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Avatar universal

Very confused. Multiple symptoms. Please Help!

Hi,

I had sex with someone whose status I really don't know (Big mistake of course) roughly 5 months back now. Within a couple days after that encounter, I had the following symptoms:

- Swollen lymph node primarily on my lower right groin area.
- Increased tiredness and a strong burning sensation in my eyes and overall feeling of fatigue.
- Loss of appetite and interest in food.
- After a week I got night sweats for 5-6 days.
- Within 3 weeks I developed sore throat and slight slight pain while swallowing.
- Lost 5-6 pounds within first week.
- Red strained eyes after about a month. They seem stressed and I can see red lines in the white area (previously it was perfectly white). I suspect it's a reaction to some inflammation in my body.

All these could be stress related as I was very stressed and concerned right from day 1. But it can't all just be stress, i definitely know something isn't right after that encounter. This red eyes and general tiredness and lack of energy is my biggest concern and fear.

So at 4 month mark from potential exposure, I got a finger prick test and a blood test for HIV. Both came as negative. Also came negative for Hep B, HepC and other STDs (chlymidia, gonnera, syphlis etc).

I definitely know something is wrong with my body and I'm not just imagining things or stressing myself out. I can't stress a lymph node swelling for 4 months, or eye soreness. I am really confused what could be causing it.

My doctor has asked me to get CT scans soon as she fears it may be Lymphoma. But I really suspect that it is cancer especially since the symptoms happened right after this encounter. It's too coincidental.

Most places I read say that 3 month mark testing should be 99.99% conclusive for HIV, but I'm still not sure. My question is based on my symptoms, is it possible that I still have HIV in me but somehow the antibodies haven't shown up? What other STD or infection could have been transferred from her to me that I should be worried about? I'm so confused. I thought it might be hepatitis related but even B & C came out negative. Please help me out.

Thanks for reading and your input.
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Well in your case hiv is ruled out.
Did you talked about those symptoms with your doctor ? Did he ordered some blood work ?
I am suffering from a similiar situation and i think that stress and anxeity has a lot to do with lowering immunity resposes and opening the door to multiple viral and bacterian infections.
Some studies from the 90's suggest even a stress induced immunosuppression that can affect the body for extented periods of time.
I don't know what causes your problems but i don't think its STD relatef in anyway.
Cheers !
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply Highlander24. I did talk about these symptoms and she  fears it may be lymphoma(cancer of lymph nodes from what i read). I did get the results of my complete bloodwork. Everything seemed normal except for bilirubin being slightly elevated (1.7, normal range is 0.1 - 1.2 mg/dL). She mentioned that such a tiny rise can also be caused by not eating for a few hours or some kind of inflammation in the body.

I just started reading about HTLV-1 and Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and it really really freaked me out. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adult_T-cell_leukemia/lymphoma), although according to other links i've read, the latent period from HTLV-1 to lymphoma is >40 years. If that's true, then it can't be that I got enlarged lymph nodes from the transmission of HTLV-1 from this encounter. Also i read that htlv-1 can cause uveitis ( redness of eyes).

Although, some of the symptoms of lymphoma are strikingly similar to what i'm going through and that scares me :(. (Eg. here - http://www.lymphomacoalition.org/2012-10-16-15-49-43/signs-and-symptoms).

I forgot to add persistent diarrhea for last 4 months and swelling in lower abdomen as my symptoms.

So next step is for me to see a specialist in lymphadenopathy followed by a CT-Scan to see if it is indeed cancer. Obviously that scares the crap out of me. In any case I'll be planning to go get another round of tests done at the 6 month mark. I'm almost hoping that I have HepC now (rather than cancer). Funny how one evil is preferred over another.

