HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

This Can't Be Good


I won't beat around the bush. On May 24th, I ended up getting extremely drunk and ended up in a bath house. I remember having 2 sexual encounters with 2 different men at seperate times during the visit. Both encounters involved anal sex and I was the insertive partner for both. I remember wearing a condom in the beginning with both guys but at some point during the sex, I took them off and continued. Once I finally sobered up and realized what I'd done, I felt ashamed and scared and vowed to take an HIV test 12 weeks later. Just as I had begun to put my mind at ease, 15 days later I woke up with pain behind both of my eyes. On day 16 I still had the pain behind the eyes and also seemed like a sinus headache right above the eyes and a temperature. I figured it might be viral sinusitis because of the symptoms I had. A few minutes after I woke up on day 17, I got a terrible bout of nausea and dizziness and before I knew it I experienced a hot flash. I had to splash cold water on my face. I was still running a temperature and still had a slight headache and pain behind the eyes which I treated with ibuprofen. On day 18 I woke to discover a rash had broken out on my face, trunk and arms. I was still running a fever and I still had pain behind the eyes. The sinus headache seemed to be going away. I went to the doctor and they said that it looks like a virus that had to run it's course but by this time I had become worried. The last time I broke out in a rash with a fever was when I had chicken pox 20 years ago. Because I was running a high temperature at the time of the doctor visit, they gave me paracetamol. That night while curled up asleep on the couch, I woke up and discovered that my shirt and pillow were soaked in sweat. On day 19, the rash had spread to my legs and was itchy on some areas. I may have still been running a temperature but this time I was taking cold/flu medicine. By day 21, I was starting to feel better when I discovered a slight skin abrasion under the head of my penis. It wasn't big but looked like a small cut. It wasn't painful but I really began to worry as I don't normally have any skin irritations down there. I began treating it with Zovirax cream and it seems to have completely healed although there is still a tiny scab. It's now day 25 and although I feel much better, I still have traces of the rash and very very mild pain behind the eyes (they're almost pain free). The rash seems to be fading slowly and seems to be darkest in the middle of the spot. When they first appeared they were a flat and pink/purple in color.
I would've never begin to freak out if the rash and small cut on my penis had never appeared. I did go to an STI clinic for a screening but I know I have to wait at least another 3-4 weeks to take an HIV test. I'm quite scared because my body has never reacted the way it has to being ill like it did this past week and after all the reading, I seem to have classic signs of being newly infected. The only things I didn't get was a cough, sore throat or diarrhea (In fact I was constipated for most of the week) I'm also angry with myself for being so stupid and doing something that was completely out of character knowing all the risks involved even if I wasn't in a sober state of mind. I'm absolutely gutted.  :'(

Andy Velez:
All of those symptoms notwithstanding they don't tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Symptoms never do and yours are not in anyway HIV-specific, even if your mind is scaring you about them.

HIV is not an easy virus to transmit. It is significantly less of a risk for the insertive partner, although a risk nevertheless. Also, your condom(s) will have protected you until you removed it/them. You definitely need to get tested at 13 weeks but I'd say the odds are in your favor that you will test negative.

You do need to learn from this experience. Mixing excessive drinking and casual sex is a very dangerous combination. You can have all the anal sex you want to and wih as many partners as you like whether they are HIV+ or not. BUT, and this is a big BUT, whoever is the insertive partner needs to be wearing a condom everytime. No exceptions no matter what you think you know about the other person or any other stories. A condom is a must everytime.

If your symptoms persist you should discuss them with your doctor.

Good luck with your test and while you're waiting to do that get busy with other things in your life. It will really help to pass the waiting time.



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