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Avatar universal

The wheel of 'mis'fortune'

Hello Dr,

woohoo im in! finally! :)  Sorry to make it detailed but I may never get another chance. TKS for all u do.

My situation is the following im a heterosexual married male with a beautiful daughter and wife who wondered into the dark world of curiosity one night at a gloryhole.  I performed oral on a man (whom im sure is no stranger to this) on June 16th. Didnt ejaculate THANK GOD but lasted about 5 min i think.  

June 25 : symtoms begin.  First minor sore throat so went to see MD next day and perscribed amoxicillin for 2 wks.  

June 27: developed a swollen lymph node at the top of my adams apple. Tender, pea sized and marble shaped.  Disclaimer: This is when I started researching and learned about ARS etc.

June 29th (2 wks after): started feeling very tired/dizzy and gassy-nauseaus feeling after eating, node was leaving and throat pain better, dry cough and slight shortness of breath.  The bad nights also started here, bad meaning axciety panic attacks etc (panic attacks lasted that weekend great 4th let me tell you).

Now a jump to July 7th: The sore throat stopped but all symptoms continue namely: dry cough, tired/dizzy/gassy-nauseaus feeling after eating.  

July 11: new symptom!!! pain from under collar bone down the sides of chest to around the nipple, kinda feel bruised like (from couging or lymph ducts in chest?).  Went to get tested, couldnt wait for the full 4 weeks this is two days away from it. so at 3.5 weeks, NEGATIVE.

Now 5 wks: symptoms have diminished but all (except the sore throat it began with) continue.  throat feels swollen (as if salivatory glands are swollen but not sure if its the lymph nodes under them that do it or something else) as well as under my ear, dry cough, still light headed occasionally, and burn-bruised feeling still around chest to where it connect with arm.

Now with a beautiful daughter looking at me at home I die just thinking of what ifs at night and during the day when researching online.

fortunately no rash or fever (just one day of 100.5 due to something in my stomach.  


1) And what is this bruised burn like trail around the nipples and side of chest to armpit (no nodes and not under the pit) what is that all about?  ARS related? Swollen lymph ducts?

2) Read swollen throat glands that remain this way and the persistent dry cough are symptoms to watch out for?  Your take?

3) Guess someone has to be the unlucky one to be the 10/10000 thus the wheel of misfortune title. If mucuous membranes in the penis is what allows u to get infected and the mouth is a mocous membrane, how come its a much lower risk?  

Thanks in advance to you all for taking your 2 mins.  Count the days to the 6 wk mark and hopefully to the 3 mo mark

11 Responses
239123 tn?1267651214
Although I didn't have time to carefully read all the responses before this one (below), on scanning them they are pretty much on the mark.

It's a bit frustrating to say it so many times, but here goes once again: Symptoms never, never, never, never, never are a valid indicator of new HIV infection--especially when the exposure is low risk.  That's nil, nunca, nada, nichevo, zilch.  (Am I getting through yet?)  What I mean is that the blood test results tell the story; symptoms do not.  Your negative test result at 3.5 weeks is much more powerful evidence than your symptoms, even though the test is a bit early.

1) Those symptoms make no difference in my judgment that you didn't acquire HIV from the exposure you describe--which was virtually zero risk anyway, for practical purposes.  Ditto for the sore throat and other symptoms you described.

2) See no. 1.  Anyway, a single bump under the skin near the adams apple almost certainly is not an enlarged lymph node. And when HIV causes lymphadenopathy, generally it involves multiple nodes in many areas of the body.  

3) I cannot fully explain the biological reasons why oral sex is low risk.  It just is, based on epidemiologic studies.

Give me even so-so odds, and I would bet my life savings against you having a positive result on your future HIV tests, assuming this is your only exposure.

Avatar universal
quick FYI: The swelling kinda reminds me of the mumps and the pain in the chest and line to shoulder/chest feels like the next day pain after a workout (havent done any of that since the occurence).
Avatar universal
As I am sure the doctor will tell you, oral sex is very low risk.  I believe the risk is 1 in 10,000.  I don't think there is any research, however, I believe not allowing your partner to ejaculate in your mouth lowers the risk - common sense tells us that.
Avatar universal
virtually no risk. Your fine and your 3.5 was virtually proof.
79258 tn?1190634010
The risks from what you describe are very, very low. VERY low.

Were you ever actually diagnosed with swollen lymph nodes? Did you ever go back to the doctor after your first visit? Has anyone confirmed anything at all was wrong? I personally think most of your symptoms sound like anxiety - or at least exacerbated by your anxiety. Rather than worry about testing and HIV, have you talked to your doctor about your panic attacks? That's the place to start.
Avatar universal
Not diagnosed with lymph nodes. Swelling of the throat overall starting with the sore throat now just feels all puffy all day (when i swallow, eat, even move toungue).  Try to ignore it (as the cough and bruise type pains) to remove an anxiety factor then say i go grab something strecth out and ouch!  or I move to look at something and the pull etc.  It reminds me not it.  

