Avatar universal

Brown lines on nails following possible HIV exposure


I had protected vaginal sex with a man about 4 months ago. I am concerned that possibly the condom slipped and maybe some semen could have gotten inside of me. I've had a few non specific symptoms since the whole encounter but I am very concerned about these light brown vertical lines on 2 of my nails and 1 of my toes. I've never seen anything like this before but read that it could be a sign of HIV infection. I took 2 oraquick tests which were negative but I didn't count how long from the last time I ate or drank. I believe it was more than 30 minutes. My question is, given the false negative rate of oraquick tests and the random appearance of these brown lines referred to as longitudinal melanonychia, can I trust this test result? And are nail changes an early sign that people with HIV experience?
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
188761 tn?1584567620
You were never at risk for HIV transmission. The fact that you know when these lines appeared on your nail after your event only means that you are very closely monitoring your body, which offcourse is not a usual behavior.

Your problem is leaning towards cyberchondria -  You had sex, you got anxious, you imagined irrational situations, you read through a lot on the internet, you started monitoring your body and you are now obsessed.

Condoms are sufficient to protect against HIV transmission, semen can't magically crawl up from the condom to inside of your vagina. You didn't need to test.

Please see a therapist, it might be a good option to work this out with a professional in order to get rid of the fear and anxiety.
Helpful - 0
Thank you for responding. In my mind, the symptoms outweigh the test result. I know this is a problem. It's difficult to admit a mental problem. :-(
See a therapist. You don't have to live in constant fear. There is help available, you just need to reach out for it.
20620809 tn?1504362969
A condom slip usually is not a risk if the head of the penis was covered. I don't know how long after the event you took the oraquick tests but if used correctly at the right time, you aren't going to get two false negatives.  

Hiv is not diagnosed by symptoms.  Lines under your nails can be from different things.  Sure, melanoma I guess. But it is more likely do to splinter hemorrhages  or breaks in skin.  But get that checked.  

The only ways adults get HIV is from unprotected vaginal or anal sex or sharing of IV drug needles.  Keep that in mind. And if someone has a risk of unprotected sex one time, the odds are still very low that they would get HIV at less than 2 percent.  
Helpful - 0
Thank you for your reply. I took the test 14 weeks after the incident. I am the woman so I'm concerned about leakage inside as a result of a slip. I will follow up about the brown lines with my Dr. Just for clarity, when it is due to hiv infection, does it appear in the early stages or late stages? I'm asking because ofcourse I'm still worried but I never hear people talk about nail changes only flu like symptoms. Just wondering if you or anyone knows more about it as it relayed to HIV? thanks again.
Avatar universal
You really need to see a melanoma specialist for those lines on your nails. Because that is one of the more common signs of melanoma.

As for HIV, it doesn't sound like you had a risk. And you had 2 negative tests. I really think your first concern should be getting checked for melanoma.
Helpful - 0
Thank you. The lines just appeared out of no where. I'll get it looked at.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the HIV Prevention Community

Top HIV Answerers
366749 tn?1544695265
Karachi, Pakistan
370181 tn?1595629445
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Condoms are the most effective way to prevent HIV and STDs.
PrEP is used by people with high risk to prevent HIV infection.
Can I get HIV from surfaces, like toilet seats?
Can you get HIV from casual contact, like hugging?
Frequency of HIV testing depends on your risk.
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may help prevent HIV infection.