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Avatar universal

ALL ARS Symptoms at 8 weeks - Scared and Convinced of HIV

My story is no different from any others. On the night of 9/12 I went out and got super drunk with a friend. We ended up in a swingers club on a whim because we could get in free. I hadn't planned on doing anything (in fact i was against it). In any regards I ended up having oral sex with a woman both insertive (only clitoris) and receptive that included mutual fingering. There was a man in the room as well having sex with the woman. At the end of the night they both fingered me and he put (what I was told was my vaginal fluid in my mouth). I left the club angry at myself for allowing this to occur, but didn't think I was at any real risk. Three days later i experience mild tingling on my genitals that last for several weeks. Along with the tingling/burning sensation came muscle twitching (mainly in my legs), severe butt aches, and pins and needles everywhere on my body including hands and feet. I got so worried during the 2nd week that I tried to shave my pubic area to get a better look. As soon as i stepped out of the shower I noticed very dry skin and what looked like candida on the crease of my thigh/vagina. Immediately freaked out I went to urgent care, because I feared I had contracted herpes. They sent me home saying it looked like I had candida and maybe some folliculitis. I then went to a OB/GYN for a full exam and all of my tests came back negative. A few days later I develop what looks like shaving bumps on my vagina the doctor popped it and said that it wasnt herpes put it had white pus. I went into a deep state of depression and flew home to be with family. While there I developed pericoronitis (infection of the gum around my impacted wisdom tooth). I've read that this could be an opportunistic infection. I didnt think much of it and went to the dentist who gave me an antibiotic (Clindamycin) and I was scheduled to get my wisdom teeth extracted. I was also told during my gyn inspection that I had a very large uterine fibroid tumor (the story just gets worse). i am scheduled for surgery soon.

8 weeks after my potential exposure I woke up with very painful/sore calf muscles like I had just run a marathon. I went out that night (the weather had just dropped drastically) and I started to feel like i was catching the flu. My body ached and for some reason my lips were burning and face twitched. I came home that night and tried to medicate with cold/flu medicine. I woke up the next morning immobile with a high fever/chills and severe sore throat. Fever went up to about 102.8 at its highest. I suspected strep throat so I went to the ER, but the culture came back negative. I was given a steroid shot (decadron) and sent home with what was diagnosed as viral pharyngitis. I have been aware of ARS symptoms, and was immediately spooked. That night I came home and started to experience night sweats for about 3 nights. I tried to write it off as an effect of the steroid shot, but became hysterical when I developed thrush a couple of days later. Since my oral procedure (wisdom teeth removal) was the next day the dentist wrote me a script for Diflucan and it went away. I panicked and immediately went for an 8-week HIV test which of course came back negative. I am convinced at this point that I have HIV and have not been functional for at all. I cant perform basic work or household tasks.

I am now 11 weeks post exposure and my muscle twitching still continues. I had another STD panel (including HIV) done at 10 weeks which came back negative. However I am doubting my results big time as it is not yet 13 weeks and I had so many classic ARS symptoms. I am worried my body just didn't have enough time to build up detectable antibodies. At this point I am in a state of shock and depression. Is there ANY WAY I do not have HIV? Can it be anything else? Please help me I am terrified and am about 99% sure I have HIV. I am so confused as I thought i didn't have a risk. I considered PEP but didn't think I needed it. Now I am racked with extreme guilt, depression, and hopelessness. I will of course test again at 13 weeks. The week following that I am scheduled to have my fibroid surgery.
19 Responses
Avatar universal
You never had an exposure for HIV.  Mutual masturbation is not an HIV risk.  In addition, your 10 week HIV negative test proves you are fine.  ARS does not wait until 2 months post to happen.  It usually onsets 2-4 weeks post.  Not 8+ weeks.

If you want to test at 12 weeks for total peace of mind feel free.  It is not warranted.  Anxiety, and stress while self diagnosing yourself are extremely likely to be the culprit of your symptoms.

People don't realize how much anxiety and stress can TAX your immune system.  The body is NOT designed to deal with all of that for a prolonged period.  

Take care.
Avatar universal
You say mutual masturbation is not a risk, but they guy may have had some of her vaginal fluids on his hands when he fingered me. Me and the women also had unprotected oral sex, and he put fluids in my mouth. He told me they were mine, but I think he may have been confused or lying. If my symptoms started at 8 weeks then a 10 week antibody test may definitely be too soon to detect antibodies.
Avatar universal
You SERIOUSLY need to read through the archives of this forum on oral sex and mutual masturbation and their NO RISK assessment.

