HIV Prevention Community
52.6k Members
Avatar universal

early HIV symptoms

I am a 19 year old male and about 3 weeks to a month ago I tried unprotected anal sex with a female partner.  I then had a headache for almost a day a few days after, and I periodically have a burning sensation when I urinate and ejaculate.  I originally thought it was a UTI.  I then began looking online and saw symtoms for STD's and HIV.  I now have a small purple rash on my hand, and sometimes itch all over my body like I have hives.  not to mention I have recently started to get diarrhea.  I know that it takes a while before HIV shows up, but I can not wait!  I am having trouble sleeping at night because I am so worried.  What do you think all this could be? HIV? Thanks!
19 Responses
Avatar universal
I mean it takes a while for HIV to show up on tests...
Avatar universal
Dear Worried,

Why don't you start by asking your partner about her HIV status (which is most probable negative) and if needed go take a test together?
You will need to take a test over this incident (full STD panel and HIV).  If you can not wait 6 weeks, you can take more sensitive tests (PCR or P24 alhtough it might be too late for P24) that should give you an idea about your status and then confirm it at the 6 weeks mark.  I would suggest you go and discuss this (yes its hard) with your doctor and see what his recommandation is.  Anxiety can be very hard to get through.  Please also note that symptoms or the lack thereof are never an indication of HIV contamination, so please stop trying to look for them and do not browse the internet needlessly.

Also remember for next time that after a risky encounter you can go to the hospital and ask for PEP treatment within 48h of exposure which the Dr will give you or not depending on the risk taken and the context.

All the best,
Avatar universal
Hey he is right. Do not go looking for symtoms.  The more you look the more you will find.  For some reason anytime i find a potential symptom I alaways assume it is HIV, when infact you probably never had the need to look even before the exposure and it was there even before.

150689 tn?1333993645
Dude you can get tested now. Most people will seroconvert around the 21-25 day mark. Obivously insertive anal sex is a high risk activity and as has been stated you should get a full STI screen done. That said the overall risk for any single expsosure\activity is always in your favour.

As for testing options you could have had a PCR done approx 10 days post exposure. My suggestion would be to have a HIV DUO test - which tests for antibodies to HIV and the P24 Antigen, which is a protein of the HIV virus. Again as has been stated a follow up test (any generation, any type) taken at 6 weeks or more post exposure will confirm your status.

Depending on where you are based there may be different protocols for issuing PEP - normally int he UK it's given as a priority to health care staff and victims of sexual assualt\rape, etc. AFAIK it's not given out to anyone who has had a possible exposure and in any case it's only effective if it's started inside 72 hours of any possible expsosure.

In the mean time, please don't go "symptom Surfing". Stick to reputable sites such as this one and the body.com.

Avatar universal

I won't comment on anything in this thread except the idea of taking a PCR test. Before you decide to do that, my recommendation is to post your question in the HIV Prevention forum, where it will be answered by a well known and well regarded HIV specialist. Tell him about your experience, and also ask about the PCR test. He will assess your risk and tell you whether he thinks you need a PCR test or not. My advice is to listen to whatever he has to say; he knows this subject, inside and out.

Good luck to you, though I have the feeling you will be just fine.
Avatar universal
I read that some scientists believe that if treatment is started early, during the acute HIV infection phase, there are some chances to save the immune system. If this is true, there must be a benefit to identify the virus early with a PCR test (10 days after possible exposure), no ?   Does it mean treatment should be started before the seraconversion, before 20-25 days after exposure? If the PCR test comes back positive, what follow-up tests should be taken and how feasible would it be to start treatment?  Also, I am concerned about the confidentiality - I read that even if the PCR test is negative, isurance companies may not want to provide insurance in the future?
Have an Answer?
Top HIV Answerers
366749 tn?1544698865
Karachi, Pakistan
370181 tn?1428180348
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.