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Author Topic: Risk Assessment - Symptoms  (Read 1988 times)

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Offline cgs

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  • Posts: 5
Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« on: March 20, 2012, 09:03:10 AM »
Hi moderators,

25 days ago I engaged in unprotected oral sex with a CSW and protected vaginal sex (not sure whether condom broke). I am a male and she a female. I do not know her HIV status. After the unprotected oral sex, she put a condom onto me and we proceeded to have vaginal sex.
During the intercourse we changed positions a couple of times, initially she was on top, changed the other way round and then changed back to the original position. I ejaculated and after probably half a minute she dismounted me. I was intoxicated at that time, I saw she removed the condom from my penis it was sticking to my penis, but most importantly I do not recall if it had burst. Would a condom sticking to the penis indicate it was burst? She went to the bathroom to wash herself after the act.
Symptomatically I experienced nausea and skin burning effect on my back and arms during the first week. From 11th day of exposure I experienced a low grade fever and dry peeling skin on my arms which went away for a week, I was fine for a week and then it has again started yesterday ie. low grade fever with dry peeling skin on my arms.
I realize that symptoms are not the correct way to diagnose an hiv infection, but the recurring low grade fever is worrying me.
Secondly I am hundred percent sure i had the condom on after the intercourse but whether it had been broken or not i do not recollect. The condom had definitely not torn apart. However the CSW washing herself immediately after the act worries me as I feel it may have been broken. Either way since I had ejaculated, it could also be possible that semen had escaped out from the side since I had become flaccid by then.
I will test at 6 weeks, but would be grateful for a risk assessment.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 12:52:16 PM »
CGS, you are worrying needlessly. The most important fact in your story is that you used a condom during intercourse. The only confirmed risks for the sexual transmission of HIV are unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse. That's it. Use a condom everytime for those activities and you will be effectively protected.

As for your concern about a condom breaking, believe me if it had failed it would have been very obvious to the naked eye. Condom failure is not about itty bitty little holes as people sometimes imagine. When it fails it's obvious because it ends up looking like a hope with a lot of fringe on the penis. So your condom did not fail.

You need to know that whether you ejaculate or not does not in any way affect your risk level for yourself during intercourse.

As for your symptoms, they are not in any way HIV specific. If they persist you should discuss them with your doctor. And just for future reference, ARS symptoms do not come and go. If they appear at all they all show up at one time for a week or two approximately and then they're gone.

You can test at 6 weeks if you want to and doing it will be strictly for your own peace of mind. Given what you have reported of your activities I expect you to test negative. 

One red flag in your story is that you had been drinking excessively. Mixing drinking and casual sex is a dangerous combination because it affects your ability to follow safer sex principles. Otherwise I don't see any risk for HIV in your incident.
Andy Velez

Offline cgs

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  • Posts: 5
Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 01:32:28 PM »
Thank you very much Andy. I will definitely test at 6 weeks. This has caused me a lot of mental agony. Will keep you posted on the results.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 02:25:20 PM »
OK. And I do expect you to get a happy result.
Andy Velez

Offline cgs

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2012, 03:05:14 AM »
Dear Andy,
Its been 31 days since the exposure. I have come down with a mild sore throat. I went to the doctor and was prescribed amoxicillin and clavulanate 625. The sore throat felt immediately better, but now I have these individualized rashes all over my body, looks like a mosquito bites, it itches and its red. Could this be an allergic reaction or a rash related to hiv? Could symptoms of ARS appear this late, its the 5th week running now?
Thank you again

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2012, 05:45:46 AM »
Dear Andy,
Its been 31 days since the exposure. I have come down with a mild sore throat. I went to the doctor and was prescribed amoxicillin and clavulanate 625. The sore throat felt immediately better, but now I have these individualized rashes all over my body, looks like a mosquito bites, it itches and its red. Could this be an allergic reaction or a rash related to hiv? Could symptoms of ARS appear this late, its the 5th week running now?
Thank you again

The rash some people experience during HIV seroconversion is different from what you describe here. This sounds very much like an allergic reaction to the antibiotic.

You should seek medical advice for this without delay.

MtD

Offline cgs

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2012, 08:10:51 AM »
Thanks Matty, I just got back from the doctor. It seems it was an allergic reaction. He gave me some antihistamines and the rashes have subsided.
However just one question though, is it possible for ARS symptoms to appear after 4 weeks, I am in my 5th week now. I seem to have a sore throat, and some swelling in my neck, though I really can't diagnose whether they are swollen lymph glands or not. No fever as such.
Thanks

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2012, 09:41:16 AM »
The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. Yes, ARS could appear after 4 weeks.

But you're ignoring the fact that nothing you have reported of your activities would have put you at risk for HIV. So as far as we are concerned testing for you is strictly for your peace of mind as we expect a negative result.

Nothing you are reporting symptomatically is either HIV specific or suggestive of HIV. No surprise there since you were not at risk. You just seem anxiously to be looking for signs of when there is no basis in HIV science to expect them. If you have persistent symptoms you should discuss them with your doctor. HIV is not your problem.
Andy Velez

Offline cgs

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 10:58:45 AM »
Dear Andy and JK,
Just an update from my side. I tested today 41 days post exposure. The method used was the 'card test'. Result was negative.
Is this result conclusive, should I test again at 12 weeks. Have you heard of the card test, is it an approved method for detection?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 01:50:14 PM »
Testing for you is strictly for your peace of mind. You did not have a real risk so it's no surprise you tested negative.

There is no need for you to test again.
Andy Velez

Offline jkinatl2

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: Risk Assessment - Symptoms
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 02:30:25 PM »
I guess it is a semantics thing, but you keep mentioning an "exposure." I re-read your original post, and did not see anything that was an exposure. Did I miss something?

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

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