You're not going to like this response, but it's for your own good in the long run. But here goes:
Why did you wait until 3 years (3 years!) of marriage to an HIV infected person to be asking these questions??!! More than anybody, you need a health care provider who understands this stuff; if you aren't certain your doctor is up to speed about HIV and its transmission, find one who does; and if you think he does, listen to him--don't come to an impersonal online source. Your wife presumably has a provider who manages her HIV infection; s/he probably would be a good source. (If not, THAT is your highest priority. Anybody with HIV should be seeing a health care provider at at least every 3 months, including close monitoring of her immune system and viral load. And she should share those details of her medical situation with her husband.)
I'm sorry to lecture you, but I am astounded by the irresponsibility reflected in your questions, which should not have been delayed until you developed symptoms that you think might be HIV.
OK, lecture over. Your risk of acquiring HIV for any single exposure is low, especially if you always use condoms. The risk also probably is lower if your wife is taking antiretroviral therapy and/or has a low viral load. (These are things you and your wife should know, all the time.)
But you probably can relax about your currrent symptoms, which are not alarming. Certainly onset of a swollen lymph node (if that in fact is what it was) only 48 hr after exposure cannot be due to HIV acquired during that exposure. The sinus symptoms, dry mouth, etc don't sound like ARS. To answer your specific questions:
A) No, HIV does not penetrate intact condoms. You should know this. Why didn't you trust that information from your doctor?
B) Yes, "intact" means the condom didn't break. You will easily see any break big enough to matter.
C) No, your symptoms do not sound like ARS. I'm not going to say why not; read up on this and discuss it with your (or your wife's) health care provider.
D) I am not in a position to advise you about PEP, but I agree it wasn't necessary after this exposure. And why, by the way, are you concerned about this particular episode of sex and not all the others you presumably have had with your wife? Anyway, if you have symptoms of ARS, it's too late for PEP do do any good.
E) You probably don't need testing for this particular exposure, except to the extent that it will ease your mind to know you don't have HIV. But you should have a routine HIV test at least once a year. The only time you wil need PCR is if there is true suspicion of primary HIV infection, or perhaps after a higher risk exposure--e.g., condom breakage, perhaps especially at a time your wife is believed to have a high viral load.
Your wife probably is right. But clearly you need to learn more about the risks, how to prevent them, what symptoms to worry about and which ones not, and when PEP might be indicated.
Good luck-- HHH, MD
None of your symptoms are consistent with ARS; trust me. As i have done enough research over the last 3 weeks to know. You are fine and just experiencing paranoia.
ARS Symptoms include:
1. soar throat
2. dry cough
3. swollen lymph nodes
4. sometimes rash
5. flu like symptoms
There are some others, but these are the main ones. I am sure the Doctor will tell you the same.
Some people never get symptoms after infection and don't realize they are HIV Positive until the onset of AIDS---Other than that, if ARS symptoms (seroconversion) does appear, it will generally occur anywhere from 2weeks-3months after intitial infection; which explains the 90 day window for accurate testing, however most(98%) will test accurately within 6 weeks. This is the time frame I have been waiting on, as it has been now 30 days since my contact with a female of unknown HIV status. I am a hetero-sexual male by the way, and presently suffering from extreme anxiety over what my test results may be, mainly because of a rash that this Forum Doctor said sounded like a bacterial infection rather than an STD. I sure hope he is right.
Mackia, you commented on ARS symptoms with a timeframe of 2 weeks to 3 months. I have never seen this information before. I am not doubting you, just wondering where you read such info. As I have read on thebody.com as well as on this site, ARS symptoms are present within 2-6 weeks after an exposure, and 6 weeks is pushing it. Doctors on thebody.com have specifically answered questions of people asking if symptoms of ARS could show 2-3 months after an infection. They answered "NO" and that they typically show 2-4 weeks after an exposure, maybe 6 pushing it. I have read posts stating this, several posts. I also read that the 3 month window period is due to some people, rarely, probably as little as between 1-2% of individuals (dont quote me), will not have antibodies before this time, and not because ARS symptoms take that long to show up.
Maybe I'm overreacting to response, but it seems that you are saying that my risk for this "one time" event is greater than the risk of other men on the forum who, for example, have protected sex with a prostitute, hooker, or whatever the correct terminology is these days.
Can you elaborate?
Are groin node located "IN the crease" where the leg meets thigh? Or can they be located above or below the crease? How do I know if I have one swollen lymph node at the groin? I was poking around, and notice something lumpy, but it seemed like it would be part of normal anatomy.