At first I may have overacted the symptoms but now as i try to forget them many are just there.
Avatar universal

I'm going through a very similar situation, so I know what you're going through (my oral sex experience happened two days before yours, so you and I are in the same boat!). It's very scary, I know.

Just some things to consider...

Are you, or have you been in a prolonged state of panic?

If so, you should know that your swollen lymph nodes *could* possibly be stress-related. Our bodies are not meant to withstand long periods of intense stress. I have swollen lymph nodes, too. It really freaked me out, but when I did a little research, I was comforted by some information I found:

"Stress and the Immune System

A natural reaction to stress is the hormonal surge from the pituitary and adrenal glands along with increased white blood cell activity, in order to protect from infection.

The cells of our immune system release chemicals to combat infection. The chemicals stimulate the brain to feed back on the immune system through the nerves that feed the components of our immune system, the thymus gland, lymph nodes and bone marrow. The result is the increased production of white blood cells, which fight infection.

This reaction is beneficial for short term stress, but during chronic stress, the levels of growth hormone, prolactin and white blood cells decrease. Effectively, stress compromises the immune system, making us more vulnerable to infection.

When corticosteroid hormones are released into the bloodstream during times of stress, they attach to various receptors on cells within the immune system, depressing the cell’s ability to function optimally. They not only prevent the formation of T lymphocytes (white blood cell that attacks antigens such as a virus), but may also destroy some lymphocytes. In addition, they inhibit the release of interleukins and interferons, an essential component of the immune systems armoury.

Furthermore, levels of growth hormone are restricted during periods of stress, which in turn reduces white blood cell activity and our ability to produce antibodies, the mainstay of the immune system."

I found it on this page (the same information is available on many other websites, too):


Basically, what it's saying is that an extended state of panic and high anxiety can often turn on the body's natural defenses called "stress adaptation" (otherwise known as "fight or flight reaction"). Interestingly, this includes activating the lymphatic system to be ready for anything. And so yes, lymph glands can swell and become tender.

The point is... not all of our "symptoms" are necessarily HIV-related! There are many other possible causes, most notably STRESS!

I have the "tightness of the throat" thing, too. My therapist believes that I'm channelling my mind's energy to that spot because it's the part of my body where I convinced myself that I was infected through oral sex. Who knows. I wouldn't be surprised. The mind can have an unbelievably powerful effect on our bodies, so it's as good an explanation as any.

I also want to know that you are not alone! We're all going through this together. It's good that you're reaching out for help. Now, it might be a good idea to get out and do things to take your mind off of your worries.

I would also suggest perhaps seeing a therapist to help you deal with the guilt and shame you are feeling about your perfectly natural exploration of a sexual curiosity.

Hope this helps. Just wanted to show you (and myself) that there *are* other possible causes of our "symptoms" besides HIV.

Best wishes,

Avatar universal
All and Dr.

Tks a bunch....worst case scenario, if by some crappy odds I was + maybe i can get the doc to wager his savings for treatment.  But in all seriousness, thanks alot guys.  Amazing how ppl can aim to help expecting nothing in return :)


If you like, send me your updates to ***@**** and lets make it 3 months of patient and stressless wait!
Avatar universal
6 wk test came out negative.  

I will now try to IGNORE the throat tightness, dry cough, esophagus acting up and groin pulls and see if it was all stress related.  If so I bow my head to the power of the mind.  

I will take my 3 mo test as a means of sanity but plan to go on with my life at this point.  Playing my cards with the odds.

Tk u all and Dr HHH!
Avatar universal
I have had very similar symptoms. I haven't been tested because I just had unprotected oral, giving and receiving with a woman. Lump in my throat and soreness in the pectoral/underarm area with no noticable swollen glands wich comes and goes in both sides, loose stools, feeling sick or unwell after eating, and a slight swelling(1cm) of 2 of my lymph nodes in my neck that have a dull ache that lasted a week, which i didn't even notices until I started researching ars symptoms!Ive also had some tenderness in the groin area although it started after i felt I pulled something. It started with a sore throat 5 days after exposure wich lasted for a couple of days and im pretty sure I burnt my throat after smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes the day before. none of the symptoms seemed to come on at the same time and I haven't notice afever but its been well over a hundred degrees here and im always hot. With such low exposure risks I really wonder how much of this is anxiety. Have you tested yet?
Avatar universal
Iv forgoten to mention(if I have too!) Ive had extreme anxiety the whole time, and none of the symptoms have lasted more than a few days. the underarm thing didn't happen till I started to think about it and started checking for swollen glands. Same I have good oral health so I shouldn't be worried about the cunilingus right? and Im asuming nobody has got hiv by getting a blow job right? I did put my finger in her, I had a day old crack in my cuticle. She said she was clean, Is any sex safe sex? Are we ment to fear through media and conflicting reports on the internet? Any help from anybody would be welcomed
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