Concerned about exposure;
I am writing out of concern that I may be experiencing ARS symptoms. I know you cannot diagnose HIV based on symptoms, but I am kept waiting until the proper testing time. On Feb. 15th I engaged in unprotected receptive anal sex. I know this was very dumb and I have been regretting my decision to do so ever since; however, there is no point in reminiscing on past mistakes. I had the intercourse with someone I recently started dating and they said they are clean and that they were tested prior to our dating. However, around the 20th of February I noted a small itchy spot on my left arm (I started googling HIV symptoms that day and became very worried) and on the 22nd I noted another itchy spot on my right side just below my armpit. I used to suffer from eczema as a child and generally have sensitive skin, so I was holding out hope that that was all it was. However, on the 24th I noticed that my chest area had a reddish rash (there did not appear to be any raised pumps, but it was red/pinkish (it didn’t look like specific red dots, just uniformly pink/red)it did not itch or feel painful and was located around my collar bone and above my nipples). This made me worry even more because I read that ARS rashes typically affect the trunk of the body (this made me have even more anxiety). The following night, Feb. 25th, after a really long day of worrying, I felt what I can best describe as nasal drip in the back of my throat and on the following morning, Feb. 26th, I woke up with a mild sore throat. The sore throat never hurt to where it was painful, it was more of a scratchy feeling and at some points I would not even feel it. I also experienced a stuffed up nose and nasal drainage. Today, the sore throat is almost none existent and I am no longer experiencing nasal congestion. The rash has also seemed to diminish in brightness and size, but is still present. My concern is the closeness of these two “symptoms” of ARS arriving and them seemingly become less severe at the same time.
I took an HIV test on Feb. 27 and it came back as negative. I realize that it is too soon to detect for the relations I had on Feb. 15, but was concerned with two other possible exposures. On Jan. 1 I engaged in oral sex with a male, who did not ejaculate in my mouth, and I also engaged in the same activity on Jan. 26th.
1) I was wondering if the HIV test I took, that gave a negative result, would be relatively reliable for the two experiences I had in January?
2) I was wondering if the “symptoms” I described above sound as though they could be caused by HIV ARS? I know you cannot diagnose based on symptoms, but I am driving myself crazy and am worried sick. My partner took an at home HIV test yesterday and got a negative result (I know he has not been with anyone since the first of February).
a. Also, can a rash like the one I described be caused by stress? The rash is what I am most concerned about because I cannot think of any other reason why I would have such a rash. Also, I did not start checking my temperature until Feb. 26th but I do not recall feeling like I had a fever before that time. I only started checking my temperature after reading that the rash was normally accompanied by a fever.
3) When would you suggest I get a second test done? I don’t want to keep going to the clinic every week, but I want to know as soon as possible. I also want to be safe with my partner if, in fact, he does not have HIV.