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Making myself sick thinking about possible hiv infection

I am a 21 year old female. One year ago I made a mistake that has forever haunted me. I had unprotected vaginal sex with this random guy after a drunken night. Shortly after that, I'd say a month, I met my boyfriend  whom Ive been with now it's been almost a year. We have had unprtected sex as I was on bc...just recently stopped the pill tho. This will relate as my story unravels. Just about a week and a half ago I started getting weird feelings in my stomach, just generally a sick feeling. For a couple of days, not very much, I got hot flashes and chills. No night sweats really. One time I felt all hot and anxious my heart was palpitating so fast. During this time I had such trouble sleeping. Could be anxiety but the heart palpiations lasted pretty much until my stomach symptoms were gone (atleast I think its stomach). This all lasted 5-6 days. Now that that's done with I feel a weird urge to always swallow like my throat is irritated or like there's a lump in it or something and I check it allll he time and it looks fairly normal maybe a little red. No white stuf flike I've red about...yet anyways Im praying. The biggest thing now though besides the throat is this weakness I'm feeling in my leg muscles. Not enough to keep my from my daily life activities but enough so that I notice I'm not myself. Sometimes I get random tingling in my left arm off and on. It's strange. Everyone is not taking me seriously but perhaps that's because they dont know of my stupid encounter a year ago. I know i know i know get tested for hiv but that's a lot to handle, I need to mentally prepare myself so it's been delayed but I will go. I have hypochondriac tendencies but this muscle weakness/fatigue for 3 days seems odd. I never had ARS symptoms in thne time frame they are supposed to occur. Either has my steady bf, who if I am infected, would probably have hiv as we've done it unprotected many many times. Also, I have no rash or fever, I can't feel my lymph nodes and my friends tell me if they were swollen Id feel them easily. However, I have this weird itch all over but no bumps or flaky skin, just generally more itchiness.  My main questions are:
1) what does this sound like? Is it normal to have these symptoms a year after cause I read symptoms in healthy ppl usually dont show up until years after? could I be THAT unlucky that I'm that small percentage that experiences symptoms and develops AIDS within a year? Would I know if I had AIDS? So basically a year later is it common to have these symptoms be honest i can handle it I think:(
2) what are the chances me and my bf are both infected but both never experienced ars symptoms.

ps. I realize my symptoms are varied that's what's so confusing, I went to a clinic initially who said it was stomach flu but now I know better because I'm pretty sure leg muscle weakness even if associated with teh flu wouldn't last very long.  I just picture my funeral allllll the time and it's really just always in the back of my head. My family nor bf who wants to marry me could handle this. Thank you.
38 Responses
Avatar universal
Get tested..Simple as that. Both of you go together and get tested. A test is the only way to know if you were infected or not.
Avatar universal
Yes I will, I was just wondering how common these symptoms are though in the time frame Ive given you with all the background. Sorry just so curious I cannot find anything on symptoms one year after exposure and not the usual 2-3 weeks.
Avatar universal
You can't diagnose HIV by symptoms. Half of the people infected with HIV didn't have symtoms and  won't unless they are not on medication.
Avatar universal
As a Doctor, how would you assess my situation just by reading my story. Obviously not accurate and yes I will get tested but I would value your opinion of my questions regardless.
Avatar universal
Dr. HHH is not in this forum. You have to post your question and pay your 15 bucks in the Expert Forum HIV Prevention.
Avatar universal
Also, I'm very curious, how long after exposure to hiv would someone develop recurrent yeast infections. Would this likely happen within 4 months- a year after exposure? Or is it more common after years of infection. I understand this is a common problem for many women with other causes but I read different things about the link between hiv and vaginal yeast infections. Some say early sign, some say a much later sign when the cd4 count is really low. If there is a link between the two it seems strange that it would happen within the first year after exposure but who knows. Anybody know some facts about people with hiv and when they experienced this as a symptom?
Avatar universal
I'm a little confused.  You say your exposure was over a year ago, instead of worrying about symptoms why don’t you just go get tested today.  
Avatar universal

I know it must be difficult going through what you are going through. I know it must be hard keeping your emotions, and all those strange, rampant thoughts, in check. And I also know that it must be affecting your relationship with your current boyfriend. All of this must be adding to your stress level, which, as far as I can tell, seems to be off the charts entirely. Whew, you are stressed, I can feel it seeping, screaming out of your message.

But, before we get *too* stressed out, let's all take a very deep breath, and think rationally about all of this. I know, it's hard, but it *may* be done. And we shall do so now, I think. It's about time, don't you think? Breath in, breath out, and then do it again about a hundred more times.

