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Avatar universal

Worried abou early signs of HIV

Hello folks,
I am a 58 yr old married male and had unprotected vaginal sex with a 41 yr old married female on 12/11. We had intercourse twice and also engagaed in oral sex. My wife is in menopause and we have not had sex since 10/06.
7 days after this unprotected sex, I begin to experience testicle aching. I also have a mild history of an enlarged protate and go frequently at nite. I was alarmed so I went to an Urgent One medical facility for treatment. The doctor told me I could have prostatitis or a STD. She treated me with the normal (2) rounds of antibiotics for Chlamydia and Ghonera and recommended I see a urologist.
  On 1/3, I saw my primary physician and told her the whole sad story and worry that I may have exposed myself to HIV. She checked me for any signs. There were no signs of swollen nodes, fever, or anything except my extreme anxiety. She sent me to the lab for full blood work and everything came back negative. Saw urologist on 1/4 and he said no node swelling except mild prostate swelling. The female partner told me she is fine and has been screened for everything. She is very angry that I have told her this.
  I again went to my doctor on 1/12 for a check. She said my signs are OK and no node swelling at all. My life is miserable. I can only get relief from the worry at night after taking 1/2 of a Zanax. There is no swelling but I imagine I feel my nodes under my chin and my heart rate is up terribly. My testicles still ache some and I am truly miserable! Should I have seen any signs of HIV by now? I feel like my life is now over. Please help
41 Responses
Avatar universal
How soon should I ask my doctor to let me re-test at the lab. I wake up every morning with no symptoms but as the day progresses, I seem to feel every twinge of something wrong that I've never felt before. Should I get a home test or wait a little longer and go to the lab? Praying for negative!
Avatar universal
I live in the southern USA. Where could I get a rapid test and would it be conclusive at 35 days (today)? Kekelow, I am truly miserable and need to know if it is possible at 35 days. Thanks!
Wouldn't I have experienced some sort of symptoms by now?

The female told me that she has had a hysterectomy and its would have been hard for her to have contracted HIV. She also said she has been screeded but she is really mad and won't talk to me now so I don't know when she was screened. This was a business meeting out of town and truly a one night stand. Really Dumb!
Avatar universal
I live in Savannah, Georgia. Please advise. Thanks.
Avatar universal
Bless you for hearing / answering my questions. AS I mentioned, I was screened for HIV at the lab at 23 days. All tests (including Chalmedia / Gonhorea / syphlis / Hep A / C) all negative.

Dr. HH seems confident in a retest at 6 weeks. I mentally probably cannot wait until 3 months after exposure as my PCP recommends. That would be March 11th or so. Should I do a 6 week test and what do you thing my negative at 23 days means to my confidence?

I have avoided my wife for sex and feel just like a train wreck. Still no appreciable signs other than just extreme anxiety and imagining that I feel lymph node twinges. Never any fever or other typical signs. I will send my $15.00 to the Doc today and send him same questions. Thanks for advice.

Hate to keep bothering you but you seem to care and I'm not talking with anyone at the present except my PCP. She says 3 - 6 months for retest but honestly I will be in a mental facility by then. Please respond when you have a few minutes.

Again, Bless You from the bottom of my heart!.
Avatar universal
Thank you again!

I will post to doc asap and to other that you recommended.
Have a great day.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply. Today makes day number 35. I tested neg at day number 23. What are your thoughts?
Avatar universal
Thanks Kekelow!

I will get my courage together and go test!
I will keep you advised.
Avatar universal
I ran out of time today to make the phone calls for locations. I will do so in the AM on Tuesday morning (1/16/07) You feel comfortable that my 36th day will give a trusted result.

With your encouragement, I plan to go tomorrow before leaving town for another business trip. A safe one I can guarantee you.

kekelow, is it reasonable to be this torn apart about my situation even with a negative test at 23 days? Shouldn't something have shown up? Your thoughts please.

Bless you again for continuing to help me in my mental drisis.
Avatar universal
Good morning to you. Hope you have a good day. You are right, I am going to have to "walk through" the fear. It is mighty tough though! Every time I walk past one of my family members, I think about how inconsiderate I was to have unprotected sex with someone. Even though our encounter was the result of a business meeting and she has a family of Her own. She is soon to be divorced and wil not even talk to me over the phone now about our evening together. (Tampa, Fl) She insisted before that she is clean and has been tested for everything, I still can't be sure of her dates of test and her claims of being free form infection.

