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One Last Time Symptoms

I know my calculated risks are 1 in 10,000 for a BJ.  I know symptoms are not a good indicator of HIV infection. My question may appear similar to before, but, I would like to ask it anyway in hopes you can clear up my confusion about information on the web. In short, it is now 5 weeks since my exposure, my face (forehead, nose and upper cheeks) feels hot and appears slightly red with small bumps/blotches.  My arms still have a burning sensation along with my back and legs. My shoulders have the same burning sensation and appear to be slightly red and blotchy at times.  I have read a great deal about HIV positive people having dry skin issues, psorisis etc.  Is it possible that these symptoms that I am experiencing  at this stage after my exposure be linked to early HIV infection ?  That's it !  Last question and please understand that there are no resources where I live to discuss these issues and yes, I do have a ton of anxiety...can't help it...really suffering and worried..lots at stake.
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300980 tn?1194929400
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I could answer this post with a single word - NO!!!!! but will expand (slightly) on the answer from two perspectives, the issue of information on the net and the issue of symptoms.

First the net.  Believe me, you can find anything you want to on the net.  Unfortunately, although (I hope) well intended, much of it is misleading, due to either over simplification or over reliance on peculiar circumstances that have little validity for the larger, more generalizable population.  On this site, you can review both my credentials and Dr. Handsfield's.  Then, if you choose to believe what we say, based on years of experience and direct involvement in the field, so be it.  If not, that's OK with me too.  What we will not do is get into a debate of our statements vs. those of others.  Life is too short.

Symptoms.  HIV is a chronic disease with a natural history of years. Over those years, as infected persons' immune systems grow weaker, persons become more susceptible to a variety of maladies.  This includes skin problems. In addition the ARS does have a rash associated with it but the rash you describe, along with the absence of other components of the syndrome tells me that this is not the ARS.   In situations such as yours and many like you, the first issue is, was your partner infected and guess what- worldwide the answer is probably not.  Commercial sex worker or not.  Second, if your partner was infected, are you the fewer than 1 in 10,000 who get infected -again probably not.  Finally, could you have gotten a viral infection like the flu or otherwise which could cause the symptoms you describe - yes, in fact it is quite likely.

Again, to state it more succinctly, could this be HIV, NO.   Please do your best to relax and move on.  EWH
Helpful - 1
300980 tn?1194929400
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Clearly my efforts to reassure you with facts and information are failing becasue you continue to ask questions with no basis in fact.  Neuropathy is a very late finding in persons with HIV.  You do not have HIV neuropathy from the exposure you mentioned.  This is my last response.  EWH
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Avatar universal
I know your forum is not for therapy...I really need one last answer for this if you can, thank you.
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Avatar universal
I am desperately trying to determine if the burning type of sensations that I am experiencing on different parts of my skin at this point after exposure (3 to 5 weeks) is something that you have seen or heard of in all of your experience with hiv, or, am I suffering from something else like anxiety and stress.  I am not asking you to tell me if this is ars, I know you cannot do that from symptoms alone. This burning seems to come and go randomly and sometimes quite intense.  I have read from this site people who are hiv positive having burning skin.
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Avatar universal
Please put my mind at ease a little if you can by looking at this last question.

Thanks
Helpful - 0
300980 tn?1194929400
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
No burning sensations of the kind that you describe are not associated with HIV.  You may or may not be having these sensations and if so, I would urge you to seek medical care, either with a primary care provider or perhaps a neurologist.  

