Welcome to the Forum. I'll try to help but the bottom line is that you need to be tested. In my judgment, as I'll elaborate on below, it is most unlikely that you have HIV but only a test will resolve the concerns and doubts that currently plague you. Testing does not give a person HIV but it does give them the power to know what is going on and whether or not they have the infection. Most tests are negative and if you were so unfortunate as to have HIV, the test would allow you to seek treatment sooner. There is no reason to delay or avoid HIV testing. With that as background, let's work through your questions:
1. At 4 weeks a standard HIV test will detect over 90% of recently acquired infections. Thus your negative test is strong but not definitive evidence that you did not get HIV.
2. Gonorrhea and HIV are both STDs but most people with gonorrhea do not have HIV. There is a somewhat increased likelihood that a person with gonorrhea had HIV but it is not great. gonorrhea is much, much more easily transmitted than HIV.
3. I have never heard of or seen a case of HIV transmitted without penetration. I find it most unlikely that you will be the first.
4. Swollen lymph glands can be symptoms of HIV. they can also be due to viral infections including mono, which are far, far more common than HIV.
Bottom line, there are many reasons to presume that you do not have HIV- no penetration, a negative test, etc. Please get tested. I predict the test will be negative. let us know when you get your result. EWH
I should also mention I have an eczema-type rash on my arms and dry skin on my feet. I have also had a mouth ulcer, which I've not had before, but believe can also be associated with HIV.
Thanks for taking the time to respond; I really appreciate it.
Thank you, I really appreciate you taking the time to offer advice. I will get tested on Monday and come back here and post the result.
1) Is a "fast" finger pin prick test accurate? Or should I just choose to get a standard HIV blood test? I know that the anxiety of waiting for results would cause me immense stress and sleeplessness, so I figured the test where I get the results right away would be better.
2) Regarding my symptoms - is it true that symptoms of HIV do not normally continually "appear and re-appear"? Is it rare that they would start to show so long after the initial exposure? I did not experience any of the symptoms described until at least a fair few months after the exposure.
Thanks again, Doctor. This will be my last post until I come back to share my result.
1. Yes, results of the rapid, finger stick tests are just as accurate as tests performed in the lab.
2. Corrrect. The symptoms of early HIV do not wax and wane. Further they typically appear 2-4 weeks after exposure, not after a matter of months. EWH
Doctor, I had the test today and the result was negative. Thanks so much for the invaluable advice and support you offer. All the very best wishes.