I think I will do as you suggest and wait until the (6) week mark, which will be (1) week from today. My trip is to Jacksonville, Fl. today. My doctor may even send me for the test. I have written her a letter explaining my increasing stress and hopefully she will refer me to her lab so I won't have to come up with the cash for an outside lab. I'm sure that the outside HIV testing labs will not file insurance and I'll have a tough time explaing to my wife why I am going for a test on my own. What a mess!!!!

Your knowledge has helped me, kekelow, so please keep hearing me till this is done and I can know one way or the other. This is much, much worse than the 19 months that I spent in Viet Nam. These last 5 weeks have been as slow and agonizing as anything I have ever imagined that could ever happen in my life.

Peace and happiness to you kekelow!
Avatar universal
Good evening to you.(Now 10:30 PM, EST.) Hope everything is well with you. I am in Jax, fl and have calmed down some since hearing from you. You truly are a soothing spirit! I hope to be able to celebrate with you via this forum in the weeks to come.

Just a bit of news for you. I spoke with my PCP late today and she gave me the OK to take 1/2 Zanax in the afternoon and evening to calm my mental state. She still insists on a March (3 month)follow-up test though. She told me that my testing at 23 days included the PCR test and was negative. What are your thoughts about that.(did I tell you that the test included this screen as well?)

I met with (tonight)a business associate of the female who I had the unprotected vaginal sex with and was assured that my partner had been HIV screened around 3 months ago and was ok.Her test was at least (8) weeks after her suspected exposure. She was with a non-IV user and hetro. She insists thatany sex after that screening was protected. Unfortunately, I can't ask this female any details since she is so disgusted with me she wont take my calls. My PCP tells me to leave it alone  as well. Today is day 36 and I have had no fever or overt symptoms other than imagined node swelling that my PCP says is not.I also had testicle pain at day 7 after sex with her that was the reason I originally went for medical treatment. By the way, my testicles still ache after driving for several hours. Being 58 maybe? I know what is not imagined though, this unrelenting guilt and anxiety! Honestly, kekelow, sometimes during the day I fel like my throat is going to close off and I'll stop breathing. Then a little while later, I'm ok again for a while. I'm beginning to feel like that now!

I will probably get a test somewhere this week, just the same. Even if there is a charge, which test would you put the best faith in at this point?

Kekelow, did you honestly feel like nothing else in the world mattered except getting this over with? I now know how truly alone a person can be without someone to talk to about this terrible threat to your health and sanity most of all. Would I be imposing to ask you if you know of a place in Jacksonville, Fl.to test? I'll understand if I am becoming to dependent on your time and caring for someone in a bad fix. Please advise.

Bless you again Kekelow! Have a restful evening.

Avatar universal
Thank you again for the umpteenth time. I am feeling some stronger every day. I am south of Jax this morning but will be downtown proper after lunch. The zip in that area is 32202. My problem is that I will only be able to check back on this forum until about 9:45 this morning. I'm on my lap top and am hooked up to the motel wireless. My cell is 912-308-3107.

Today is 5 weeks + 1 day. Maybe I should just wail until I return to Savannah for a 6 week screen. What do you think? I will check here again in 1 - 2 hours. Now is 7:30am EST.

By the way, the female associate that I spoke with turns out to be the aunt of the lady I had the experience with. My boss, who I meet down here for one particular customer account, is having an affair with the aunt, who reps the company we are calling on. It now appears that I was sorta set up back in Dec for this get together. I was never aware that they were related till last night. I harbor no ill will toward any of them though, since I was the one who accepted the offer. Funny, how the screw turns sometimes.

She wasn't very comforting by her demeanor but she is older (mid 50's) and least felt obligated to relay her niece's testing / partner history to me.  She felt her niece needed companionship to help her through her on-going separation/divorce. I will leave that contact alone as well. I will only confide in you and my doc from this point on.

Have a good morning kekelow!
Avatar universal
Hello back kekelow. I am very sorry for posting my personal info. I hope to stay on this forum.I pray that i'm not banned! It's the only place I've gained confidence in. Maybe they can erase that thread that I posted personal info. I'm very sorry and will be very carefull in the future.

I agree, I will wait for the next week to pass and retest at home. That makes sense. I will beg my PCP to let me retest before March and take no for an answer. I also have an appt with my urologist in 3 weeks. He knows the tale as well and maybe he will send me for a test taht can be related to my prostate issues. Here's hoping!

