I'm not going to answer your questions about symptoms to look for, where lymph nodes are located, etc. Regardless of what you probably have read online, symptoms never are a reliable indicator for or against HIV infection. (Howeverr, your symptoms do not particularly suggest HIV to me.) You need a blood test to know and symptoms simply are not helpful. Since your exposure was a month ago, you can get tested now. You wasted your money on the PCR test; a standard blood test (for one tenth the cost) would have been sufficient. Anyway, the chance you got HIV from the encounter you describe was close to zero. Just relax; you're overly stressed about this.
Good luck-- HHH, MD
The MD's gonna tell you the symptoms aren't a good indicator. Wait for the test and see what it tells you. Anal sex is high risk but in 10 seconds it probly isn't that easy to catch. Chances are you're fine but you're just gonna have to sit back and relax until you get the results. I hope you do okay.
Dr Seuss: Any single sexual act is rarely the cause of an HIV infection, and in such a short period (10 seconds?) of penis-anus contact it's probably not going to transmit the virus. But you're going to have to wait for the test results, so try to think about happy things for the next few days!
Everyone else: Just as a note to everyone on this message boards: Merry Christmas! It's so odd how they put World AIDS Day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I read through the statistics released for World AIDS Day events and the numbers all point to the fact that everyone--gay,straight,confused, male, female, hermaphro, whatever--should err on the side of getting tested. The estimates are so high of the number of infected people who don't know they're infected, I think we have to take all the statistics that we've been using to estimate individual risks with a grain of salt. So much of the pandemic is an unknown, and now the number of people with HIV in the United States is approaching 1.5 million, with fewer than half of those cases being homosexual or bisexual men.
The rate of new transmissions spiked in the entire world, with heterosexual transmissions still making up the majority worldwide. The US rate of HIV transmissions among heterosexuals declined straightly, but it's still making up somewhere around 1/3 of HIV cases in the US. So where unprotected anal/vaginal sex is concerned between men and women, the risk is small but palpable, especially when you factor in the reality that a huge chunk of the country's HIV caseload -- 50%! -- is not being tracked or documented.
The rate of infection among gay and bisexual men actually increased over the last few years, but there is a lot of debate over whether that is the result of more infections or more gay men getting tested and documented. Because gay urban communities, like the Seattle clinic where Dr. Handsfield works, are more likely to know about HIV and get tested, there is a very strong possibility that straight HIV cases are on the rise but there's no way to track them down. Everyone should take glowing and hopeful statistics about low risk to heterosexuals with very large grains of salt.
I can understand that most people who come to this forum with HIV questions are nervous and possibly feeling guilty, and most are not at high risk. But I still think it's important not to become so reassuring to each other that we lose sight of important risks that are real. It's tough on the mind and heart to get through the HIV testing window, but in a much bigger sense, maybe that tough experience can help people change their behavior; at any rate, unless the sex act in question was patently incapable of spreading HIV (such as protected oral sex or sharing a toilet seat), there is no way to make promises to people that they're negative. They just have to brace themselves, get through the waiting period, and then get their results.
Peace on earth and goodwill to men!
Thanks for the support everyone. This has been a very difficult time for me and has adversely affected my life. I did have a test (oral) at 26 days which came back negative. I did the DNA PCR to relieve anxiety about the 3 and 6 month window. I know there is a chance for false positives. But I was told if it comes back negative then I am in the clear. Can anyone verify that?
I am deleting your new thread on the same question; follow-up questions belong in the original thread. (Only a limited number of new questions is possible each day, and every repeat or unnecessary one prevents someone else from starting a thread.)
Your follow-up question was whether the negative test results you have had so far are 100% definitive. The answer yes, especially since you had PCR testing as well as an the antibody tests. Although antibody tests on rare occasions take 6 weeks to become positive, the combination of negative antibody and PCR tests at ~4 weeks is 100% reliable. You also asked about the oral test: oral antibody testing is equally reliable as the blood test.