Secondly, 90% of all new infections will show up on antibody test at 4 weeks.  At 10 weeks about 99% would show positive.  

Lastly, for argument sake, let's say your symptoms are from ARS at 8 weeks.  Which will NEVER happen.  Your 10 week NEGATIVE would have been POSITIVE!!!  

If you want to test again at 12 weeks for your own peace of mind feel free.  It is NOT warranted.
Avatar universal
While I appreciate your comments, I am in the health field and oral sex is INDEED a risk of HIV. Anytime you come into contact with bodily fluids there is a risk. I am also informed about the window period and the uncertainty in timing between ARS and having detectable antibodies present. I am also aware of the fact that that 2-8 weeks is the range for ARS with very rare cases up to three months. I am very educated in my field and am looking for more reassurance from a health professional (nurse or doctor). Anybody can form "opinions" from various websites and postings.

So while I appreciate your comments, I am waiting for someone with a healthcare background to comment ie. nursegirl.

Thank you again for trying to help.
Avatar universal
If you are so educated on HIV, oral sex and its risk(which is miniscule at best based on SCIENCE).  Then what are you doing here?  You should have been able to answer your own questions.  

If you had looked into the archives like I suggested you would have found that Nursegirl WILL TELL YOU THE SAME AS I HAVE!!!  

Furthermore, I DO NOT appreciate being accused of just coming in here and posting random thoughts off the top of my head.  I may not be a doctor.  However, I have done something you apparently have not done.  RESEARCH!!!  In addition, there are two DOCTORS from the expert forum with 30+ years in the HIV/AIDS field who ALSO say the same thing.

In study after study THOUSANDS of incidents of oral sex(many with ejaculation) NOT ONE NEW CASE OF INFECTION.  In other studies the odds were LESS than 1 in 10,000 to TOO LOW TO QUANTIFY.  

If you were so knowledgeable about HIV you would also know how fragile the virus is.  Vaginal fluids exposed to the air damage the outer shell of the virus which inhibits infection.  You should also know that HIV needs NEAR PERFECT CONDITIONS INSIDE THE BODY for infection to occur.
Avatar universal
One other thought.  If you know so much about HIV you SHOULD know that there are roughly 40-50 million people infected with HIV GLOBALLY!  With 1.1-1.2million infected in the U.S.  That is less than 1% of the U.S. population.

The odds either of the partners you had your NO RISK activities with are infected with HIV to begin with are HIGHLY UNLIKELY!!
Avatar universal
1. I live in New Orleans which has the highest HIV rate among African Americans. You can look that up. Baton Rouge is #3 which is down the street. Should i say more?
2. I was in a swingers club. They have sex with people all the time. I doubt he was safe as he did not use a condom with the woman he was with. I thought they were a couple, but was later proven wrong.
3. I went through CLASSIC ARS symptoms at exactly 8 weeks.
4. Did I not tell you that fluid stayed in my mouth. I have sensitive gums (gingivitis) as do most adults although they may not know it.
5. The people studied regarding oral sex risks are usually serodiscordant couples on ART. It is hard to quantify the risks of oral sex as most people usually perform other risky activities during the time of infection.
6. If you researched the AVERAGE time for ARS is 2-6 weeks. It does and often has occurred at 8 weeks.

We don't need to debate.
Avatar universal
You have IGNORED everything I just told you.  IF you are in the healthcare field you should KNOW BETTER to diagnose HIV based on symptoms alone.  

You IGNORED the fact that MANY others here in this forum INCLUDING Nursegirl will tell you as I did you had NO RISK!!  

You IGNORED the fact that regardless of your supposed ARS symptoms that an antibody test at 10 weeks(two week PAST when you had your symptoms) negative is NOT going to change to positive in the next two weeks to make the benchmark 12 week point.  Which is based on outdated information to begin with.  

If you were performing oral on another woman you already had her vaginal secretions in your mouth.  The fact that a guy put those same fluids in your mouth via his finger is NO DIFFERENT.  

As a healthcare worker, supposedly informed on HIV, you should know that the mouth is NOT a known transmission route for HIV.  There are over a dozen enzymes and proteins which inhibit the virus.  Couple this with the fact that once exposed to the air the virus in already inhibited before even entering your mouth.  Your gingivitis is a negligible factor here.  As per the doctors in the expert forum, and most all of us volunteers in this forum.  Not one case of infection has been reported based on what you describe in the 30+ years of the HIV epidemic.

