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Avatar universal

symptoms fear

Hey guys
I am still awaiting testing and still legitimately freaking out...that being said my low risk exposure (30 seconds of oral to man of unknown status, no ejaculation) in the weeks and months following I had these weird tingling sensations in my legs and occassionally my hands.  Did anyone experience this and turn out negative?  At the time I thought I had restless leg syndrome although now I realize it was likely due to HIV.  I am really trying to be optimistic but when my symptoms speak so loudly it is very difficult to do.   101 fever, night sweats, diarrhea and nausea (for 24 hours), swollen glands, no appetite, extremely weak... Anyone have these symptoms and end up being fine?  The scary part is these symptoms were not in my mind I went to a Dr...and I had no fear of hiv at the time because my risk was so low I didnt even consider it.    Things could be worse though right, certain cancers and other diseases likely give people a much shorter lifespan than hiv, where hopefully there will be a cure soon!
17 Responses
Avatar universal
Ok.. Can you tell me how do you exactly define tingling. Which 1 of the following:

1. Fasciculations and twitching
2. Pins & needles
3. Hands & Feet fall asleep
4. Burning sensations in palms and soles
5. hurting soles

See, the symptoms are vague and often misinterpreted by freaked out folks like us. for e.g. ARS has flu like symptoms. ARS also has mono like symptoms, joint aches, thrush, sore throat, oral ulcerations, rash, fever and so on. It seems every single way the body reacts to say even a minor infection or even day to day general physical wear and tear can be attributed to ARS. Sometimes I wonder if science really knows much about HIV because there is only a limited number of ways body can present symptoms for almost anything and all those limited physical presentations are listed as possible symptoms.
Avatar universal
For me it was a sort of pins and needles feeling.  I thought I had ants crawling inside my legs and my feet would go numb often.  This has since subsided but I am very supsicious as to the cause and I have read people's forums who are positive saying they had similar incidents which is really making me depressed and frantic...
Avatar universal

Oh dear, reading your post took me back to when I was sweating out an HIV test. I remember feeling a tingling, and sharp pains, in my arms, hands, legs and feet and attributing them to neuropathy, which, I thought at the time, was a sure sign of primary HIV infection (when, in reality, not really).

Let's see, what else? I could go on for days. Headaches, sore throat, white coating on the tonuge, ulcers in my mouth, a night sweat here and there. You name it, I had it. I was already sitting down to make out my will.

Funny thing was, once I realized, for various reasons, that I did not have HIV, most of those "symptoms" went away, on the same day.

I am amazed even to this day at the state I had worked myself into. I have no doubt that the human mind is a powerful and strange thing. After a a bit of analysis, I chalk my own "symptoms" up to not only anxiety and stress, but to a hyper-awareness of my body. Most of those things I described, I had before I ever even thought about HIV. It's just that they were so minor, I never noticed them. But, since I was pretty convinced I had HIV for some period of time, I noticed them then. Hell, I could hear my own fingernails growing at night, that's how tuned into my body I was.

Trust me, you'll wind up being negative, and the day you take your test and are given the good news, all of your own "symptoms" are going to fade into the background, just like mine. The next day, as you smile up at the sun, or smell the flowers in the park next to your house, you will already be forgetting about them.

Good luck, though you don't sound like you need much luck with anything other than anxiety. You'll be fine.
Avatar universal
Thanks xhost!

I truly hope you are right about being negative, because I am so busy spending time and energy worrying about a life with HIV I am probably making my current symptoms worse.  I had these symptoms a long time ago but I am away now and unable to test for another week or so.  But the current symptoms consist of a burning tingling white tongue, other than that and maybe an increase in fatigue (which I attribue largely to anxiety) I'm doing fine.  I would have never had this worry but I happened to stumble across ARS symptoms and I realized that the terrible "flu" I had could have easily been consistent with such.  Ever since then I continuously convince myself that is the case which is making me really go insane.  I just can't believe that such a minimal low risk could make me so worked up.  I realize tons of people perform oral sex on positive men all the time and never actually become infected.  But with having all those symptoms it makes it much scarier.  Any accounts of similar symptoms with a "negative" outcome are greatly appreciated!  This forum has been such a saving grace for me even though I am literally panicked still!
Avatar universal


Don't worry, you'll get over this, just like countless others have done. Just realize in the meantime, that, even though you don't have much reason to be afraid, it's still OK to be afraid. Own it, tell yourself that, OK, I'm afraid, what next? Do that enough times and you'll be on your way to getting a grip on your fear.