Thanks kekelow for your prompt reply and level headed advice. I will deal with one day at a time and keep talking to you if I can. Good day to you! Bless you for your good heart!

Avatar universal
Hello to you. good advice and I'll take it. I feel better as we speak.

I will give you a hello again soon.

Avatar universal
Good afternoon kekelow,
I sopke w/ doc yesyerday. Maybe I told you. She recommends (3) month ytest but of course I can't wait. I have female friend who I felt comfortable to confide in and she has agreed to pay the fee for a (6) week DNA test on Tuesday of next week. That will be the (6) week mark of exposure. What do you think of that for a reliable (6) week test. She researched the labs you listed for me and found that one and they suggested that test for me. The lab said the confidence of results is about 95 - 98% at that tiem (6 weeks post) Give me your comments please.

God Bless.
Avatar universal
I am back in my home office in Savannah now and may have to end this message quickly. Hurray for you! I've been praying and pleading with God all afternoon since your message that you will be OK. I will ask God to hear me for your sister too. I have sisters and a brother. Thank God you are feeling confident.
You deserve no less for all the hope you have given me and others in despair.

My business associate (long time female friend who I can trust) is paying for me to have a DNA test on Tuesday, Jan 23rd. This will be at(6) weeks post exposure. I am hoping I can make it till then mentally. Did I ask you how you felt about this test? I never heard from my Doc today so I guess she won't help until the (3) month mark. My wife is not pressing so at least that is a blessing for now. What do you think of the DNA Test at week (6)? Anything else I should do?

Honestly, Kekelow, I feel fine in the mornings and then start to grieve around noon time. I still have not ran a fever or had any swollen nodes that I can feel. But I feel like the nodes in my armpits twinge some but don't hurt. My throat has never been sore and I have never ran a fever. It just worries me so to hear Doc HH say that lack of symptoms mean nothing. Should'nt I have experienced some signs of ARS by now? (Week 5) Can my awful anxiety be causing this mid to late day scare? How do people really feel during ARS and when does it usually start after sex? Are they really sick feeing for a while? God, I wish I knew more for sure.

Another twist happened today. The female I had sex with called and said she was sorry that she was so rude to me after I asked her about her history. She said the facts are this: Husband only for 19 years till summer 05 when they got separated. She then started to have protected sex with only (1) male many times who is married himself and has now stopped from seeing her because of guilt in late summer 06. Then she had un-protected sex with another male in early Oct 06. This worried her so she tested for STD's shortly after and tested OK. Not for HIV though. WE had sex on Dec 11th. I called her on the 18th with my concerns and she went and had a complete screen (including HIV) on Dec 19th. Before Christmas, the screen came back negative. So her story goes and she has assured me that my time with her makes (3) exposures outside her marriage. Her divorce becomes final this month. She said her husband checked good (HIV) since she stopped having sex with him. At least now she is talking and really seems sure she is HIV free. I know my records and know 100% that I was clean before her.  

I guess this further explains my messy tale of woe. I now am waiting for next Tuesday for the DNA test. Kekelow, If there is no fever and no flu like symptoms, can I feel pretty good? I am just so ill in my mind that I almost can't think of anything except coming here and talking to you. I wish I had a person to sit down and talk with and cry with. I really now have a feel for how short life on earth really is. We are truly blessed to have good health, no war at home and a few blessed people like you to lean on! I worked with orphans in Viet Nam and thought I knew then what sadness was about. I was so selfish and simple minded then and had no clue how important the simple things in life really are. You are forever linked to my mental safety, kekelow, and I hope I can make it for a few more days. I could not have made it this far without your feedback. The Zanax helps but your faith is really what is seeing me through till I can find sleep at night.

I think of your strength every minute, kekelow, and hope to keep borrowing from you. You are a friend who was sent to me by fate and a higher power, I'm sure of that. Pray for me and my test next Tuesday. I pray its OK to keep talkig to you in the meantime. Bless you and may you live a long, safe and happy life!

savtide: now back in town!
Avatar universal
Your reply is comforting. I'll sleep on it and call the testing councelor tomorrow and ask for that test instead. Bless you and Peace! Till tomorrow. (now later today.)
Avatar universal
Good morning,
AS I mentioned last night, later today I will speak with the counselor for this (Savannah) lab about which test I will take on Tues. He is in Calif. and I can't call for another few hours yet. My friend, who is paying for the test, had to go through the counseling service to arrange for the test to be paid for by her credit card. This will be my (6) week test, so, I guess either one should be closer to my true state of health than the one I had at 4 weeks. Thanks kekelow and Peace. Glad to hear you are OK.
Avatar universal
Ms kekelow,

It has now been done as of 2:15 PM today. I took a PCR test at the LabCorp facility. Results will be back by Tues / Wed next week, maybe sooner. It will be a long weekend. The counselor suggested I do a PCR test and I did. It was more expensive,
($300.00)but he said I wouldn't have to retest again. What are your thoughts?

