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HIV possibility? Persistent sore throat, not strep, no fever or rash

Almost exactly 30 days ago I had unprotected insertive vaginal sex with a woman I might categorize as low risk.  Until this encounter I have only been with my wife (high school sweet hearts).  The woman in question is from northern Minnesota, white, in her 40s.   I'm also in my 40s, white, also from rural Minnesota.  For the past three weeks I've had sore throat, slightly swollen lymph nodes on my neck.   No fever, no rash.  Checked for strep, came back negative.   I've confessed to my wife who appears willing to stay with me.   I'm scheduled for HIV testing next week (4th generation).   I have an appointment with ENT, but not for another month.   In the meantime my anxiety level is quite high....I don't necessarily feel fatigued, or flu like.   But the last couple of days my appetite has disappeared, which may be due to the anxiety.   I am worried because the sore throat and slightly swollen lymph nodes have lasted this long without knowing the cause....Can't be cold, shouldn't last this long.   Allergies?  I take Zyrtec every day and seem pretty clear.   Not much sinus congestion at all.  Tonsilitis?   One does appear a bit enlarged.  All of a sudden?   Seems coincidental.   Near panic as I wait for my test....any possible reassurance to help get me through this weekend?  Mono perhaps?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I don't think you have hiv. The so called symptoms are nit sounding like ars. ENlarged Lymphe nodes need to be confirmed by a specialist. Also feeling at them all the time will irritate them. Next to that a cold can stay quite long, it's very normal that it would be 2 to 3 weeks with sore throat. ARS is in most cases the worst flu someone could get and only is for a few days to max a week.(not everyone has symptoms or recognises it to go to a doctor) next to that if lymphe node are enlarges by ARS/HIV, it's not located only on one spot normally and would be in armpit, groins and neck etc. Also they would be very very hard big and painless. When too focussed on body, you will notice normal things as being symptoms. If you keep being afraid do a 4th gen test immediatly, because if that is negative your (so called) symptoms are not from HIV. Good luck
370181 tn?1428180348
First and foremost, HIV does not discriminate based on characteristics of an individual (age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, occupation or any other socio-economic status). Rather, it is the activity one engages in that poses a high risk for HIV transmission.

Having said that, you are doing the only thing you can which is to test after having unprotected vaginal sex.

HIV can never be diagnosed by symptoms. Because of the swollen lymph nodes, it IS likely that you're fighting some kind of infection, but it's not HIV. You've said your throat has been sore almost this entire time but it's not strep. There are many other infections which can affect our throats and this is probably why your nodes are swollen. You have been, and are going through an incredibly stressful and anxious time which explains the VAST majority of your symptoms and loss of appetite.

I understand you are looking for answers, but I'm afraid I have nothing concrete to offer you. I also know how difficult it is to wait for results.

I wish you the very best outcome.
370181 tn?1428180348
I don't know who you are, but you really need to reread my response which clearly stated........"Having said that, you are doing the only thing you can which is to test after having unprotected vaginal sex."
Avatar universal
Thanks to all who have posted.   It has been very helpful to put things in perspective.   My wife and I have been having some long, honest discussions.   I'm very lucky to have her.   Obviously, I don't deserve her due to my drunken indiscretion.

Just two comments in response to the posters so far.   First, I am going to get tested.   Yes, I'm still high anxiety, but I'm getting tested.  Period.  I have to wait until next week because they only test on certain days.

Second, RubyWitch was spot on to point out that HIV is transmitted without regard to skin color, etc.   I've been reading about statistics like mad and notice that they always report probability with such factors....Nevertheless, It was racist for me to state I was white.....it was not my intent, but now that I've read my comment back to myself after RubyWitch's response, it so clearly was.  My apologies to everyone.

The comments are helpful.   Feel free to keep them coming.
370181 tn?1428180348
I'm glad you're getting tested and I DO understand how nerve wracking it is, but we have to look at the bottom line which is that you had unprotected insertive vaginal sex and that is a risk.

Have a 4th generation DUO test. (it doesn't matter if it's not exactly 28 days post the exposure.........28 days is roughly the beginning of the window period for this test)

This test will give you an excellent indication of your status, but we still strongly recommend a confirmatory test at 12 weeks for a 100% conclusive result. Many doctors still hold that the DUO at 28 days post exposure is conclusion, but worldwide health organizations, including the CDC, recommends the 12 week confirmatory test.

It was incredibly big hearted of you to apologize for what you now consider to have been a "racist" remark, but it's understandable for the very reason you mentioned. When doing any type of research on the probabilities of HIV infection, we are bombarded with statistics on race and gender and ethnicity, sexual orientation..........etc. As my statement tries to make clear, HIV does not care who you are, or what color you are, or if you're gay or straight, rich or poor, in this country or somewhere else.......it ONLY cares that we do something risky so it can claim more people.

I truly hope you and your wife can work through this. Please consider marriage counseling.

I wish you the very best, and hope you will keep us posted.
Update.  Negative result (tested for both antigens and antibodies - 4th gen).   Further, tested for all the other usual suspects as well.   All negative.  3 different health professionals deemed results conclusive on all counts (though they did state if my mind isn't at ease to do the 3 month test....Both my wife and I are completely at ease).   I had a sense they felt I was a bit naive due to the extreme low risk nature of my mistake.   They probably didn't, it just seemed that way.
Wife and I are staying together and the communication has been better than ever before.....We had some issues that neither one of us were aware of before.   I'll never be able to remove this stain on my character, but the future with my wife looks great.   And finally (this is my last post), just a thank you to the commenters and this forum.   I learned a lob about this topic and it helped me through an extremely anxious period of my life.   I wish nothing but the best for all of you.
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