In the meantime, continue to post here. I never get tired of answering questions ;-).

Be well,

Avatar universal
Haha thanks, I am trying my best to get a grip on it.  My way is to realize even in the worst case scenario people are surviving long and fairly well with HIV, so things could be worse.  I am sure getting diagnosed with a late stage cancer or something would be a far worse prognosis.  But of course I am also trying to be as optimistic as possible.  Between this site and reading Dr.Bob's comments I get some comfort.  He is one amazing person so inspiring being HIV + and all.  So are you still awaiting a test or just helping out the worried wells!
Avatar universal

A valid question. I was tested a long, long time ago, and came up negative. But even before the test, I had a moment or two of lucidity and realized that something was wrong with me. I had a very low risk "exposure", and was told such by many doctors, yet still I was freaking out, probably more so than anyone else on this forum.

One day, I had a moment of lucidity, and realized that I probably didn't have HIV, and that I needed some help. So I went to a great therapist who helped me see what my real problem was. It wasn't HIV - it was a combination of OCD, guilt, etc. The therapist helped me realize that I was using the thought of HIV to punish myself.

I still remember the day I had a breakthrough, and finally came to understand that I didn't have HIV. That night, as I thought about it, all of worry fell away, and with it went all of my "symptoms".

Since then, I've hung out here just to see if I could help others who might be going through the same thing I went through.
Avatar universal
Ohh okay, well I'm glad to see you're doing better! and it is very  nice of you to offer assistance and comfort.  I hope that I too will be in more of a need for a therapist than an HIV doctor.  I am trying my best to be calm for the next week or so until testing but it is very difficult as you know!  In the meantime I think i will have the student center dr. check out my mouth to see what my white/tingling tongue is all about.  I have looked up pictures of thrush (not pretty) but my tongue is not at all like that so hopefully it is stress related, I have read it can be caused by anxiety etc.
Avatar universal
Everything that you have been talking about really hits home with me I have been hit with such incredible anxiety and guilt as I am waiting for my results. I have seen many doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, and now I have consulted with these forums all who say I have a low risk. Yet I am in pain. I wake up in the middle of the night and actually believe that I can feel the disease in my veins. Sounds strange right? I was given a viral load test at the eight day mark which was neg. on test to 400 copies. And also a negative antibody result at the 23 day mark. I am taking anxiety meds for panic disorder and also have OCD. i have a history of going to the emergency room and when I am there I usually feel much better. The things that concern me mopst are the pain where my spleen should be I am not sure if there is typically paion there in those with hiv. I am extremely worried and even though everyone is telling mme I have low risks etc. I am worried. so I must either be manifesting to punish myself like you did or I actually have the disease. Looking back is there anything you could have said to yourself at the time to ease your symptoms and worries?
Avatar universal
Well at the time of these symptoms hiv never even crossed my mind.  that is what is so scary to me now, bc i know i did not invent those symptoms and bring them on myself bc i was not worried about hiv in the least.  but now looking back i realize i did in fact have all of the typical ARS symptoms and it is likely that that was what i was suffering from instead of a regular flu or food poisoning.  it's just so disheartening to think that so many people do not contract this disease after repeat high risk exposures but yet it seems likely i did with only one brief very low risk encounter (ie oral sex for 30 seconds no ejaculation)...very depressing
Avatar universal
Whenb you were describing you symptoms you weren't very clear on the timeline of how long it has been since your exposure and how long since your exposure you experienced the flu symptoms and for how long. These can be important things. Please communicate what your timelines are. If it has been along time then you are probably going to be alright
Avatar universal
O_g, have you gotten tested yet? I have a similar feeling in the throat as you, but no mouth ulcers...
Avatar universal
unfortunately the symptoms were a couple of weeks after the supposedly very low risk exposure!  that is why it is so nerve wracking although I guess it's equally unnerving that someone can have no symptoms at all and still be infected, very frustrating.
Avatar universal
That is 1 reason I am also unable to move on. The symptoms came 10 days post exposure and that's the worst I have ever felt in my life. I felt really sick and all the symptoms that presented were in line with ARS symptoms posted on web abd CDC guidelines. I tested out till 12 weeks. I have gotten some good support and knowledge on this website from people like skerdstraght& mpo131 and I thank them a lot but I am still unable to shove off the fear. I started getting mouth symptoms 6 months post exposure. But, before that I had major problem with PN, joint aches, herpes, stomach issues and what not. And by PN, I do not mean needles and pins, what I had was burning hands & feet(initially genitals also till I was trated with antibiotics) and still have at times. SUX!!!!

