Hi doc, this is a great forum and thank you for taking time out to answer these questions. I have had a sore throat for about 2 weeks now. It started with a cold which has gone away but the sore throat remains and is getting worse, my tongue is also a yellow/white color. I have called the doctor and via the phone she told me it was probably viral and to not worry about it but I'm concerned because it's not getting any better. The internet is a wonderful tool but I'm afraid at times it is more of a hinderance because many people including myself psych themselves out reading about all the STD's and their symptoms which are usually common to a hundred other things. My question is if my sore throat can possible be STD related. I have performed (unprotected) oral sex on 4 men, have had protected sex with 2, and unprotected sex with 1 and that 1 I have known for a while and he never ejaculates in me. I think my HIV chances are low but I guess you never know. What do you think. I know I need to get tested but I do not have insurance right now and am more concerned that if it is positive that I will never be able to get insurance due to a pre existing condition. As soon as I get a job with insurance that will be the first thing I do, until then any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
STDs don't often cause sore throat. The most common STD that infects the throat is gonorrhea, and it generally is asymptomatic. Far and away the most likely explanation for your symptoms is exactly what your doctor said: a viral upper respiratory infection, which also can cause a coated tongue. A less likely possibility is mononucleosis. Contrary to popular understanding, the most common symptoms or mono are sore throat, often with white spots, and fever--usually none of the profound fatigue people talk about.
Could it be HIV? Theoretically yes, but exceedingly unlikely given your exposures--unless your partners also have male partners or are injection drug users. If you want to be tested to be sure, you don't need to wait on getting insurance coverage; free HIV testing probably is available at your local health department.
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