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Avatar universal

Feeling Hopless

Good day Dr,

I understand my risk was very low but my symptoms are very telling and I do believe I somehow contracted HIV.

5 days after my exposure, had severe chills, body temperature felt hot, headache, discomfort in the throat and dry cough. i also had nausea and didn't eat for a day and a half. No fever or rashes or lymph nodes that I could see. The chills felt like something was invading my complete body, from head to toe. These symptoms lasted about 2 days. Had a severe case of diahrrea, which only was one morning.

I had an HIV antibody test done at 50 days post exposure on April 3rd, as well as STD's. All came back negative. I initially was overjoyed at this news and believed that my symptoms would go away but they haven't.  

my symptoms have been now
- digestive issues. Severe cramps or abdominal pains, especially after a meal which is usually followed by body chills or hot head or hot flashes.
- Frequent need to urinate, like every 2 hours.
- White lines around tongue edges
- Dry dry mouth
- On/off headaches
- Feeling tired. I have also had 2 bouts of res dots on penis head appear. Doesn't hurt when peeing but penis head felt slightly hot. They went away after a few days on it's own. Also had 2 bouts of herpes appear on mouth. I've also lost 25 pounds in 2 1/2 months, from 260 to 235 now. I just don't see anything else based on the time frame of the exposure and symptoms.

I have always had low platelets count for some reason, barely over 150. Also suffer from chronic asthma and all kinds of allergies that weakens my immune system. These symptoms have been going on for over 11 weeks now and my slow or weak immune system is most likely the reason that I tested negative at 7 weeks since I was still in seroconversion process and hadn't developed enough antibodies to be detected yet.

I would much appreciate your input on my situation Dr. and comment on my concerns.

Rapid test on May 8th (12 weeks)

13 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

You had accurate replies on the community forum.

First, you had an exposure that carried no risk for HIV, which is not transmitted by oral sex (as described on the community forum), or rarely enough to be ignored.  Second, "5 days after exposure" is much too soon for HIV/ARS, which never causes symptoms earlier than 8-9 days and usually not until 10-20 days.

Most important, your negative HIV antibody test at 50 days: is conclusive proof you don't have HIV.  The HIV tests always overrule both exposure history and symptoms. Even if your exposure had been high risk, or if your symptoms were typical, neither of which is the case, the test result rules:  you were not infected.

So my advice is to see a doctor, if you haven't done so, for comprehensive evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms. Whatever you have, it isn't HIV or any other STD or other infection from the oral sex event in February.

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal

I appreciate your feedback Dr. and it does make feel a little better. I did try to post my exposure but couldn't submit my comment with my exposure.

The community forum has been very helpful also.

And yes I am symptom driven and extremely worried due to them. I agree that if I didn't have any symptoms, I probably would stress this out at all based on my exposure risk. But the time frame of when my symptoms have started and the type of symptoms are a daily reminder of my worriness and anxiety

Most of my weight loss has occurred in the last 5 weeks or so...that I've noticed. Right when my daily digestive issues have started with my hot flashes and chills, white lines on side of tongue, ect...

I have read on other forums about cases of people having a long seroconversion that delayed the presence of enough antibodies to show a false negative test. Is this a possibility base on the info I provided?

Thanks again for your input
Avatar universal

Just wanted to add that I'm a heavy alcohol consumer, especially beer and for the last 10 weeks or so, I've cut back on drinking dramatically to the point of a few beers per week max . I exclusively drink water...about 10-12 glasses a day, no pop or juices, eating really healthy, lots of veggies and fruits, supplements like oregano oil and tchaga tea, doing what I can to help boost my immune system.  

I don't know if that would have any bearing on a possibility of a false negative test at 50 days.  

My weight is actually at 240 so I've gained 5 pounds for a total lost weight of 20 pounds. Not sure how to take that...I trained all summer last year, biked to work every 2nd day (2 hours total a day) and went on a diet to finally lose 12 pounds after 3 months. I have a very slow metabolism...I don't lose weight easy

239123 tn?1267651214
Delayed seroconversion and delayed positive HIV tests are urban myths, left over from the earliest HIV tests not used for almost 20 years.  Anybody claims this in more recent years is either intentionally misleading or doesn't believe or understand when s/he actually acquired the virus.

The bottom line remains that your test result proves you don't have HIV.  On this forum we don't speculate on non-HIV explanations for symptoms, so I have no comment on them -- except that if you aren't under a doctor's care for them, obviously that should be your immediate next step.
Avatar universal

Your words are encouraging. I do have a family Dr but unfortunately, during our last meeting when I went for my test in early April, he suggested that I find an infectious specialist to figure out my issues.