The technician and I prayed together and she was so very supportive that I cried. I have been shown a new light in this world about people who really do starting with you.

I will keep you posted and hope you don't mind me leaning on you this weekend. Bless you kekelow!

Avatar universal
Hello again. I'm really drained (now 7:30 PM EST) and will hope to retire early and get a whole nights rest. Now the situation "is what it is". I will know next week and I will make life changes as needed to live. Today was day 40.

Looking back on my original visit to my PCP, why do you think she sent me for PCR / antibody tests at 23 - 24 days after exposure? Did she sense that I was melting down and needed to calm me some or is there some justification for these screens that early after exposure? I seem to remember (2) sets of test data on her chart that said neg and there was a blank place for Western something or other that she said that didn't apply unless a positive result was obtained.

If OK with you, I will ask xhost a few physical questions about my situation. Do you think he will mind answering me? I'm still so worried about a few feelings I'm having. (i.e. some discomfort with my prostate area and inguinal nodes near there.) I still have never had any fever, sweats, swollen nodes in neck or armpit, etc, as some have said they have with ARS. My only grief was testicle pain at 7 days after exposure. I still have some dull pain there that the urologist does not seem to be concerned with since my prostate is somewhat enlarged. I'm still very confused and worried sick to the bottom of my soul.

Peace to you and have a pleasant evening!
Avatar universal
Hello xhost,

Can you read my thread from this comment to you? If you can, would you please? Kekelow suggested that I ask you a few questions about my situation. If she recommends you, I am certain that you are to be trusted with your advice and thinking. Please help me come to terms with some of my issues befor my PCR results are in next week. I will forever be greatful.

Avatar universal


Whew, you've been going through a lot lately, haven't you. I read through the conversations that you and Kek have had so far, and your orgininal risk factor. I have also read that your partner had an HIV screening done some 10 weeks after her last unprotected encounter.

First, I want to say this: sit down, take a deep breath, let it out, do it again, and then do it one more time. Right now, the most important thing for you is to think logically. Your situation, as I have read it, is this: you have had an affair on a business trip, and now you are feeling incredibly guilty and afraid. Second, know this: I am not a doctor. If you must be on this forum, try to spend some time reading through the doctor's responses to posts just like yours (there are plenty of them there) - you will feel much better for having done it, I promise you.

OK, I know how this goes, because I've been in the same situation myself. I too cheated on a girlfriend, and afterwards let my guilt about the event drive me into a frenzy of HIV anxiety. Even the reaction of the woman involved was exactly the same, except the woman I was with never talked to me again (little wonder!).

Before we go into any discussion about your risk, or testing strategy, let us first realize the role that guilt may be playing in all of this. Sure, on the face of it, you're petrified that you may have picked up something from this woman (her test results aside, we will come back to that). But really, underneath, I'd be willing to bet that your real problem is primarily guilt, or shame, and that you feel some need to punish yourself for what has happened. Now, I cannot speak for you, but I know that I was finally able to think clearly, I came to the conclusion that HIV was just a handy proxy, and that my real problem was the guilt, and the shame, of having cheated on my girlfriend (well, among other things).

Perhaps you will take a moment now to remind yourself that you are human, and by definition, humans make mistakes. I know, you are afraid of having contracted anything that might be passed on to your wife. Thus, guilt compounded, exponentially. But the truth of the matter is that it doesn't sound very likely that, in terms of HIV, you have all that much to worry about.

Let's take the facts of your situation one by one:

1.) The woman in question does not appear to be promiscuous. She is coming out of a long marriage, and people will often be a bit more sexually active after doing so. Even if she were promiscuous, she had an HIV test 10 whole weeks after her last unprotected encounter. It was negative. If she were to choose to test again at 12 weeks, which is the end of the official CDC window period, she would most assuredly test negative again. And if she is negative, which she most certainly is, you could not have gotten HIV from her. Repeat that to yourself if you must, until it starts to take hold.