I'm at Day #11, and I found this last night. How can this be ARS, when ARS lymph node swelling is more than one lymph node? I checked the other side of my groin, my armpits, my neck. NO other swelling or anything going on.
I'm making an appointment to see my wife doctor for September 25th (only time available). But I really would appreciate if you could briefly touch on these questions above.
I think you really need to follow the forum MD's advice and just get tested and see a GP or a STD specialist. I agree with his answer and feel you may be overreacting.
As for swollen lymph nodes, there has always been some debate on how to tell if ones nodes are swollen. If you are a thin person, you will be more likely to feel a lymph node even if its not swollen. And just because you can feel a node does not mean it is swollen or that you should be concerned. As my GP has explained to me, it is sometimes hard to distinguish whether a node is swollen. People have nodes of various sizes throughout the body. Some you can feel easily, some you cant. Generally, nodes that are fighting off an infection are somewhat large, generally larger than 1 1/2 cm. ARS presents lymph node swelling throughout the body, under arm pits, neck, groin area. Not in just one place, in several. It also causes the lymph nodes to swell to a large size, usually the size of a walnut. If you are skinny and your groin nodes were swollen, you would see a lump in your groin region, in the crevice between the abdomen and your hip and thigh. I have taken my GP's advice not to search for lymph nodes, because only they can really tell a person if there nodes are swollen, unless the node swelling is highly noticable. And feeling and pushing on them will cause them to become swollen and irritated too by the way. So dont keep pushing on them.
You know...and this is probably my fault for not educating myself. But if HIV cannot penetrate intact latex, then why is the consensus on this Forum that there is still some risk, even if it's lesser than the chances of winning Mega Millions big jackpot?
Does HIV penetrate intact latex? If yes, then there is a risk? If not, then why all the "virtually zero" language?
You are right about the 2-6 week window of ARS Symptoms. I just extended the Window because I am not a Dr. and was not trying to be too specific. Your figures are more in line with what I have read.
Thanks Mackia. I just wanted to clarify your statement. I learn new things on here every day so I was wondering where you read your info from. We all went through an STD anxiety or maybe going through one now. The important thing is that we learn from mistakes and educate one another as well as give each other moral support to get through our anxiety.
Thanks for your support RYN21,
You seem like someone good to talk to. Well my anxiety has turned into reality. Only 31 days after risky vaginal intercourse, I am in fact HIV positive. Just got my results today. I am in disbelief as it all seems like a nightmare.
And I know it was this 1 encounter that got me as I got tested at the 12 day mark when I got the rash and it was negative.
It all started with a rash in my groin area only 10 days after having sex with this female. ARS soon started in, so I can speak 1st hand about it. I actually had fatigue and couldn't get enough sleep in the 10 days prior to the rash, and then the rash came and I freaked, and then nausea, erratic fever, and to convince me finally, I had 4 consecutive nights of night sweats which confirmed what I believed at the onset of this rash; that I was HIV Positive!!
To explain the rash, it was deep dark red spots on my inner thighs (groin area), and then I noticed little pin point red marks that resembled measles, and then the above mentioned symptoms came soon there after.
So to all you guys out there. I am as hetero-sexual as they come. This disease is not just a gay man's disease, an intravenous drug user's disease, or a South African Disease. It is a worldwide epidemic that effect all walks of life and income levels. It is indiscriminate and will attack anyone who isn't careful. Magic Johnson proved that.
The bad thing about my infection as that I stopped by the store and bought condoms, but in the heat of passion, didn't bother to use them. I only have myself and no one else to blame, Not even the lady that infected me. And now it has cost my body the volatility and toxicity of taking HAART Meds indefinately.
I urge every person out there to always be safe!!! I wasn't.
Mackia, I'm sorry to hear about your news. I'm not calling you a liar, but your "dates" from this posting and your original posting simply do not "tie." No matter how you read the threads, your dates do NOT match.
If you are "playing around," this is not a laughing matter.
Anyone else, including the doctor, read carefully MACKIA's threads and you will notice that the dates to not match. Also, I did a little investigation, and a person with the screen name MACKIA was BANNED from AIDSMEDS.com "Fear of HIV Forum."
Dr HHH, please close this Thread and ban MACKIA. This is so NOT funny for people like me who are concerned (whether legitimately so or not) about HIV.