Hard enough to find a Dr where I'm from (Ottawa). Many people are on a waiting list to get one. I am scheduled for a rapid test on May 8th and depending on results, probably will just go to ER to try to figure out what is going on with me.

Last 2 days have not been good. Stomach pain has intensified to the point that I didn't really eat much. Still having chills and feeling cold with that annoying mild pain in the throat that just won't go away.  

Will keep you posted on my results.
239123 tn?1267651214
Thanks for the follow-up.  Ottawa has expert ID specialists; It shouldn't be difficult to find one -- and your PCP could recommend one.

But don't get your hopes up.  An ID evaluation may make sense to assure there is no underlying infection, but I doubt it will turn up an infectious explanation for your symptoms.  The problem may have started with a garden variety infection (non-STD and unrelated to the sexual exposure), but  your ongoing symptoms are more suggestive of a metabolic disorder or, even more likely, the physical manifestations of anxiety, depression, or other psychological/emotional disorder.

In any case, it definitely isn't HIV, which is the only topic for this forum, so this comment will end this thread  --  you don't need to post any other results etc.

Best wishes to you and good luck in sorting this out.
Avatar universal

Good day Dr and all experts at the Community Forum,

Just wanted to say thank you for your advice given to me trough out my ordeal. I had a rapid test done at 12 weeks as a follow up to my initial test that was done at 7 weeks and it was negative.

I still have daily symptoms (weight loss, chills, hot body spells, mild sweats, mild sore throat, headaches, fatigue) so I will go for another round of STD test next week to see if anything wasn't picked up at the 7 week test. I also will try to get a referral from my PSP doctor to see an ID specialist to try to figure out what's wrong with me.

Thanks again!
Avatar universal

Sorry, meant PCP doctor
Avatar universal

Hi Dr.,

I have a question to ask if you don't mind.  If someone was to seroconvert, does seronversion need to end for someone's body to be able to produce enough antibodies to show up on an antibody test or it would show up regardless at the 3 month point even if seroconversion was still going on.

Thank you for your time.
239123 tn?1267651214
Seroconversion is not an ongoing process; it is the point when the blood test becomes positive.  It always happens within 6-8 weeks.  (Three months is old news; it rarely if ever takes that long.)
Avatar universal
Thank you for the explanation Dr. I appreciate your feedback and really value your opinion. I find that Dr Hook and yourself pretty much give no-nonsense clear and informative answers to questions.

I'm pretty sure I don't have HIV based on my exposure and negative tests at 7 weeks and 12 weeks but still worried.

Had I tested positive at 7 weeks, I initially would of been devastated but I can say after reading up so much on it, I think I would of been OK...depending on the type of strain as from what I read, there's a few bad ones that progresses quickly.

What I'm worried about is if I happened to fall on that 0.001 category, still experiencing daily symptoms that come and go during the day, after testing negative twice now, from what I read, these few unlucky ones progress to AIDS very quickly.

I've had 2 new ones the last month or so that have appeared that gives me a bit of a scare:

- A rash that appeared on in the inside of my thighs near crotch area
- Fungus on both my big toe nails that covers about a quarter of the nail.

I still experience my daily symptoms that come and go during the day. This started Feb 17th so going on 14 weeks now. I'm finally seeing my PCP doctor on Wednesday. On top of asking to see an ID specialist, would you recommend another HIV test? That would make it 16 weeks after exposure. If you do recommend, what type of  test should I do that would leave pretty much no doubt on the outcome so that I can move that part of the equation out of my mind once for all.

Thanks again Dr.
Avatar universal
Hi Dr,

Not sure if this relevant or not but just wanted to add the following:

- I also have had spots on skin appear. They are round in shape about 3/4 inch in diameter. Slightly darker than normal skin color...about 8 of them here and there, mostly by shoulder/neck area and back.  

- I've noticed also that the weight I have lost (25 pounds ) has not comeback although my stomach has grown gotten bigger last month or so, but noticed considerable muscle loss, especially in legs and chest area.

- I've been eating healthy the last 3 months, lots of veggies, salads, walnuts, drinking exclusively water, 10-12 glasses a day, supplements like olive oil extract, chaga tea, oregano oil, probiotics....trying hard to help my body cope with whatever it's going through.  
239123 tn?1267651214
None of this changes my opinions or advice.  You don't have HIV.  Believe it and move on.

That will end this thread.  
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