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Can HIV Anxiety cause flu like symptoms, muscle aches? Especially after a work out?

Hi all.

I have been suffering from HIV Anxiety since an exposure (deemed little to no risk by the experts on here and doctors back in June), but maybe from guilt as in a relationship and the fact it was in Thailand which made me worry even more, the stigma, and the fact i live in a country where I would be deported if found positive, I find myself worrying about being HIV positive a lot.

I check on here and Asktheexperts.com as soon as I wake up and throughout the day, reading peoples questions, searching for other peoples questions in similar scenarios to mine etc. I have had 5 negative tests here in the UAE, and I then doubt the results. Googling the clinics/labs to see if anyone has had a false negative and then posted about it.

I have body aches all the time, the sides of my throat ache (not a sore throat to swallow), but feeling my lymph nodes are swollen, but been to see an ENT and Internal Medicine doctor and an ultrasound said they were normal size. I also had normal blood work done at 8 weeks post my exposure and was all normal, not revealing any underlying issues.

Last couple of months, when I weight train or do cardio, the muscle aches i have had been the worst ive ever experience. Ive trained for 10 years so know the feeling of DOMS and this is far more sever. Also it feels like the oncoming of a flu, like that kind of muscle ache, feeling of unwellness, but nothing breaks.

Can Anxiety do this? I do when reading certain articles, or looking at my tongue (i have had a white coating on my tongue since 10 days post exposure which is still here, nearly 20 weeks later), and the ENT said its not Thrush. Though sometimes it looks worse than other days and i panic.

Alcohol numbs the feeling and found myself drinking a lot more as i dont have these feelings after a few drinks.

I have my visa renewal next week and maybe because I have to do an official government test my anxiety is creeping up even more than normal.

I also tested for all other STD's twice (1 week and 8 weeks after exposure), in addition to my 5 negative HIV tests (RNA 16 days post, 4th gen tests 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks and 18 weeks post exposure).

Can Anxiety cause the feelings/symptoms I am experiencing? I feel lost and dont know what to do. My work has suffered (in a Sales job and just cant focus and had a poor 4 months at work since). Alcohol seems to be the only break I get.

I am hoping that when/if I pass my medical, the feelings/symptoms may go away. A couple of friends I have confided in think I am going mad. I think I might be too, but I cant shake how i feel, no matter how much i try and convince myself my tests are conclusive.

Any guidance/advice would be welcome. Thanks
2 Responses
Avatar universal
You definitely have talked yourself into an anxiety problem, worrying about something obsessively you don't have and that you appear to know the cause of, which is guilt and worry over things you did and where you're living.  There is a difference between being nervous about something real that is a problem, such as living where you're living and living how you're living endangering that status.  But you can change the behavior if it's that much of a concern for you, and apparently you can also move if you don't like the rules of the very oppressive country you've chosen to live in as if you need a visa you're not a native.  But choices do make worry for folks.  So the first question would be, given you know you have anxiety and know you don't have HIV, what have you done to try to treat the anxiety?  Therapy?  Anything?  As to your current physiological symptoms, it's impossible for anyone including a doctor to know if physical problems are due to anxiety or not.  It gets attributed to that when no other cause can be found, assuming your doctors are good enough and thorough enough to look at everything it might be.  But that makes it impossible for anyone here to know if your symptoms are caused by anxiety or not.  They don't sound like anxiety symptoms, but they do sound like symptoms some depressed people get.  Your drinking isn't helping anything, as it will tend to increase disorientation and therefore anxiety at times and if you have talked yourself into depression it will make that worse.  Most alcoholics are thought by many to be suffering from depression and treating it with alcohol, is that you?  So you have a host of behaviors you are in control of but are not controlling, that is an anxiety symptom.  But the physical stuff could be from all sorts of things, including hidden viruses (there are a lot of viruses out there that aren't HIV, and given where you live and travel, you might have picked something up) that are hard for docs to find, hidden bacterial infections, thyroid problems, blood sugar problems, nutritional deficiencies, and all sorts of things people suffer from.  Have no idea if you have any of them, your docs say no, but they are not easy to find.  Could it be anxiety?  Again, if an anxious person gets so unhappy from it they get depressed as well, then it could be, but also again, it doesn't sound like it.  But who knows?  I'd say, keep seeing your doctors and trying to see if the problem is physiological, and try treating your anxiety in a way that might actually help, which alcohol won't.  Peace.
2 Comments
Thank you for taking the time to reply.

It gives me some food for thought. I love the country where I live and its probably the thought I may have ruined that, and my current relationship, through a drunken exposure that gives me the guilt the most. The act was a complete one off in a blackout drunk state. Not a lifestyle. And not one I am ever going to repeat.

I am booked into see a recommended Internal Medicine Doctor here and I have my visa renewal next week. If I pass that, and that doesnt give me the relief I am hoping for, then Ill definitely look into therapy. If the muscle aches and feeling unwell continue after that, then I really dont know where to go from there. I had been hoping that the issues I have had are stress/anxiety related. As I was healthy and had no issues before all this. It hadnt occurred to me I might have some other virus.

My blood work didnt show anything thyroid related as i did mention that to the previous Doctor as my father suffers from Thyroid issues. All other blood work was normal.

I have definitely used Alcohol for a bit of escapism. Am I depressed? I dont think I am. Though maybe I am displaying signs of that. Again that hadnt occurred to me either.

Thanks again for your input. I appreciate it.



As to thyroid, know that doctors don't usually accurately test for it.  Unless you pressure them they will only test your adrenals, which are tied in with your thyroid, by testing Tsh.  You would have to test the individual thyroid hormones over time, mostly T3 and T4, to know whether you have that problem or not.  Not saying you have it, just saying the test for it isn't what doctors usually test for.
Avatar universal
Stay away from alcohol and help others who are in need. This is a good way to make you feel better.
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