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Avatar universal

ARS Timeline and Symptoms

Hi Doctor,

This will probably be my last thread with you but regardless I think the $10 donation I have made have been good value. If you remember I had sexual intercourse with a stripper from Las Vegas who took me home to her place. However, there was a good chance that the condom slipped off whilst we were having sex (I think it came off whilst I was withdrawing and I cannot be sure) but I wanted to make this point clear as you never seem to take this into account. I have seen a mental professional for my anxiety but it is elevated because I have a wife and we are expecting next year and nothing upsets me more than if I could have HIV and miss out on the birth of my child. This has been a great lesson in life. I know you are not here for support and I understand this so I do not expect anything other than your professional opinion.

My question is as follows and I am seven weeks post exposure:

(1)I record my temperature a lot lately (I know it
17 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I can't add to my previous reassuring replies.  But if it helps to hear it again, here goes.

Since it is almost impossible that your exposure resulted in HIV, it is equally impossible that your "fever" or other symptoms indicate HIV infection.  ARS symptoms always start within 2 weeks.  That amount of temperature variation is entirely normal.  As I have said repeatedly on this forum, perhaps in my previous replies to you:  Symptoms are a poor indicator of HIV infection, whereas blood tests are excellent indicators.  Thus, you should rely on your blood test results and ignore any symptoms you think you have.  Your negative blood test result at 5 weeks is almost 100% definitive; you do not have HIV.

And for goodness' sake, stop taking your temperature.

HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Hi,

I feel like I know you after sharing so much information over the past few months.

A wild guess: you're stressed out because your wife is pregnant. I'm in the same boat. You start worrying about being a good father and wondering if you will lapse into bad behavior again. Your wife is looking more and more saintly as she looks more maternal, and you feel on some subconscious level like you disgraced your own mother by having this affair. Give yourself a break and remember that our own fathers weren't perfect.

Your temperature is high and the bumps are strange. But they are probably something else, not HIV. You've gotten tested so much and your exposure was brief and low-risk. I'm sure you'll be fine. And I wish you the best with your child.

J
Avatar universal
Hi Johnny - thanks for advice - support has been great - but they are not bumps - just tiny red specks
Avatar universal
Doc - one thing the termperature of 99.2 was only noted for about 3 or 4 hours on saturday and fluctuated between 98.8 and 99.2
Avatar universal
OK Doctor - I understand! What about the 3 or 4 tiny pin speck red dots on my arms and chest - could you please give us a description of what an HIV ARS rash may look like ie. would it definitly be obvious and abnormal.
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
No, I'm not going to speculate further.  See my main response:  If you cannot have HIV, your rash cannot be due to HIV.  How much more strongly can I say it??  See a health care provider to find out what else it might be.  This is my last response.

HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,

I could not help to share my experience. I've been a regular here for the last 3 months. Believe me, I understand your anxiety. I visit MEDHELP and theBODY.com many many times during these days, every day, and every night. My situation:

I had unprotected oral and protected vaginal with a protitude. Condom broke and I discovered she had light bleeding. I washed my penis immediately. 3 weeks later had discharge and  was diagnose with Chlamydia. I confested to my wife. She tested negative for Chlamydia. I was treated with zithromax, and 14 days of Doxyclycline. I tested for Chlamydia (neg) after treatment. My wife and I are expecting a baby this December.

*At 4 weeks we both tested for HIV (neg)

*At 7 weeks I developed white coated tongue, tested for oral thrust (neg). Diareah for 2 days, and loose stool for 2 months. My doctor said loose stool due to extreme anxiety. She put me on antidepression med. I have stomach growling all day long. My muscle twitching all over my body. I have many "pimple-like" on my legs, chest, back, and face. I have red and itchy skin after hot shower or after I mowed the lawn, but they went away in an hour. I had light pain under armpits, pelvis, under the jaw, but I could not feel any enlarge lymph nodes. They are all about the pea size. I test for HIV at 7 weeks (neg)

*At 8 weeks my wife had diareah, nigh sweats, nausea, headache, low-grade fever, mood change, irregular period. The nights sweats still come and go. The diareah still come and go.

*I tested for HIV at 10 weeks (neg)

*I tested for HIV at 12 weeks (neg)

Up until now I still have loose stool, white coated tongue. I still have pain in armpits, pain in pelvis, and pain below ears that on and off. I still have musche twitching. All of my tests are blood tests at the hospital for HIV1 and HIV2. I live in Minnesota and I tested at a new and modern hospital.

I learn a good life lesson. I understand what you all going through. Dr. Bob at the BODY.com, and Dr. HHH here said 12 weeks is conclusive. I try to think about my 12 weeks test and be encourage by it, but these symptoms got me scare again. I went to a panic attack everytime my wife a a ARS-like symptoms. It is so hard to get through this. Window period seem forever.