Being in New Orleans may increase your odds of your partners being infected a little, but still very unlikely.  Though there MAY be a few more people infected there, New Orleans has a much higher population that other places so the percentage of infected people will still be VERY LOW!!  

You say we don't need to debate RIGHT AFTER directly putting all your talking points right back at me.  

Bottom line!!!  I stand by what I told you.  You had a NO RISK incident.  Your test results are CONCLUSIVELY negative.  Nursegirl, Dr. Hook, Dr. Handsfield, Vance, HowardH, and many others will tell you the same thing.  You need to move on.
Avatar universal
Stupidgirl21 I value your knowledge and respect your opinion. However, your doubts on your negative results is not out of knowledge but anxiety. You may do well with support on the later. If in doubt then have another test  at 12 weeks . I'd not satisfied at 6 months. In all these will be negative. I would humbly encourage you to accept the results and move on with your life.
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
HIV is a very weak virus that dies outside of the body. If somene put their finger inside you and took it out, the fluid is out in the air - thus meaning it would die.

recent studies suggest that there is no risk in oral sex or mutual masturation. Sound like something else or maybe anxiety as that can mimic ARS symptoms pretty well!!!
Avatar universal
I was in bed for 2 full days with this "flu". It was the worst I have ever felt. I had to get a shot at the ER for the swelling. I've never experienced a fever like that or night sweats so drenching. My neuropathy is very very real. It hurts to even sit on my butt for periods of time.

I just have no clue how it can be anything other than HIV. I just don't see how anxiety can give me such a high fever and sore throat. I have been having this neurological symptoms since 3 days after exposure.
Avatar universal
3 days is too soon for ARS to start. Anxiety gace me an awful throat!
Avatar universal
In short you are fine. There was never a risk.
480448 tn?1426952138
Even if you choose to believe you had a risk (which I agree that you didn't)....you tested well enough after the encounter that you would have tested + if you were indeed infected.  

You, along with most others, have a lot of misconceptions and inflated views about HIV.  You wouldn't have neuropathy with acute HIV infection.  Peripheral neuropathy when it's related to HIV is seen in late stage infections.

Feel free to do a follow up test for your own peace of mind, but believe your result.  Tests don't lie.  
Avatar universal
Thank you for responding nursegirl! I was fine until the ARS symptoms started at exactly 8 weeks. I have never experience a fever that high. I felt hot to the touch and had chill, those drenching night sweats, and sever insomnia. The sore throat was unberable.

I am concerned that the fluid in my mouth may have been his semen after he ejaculated in/on her. If that was the case, that would be a definite expsure correct? I think he may have been dishonest. I feared herpes during the intital 3 days after exposure with all of the "tingling" I had, but quickly turned in HIV fear with the ARS symptoms at 8 weeks.

One question. If I truly experienced ARS at 8 weeks. Would my body have produced detectable antibodies by my 10-week test? My main concern is that I had such distinct symptoms and may have tested too soon after. I have seen cases where people didn't test positive until 4-6 weeks after their illness. Could I be a late seroconverter?

I will be re-testing at 13/14 weeks.
Avatar universal
My thrush has returned, my body temperatue is still low (Im assuming anemia), and the muscle twitches and butt pain continue. Please help. I am scared out of my mind that this is HIV with all of the other classic ARS symptoms (High fever, severe sore throat (without pus/exudate), night sweats, etc.) Please do not block me from posting. I just need someone to respond.
Avatar universal
Did you end up contracting hiv?? Im having similar issues at around 8 weeks
366749 tn?1544698865
Never gauge your infection with symptom's yardstick. It is highly confusing and misleading.

In my 10 years of association with HIV counselling, I have come across with dozen of people, had almost every ARS like symptom, but found free of the infection at the end of the day.

On the other hand, many actually infected people never experienced any symptom

Kind of exposure defines your risk and that can only be confirmed by a test, not by the symptoms.

You were earlier told that your risk did not exist, the community member was right in advising you so. Your risk at the max was of a theoretical nature, without any practical evidence.

It is your anxiety, stress and guilt that grabs you right now. With an on-going 11th week, you may go and get yourself tested for HIV antibody or Duo test (any of the two), collect your conclusive test report and move on with your life. Test is advised only to bury all your residual worried to rest permanently and getting peace of mind. You still do not need it clinically
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