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Avatar universal

Symptoms, Testing and HIV

Doctor, back again with an additional encounter I want your insight about.

Over a month ago, had a sexual encounter with a half-asian CSW. I was extremely intoxicated so the details of the event are a bit fuzzy. I'm pretty sure it was protected, that is, I remember her putting on a condom for oral sex. I also remember her asking me if I wanted to do it from behind (vaginal). In the midst of the event, I also remember slightly pulling out, and using my hand to see if condom covered my entire penis. She felt my hand reach down, freaked out, and asked me to get on top of her instead (probably worried that I had or would remove the condom if from behind). The rest of the event is a bit hazy, and I can't be 100% sure the condom didn't break. I truly just don't remember. But I do remember asking her is she was clean, and she said "of course, I don't want to die!"

What worries me is that exactly 24 days after the event (a little over three weeks), I developed concerning symptoms. Started with a fatigue, runny nose, and then progressed to body/muscle aches (lasted 24-36 hours), a one-time fever of about 100.4, followed by continued nasal congestion, sneezing. No sore throat. The fever lasted about a day, then remained roughly in the 99.8-99.5 for three days. Was feeling better within 2-3 days though congestion/runny nose lasted longer. I thought nothing of it, until I noticed a petechiael type rash on my stomach, the size of silver dollar near belly button and on my upper thigh. Admittedly, I was wearing tight-fitting clothing and it was hot outside, and I was sweaty. That lasted probably two days, and appeared about 2 days after the fever. Today, exactly a week after I noticed symptoms, I seem to be back to normal.

Are these symptoms typical of acute HIV? How long would they typically last, including fever and rash?

Freaked out, got get tested, 29 days after via rapid blood test. That was NEGATIVE. Should take any comfort in this test? Should I re-test?

2 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Welcome back to the forum. However, I am concerned that you continue to be overly fearful about low-risk encounters, symptoms, etc.

First, you describe an essentially zero risk event with respect to HIV.  That you "can't be 100% sure the condom didn't break" doesn't mean that it did.

Second, your symptoms do not suggest a new HIV infection.  They are the wrong symptoms (acute HIV doesn't cause nasal congesion, runny nose, or sneezing); a rash in a small patch on the thigh, petechial or otherwise, also doesn't suggest HIV; and the timing is wrong, since acute HIV symptoms usually start within 10-15 days, and rarely if ever beyond 20 days.  You caught a cold, nothing more.

A negative HIV antibody test (rapid or otherwise) is around 90% reliable at 4 weeks.  Based on the exposure and your symptoms, I would not have recommended testing at all.  But if you want a 100% reliable result, do it again at 6 weeks.

Let's not get into a strong of "yes but" or "what if" questions.  There is no information you can add that is likely to change my opinion or advice.  Also, please note that MedHelp permits a maximum of 2 questions every 6 months on each of the professionally moderated forums, in order to limit excess anxiety-driven questions (see Terms and Conditions).  Since this is your second on this forum since December, you should plan on not asking another before mid-September.  In the meantime, I hope you can gain some perspective on what does and does not constitute a significant risk of sexually transmitted HIV.

Regards--  HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Doctor, a sincere thank you for your professional, sober assessment. It's given me considerable comfort and put my anxious mind at ease.
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