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I had "partially protected" sex with a man - we used a condom but only partway through, so no ejaculation but preseminal fluid could easily have gotten in. Eventually I had to stop, as it became too painful, so I am worried about chafing. (I am female.)

This was on April 20. 7 weeks later I got sick - first very, very tired, then loss of appetite a couple of days later, then a bit of a sore throat but the fatigue continued. I didn't take my temperature but it was 40 degrees C outside so who knows if I was just hot. I woke up sweaty once, but again it could have been the heat.

I am now around the nine week point and still don't really have my appetite back - i have lost some weight (understandably) and my throat is still a bit of a bother.

The thing is that its a weird sore throat - it doesn't hurt to swallow, I'm just sort of perpetually "aware" of it and often feel the need to clear my throat or swallow. I have also felt a very slight burning sensation in my upper chest for about a week now (not constant).

Last night I convinced myself that I had oral thrush as I saw white bits at the back of my mouth, on my tonsils. This morning they were gone, for the most part.

I had read that esophoegal thrush causes a sort of burning in the chest, but also difficulty swallowing (which I don't have) - also I don't have these white bits anywhere but the very very back, on my tonsils - none on/under tongue, cheeks et cetera.

What's the likelihood of getting esophegal thrush before oral, and during seroconversion? What do you guys think of all this?
I'm getting tested tomorrow but i'm still looking at 2-3 weeks of living with this anxiety... Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.

Andy Velez:
It's not clear to me what you mean by "partially protected." At what point were you without a condom and for how long. Do you mean it began without a condom and then he put one on?

In any case, as you seem to realize it is necessary for you to get tested. The CDC recommends doing that at 13 weeks for a definitive negative result.

None of the symptoms you are concerned about are in anyway HIV specific. But then neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms is ever the way to know anything accurately about HIV status.

And for future reference, anytime you have intercourse the guy has to be wearing a condom everytime and from the get go when there is penetration. It doesn't matter what you think you know about the guy's history or how great he looks or anything else. A condom is a must everytime. For further information read the lesson on this site about transmission.

Check with your doctor about your symptoms.

Good luck with your test result.


Andy, you don't think it could be esophegal thrush? that's what i'm most worried about now...

i know i was supposed to have him wear a condom the whole time - i cant tell you how much i regret my stupidity. i don't know what i was thinking.


Esophageal thrush is not something that happens during ARS. Even though many websites cite oral thrush as an ARS symptom, I've never, ever heard of someone having it during ARS. Not real people in the real world.

The "sore throat" you report sounds to me like nerves. When we're anxious about something, it's not uncommon for the muscles in the throat and neck to constrict, which causes the uncomfortable feeling that causes you to clear your throat and/or swallow. You need to see your doctor about these things that are bothering you. It's the only way to find out what's going on.

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL STIs together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can make sure your fella is using them properly. While you're on either on of those pages, have a look through the bottom three links in the left-hand column. They discuss ways that you, as a woman, can protect yourself. I recommend the female condom as they are also excellent barriers against hiv infection, and importantly, they give YOU the control over condom use. They can even be put in place in advance so you're not fumbling around at the crucial moment. They're fiddly to use at first, but if you can put a tampon in, you can use these. It gets easier with practice. Give them a try.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

You do need to test for hiv - and as the vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, a test now would be a very good indication of your true hiv status. A negative result for you now would be highly unlikely to change, but you should have that result confirmed at the 12-13 week point.

Good luck with the testing (don't forget to screen for the other STIs as well) and let us know how it goes.


thank you Ann and all, your responses are greatly appreciated.

i suppose anxiety could easily be causing all these symptoms.. certainly hard to shake the feeling, though.

i can be sure i will NEVER do anything without a condom from now on - i have replayed the moment in my mind umpteen times, and all i can think about is my stupidity.

it is, however, reassuring to know that esophegeal thrush doesn't normally occur during seroconversion. also that myh symptoms aren't severe after over a week of experiencing them... *sigh*

getting tested today, and am in for two-three more weeks of this anxiety...


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