal with it that every time I get close to him he feels very nervous.  
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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