I ask that you please post my comment (if possible) to ryn21 as nickname anonymoums and to post it atop the Forum Page as a Question for anyone entering to be able to read it. People need to know. It is ironic for me to hear your analogy in this forum of having better chances to hit the lottery rather than HIV during any one episode of vaginal sex. Reason being, I have spent hundreds playing the lottery and have never won, I gambled this one night and lost my health....
Listen, I'm not saying that you are a liar.
What I'm saying is that your posting are VERY inconsistent. VERY much so. Your dates do not tie. No where near it. You claim to have rashes on the 10 or 12th date. And then in the original posting, you say you suffered fatigue for 4 or 5 days staring at Day #3. But in your final posting, you claim that you suffered from fatique for all ten days prior to discovering the rash. Give a day or two, this means that you started suffering from fatigue BEFORE the exposure. And this is just ONE example that leaps upon reading casually your posting.
You need to be banned from this Forum. This is no longer humorous. LOOK AT THE DATE OF HIS POSTINGS, LOOK AT THE HOLES IN HIS STORIES.
I don't know what you are talking about. This is the only forum I have used mackia. If you go back to my first thread dated 8/28 (Rashes), you will see that my timeline has remained consistent. You acte as if you were the one infected. I am for real, and this has happened to me. If you knew me, you would know I wouldn't play about anything like this.
I talk of fatigue in the 10 days prior to my rash. However I never bring up fatigue in my rash thread, because the rash was my main concern. To restate...The rash occured 10 days after my sexual encounter, but I did feel fatigue prior to the rash, I just didn't mention it.
You have none of the symptoms that I had, so you should not worry. Take your time and read my 1st thread on 8/28 and will will realize that I am being honest.
And I have not been banned from any other forum.
I won't continuing interrupting your posting. But if YOU read your original posting and then this current posting, you will see that your dates do NOT MATCH. They do NOT MATCH in any way, shape or form. I'm sorry, if I'm stressed out over my exposure. But it bothers me that there MAY be people out there pretending to be infected on this type of FORUM.
Everyone else, you be the judge. Just simply read all of MACKIA's posting, and you will see that the dates do not tie. It's sloppy at best how this current posting is very inconsistent with his original one.
Aidsmeds.com is a good Forum. However, there have been many people posting to it, pretending to be infected just to freak out worried people like myself. That's why I never posted on there. And I did a historical search on Aidsmeds.com, and someone with YOUR EXACT screen name was banned for doing something similar to this (a while back).
If I'm wrong, I'm really sorry. But I think you playing around. If anyone reads your threads, they will come to the same conclusion. In addition to being inconsistent, I find it hard to believe that someone experiencing an obession about an HIV-risk would not have their dates correct. That's where you went wrong, MACKIA. I think you have been exposed, and it's best if you give up. I'm highly irriated by this, in addition to being stressed out about my risk.
This is my last thing that I write on this issue. Everyone else can be the judge.
You did mention being fatigue, at Day 6 or 7 for 4 or 5 days.
I think you have been found out. Time to quit while you're ahead.
Please close this thread.
I'm done with this. I have my own HIV-risk to deal with.
I am sorry you are so upset, but again, I would not lie. The Forum M.D. should be able to attest to the fact that my timeline has remained consistent. And that I am being honest. If I had known it was going to upset anybody, I wouldn't have posted this comment, but I just wanted the forum to know 1st hand what ARS Symptoms are, and that unless they experience thses symptoms, than they stand a good chance of not being infected. It amazes me that so many people chat on this forum, but no one is ever HIV Positive, despite all the sexual encounters. It would just happen that out of all of the people that thread on this forum, that I am the unlucky one.
Forget about my previous comment, better yet please delete my comments in relation to my HIV status, It is for real, but I freaked out collegeboy, and that wasn't my intention. I was just trying to make people aware of what real seroconversion (ARS) is.
1. If I am wrong, then I feel like a total HEEL.
2. However, just to give you an example: in this posting, you say that you got a rash 10 days after exposure, and that you were feeling fatigue for about 10 days before the RASH.
That means your fatigue started BEFORE or on the SAME day that you had sex.
This is an outrage, MACKIA. Please use another Forum to "get off." I just started college, made the biggest mistake in my life by going to the massage parlor, and now I'm freaking out about HIV...and then I read this. You have to know that people on this Forum are very serious, and we read everything carefully.
You did NOT start experiecing fatigue on Day ZERO. Not possible. STOP NOW, I'm already stressing out about my risk.
I will no longer engage you in conversation. Good luck finding another place to mess with people's mind. Totally uncool, totally not funny.