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questions that may have been answered before

hello. thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. i have spent hours reading through 100's of threads on this forum and some of my questions have been answered before. i would really like someone to comment on my personal experience. so, i am a british/us citizen and was living in lansing, mi. about a week before i was due to fly back to england, i had unprotected vaginal sex a couple of times with my roommates friend. i'm 21, white, male, uncircumcised, non iv drug user. she's 19, white, female, non iv drug user. i wasn't too worried as she was my roommates friend and i had met her on a number of occasions and she never seemed to be involved with anything risky. a couple of days later, i developed a white coating around my foreskin. i thought i had picked up some kind of std from her as everytime i would shower, it would come back. but it disappeared a week later, so i thought nothing more of it. before i returned to england, she said something that made me uneasy. "i need to stop having sex with people when i first meet them." the symptoms i experienced after this are not anxity related as they appeared before i looked into hiv and ars. the day i returned to england, i had a rash on my chest/back. i thought nothing of it as i've had some issues with that over the past couple of years. 1 week after returning to england (2 weeks after possible exposure), i developed a dry cough and my lymph nodes in my neck were enlarged. i also had loose stools, which kind of burned. couple of days later, my cough turned into a normal cough and i was sneezing and was gone a week or so later. i still had the rash, so i went to my gp and was prescribed oxytetracycline. rash improved within 2 weeks. loose stools continued on and off for another month. i started looking into my symptoms online, which i regret, and came accross hiv and ars. i got worried and went and had a full std check at the gum clinic. everything came back negative at 8 weeks after possible exposure. i know symptoms are not a good indicator of hiv and i know a conclusive result is obtained a 12/13 weeks after possible exposure. i will get tested at 13 weeks to be 100% sure of my status. i will have alot of anxiety until then and would appreciate it if someone could answer some questions.

1. the symptoms i experienced. rash 1 week after possible exposure that lasted for a month. dry cough and enlarged lymph nodes in neck 2 weeks after possible exposure that lasted a week or so. loose stools on and off 2 weeks after possible exposure that lasted a month. if someone was experiencing ars, do these sound like the kind of symptoms someone would have? to me, it's too much of a coincidence that i had these symptoms due to something else within the ars time frame and i haven't had the flu ever or a cold in the past 5+ years.

2. if i was experiencing ars, how soon after the onset of the symptoms would someone expect a positive test result?

3. i have read alot of things on many websites about the accuracy of an 8 week test. it varies from 95% - 99%. is this true? i had blood withdrawn and sent to a lab, so i'm assuming it was a standard antibody test.

thank you for reading and any comments would be appreciated.

6 Responses
186166 tn?1385262982
surely, after reading through 100's of posts on this forum, you must have seen us say that symptoms are never a good indicator of one's status.   those same symptoms can be associated with many common, everyday illnesses.  you also stated that you have had the rash in the past.

your test at 8 weeks was a GREAT indicator of your status...and is HIGHLY unlikely to change.  get that test at 3 months for a conclusive result and put this behind you.

until you are in a monogamous relationship where both of you have tested...ALWAYS wear condoms.   sex lasts a few minutes...HIV LASTS A LIFETIME.
427652 tn?1248563239
  Hi Kev,

Listen mate, I`m not going to go into the whole symptoms thing as you`ll hear this from everybody, they mean Nothing buddy. Seriously. Her  "i need to stop having sex with people when i first meet them." comment was, and I`m pretty sure here, to make her feel better about herself. She didn`t want you thinking she just slept with anybody. You`ve read into that way too much.
  You`re stressing out big time here when really you`ve had an 8 week negative. I`m in the UK. My GP said my 8 week negative was 98% accurate and given the fact that you`ve had sex with a run of the mill chick , well, you know what i`m saying.
  Try not to go online to look at HIV related stuff. You`re doing yourself no favours.

  Good luck (not that you`ll need it).
Avatar universal
thanks for the replys :). i am very aware of the "symptoms mean nothing" thing. but i've read 60% of people do experience ars. i agree that you can't diagnose hiv symptoms, but, in 60% of the cases they can be an indicator. i would just like to know if someone is infected with hiv, who does experience ars, are the symptoms i've mentioned in general related to ars. and also, after the onset of symptoms, how soon roughly would antibodies show on a standard test. any further comments would be appreciated. i'm worried and i'm just trying to eliminate any possibility until i reach 13 weeks for another test.
Avatar universal
after reading a lot of posts, you seem really educated regarding this subject. could you please answer my above question regarding dry cough, loose stools and slightly enlarged lymph nodes in the neck being related to ars, if one even experiences it. i won't post any follow up questions! thanks.
186166 tn?1385262982
it is said that most ppl will test positive by 4 weeks.  you have that 8 week negative and it is HIGHLY unlikely to change.

sorry...i'm not doing the symptom checker.

relax...test for that conclusive result.
Avatar universal
thank you for the reassurance.
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