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Avatar universal

2 Possible HIV exposures

4 months ago I came in contact with  HIV/Hep C blood.  it was on my hands and do not recall having any cuts or open wounds on my hands other than few open cuticles.3 weeks after that I had unprotected sex with a man of unknown HIV status. He has told me that he was tested about 6 wks ago for work exp and was neg but I didnt actually see the results.  
At the end of Sept I developed a UTI. I have a history of HPV and at this time I noticed a small bump near my anus. Later this was diagnosed as a possible anal fissure however a viral culture of this area did test positive for HSV.  About a week later I developed a terrible runny nose and sore throat which lasted a few days. Since this time I have had cobblestoning in the back of my throat which is irritated off and on.  I have NKA but have never been tested.  When this all started I must confess  I had major anxiety and lost 13 pounds, night sweats, tremors, ect...all of which I attibuted to my anxiety.I have also developed swollen lymph nodes in my cervical area...all of which are under 1cm but I do have around 7.  I also have a few sm lymph nodes in my pelvis along with a lymph node on my rt inguinal area that may be a little over 1cm.  These have been present for at least 5 weeks now.  On top of all of this a few weeks ago I developed a dark red dotted rash on my back near my bra. It  lasted a day or two but it was a significant rash( I do have pictures if it helps).   I have tested HIV negative at 6,10 weeks, I have had mutiple STD tests of my cervix and throat, blood work..all of which were negative. All at 10 wks post last exposure. My fear is that the lymph nodes, although small are very persistant, the bumps on my throat(lymphatic tissue) and the symptoms I attributed to stress could also be signs of HIV.  I guess my question is, are my symptoms to far out to be considered?  Would my 10 week post exposure bloodwork for HIV be 100% accurate or could I now be developing more and more symptoms.  

6 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to the HIV forum.  The bottom line is that you can relax.  You don't have HIV.

The key statement in your question is "I have tested HIV negative at 6,10 weeks".  Those results prove you were not infected.  With modern HIV antibody tests, it almost never takes more than 6-8 weeks for a positive result.  As long as testing is done sufficiently long after the last possible exposure, the results always outweigh symptoms and the exposure history.  In other words, your symptoms and the nature of the exposure do not matter here; the test results tell the story.

That said, the exposure is not suspicious.  Getting HIV infected blood on intact skin is not a risk.  (I have to wonder how that happened -- presumably personal contact with a person known to have both HIV and HCV?  Maybe in a health care setting?)  As for your symptoms, some seem consistent with acute HIV, but only if the findings (such as enlarged lymph nodes) have been confirmed by professional examination. But most of the symptoms don't sound suspicious anyway.  And as I said, they don't matter; your test results prove that something else is the cause.

If your symptoms persist or you otherwise remain concerned, continue to work with your personal health care provider about it. But you can relax about HIV.  It's not an issue here.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thank You for your quick. Yes my first exposure was from a patient.  As for my lymph nodes, I have spent mulitple hours in doctors offices both family and ENT.  Both noted the mulitple palpable lymph nodes but neither seemed to be of much concern and I was told that HIV lymph nodes present much bulkier-over 1cm or bigger.   The problem I have run into is for example...gyn only wants to check inguinal nodes and ENT only wants to check cervival nodes and internal medicine has not been of much help. They have all documented small nodes, but contribute it for example from being thin.  My biggest fear is that most of the symptoms have persisted, and I keep on developing more, like the rash. Is it common to get a rash amost 3 months after a possible exposure? and would it only last a day or two?  I have also had a huge fluctuation in body temp.  My average temp always was 98.4 but since the start of this it fluctuates from 97.7-98.9.  Would you recommend another HIV test for the minority of people who may seroconvert late, or do you absolutely feel confident that my 10 week test is accurate even with the presenting lymph nodes and rash.  If I would test again now it would be 4months, if my symptoms (rash) was from HIV infection at this point would I test positive if indeed the rash was a symptom.  

Thank You again.  I cant tell you how appreciative I am to be able to ask someone with your knowledge.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to add because you noted that the exposure was not suspicious, that I did also indeed have an unprotected sexual encounter.  Im not sure if that changes your expert opinion, but I wanted to point that out in case it does.

Thanks again
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Not only do HIV tests just about always turn positive within 6-8 weeks, but they always are positive within 2 weeks of onset of symptoms of HIV.  Your symptoms just aren't right.  Among other things, it is very uncommon to have ARS without overt fever, and your temperature is entirely normal.  (Everybody's temp fluctuates.  98.6 is not the maximum normal; it is the normal average over the course of a day.)  Sorry I didn't comment on the sexual encounter as well as the skin exposure, but that sounds like a low risk partner who was tested and negative for HIV.

Therefore, this additional information does not change my opinion or advice.  I am convinced you do not have HIV and do not need further testing to prove it.  But feel free to do so if you will gain still more confidence about it.
Avatar universal
Thank you again,  this will be my last post.

I did have a fever the night after my UTI was diagnosed.  99.6. (very low grade).  I attribute that to my UTI and not HIV.  Occasionally over the past month I will take my temp and it will be 99.4. It has never gone over the 100 mark, so I cant honestly say that Ive had an overt temp.  Im sure this is unrelated, but wanted to get all the facts out that I can remember before the end of my last post... another odd symptom I have been experiencing is a tingling sensation in my left shoulder.  I have no idea what to attribute that to. I have also had muscle aches and headaches but that is hard for me to pinpoint to these new developments as in the past I have experienced this. My headaches are behind my eyes, possibly sinuses.  
I do want to note that my last test was taken only a few days after my lymph nodes started to swell and before the appearance of my rash and tingling sensation in my left shoulder/scapula.   Most of my symptoms have developed after the 3 month mark and after my last HIV test.  I do not think my symptoms are ARS...as from my research ARS is very early on.... if anything early progression into HIV status.  That being said, you have been exposed to many cases with different scenerios and your knowledge I will trust.  My final questions...Have you ever had anyone test positive after a negative 10 week test?  And now, if I did decide to retest, it would be at least 2 weeks after the onset of the rash and swollen lymph nodes, so if that is negative you feel confident(I know you are confident already) but I could feel more confident then that these symptoms are unrelated to HIV because if they were, after a few weeks of symptoms, my test would be positive?   Again, this is my last post as I dont want to doubt your experitse.  Thank you again and Merry Christmas and God Bless.  
239123 tn?1267651214
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I'm trying to reassure you and you keep trying to talk me out of it!  Re-read my previous replies and pay attention this time.  I have made it very clear that your negative test results prove that your symptoms cannot be due to HIV.  Period, end of story.  And end of this thread.  
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