I hope I can share my experience. Please feel free to comment and advice.
Avatar universal
Sorry to make you mad doctor - not my intention! Please forgive me.
Avatar universal
Psyber,

Thatnks for your story - it is a reasurring one - the biggest problem I have it that I feel embarrased to go to the Public Health clinic for testing for HIV. I went at 5 weeks and 2 day and want to go now at 7 weeks but feel as if they will get mad at me for requesting to be tested.

Oh well that's just me - I had to pay for the six and a half week one which I get back on Wednesday but I prefer the rapid tests so I dont have to wait. Unfortunatly there are only available at the Public health Clinic.
Avatar universal
Psy: You're in the clear, obviously. I wish you the best with the December baby. Your wife's fever, etc., sound like the typical physical stresses women get at different intervals during pregnancy, don't they?

VS: Stop worrying about getting people mad. Unfortunately in the US we have a lousy health care system that thrives on keeping people uninformed and nervous. Your health plan probably makes more money to the extent that it can intimidate you into not seeking care, or at least, seeking care that doesn't match the amount of premiums you pay. The whole situation makes it such that you have to fight to be healthy; it sucks but that's how it is. Get tested if you want to. Keep asking questions. Demand attention -- nicely, but persistently. Don't ask Dr. H for forgiveness; you posted a few questions, he answered you professionally. Now you have to firm your resolve and get the health care from live doctors that you deserve. And then, of course, you have all of us on the forum to root for you if you need it. You're going to be fine. It's probably easier to focus on HIV (which you don't have) and its melodramatic scenarios, than to confront the uncertainties and pressures of fatherhood and husbandhood and your job. Best wishes!

J
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I never get mad at anyone on this forum.  Well, almost never.  But frustrated for sure.  I'm pretty mellow about new questioners, even with "old" questions, but not always with people who have essentially the same question and return to ask it multiple times for an extra measure of reassurance--especially when the original reassurance was about as firm as humanly possible.  Don't take it personally; I don't mean to make anyone feel bad.

HHH, MD
Avatar universal
Thanks for kind words Johnny_V. I really need them at this time in my life. I thought I am in the clear with all the tests I had, but guess what. My wife had night sweat again last night. This morning she had light spotting and diareah. I took her to the hospital and the doctor could not tell us why. He asked her to bed rest.

I've learned that it is so hard to think positive when the HIV fear has entered your system. I just could not shake off the fear completely. I thought if I can make through the 12 weeks window perioid that I will be fine. Here I am, still worry about it. I have anxiety attack when my wife or I have ARS-symptoms. I could not breath and feel like I am going to choke. Now I am thinking that I am one of the unlucky one that have late seroconversion. One day I feel fine, and one day the HIV fear took me again. One thing I found that helps me through these time is excercise and running. I run and I run and I run.
Avatar universal
Hello,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Being a bodybuilder helps me get through those HIV scares. Also, I have been more active volunteering in AIDs community services and HIV education through a local church. This helps because it takes all the nervous energy off of me and puts it toward something fruitful. Also, I come into contact with people at higher risk and it reminds me that my HIV- status is quite predictable given my use of condoms and safer sex practices. I come across runaway teenage boys who have had to sell themselves without condoms, heroin addicts, adult men with sex addictions but no knowledge of safer sex; it drives home the distance between me and actual high risk.

Your wife's health problems sound like complications with pregnancy. Right now my female partner has terrible morning sickness and needs constant attention. She isn't spotting and the doctor said everything looks fine with our baby. Still I've learned that when someone is pregnant with your child, you have to be stronger than usual. You can't succumb to anxiety and keep revisiting the same doomsday scenario. She has forgiven you and moved on, so it would be cruel to keep rehashing it in your head.

And besides, you don't have HIV. The thing about oral thrush that everyone mentions is bizarre. That's like ringworm, one of the things that turns up when you are several years into an HIV infection. I don't believe it's part of ARS. ARS is all flu-like. Anyway your negative tests could not be wrong at 12 weeks.

Stay strong!

J
Avatar universal
Thanks JohnnyV. I wish you both the best with your upcoming child. I think you have a very good strategy for dealing with your nervous energy. You are absolutely right, we have to be stronger than usual. I have to learn to accept the good news that I am HIV negative at 4,7,10, and 12 week and move on. My symptoms and my wife's symptoms could be other things, stress, anxiety, colds, pregnacy, unrelated to HIV. I will try to focus my energy on other things, and stear away on irrational fear. I thank you for all your support.
Avatar universal
Got the six and a half week HIV test and it was negative - anxeity level down again! Thanks for the support!
Avatar universal
Great news. Congratulations. Now just move on with life and I wish you the best with your pregnancy.

J

PS. Remember what the good doc said though. Next time you are on a business trip, carry condoms even if you are hoping you will have enough will power not to use them.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, do I have HIV was started.
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