HIV Prevention Community
53.2k Members
Avatar universal

PEP & ARS in Thailand. Please HELP.

Ok. After reading a ton of the posts on here I thought I'd pose my situation to you all, maybe you can give me some information or advice. I just graduated college and am travelling in Thailand. One drunken night me and my buddy took home to Thai prostitutes. She performed unprotected deep oral and we had protected intercourse until I saw that she was bleeding and I stopped. I immediately washed off.

Afterwards I noticed she had a bad dry cough and I took out a travel thermometer and took her temp. She was running a fever of 100.6 and the next day I began to worry about the exposure risk. 46 hours after the exposure I ended up rushing to a Bangkok hospital to start PEP regimen. It has been exactly 2 weeks and I have experienced a ton of side effects from the meds, mainly fatigue and nausea. Yesterday I felt really hot, like I was burning up. I went to take my temp and I was fine though, and my face soon returned to normal temp. My back remined hot for quite a while. I had then noticed the appearance of a faint red blotchy raised area on my chest, about the size of half a penny.I was panicking ... but able to go to sleep pretty easily. I woke up about 12 hours later and it was gone. Over the past 2 weeks I have periodically felt much tenderness/aching in my right armpit and left groin.  

I am taking Stocrin (Sustiva) & Combid (Combivir). Side effects from stocrin include macupapular rash, which I experienced at day 3 of PEP, but could the side effects resurge like that? Is the hot flash I experienced typical of ARS (even with absence of fever)?

I ended up tracking down the prostitute and got her tested. She tested negative for ELISA last week (one week after we had sex). The doctor recommended we do a HIV RNA assay (NAT) test. It was relatively cheap too so I said sure. I called her to tell her to call to find out results and they needed her to go in and talk to the doctor. Now I'm worried because they originally told me they could discuss it over the phone with me. So I guess I will *HOPEFULLY* find out the from the doctor tomorrow about the results of the NAT test, but... we'll see. Meanwhile I'm feeling somewhat ill and scared in a foreign country and all I want to do is get back to the states to see an HIV specialist. If anyone has any advice or can tell me about my risk expsoure
22 Responses
Avatar universal
You should never have been given PEP, you didn't have a risk. Blowjob, no risk, protected vaginal sex no risk.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your comment. I guess I worry because it appeared to me that she was going through acute HIV... during which times viral load concentrations in the blood can reach 100,000 copies/ml. The blood exposure to my crotch area was signficant. Moreover, she had a sore throat at the time of the unprotected (deep) **. I know the risk is lower than I think, but I am still paranoid. One side effect of sustiva/stocrin is paranoia. No joke.

Good news is... she's has a doctors appointment in 15 minutes. During this time they will reveal to her the results of the HIV RNA Assay (NAT Test). Supposedly this test can detect if she had it one week prior to the test. I have heard of there being high false positive rates with similiar tests (PCR DNA), but ... God I hope it is negative. This would put my exposure risk at almost non-existant. I am pretty sure I will continue with medication regardless, at least until I can go into another BK hospital to check to see if it's a good idea to stop medication.

I am hella worried though because at 14 day mark (2 days ago) I got bad diarrhea, a weird hot flash, and a weird blotchy red palpation on my chest. It all went away by then next day though (although I am still experiencing slight diarrhea). Hopefully, and I think it is, a combination of the Thai food, constant rain, and constant worry.

Anyway. To all you other worrying people out there... I have taken an upper level BIO class on HIV in college and most of you are completely accessing your level of risk WRONG. If you live in the states, you likelyhood of contracting HIV from a one time, unprotected vaginal intercourse is almost non-existant. Much of HIV in the US is concentrated among IV drug users, sex workers, (and quite unfortunately...) male homosexuals. Always wrap your tool and discuss STD testing with your partners.
Avatar universal
No matter how good you think you are, you cannot look at someone and know they have HIV and again you didn't have a risk.
Avatar universal
It's no concern to you if she is negative or positive. You said that you had protected sex. You don't contract HIV from protected sex.
Avatar universal
it really doesnt matter where you get tested nowadays.. in the states...bangkok .. phillipines.. almost all the hiv testing done throughout the world are of acceptable standards.. so dont worry too much about the standard of testing in Bangkok..

what really should matter is the timing of your test.. i know how anxious you are.. been through it .. but only a blood test at 3 mnths mark will help calm your anxiety.. all your testing at present are way too early to give you a peace of mind...

