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So I know there is absolutely no good that can come from symptom chasing & self-diagnosing over the internet, but I'm still about 5 weeks out from being able to take a 3 month HIV test and looking for something...anything to ease my mind until then.  As a new member, I'm not sure if this board is the proper place to do this so if not, please direct me elsewhere.

I am a 21 year old heterosexual female and have always been a hypochondriac in virtually every aspect, with increasing anxiety and symptom chasing since I started college.  I recently got out of a monogamous relationship & was tested weeks after it ended.  I was negative for everything.  However, in the wake of dealing with the break up, having just turned 21, and going out much more frequently, I had unprotected sex with 3 different men (1 time each) in the span of about a month.  Each time it happened, I felt disgusted and horrified with myself but I kept finding myself in the same situation and unable to say no.  The first time, I was entirely too drunk to even know what was happening, but the other two I can't even blame alcohol..just complete irresponsibility.  The first man was 47 (horrible, I know) and a friend of a friend who we are still in contact with.  I confronted him after the fact and he assured me that he is tested at least once a year and has no reason to believe he has been exposed to any sort of STD. He's extremely active and also has pretty irregular hours and is often at the bars.  I've seen him probably a half dozen times since then and he's always been friendly and reassuring about my anxiety.  The second man is a firefighter in his late 20s who I met at a bar.  He walked me home and asked if he could come in at the end of the night and one thing led to another... We exchanged numbers the next day but he was in town for a baseball game and I haven't heard from him since but he did assure me that he was tested at the beginning of the year, which would have been 3 months prior to us meeting, through his job and everything was negative.  The third was a 22 year old man who went to college with one of my roommates who says he has been tested and is clean.  We are still in contact, although nothing sexual has happened since.  Of the three men, the first one ejaculated in me and the other two did not.

About 6 weeks after this, I was diagnosed with strep throat after being around my roommate who had the disease as well. Up to this point, HIV had been nothing more than a fleeting worry and I wasn't looking into symptoms too heavily.

A few weeks later, my roommate's boyfriend brought 2 friends out with us and I ended up having unprotected sex with one of them after, again, drinking entirely too much.  He did not ejaculate inside of me.  I know little else of him but have been assured by my roommate that he's not the type to engage in any sort of high risk behavior.

I have no reason to suspect any of the men have engaged in anal sex or intravenous drug use which I understand would increase the likelihood that they had contracted HIV.

I am completely horrified by my actions and I will never forgive myself if I am HIV+, but ever since the last encounter I have been consumed by anxiety that I am in fact HIV+.  I began feeling extremely fatigued.  I would set my alarm for 8 hours from the time I went to bed and when it was time to get up I would be so unbelievably exhausted that I would move my day around so I could sleep a couple extra hours...usually upwards of 10 hours a night.  I would get a sort of choking sensation if I tried to turn my head while in bed at night.  I would feel as if I had a faint sore throat.  I had lots of phlegm built up in my throat all the time.  I've diagnosed myself with folliculitis (I noticed about 3-4 ingrown follicles on each arm and maybe 2 on my upper legs) and molluscum contagium (I had 1 large pink dot on my shoulder blade with an indent in the center).  

This past week I tested positive for strep for the second time in 2 months and am wondering if there is any link between this and being HIV+.  I know strep is a bacterial infection and HIV is a virus but I'm wondering if having a compromised immune system as 1 would with HIV could cause repeated bouts of strep.  The first time I was on antibiotics for strep, however, I drank while on them so that could be a likely reason for it returning.  At the time I was diagnosed with strep again, I became terrified to the point of rapid heartbeat, nightmares, obsessive thoughts, etc.  I now had a sore throat, neck pain, muscle aches, fatigue, and three flat red scabs on my side that looked like blood blisters or something similar.

I know I've made myself sound terrible but I'm an educated woman with ambitious goals for the future and I made a series of terrible decisions that may permanently alter my life.  I've looked into statistics which make me feel better for a while and then something gets to me and I'm convinced I'm HIV+ yet again.  If I take the test in October and test negative, I will be so unbelievably relieved I know I will see every aspect of life as a complete blessing, but in the meantime I can't do anything but obsess over the fact that I am sure I am HIV+.  Does anyone have any similar stories or encouragement?  I have tried to hint about my worry to my friends but they don't know the extent of what a terrible person I was.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
What's done is done- just learn from this and move on. HIV is a possibility but not very likely (it is rare in heterosexual men)- are you testing for more common STDs?

Have an antibody test 6 weeks after your last exposure. If it's negative it will be a good indication that you were not infected. Follow up with a confirmation antibody test at 3 months for a conclusive result.
Avatar universal
yes i will be testing for everything just to be sure.  i am currently on antibiotics & wondering if that will skew any sort of std/hiv test?
Avatar universal
Antibiotics won't affect an HIV test. STD questions should be posted in the STD forum.
Avatar universal
I am in a very similar position to you at the moment. I was somewhat of a wild child at University, didn't always take care of myself and am now freaking out so much about HIV I can't function. Feel free to message me if you want to chat x
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