1 Comments
Hi, I doubt it is HIV or HTLV related. You already tested for HIV and STD's and those were negative. If you did the 4th generation duo test that also checks antigen so that you don't have to worry about antibodies. The HTLV is very rare. So, I doubt you have that. There are no particular symptoms that show you have Lymphoma. If you had it the complete blood count would show abnormal and increased lymphocytes and the platelet count would be low often times. They often ask for  CT scans just to rule out things. So it doesn't really mean you have any type of cancer.

One single swollen groin lymph node doesn't mean cancer. It can be any kind of infection or sometimes they swell up. I know one guy that is normal and has had one swollen and painful for a couple of years. So have you tested your urine to see if you have a urinary tract infection or kidney infection? It could be a lot of things. Do you have a fever, cough or any other symptoms? Have you been tested for TB?

These are some things to start with.
mkh9
Avatar universal
I wouldn't get to preoccupied with lymphoma i i were you.
It's not easy to miss it your blood work would've been showed it.
Also you can't develop it in such short period and the symptoms would be severe.
Its funny how you say that a hepatit would be much better than a cancer ... While in my case a lymphoma would be welcome LOL (i am an ultra sensitive guy and even the idea that i carry a deadly transmissible disease like hiv would just be too much to handle for me)
Avatar universal
Yeah I'm pretty sure it was 4th generation Ag/Ab blood test. Yeah i really hope it isn't HTLV and i read that it is most prevalent in Japan, Caribbean and certain parts of Africa. She could have recently moved from Africa or the Caribbean to the US. It's really hard for me to tell. Is there any known symptom of having swollen lymphs and other symptoms i described during the very initial stage of a HTLV infection? Most of the info I found online talks about the eventual complications resulting from HTLV (ALL and HAM and their symptoms).
The only STD's that I got checked at the recent 4 month mark, and tested negative, were:
Hiv, Hep C, Hep B, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis

So, either it is HTLV, Hep A, D or E (although they are known to be food borne) or some other weird virus/bacterial infection. Which is why I plan to go through another round of complete testing around 2nd week of Jan(6 month).

No I haven't tested for TB yet. I was feeling a bit feverish about a month after exposure but no real high fever. And occasional random cough - but nothing out of the ordinary or on the higher end. No I don't think they tested urine for UTI or kidney infection. They did take my sample only for testing the STDs, but that's it. So I'll speak to my doc to ask about these next time.

I hate looking in the mirror now because of my eyes. It's not terribly bad or the redness is not very visible to most ppl, but every time i look i can notice it (of course since I'm paying attention). Uveitis usually signifies an underlying problem/inflammation or infection.

I can't seem to edit my previous posts, so i'll mention here that I did have protected vaginal sex and the oral was protected too. And i don't think the condom broke (afaik, but i didn't double check). I'm worried, maybe i didn't handle it correctly while disposing it maybe? Hard to say now.

Anyway I'll be getting the CT Scans in couple weeks and seeing the specialist. I'll update on what I learn. If anyone else has had or heard anyone with similar symptoms, please do chime in.

Thanks so much for your input guys, really helps me understand this better and face it too. I can't share any of these with anyone else around, so this is big help.
1 Comments
Well, you can count me in for an other symptom !

My eyes felt dry from the beginning of the week ... i thought that was due to my over use of my laptop/phone. Yesterday, i felt like my vision was blurry  and upon examining closely in a mirror its all red and the veins are visible and full of blood.

I had 10/10 vision with no particular problems in the past even with intense use of laptop screens!

It looks like something in relation with a current infection.

Well keep us posted of your situation and good luck !
Avatar universal
Update: I did get a CT Scan and the results came out that there is no cancer or anything indicative of anything serious. The lymph node was as my doctor put it 'build up of fat'.

Few other complications/symptoms have come up since I last posted:
- About a week back, I had intense pain in my upper middle back for about 2  days and then when I started breathing, it hurt in my chest area. Feels like the virus has spread to my chest/lung area. There was shortness of breath. Past 2 days, the chest pain and breathing problem seem to have improved but the intense back pain still persists. It gets especially worse when I wake up in the morning (I usually sleep on my back), and the pain subsides as the day goes by.
- Hair loss (It's thinning)
- My fingers have a weird wrinkle formation. Like when it happens when your hands are really cold.