First things first. The chances that you may have been infected with HIV in the scenarios that you described are very, very small. Trust me. It most likely, most, most, most, likely did not happen. That's just facts, Ma'am, care to believe it or not. That's just the way it is.

Now, I know that does not completely alleviate your concerns. How could it? You have built this all up in your mind so much that it seems like the end of the world. The end of your world, and the end of your boyfriend's world. How horrible! You may have a terrible disease, and you may have infected your beloved with that same disease!

Except, except, except...You probably didn't. You probably didn't come anywhere close to doing that. You probably had no chance of doing that. No chance at all. Oh, the fleeting drama.

If you are worried, you may safely visit any health clinic in your city and obtain a reliable HIV test. You will be negative. I feel so confident saying this, I cannot tell you. If only I were so confident betting on the Superbowl, I could buy and sell you ten times over.

But I am not. Damn it all to hell. I do, though, feel this confident telling you to go ahead and take the test and to put this all behind you once and for all. You have the power to do so in your grasp right now. So, you know, why do you need me to tell you this?

You don't. Take control now. Go get the test and sleep soundly tonight. It will be negative.
Avatar universal
I know it's just I don't know if I can face it, I'm seriously contemplating even going just cause it's too much to handle the shock may just kill me. My whole life would be shattered. I haven't ahd any strange symptoms what so ever and Im very conscious of my body so I'd remember ARS even if only slightly. My bf has also never complained of any illness at all which has lead me to be secure in my mind for the past 11 months. Just now the weird symptoms although I feel most are now slowly subsiding and this is why now at this moment in time I'm concerned. My boyfriend, my family and his family mean the world to me, if theyre un happy/not in the picture/disgusted, whatever it may be...my world is gone. How could you not resent someone who is killing ur son. Good god even cancer would be better seeing as how atleast I wouldn't be the one to blame. I know ok there's a big chance it's not hiv and who's NOT going to tell me that. I just can't even sleep at night and im wondering if it will only get worse if I get that test back and it's positive. It's too much to handle especially when I can't tell anyone. I can't put my family through that I can just see it now my god, everyones going through other stresses helping my grandma cope with cancer it would just be out of this world horrific and devastating. Sorry for the life explanation but there you have it on why I haven't gotten tested. Having only sundays off makes allotting a good time to set up an apt. Having your hopes and dreams of having a happy marriage with children and grandchildren thrown down the drain is not something I can deal with until I muster up some courage cause I will be facing it alone, I won't tell anyone except my bf who wont tell his well to do family what a shame he would be. Thanks there's nothing I can do but get tested so either way the stress will kill me why not just go so that's what I'll have to do.
Avatar universal
chances are you don't have it. A lot of your symptoms sound like anxiety.
Avatar universal
You are getting the cart way before the horse. Do you know that serodiscordant couples do have children. There are methods now to have children even if you are positive. Life doesn't end because one is positive. I live it and I can tell you from experience, life does go on. You're making it sound like being positive is dirty. It's a disease. No different than heart disease, diabeties, etc. it's a disease.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your response and understanding that getting tested is extremely hard when the only thing keeping you going is the one ounce of hope that maybe just maybe you're not dying. Thank you so much for your concern and sincerity I appreciate it. If that was gone I don't know what would keep me going I really don't. I can't help but think I'm one of these rare cases that experiences symptoms months to a year after exposure. I mean I thought I was a healthy young 21 year old girl. Why would that virus attack me so early I just can't grasp this idea. The only thing keeping me sane is that my symptoms don't fit the typical time frames of hiv phases which are all the same on 99% of the websites. It's either ARS or finding out atleast 5-10 years later. Everyone's stories are either finding out through ARS or years later. So if I have it what the hell on earth happened to my case. If its not hiv I'm at a loss of what it could be. Also keeping me sane is that considering we've had sex every which way, during my period or almost finishing etc. Therefore, I can't see him not having contracted hiv if indeed I do have it. However, he has never complained of fever or anything at all and I see him almost every day. Can't even remember the last time he said he felt sick. I also don't feel any lymph nodes anywhere under my armpits or groin area and in my neck i cant feel much although i dont really know what im feeling for, nothing feels swollen. I had a stomach ache and a really mild fever that I think frightened me cause I thought it was a night sweat. So everytime I felt the slightest bit hot I would get allll flustered. After that is when the weird sensations came on and the stomach ache went away. Wonder if I had a bug which made me stressed to this point. I dont know. There's my rant. I apologize for being a huge internet creeper and wanting to talk to everyone and get all the insight I can. I just want peace of mind cause I'm afraid of not getting it from the Doctor. Thank you again for your support and kind words.
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