and Teak is right.. she can look like a dying zombie and still you CANT tell wether she has HIV..only through blood test can you tell.. and symptoms means absolutely NOTHING..
Avatar universal
so what happened? was she infected?
Avatar universal
She called and said she was not, but then I get a text asking for 4000 baht, because she needs money for a room. ***** houses provide living and only kick u out if u test pos.
So I'm freaking the hell out. I stopped PEP 3 days ago and the rash that looks like ars rash ( supposedly from sustiva) has not gone away. More importantly my lymph nodes in my neck are swollen, so much so its difficult to swallow.
I am going to go see a doc in Bangkok today. Now I'm really scared. If had the virus it most likely would surge after stopping arvs, causing the lymph node swelling.
I want to reinterate: I believe my risk of exposeure was high because i got deep oral from a (Thai) prostitute who had severe sore throat, dry cough, and fever. She also told me that because she is sick she sleeps all day.
Avatar universal
You can blieve anything you want but the fact is you didnt have a risk and it wouldn't have mattered if she was HIV positive or not.
Avatar universal
thanks for the reassurance
Avatar universal
hey I just thought I might fill u in on my situation. I'm home in the states, got a pcr done and am waiting on the results. I've developed a tongue ulcer half the size of my tongue, have oral thrush, bad and long lasting diarrhea, tingling hands, numb toes, severe cough, sinusitis, and depression. I'll let u know how the test goes, but I'm pretty sure you are giving false information. The risk from a blowjob, from a seroconverter, is very high.

I'm starting to make peace with myself , and accepting my fate.

Wish me luck.
Avatar universal
I have to disagree with you.  Even if you were exposed to an HIV+ individual, it doesn't mean automatic infection.  Get tested but I'm sure your test results will be negative if all you did was suck.
186166 tn?1385259382
stop with the drama!   go to the health pages at the top right of the page.  read all about anxiety and how it can cause symptoms.  you have to have a risk BEFORE you can be infected with hiv...no ifs, ands, or buts about it!!!!!
Avatar universal
what is my risk? ? If she was in the window period she would be highly contagious... Saliva and her swollen tonsils... Remember this is deep oral insertive.

Listen, i am going thru the "flu" hardcore right now. The worst diarreah and nausea you can imagine. The only thing that stops my whole body from aching is sleep. When I wake up, everytime it feels like I lost feeling in my forearms and hands... And no its not like they fell asleep. I'm not anxious anymore... Just really really sick. And I WILL let u know the pcr results, we'll see.
Avatar universal
How many times does it take to get through to you that you did not have a risk?  Don't even bother to answer it.
186166 tn?1385259382
480448 tn?1426948538
I hate to see that you've convinced yourself that you've been infected.  Your test will be negative...I'd bet on it.  You had NO risk.  
Avatar universal
ok ok ok. You guys are probably right! There is actually a lot of contoversy among HIV specialists regarding risk from receptive oral sex. I guess there's not much I can do but chill out and wait. Thanks for all of your
guys' advice.
Avatar universal
There is no controversy at all about receptive oral sex. There has never been a documented case of anyone contracting HIV by receiving a blowjob.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your guys' support. I'm driving my family and friends crazy as it is and they are so sure I don't have it. My parents think I just picked up a bad parasite in Thailand, which I'm sure is way more likely. It ***** so bad waiting for the results to figure out what is wrong with me :(
Avatar universal
wow. The pcr test was negative. I need counseling. Thanks for all your help guys.
186166 tn?1385259382
lolol...your post was awesome!!!!!  i loved it..."i need counseling".
Avatar universal
I'm going to create a website for other worried wells like myself... I've photo-documented all my "symptoms". The rash, BAD ulcer and thrush... Swollen lymph nodes...

Its amazing how powerful the mind is. I seriously manifested every symptom with severity. I was dead sure I had it.
Have an Answer?
Top HIV Answerers
366749 tn?1544695265
Karachi, Pakistan
370181 tn?1428176748
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
These tips can help HIV-positive women live a long, healthy life.
Despite the drop in new infections, black women are still at a high risk for HIV, the virus that causes Aids.
What are your HIV treatment options, and how do you choose the right one? Our panel of experts weighs in.
Learn the truth behind 14 common misconceptions about HIV.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.