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HIV Symptoms

Hi Doctor,
I have to apologize in advance for asking a question which might have already been answered by previous posts. The reason for my asking though is that, whilst I'm knowledgeable that HIV is largely asymptomatic, I can't help but feel I have acquired some of the early symptoms frequently mentioned on many of the posts.

Exposure
Largely out of character, I had protected intercourse with a sex worker at a bachelor party. Without giving too much detail, intercourse didn't last too long (less than 5 minutes) and the condom was still in tact as I withdrew upon climaxing. I was, and still am, unaware as to the sex worker's HIV status. I am based in South Africa.

Symptoms
Whilst my exposure is low risk, the mere statement suggests that there is still a risk. Therefore, in your response, please heed the symptoms as the indicator to my potential HIV status, rather than my exposure. My symptoms can be detailed as follows:

- Sore throat acquired 5 days after exposure. This continued for about a week and was accompanied by high levels of fatigue. I obtained an antibiotic called Clemintin, which relieved the sore throat.
- Sore throat returned 3 weeks after exposure, accompanied by a very slight fever. This lasted for two days after taking more Clemintin and Effervecint tablets for the fever.
- Slightly swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck after 23 days (3 weeks 2 days - just after the fever had gone). Today is 3 weeks 3 days after exposure and I feel that my fatigue has returned, along with my lymph nodes still being slightly swollen.

Question
I won't say I'm overly anxious about whether I'm HIV positive or not. I'm quite a rational person by nature, and therefore, the understanding that my exposure is low risk gives me a sense of calm. Based on your expertise though, would you suggest that my symptoms are in line with those experienced during the Acute HIV stage, and therefore, would you recommend I get tested?

Thanks & Regards
1 Responses
239123 tn?1267647614
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome.  Unfortunately, you are in the wrong forum.  See the notice at the top of the page ("...intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS").

The quick reply is that symptoms rarely are valid indicators of new HIV infection, since the identical symptoms are caused far more commonly by minor viral infections.  Your symptoms are consistent with acute HIV, but also with all those minor infections.  Even though you had sex with a high risk partner (especially if she is a black African sex worker), condoms work and it is nearly impossible you were infected.  But testing is the way to know.

Because this is the wrong forum, there can't be any ongoing comments and discussion.  You could re-post it on the HIV forum, but the answer would not be materially different, so I suggest you not spend the additional posting fee.

HHH, MD
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