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Author Topic: ARS Symptoms and the mind...hopefully it's the mind  (Read 6425 times)

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Offline qct99

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ARS Symptoms and the mind...hopefully it's the mind
« on: March 04, 2012, 09:19:20 AM »
I foolishly had a one-night stand with a guy I barely know. We performed unprotected oral on each other (no cumming) and even more foolishly, I topped him, also unprotected, for a couple of minutes and did not cum in him. No idea what I was thinking, and now here I am agonizing and stressing until enough time elapses to get tested. I have obsessed over HIV, ARS, and symptoms, and I know that is the worst thing to do. Here is what I know:

2 weeks: brief stomach issue (went the bathroom 6-7 times over a 12-hour span), but this may have been more related to me recently running several miles for the first time in months and eating a large amount of carrots, which often causes me to have stomach issues on any day

3.5 weeks: A brief, small rash near my left wrist. It disappeared in 30 minutes or so

4.5 weeks: A larger rash near my left elbow, on the inside of the arm. It seemed to spread all afternoon and by my drive home from work, I noticed a rash along my left collarbone. Once home, I gave myself a full body look over and also noticed a rash near my right "breast" area (not sure what to call that area since I'm guy). That night, a rash near or slightly above my left knee showed. The next day, a rash in the same spot on my right knee appeared. These leg rashes may have also shown up on my lower legs, too, and these typically felt itchy. All of these rashes would come and go. I touched them, picked them, felt them, obsessed over them, so that may have explained them returning. I have no idea if ARS rashes typically come and go, are continuous, itchy, etc. Just trying to be as detailed as possible. I obsessed over this for about three days before moving on to my next concern...

5 weeks: Thought I felt swollen lymph nodes under my left armpit. Really began feeling around both armpits, trying to find similar "things". Eventually, both armpits grew a little sore, but likely from me picking around them. One night, I woke up during the night and was certain I felt a lump or two under left armpit. Freaked out, fell back asleep, and the next time I woke up during the night, I was sweating. Went to work the next day, literally felt like a dead man walking. I could rationalize my stomach issues (explained above) and my rashes (maybe stress, maybe from running, maybe from clothes rubbing against me while running). But swollen glands? Night sweats? No way of rationalizing these; I was certain I had HIV. The  next night, I again had night sweats.

The next day, I began searching on the Internet (notice a trend?) for night sweats. Sure enough, stress/anxiety is a cause (not to mention most of what I found said night sweats were drenching, and that's not how I would describe my sweating). I talked myself down a bit, and now for the past several nights, I have not had night sweats (perhaps another mind over matter "symptom").

I went to the doctor to see about the lymph nodes and she said everything was fine, but told me to get a second opinion. The second doctor said the same thing, so two doctors said they didn't feel lymph nodes anywhere on me. They did, however, feel something in the fatty areas in what would be my breasts (I'm a male). I am having a mammogram done next week to see what the deal is with that. They both mentioned something about fiber build up, or something along those lines, fiber-something-or-other. Neither is concerned, especially since "things" were felt on both sides.

6 weeks: Here I go again. Feel like I could be developing a sore throat. I did not begin checking my temperature until the night sweats/lymph nodes/doctor visits time frame, at around 5.5 weeks, and it has been fine. In previous weeks (first five weeks or so), even though I never took my temp and cannot be certain, I felt like I never had a fever. However, now in addition to my possible sore throat, I've had a slight fever (as high as 99.5 today). I should note that the weather has changed this week and it has been quite cold. I went out last night and had to walk to and from my car, and I've always been a little susceptible to sore throats, anyway, but obviously with my stupid experience, I am at a heightened level of concern. (Hopefully another rationalization of a symptom.)

Oh, I also have had what feels like a sharp (but not horrible) pain occasionally under my left shoulder blade. This has happened intermittently all day (and I think started, less frequently, yesterday).

So there you have it. I've had a million and a half symptoms, some I have talked myself out of, others have me concerned. Right now my concerns are with the potential fever, pain in shoulder blade, and any potential correlation between the fiber issues in my "breasts" and being HIV (or some other STD), though I haven't really found any correlation in my Internet obsessing. The rashes from last week cannot be fully discredited, either, but since they came and went periodically for only 3-4 days, and I never was able to find much of a match to a "typical" ARS rash found on Internet searches, I am not horribly concerned. However, I also know that even if each and every one of these symptoms was either stress-generated or related to something else, I might yet have HIV since it can my asymptomatic.

*Sigh* Lesson learned, for sure, no matter the outcome of this.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: ARS Symptoms and the mind...hopefully it's the mind
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2012, 09:27:55 AM »
Symptoms or lack of will never tell you anything about your status. The only way to know your status is by testing. You can obtain your conclusive test result 3 months post exposure.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: ARS Symptoms and the mind...hopefully it's the mind
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2012, 09:36:33 AM »
OK, you definitely did something risky but nothing you are reporting symptomatically can be interpreted as HIV specific. In fact if your symptoms persist you should discuss them with your doctor to find possibly alternative causes.

There are some facts which are on your side in terms of risk level. The insertive partner is at lower risk during unprotected anal. However, lower risk is not the same as no risk. And this was a single incident. Also in your favor against transmission having occured.

But as Rod has said you do need to get tested. You can do an initial test at 6 weeks after the event. If you test negative at that point that will be very encouraging since all but the smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after a risk.

You would still need to re-test at 3 months for a conclusive negative result.

Lastly, you need to learn from this experience. You can have as much anal intercourse as you want to regardless of the HIV status of the other guy. But you need to do it the safer way which means the insertive partner is always wearing a condom. No exceptions no matter how great the guy looks or what you thinkyou know about his status or history. Using a condom everytime is a must.

Good luck on your test(s).
Andy Velez

Offline qct99

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Re: ARS Symptoms and the mind...hopefully it's the mind
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 08:00:50 PM »
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to give an update on my status. As mentioned in my initial post, I felt like I had every symptom imaginable. I still have some odd rashes on my arms. My "breast" issues were diagnosed as gynecomastia. The leg rashes have disappeared. I thought at one time I had a rash on my scrotum. For a few hours, I convinced myself that it burned to urinate. Etc., etc.

Long story short...I have tested negative for everything.

As always, the mind is a powerful thing, symptoms mean nothing, and I have learned a valuable lesson.

Thanks for all of your help throughout this process. I have continued to lurk on the board the past few weeks and I hope that everyone reading these posts gets the peace of mind that they deserve.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 08:31:48 PM by qct99 »

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: ARS Symptoms and the mind...hopefully it's the mind
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2012, 07:01:47 AM »

I hope you also learned the lesson of safer sex. You need to use condoms every time, no exceptions.

Here's what you need to know in order to avoid hiv infection:

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 sexually transmitted infections together.

To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex without a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

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.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  

"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts


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