2.) Your chances of getting HIV from the encounters you described are fairly low to begin with. Even if she were HIV positive (and it doesn't sound as if she is), the odds that you would have gotten HIV were still fairly low. Just so you know, transmission of HIV from a woman to a man is much harder than the other way around. Throw in the fact that she tested negative at 10 weeks, and I'd say the odds are even more in your favor.

3.) You've tested at 25 days, with what I believe is a PCR test. While I do not recommend the PCR test (of course, I am not a doctor - just talked to more than one person on this site who got a false positive from the test), I will say this: the fact that it was negative (or did not detect a viral load) is a pretty good indication that you are HIV negative. Having said that, I would not recommend that your next test at 6 weeks be a PCR test. Instead, you are fine to go in and get a standard antibody test at this point. If you have read the moderated forums, you know the doctor's position on a 6 week antibody test. He would most likely tell you to test then and forget about it - he has said more than once that, in most cases, a 6 week antibody test is conclusive.

This is, as I am sure you have gathered, a controversial position to take, at least to some people. Me, I would tend to follow the doc's advice. But, some people are not comfortable doing that, and feel the need to test out to 12 weeks. I will only say this: if you would feel more comfortable testing out to 12 weeks (that is the offical CDC guideline after all, for now) then by all means do it. But know this, if you test negative at 6 weeks, the overwhelming odds are that you will test negative at 12 weeks. Thus, seeing a negative standard antibody test at 6 weeks should make you feel much, much better in terms of knowing whether you have HIV (and I'd be willing to bet all the money that I have that you don't).

To sum up, you feel bad about what you've done, and you have some level of anxiety about HIV. Things happen in the heat of the moment, and, again, humans sometimes do things they wish they could undo. It's good that you are testing - all sexually active people should be having yearly STD screens anyway, which should include an HIV test. While I say it's good to get tested, just remember this: the odds are most decidedly in your favor, and that's the truth. Given your partner's testing, and your own results so far, I'd say you're probably good to go, but I understand the need you feel to continue testing until you're sure in your own mind.

One final bit of advice, just to be sure, you might also consider getting a full STD screening in addition to that 6 week antibody test (and, more than likely in your case, the final formality, the 12 week HIV test). As I said, everyone who is sexually active should be getting one at least once a year anyway, so go ahead and do it and call that your annual test. And, I probably don't need to say this, but I will anyway: to avoid this anxiety in the future, wear a condom! Like I said, you already know that, just me covering all the bases.

You don't sound like you have much to worry about, though I am sure that you will worry still. This is a hard time for you, I know. It was for me. But I came out of it having learned a lesson, and I'd like to think it taught me some useful things about myself. I came out of it OK, and you will too. Believe that, and remember: this too shall pass.

Good luck dealing with your anxiety, Sav, and I wish you the best.


PS - One huge favor you can do for yourself now is to stop, if you are, browsing the internet for symptoms of primary HIV infection. It will do much more harm than good. The doctor told you that symptoms are not a good indicator of HIV status because it is true, but also to help you to stop thinking about symptoms. I promise you this: the more you read about symptoms, the more you will begin to believe that you are experiencing them, further compounding the stress and anxiety you are going through.
Avatar universal
Thanks for your advice and support. I will strive to ease my guilt and anxiety beginning this morning.

The counselor talked me into taking the PCR test yesterday and not the antibody test. Should I seek out an antibody test before my PCR results are in next week? I'm a bit perplexed now. Please advise.

Thanks for your kind reply. And yes, you are correct about reading about symptoms. It has about drove me crazy.

Avatar universal

Well, while you didn't need the PCR test, you have already taken it, so I suppose you can stick with it. My apologies, I am not so up on the various PCR tests. You might want to read some of the forum threads here that discuss the various PCR tests and their validity at, say, 6 weeks.

But, that said, you are almost through the worst time of uncertainty and anxiety inducing wait time. Just remember, your negative at this point should be a huge relief for you. And also remember that your (almost assuredly negative) test now will surely be followed by one at 12 weeks. Have no fear.
Avatar universal
Thanks again. I spoke with the counselor who arraanged the PCR test yesterday and she said for me to relax, find something to do and call on Wednesday. I have just gotten so involved mentally, that that is now very hard to do. I appreciate yours and kekelow's help so very much.

I asked her about a rapid test for today and she said it was too early. So I'll wait till next Wednesday and Pray a lot! Thank you and God Bless you.

What you you think about me suddenly feeling sensation (no swelling) in one of my nodes under my right chin? Feel great otherwise, no fever, or anything.

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