As for having read about similar problems with persons with HIV infection, I challenge you to show me where Dr. Handsfield or I have attributed sensations of this sort to recently acquired HIV infection.  If you cannot do that, please stop posting misinformation.  EWH
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Avatar universal
I appologize for not being more specific with my last sentence, I was refering to the medhelp site, not specifically this Forum. I am concerned that I may be experiencing neuropathy of some sort from early hiv infection or something from hiv that is causing my skin to feel so hot or burning at times.  Is this at all possible ?  Do you know of any others who have these type of sensations at this stage from possible acquisition.  Maybe I am not describing my issue properly...I just don't know what to do.
Helpful - 0
300980 tn?1194929400
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
No, I looked briefly at some of your prior posts but, as you no doubt know, there are over 10,000 of them.  I read your question with care and based on what was in it, responded.  Instead of posting I suggest you read some of the other exchanges on this site.  You will see that both of us have repeatedly and without fail have said that symptoms (rashes, fevers, lymph node swellings and many more) are uniformly an unreliable indiactor of ARS.  There are NO symptoms that you can describe that will change that opinion which is based on caring for patients with and at risk for HIV and STD since well before the beginning of the HIV pandemic.  EWH
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Avatar universal
Thank you for the detailed response. You made a comment here about these skin issues I am having and the absence of other components of the syndrome would tell you that it is not ARS.  I didn't repeat my previous post where I listed my other symptoms and hope you could just clarify this statement by either acknowledging you considered  what I wrote before or elaborating on what other components would lead to a suspicion of ARS.  Sorry about this additional request, I really could get all my answers with a 2 minute conversation which I know isn't going to happen.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have the same burning sensation you have and what is ironic is the girl I had anal intercouse has only had 1 sexual partner but has Neuropathy. I have the worst possible burning sensation through out my body. I go into the pool to cool me down. I went to see a neurologist who said "the burning isnt associated with early HIV symtons" he told me to Phychiartrist. What bother's me is that I am in alot of pain from the burning and it seems if a doctor doesnt uderstand the burning pain they tell you to see get mental help, How is that assuring? I had unprotected sex on Jan 18th 2008 9pm tested after 54 days 7 1.2 weeks negative. I have a doctors test to re-test at 10 weeks. Its not that I am just worried its just that I am in pain. I believe that HIV is so new to us, that even if people dont have HIV is it possible to get some strains of the disease? I mean there can be a million reasons for the burning but even though it might not be HIV related. I feel it might be some other kind of either std or my body's fighting my own immune system and the burning is what im feeling. I dont know going crazy in South Florida

w/b bro
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I have seen many doctors who simply look at me stunned and tell me to wait for the hiv results which I find contradictory to what Dr. Hook is telling me.  I was up last night with burning on my chest and arms...I only hope it is anxiety causing this.  I am really counting on Dr. Hook's response and hope he understood my symptom description, I am worried I didn't describe it correctly to him.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I dont understand that you said you have seen many doctors who are stunned? Stunned about what? Most doctors I have talked to regarding this who are in the medical field, doctors, dermatologists, etc it's sad they really dont know alot about HIV they guide by the guidelines which they were told in the 90's.

I was given a drug called AMITRIPTYLINE and it has helped me a little bit with the burning this was given to my by my neurologist who also ensured me that the burning sensation is not associated with Acute HIV sympton. So we have (2) doctors verse us  Dr. Hook who specializes in HIV and a Nourologist . Who would you trust?? I take the doctors..
However  I am very nervous as you and I was tested at the 8 week mark as negative but I realize there is another 4 weeks. I had unprotected Anal Sex with an x girlfreind  who has only had one other sexual relationship with another male. Who she dated for 2 years that unprotected. However I dont know her status but having slept with only 2 men in her in her mid 20's is not bad. I think the odds are in our favor. But HIV is not the only STD we also have to worry about Hep C which the symtons are similiar of HIV. However I dont know the window period of (Hep C) so write back we are in the same boat Greatly Appreciated.
Later, AJ
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Avatar universal
I received my results from the 30 day test and they were negative.  The test was a third generation test, does this make any difference?  I continue to experience painfull skin issues sometimes all over my body, hurts sometimes to touch my arms and chest. My ears now hurt on the outside as well, I am still very much worried based on these continual skin issues along with a constant need to swallow as my throat has felt like there is a lump or excessive mucus that requires extra effort to clear, this has been going on for weeks now (I am at week 8 since the incident). I have very little appetite and wake up in the night with stomach cramps that are very painfull.  I know you said that was your last entry here, but, any comments either way could help with the excessive anxiety I am having.  I started on Cipralex one week ago for the anxiety (5mg) and so far has not helped me with my symptoms.  Thank you again. Could my Twinrix Hep A and B shot that I received delay the hiv antibody tests, I received it one week after my exposure.
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300980 tn?1194929400
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I said no more answers but I will relent and provide one more.  After this, all posts will be deleted.

Congratulations on your test resutls.  Believe them.  The tests are very good.  Recipt of vaccines will not delay a HIV test from becoming positive.

As for your symptoms, they are not due to HIV.  Having started to work with a health care provider is the right things to do.  EWH
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Avatar universal
A related discussion, You Were Right Dr. Edward was started.
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