HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Timeline for Symptoms prior to Subconversion

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Wanting2Live:
I am wondering about the timeline of when symptoms show up prior to subconversion.

I'm a female who for the most part is careful sexually but I do have a high number of partners. I do use condoms for vaginal sex though I have had issues with guys "spilling out." Also, I have engaged in unprotected oral sex and have swallowed on a few occasions. I started to feel flu-like symptoms on July 1st. I was having extreme knee pain, other joint & muscle pain as well as fatigue, flushed, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes.  Several of the symptoms lasted several days to a week. Going into the 2nd & 3rd week of July I started to experience nausea & excessive diarrhea as well as malaise and intermitten headaches. Today is August 6th & I still have the diarrhea, and some bouts with nausea that included vomiting several times. There are days when I feel great and the diarrhea/nausea/fatigue will ease up but those are few & far between. I have found a swollen but painless bump in my underarm that is about the size of a dime.

I went to the ER 2 weeks ago after throwing up my food and felt fatigued. Seems at times I am sensitive to food odors after eating the food. I also thought I had some very mild swelling of my throat lymph nodes  that seemed to extend up to my jaw line on just the left side for days which created ear pain and slight hollow hearing. I was very confused and there was some slight blurring in my vision. Unfortunately, while I went to one of the better hospitals I do not have medical insurance. I was given drugs for the nausea as well as Immodium AD to stop the diarrhea. They only test I had was a pregnancy test which I knew would turn out negative. There was no drainage that would indicate a sinus infection, no ear infection, and the doctor did not comment on whether or not my neck was swollen. I was sent on my way without any mention of possible HIV infection. I've had several oral & quick blood tests peformed about 3 weeks ago which came back negative. I have not been able to overcome my symptoms.

Today after 5 weeks of my initial flu-like illness I noticed on my right breast just shy of my areola I have a slightly raised red rash that is not itchy but very small red bumps. I realize that ars rashes look different from person to person & there is not just a specific rash that is only associated with HIV.

While I've read that certain symptoms are associated with HIV, they are also associated with other diseases. It's my understanding that while symptoms may or maybe not be present this is by no way a true indication of HIV. I was not sure if the commonly described ARS symptoms occured within a certain amount of time or if different ones repeat until subconversion. Is it true that certain people will subconvert within a month?

I truly appreciate all answers & comments. :)

Wanting2Live:
I failed to mention I have experienced tingling in my extremities particularly my toes. I have also had recurrent oral ulcers that cleared up quickly. I do have Herpes Simplex 1 & 2 as well as HPV. I have not had any type of outbreaks in regards to the Herpes since I've been ill.

Andy Velez:
OK, the bottom line in all of this 1) there is absolutely nothing that is HIV-specific about any symptoms you are reporting and 2) in any case neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status.

The ONLY way to know your HIV status accurately is to get tested at 13 weeks after the most recent possibly risky incident.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "spillage" in relation to condoms. The guy either has one on or not during intercourse (and ejaculation) or he doesn't. Perhaps you are referring to the condom coming off as the guy withdraws? Whatever the explanation, if there is any doubt about whether or not there was internal ejaculation then testing is necessary.

In general we do recommend that anyone who's sexually active ought to have a full STD panel done at least annually, and every six months is even better.

As for your symptoms, if any of them persist I recommend that you discuss them with your doctor to see what else might be up.

Good luck with your test and keep us posted on your result.

Cheers,

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