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Anxiety or HIV symptoms (headache, stomach)

I had a risky encounter with sex worker where I realised a small tear in condom after. Less than one week after I began suffering headache (tension type) that was ok in the mornings but got worse towards the evening. I did have a lack of appetite, stomach ache, and feeling like I wanted to vomit. I am a mental and emotional wreck even had to tell my wife. The headaches went away after 7-10 days. I'm fearful of HIV to the point I can barely function, crying continuously. Doctor says it's unlikely related as the risk was very low. I however can't accept this and worry why I had a headache couldn't shake. Sure, I get headache rapt work from stress, presentations etc but they go quickly. Does anyone feel that extreme stress can replicate HIV symptoms, or be the cause for headache, bad stomach upset??
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Avatar universal
Yes anxiety can cause a lot of symptoms,  specially anxiety due to a possible HIV infection. .. I myself have dealt with this for almost 11 months now.. it all started last year around August and im still stressed due to symptoms. But my stress has make it even worst. Try not to think about it, there is nothing you can do but wait and get tested.. good luck with your results
Avatar universal
Stress and fear can cause allmost any symptom.What you are describing is not a typical picture of hiv symptoms and symptoms of hiv acute infection will not appear in less than one week after the exposure as the experts say. I recomend you to test with a 4th generation test at 4 weeks,so that you can regain your hope and reduce your stress.At 4 weeks the test is very very reliable.Then you can test again at 90 days.Good luck with this and remember that anxiety can leave you with issues to deal with but yous symptoms propably has nothing to do with hiv.
Avatar universal
Join the club, I am actually going through the same thing. I am basically looking to liaise with someone who has similar symptoms to mine. I came to this website and saw your post, what a coincidence.

Below is part of a thread I posted.



In November 2013 I had a high risk exposure to a female. I eventually spiralled into extreme anxiety thinking I was HIV positive, in fact I was sure of it. I was tested 7 1/2 weeks after exposure with a PCR and Elissa test and it came back negative. I tested again with Elissa at 4 and a half months and it was negative, I have been reassured many times by Doctors, Healthboard members and some other hotlines that I am conclusively HIV negative if I test negative after the 3 month mark, however new symptoms arising always put be back into the anxiety. For the last 8 months the following are my symptoms:



1) Extreme Fatigue and sleepiness - This is recently being relieved after I started sleeping in the afternoons, sleeping has really helped my energy levels.

2)dry skin, dry mouth - Patchy skin, some scaling (could be psoriasis not sure). Dry mouth started after a few months, I was still very anxious.

3)hair falling - This is getting better as I have greatly increased with Vit D intake

4) Chronic Diahhrea and Malabsorption - food is coming out as it is and the Diahhrea has caused Haemerroids.

5) Night sweats if I have a high carb meal.

6) Left Toe is numb.

7) excessive DANDRUFF - I am able to clear it for a few days with betadine, this is some kind of Iodine thing which acts against fungus.

8) After I work out I have a delayed Post Exertion Malaise which starts on the second day of working out, I have heard this is a sign of Chronic Fatigue.

9)I have a stiff back when I get up every morning if I am not on Digestive enzymes.


I have had 3 CBC's and 3 stool tests, no sign of Candida or bacteria.

TSH, T3, T4 and Cortisol 4m all normal. No Celiac disease, ESR levels are normal.


Please if anyone has gone through with something similar it would be great to get in touch




Thanks in Anticipation Everyone

Avatar universal
You have been testing in the right timeframe by every test that is human avalavble and thank god it was negative. So if you can't trust the science then you should talk to a specialist about anxiety issues.I was in your place and I understand what you are going through.Therapy has helped me so much.There is nothing you can read or be told about that will ease your anxiety.If you have symptoms it could be anxiety related.Fear and stress can make you sick for real.That is why I am suggesting a psychologist.He will help you get over this once and for all!
Avatar universal
Also for two weeks after exposure my stomach was a mess. Felt like I wanted to vomit and I'm sure a lot of this was anxiety related. Impossible to tell. To Zam786 - your test is negative. Nothing to worry about...

To ThePinkFloyd - yes the doctor said 4 weeks was as good as conclusive. I've been on the poz.com forum who say they've never seen a positive from a condom break. My break was pretty small and I believe short lived as happened at very end. All these statistics being thrown around only make it worse as I just think someone has to be the first - me. I'm in Asia where HIV is more prominent so am freaking even more. Dr says the risk was very low but I can't accept it, not where HIV and your life is at stake.
Avatar universal
You should wait until day 28 and then do a duo test.If this is negative then you should feel really confident on the resault.Apart from that you could seek a psychologist to help you go through this.We all know how you feel,we have been there.As the epxerts here say,there are lots of people that has lots of completely unprotected exposures and they still dont get infected.On top of that you dont know if she was an hiv+ and the chances are she wasn't.I know that this means a litle to you because its your life and even the smallest odd can make you scared.I totally know I was there.The only thing that will help you for real is testing.
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