Almost seems like my body is suddenly aging much faster. I'm at a loss of what could I could have caught from someone and have immediate symptoms and persistent. I'm thinking of not going back to my current doctor (who ordered CT scan and surgery of lymph nodes) and look for a 'Infectious Disease' specialist. Please guide me if this is the right way to go.

Other than an STD, I'm worried what other disease it could be and if I'm risking others around me with that.
1 Comments
When you say upper middle back could it be the kidneys? The pain could radiate around to the front? You don't have any frequent urination or pain upon urination? I would get the urine culture just in case. Sometimes it is high up. If the pain persists perhaps an ultrasound of the kidney area and anywhere where you feel that pain.  The fatty tissue is not an infection then in the lymph node. I have a muscle knot that I thought was a lymph node under my neck. They did a CT and found it was a muscle not a tumor. It is strange but you have check these things out. Floaters in the vision are normal. But you could get your eyes checked for the redness. It may be an allergy to something or a virus. I get allergies that I think are infections in my eyes and it really hurts. They get red and burn. I have had the eye doctor look several times and it is allergy not infection but the drops still clear it up because they have a soothing ingredient. Yes let us know about your TB test. It does cause severe fatigue and usually a low grade fever and night sweats. Sometimes weight loss depending on far along you are and then a cough.

mkh9
Avatar universal
I read your posts and the symptoms seem very similar. I had 10/10 vision too and was healthy before this encounter. I am always in front of my computer and never had a problem. But lately I noticed vision problems and floaters (along with the redness). Definitely not a coincidence.

I'm following your updates too and hope your doctors can figure something out soon. Good luck!
Avatar universal
I don't have any fever, but I definitely feel a general lack of energy and malaise. I will be going to get tested for TB and probably going to go to an infectious disease specialist.

My hair loss started worrying me even more now. It's like a downward spiral. I'm not sure if its stress related or disease related. I'd wager its the former as I've been stressed many times before and never been affected so bad.

All these symptoms my body is giving is telling me that something is not right. It's just so hard to figure out what it can be.
Avatar universal
Thanks for all your help mkh9. Incredibly useful.
Yeah I wondered too if it could be the kidneys. I do have pretty frequent urination. But I always did go fairly frequent even before all this happened.
The red eyes couldn't just be allergies coz all these symptoms started happening right after the encounter. I was healthy before that, and so my eyes flaring up is most likely some virus and not allergy. And my vision was pretty good too, rarely any floaters or vision problems. I do have to mention, the only serious health history i've had before is a history of Chlamydia which was cured. I will get it my eyes checked though to be on the safer side.
I'm going to go to an infectious disease specialist to get a full test including TB. I don't have major cough yet - occasional dry cough since it's winter now but nothing too persistent.

If you add all the symptoms, from what I've been reading last few months and learning about, they all point to classical viral infection.
Lymph nodes enlargement, soar throat, red flaring eyes, extreme fatigue, low grade fever, hair loss (sign of a medical condition). So confused!
Next week hopefully i'll get an appointment with the specialist. Will keep you guys updated.
Thanks for the support again.
1 Comments
Well, it can't hurt to see an infectious disease doctor. I hope you see an eye doctor in case you got chlamydia in the eye. It can cause problems. The other symptoms could be viral but not necessarily STD  related. Could be some other type of virus. You may want to get your thyroid checked as well (TSH level). That would cause fatigue and sometimes you have more than one thing. Keep an open mind.
take care,
mkh9
Avatar universal
Hey, I've had the same symptoms for two and a half years. I'm now down to only two symptoms so I've shown improvement. Still haven't found a doctor that knows what it is. Mainly wanted to say it's for sure not HIV so I'd stop worrying about that. There are some things that seem to help.
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