Okay. I'm a 25 year old male - scared to death right now.
Two weeks ago I had unprotected sex during a one time encounter. She was only the second person I've ever had sex with and the first time I've ever had sex with someone other than my current girlfriend.
Three days ago, I noticed one of the glands on the left side of my neck was a little sore and swollen. Now the last two days, I've woken up with a bit of a headache and that heavy feeling in your eyes. Today, I had a touch of a fever - about 99.5 Both days, I took Motrin once in the morning and felt better the rest of the day once I was up and about. Just got a bit tired by the end of the day.
I've looked online and found that swollen glands, headache and fever are all a part of the typical acute HIV symptoms. Not only that, but I've read symptoms usually appear two weeks after exposure - which is just about where I'm at.
The symptoms I don't really have are fatigue, rash, diarreha and sore throat.
I'm obviously freaking out and I'm going to get tested as soon as I can.
I'm not asking for a diagnosis, but how worried should I be? If I wake up tomorrow feeling better than today, can I assume I just had a little bug?
Also - if this is HIV, will the swelling of the glands eventually go down or stay?
Please any honest feedback would be appreciated. Sometimes I think I'm freaking myself out more than I really should be.
Your 'symptoms' are a completely coincidence, in all likelihood.
First of all, your symptoms do not even resemble acute HIV infection. It is normal for temperature to fluctuate within 1 degree or so of 98.6. A temperature of 99.5 degrees is NOT a fever. And lymph nodes swelling due to ARS is not painful and occurs over the entire body, not just one node.
The other point that is worth mentioning is that ARS symptoms- when they do occur- are completely nonspecific. Even with classic ARS (which you don't have), there are dozens of garden variety viral infections that produce the same symptoms. There have been studies that have shown that 99%+ of patients who are treated for what they think are ARS symptoms turn out to not have HIV. This is why it is pointless to try to gauge your HIV status by symptoms.
Stop symptom surfing and get your mind off of HIV until enough time has passed so you can get tested. An antibody test at 6 weeks or later is highly accurate- an antibody test at 3 months or later is conclusive. The risk from a one time encounter with a female of unknown serostatus is very low, so you should expect the result to be negative.
Thanks so much! I had a feeling I could be driving myself crazy, but it's so easy to let your mind play tricks on you even when you know it's happening.
One more question, though.
I know you said you don't think my symptoms are ARS, which is great. But I read an article by a doctor that said regardless of the time frame or any window period, once ARS symptoms begin to show up, tests results should be conclusive. So doesn't that mean if I test next week and get a negative result, I can be sure at the very least that these symptoms right now are not from ARS?
My understanding is that if someone is experiencing ARS, they will test positive on an antibody test within 7-10 days of first showing symptoms. So if you test a week from now and it is negative as I expect it will be, that should confirm that your symptoms are not ARS.
Now for the last couple days my fever has popped up to 100.5 at times.
How long do ARS symptoms usually last?
Also, the main swollen lymph node seems to have softened up a bit and is a little less sensitive? Does this sound like a good thing or bad thing?
I know you probably think I'm crazy, but my mind is going in circles. I just wish I'd wake up tomorrow feeling better.
It means absolutely nothing. You are wasting your time trying to gauge your HIV status by taking your temperature and feeling your lymph nodes. It doesn't work that way. Just have an HIV test at the appropriate time.
I tried to answer my own question and I find this... "Finally, there are unpublished claims that bilateral peritonsillar abscess might be associated with the presence of human immunodeficiency virus human immunodeficiency virus."
Here we go again.
Has anyone ever heard anything about this regarding HIV and peritonsillar abscesses? Is it legitimate?
When my symptoms first appeared, I had a negative strep test - one of the main causes of a peritonsillar abscess. So now I'm worried all over again that HIV is the case of all this.
Last edited by moderator2; 01-09-2010 at 07:33 PM.
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Of course you are "worried all over again". I told you to stop reading up on symptoms on the Internet for this very reason. You are only stoking your anxiety by doing this.
Unpublished claims are not reliable evidence for anything. For every symptom imaginable, you are likely to find unpublished or unsupported claims of an association with HIV on the Internet, despite the fact that HIV does not produce ANY specific symptoms and CANNOT be diagnosed by symptoms.