With so many wonderful people telling that 12 weeks is conclusive, a part of me believes it but then something tells me there's something fishy. That leads to a free fall. I surf web more & more is bad news that I get. I compare symptoms of people testing positive and further get depressed. Then, once in a while Dr.HHH's replies cheer me up when he sayd 8 weeks is solid. But, when he says that rape cases ought to be tested out till 3 months, that sends my mind into a frenzy. The I feel bettwer when he says that he has not once in his career seen a 4 week negative turn positive. I feel happy for a while and then I get to hear that window is fluid and not something set in stone. In ordr to confirm window people will have to be knowingly infected and will needed to be tested out for 3+ months. Now, 3 months was still OK. That period being referred to as (+)makes my blood pressure sky rocketwhere I can feel my veins protruding out of my forearms and neck.

Ok, then enough of medhelp, let's look for some good news at thebody.com. Starts with r. Bob telling all the BJ receivers n givers that 12 weeks is definitive. Good!!! but soon he starts shifting to 6 months for unprotected vaginal n all. Freaks me out.. I get out of there. What next!!!

Aidsmeds - they say I am conclusively negative and I am currently banned 2nd time for posting unnecessarily after being conclusive negative. Those guys are nice and they understand how HIV works in general. I greatly appericiate their work and help. But, when I questions something, they kick me out. So, there goes another option..

Next--- That forum makes no sense to me. Mistake to even be there. No point!!!

Next ---healthboards.com --- good support but lack of experts..No point.. OK...

So this iteratio is repeated like from 10 am in the morning to 4 am in the night. In between this I feel all the symptoms, I feel depressed, I feel happy, I get angry at informaton/misinformation and promise myself never to again go to any website...

What happens next -- 1/2 n hr later, I m back here looking for another positive reply from Dr. H.

In conclusion, we may have HIV or we may not. But, all of us are mentally sick. I for sure have become....

Avatar universal
"Next--- That forum makes no sense to me. Mistake to even be there. No point!!!"

This was meant for healingwell.
[If someone from aidsmeds is looking please do not think it was intended for you guys. Aidsmeds, u guys are wonderful even though u keep on banning me]
Avatar universal
Forgot to mention this - Dr. H does have a peculiar way of calming nerves. He is a good guy and tries his best to make sanity prevail. His advices are real good in general.
(off the records - nobody thinks they belong to general category on these forums). Eventually, with repeated questioning even his immense patience takes a beating and he says "Live with the uncertainity" which gain I think is very true and I admire him for being honest enough to say that.
Avatar universal
I am in the same boat as you, 12 days after low-risk, sickest ever been in life...but there is still hope, could be coincidence and something completely unrelated...also many people never even have symptoms so you can never be sure, things look promising for you thus far tho!
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