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Author Topic: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark  (Read 3836 times)

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Offline Rory_G

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lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« on: June 23, 2012, 03:40:30 PM »
Hi all,

I'm a 30 year old male, relatively healthy, 10 sex partners total, just recently got out of a long term relationship.  I recently had a bout Guillain Barre syndrome and the timing has me worried the trigger could be HIV infection. Here are the facts/timeline

May 5 - sex with a woman I did not know well.  Used a condom but I was drunk and it came off inside her. 

May 9 - felt ill, burning pain in my lower abdomen, groin was tender/swollen (lymph nodes?)

May 16 - got tested for bacterial STIs, all clear

May 18 - started having neurological problems  (weakness, muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing).  This actually began about a week prior but only became very noticeable around the 18th.  Saw my doctor (and several others).  Had several neuro. tests over the coming weeks, all clear.

June 7 - Finally saw a neurologist who thinks my neurological problems were a mild case of Guillain Barre. I won't go into too much detail about GB itself but it usually has a viral cause.

June 22 - after weeks of gradually getting better from GB (still weak/tired but otherwise functional), I started to feel sick.  Sore throat and swollen neck lymph nodes, headache, small white-ish cankers in my mouth, and some diarrhea. 

I've called my doctor and asked for an HIV test.  He thinks I'm worrying too much (but then he thought that about my GB as well).  I will go to the lab at the three month mark.

My questions...

Could the timeline and symptoms I mention suggest HIV infection?  Maybe it wasn't what made me ill around May 8, or even what triggered GB, but I'm more worried about what I'm feeling now. 

Given that I've had these symptoms fairly quickly, is a three month wait entirely necessary?  What if I only waited, say, 2.5 months? That sounds silly but I really want to address this ASAP.

Thanks for your time...

Offline RapidRod

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 03:58:50 PM »
You don't have an HIV concern you never had an exposure.

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 04:01:08 PM »
You don't have an HIV concern you never had an exposure.

I thought the sex on May 5 could be a possible exposure.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 04:12:07 PM »
You didn't hold onto the condom when you withdrew did you?

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 04:15:18 PM »
You didn't hold onto the condom when you withdrew did you?

I guess not... I think it rolled up into her during sex.... I didn't notice... a stern reminder that drunk sex is usually a bad idea.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2012, 04:55:56 PM »
Having the condom roll off while inside her was technically a risk. But only just. Until that happened you were protected. It was single and very brief possible exposure. HIV is significantly harder to transmit from female to male than the other way around.

Taking all of that into consideration I expect you will test negative. Test at 3 months and pick up your negative result.
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2012, 05:13:05 PM »
Thanks Andy, I find this a bit reassuring. 

Still, my concerns are with the symptoms themselves, rather than the fact that I was unprotected with a stranger.  Any thoughts re: the symptoms, or is it all too vague?  Have you ever heard of HIV-related Guillain Barre?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2012, 05:28:36 PM »
Neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV test taken at 3 months gives you that answer conclusively.

And I would expect a negative result for you.
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2012, 05:20:31 AM »
Rory,

Did she (or you) have to dig the condom out of her? Because if not, then you're likely worrying over nothing where hiv is concerned. Even if it came off sometime during and was pushed up inside her, you're still unlikely to end up positive following this one-off.

The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days. A six week (or more) negative is highly unlikely to change, but must be confirmed at the three month point.

You're past six weeks now, so if you test now and get a negative result (which I expect) that will be an excellent indication of your true hiv status.

If your doctor won't test you until three months, you can find a testing center near you by putting your zip code into poz.com's Health Services Directory.

I really don't see this as an hiv situation. GB can be caused by both viral and bacterial infections as well as a certain type of autoimmune disease and a certain type of cancer. So stop focusing on hiv.

Ann

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"...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

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2012, 11:16:13 AM »
Hi Ann,

Thanks very much for this.  I had to dig it out of her at one point.  There was definitely some unprotected contact.  But I still find this reassuring.  I will get tested soon, maybe in a week or so.  That will be about 8 weeks.

It's weird, I had one set of symptoms at the three day mark or so which seemed to trigger the GB.  Then I had to deal with the GB for just over a month.  Then, about a week ago (6 week mark)  I started to get another set of symptoms (swollen neck glands, extreme fatigue) that has me almost as worried as I was over GB. 

I will try not to freak out too much until I get tested.  Thanks again!

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2012, 05:46:00 PM »
One more question about seroconversion:  how is the rate of seroconversion affected by a person's general level of health?  Would a person with a strong immune system s/convert more quickly or slower?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2012, 06:58:09 PM »
I'm not sure that you had what would even qualify as a very low level risk. For sure I expect you to test negative. And ARS symptoms do not come and go at different times. If they are going to appear at all they show up for a couple of weeks and then they are gone.

Whatever is going on with you has nothing to do with HIV and you should discuss those symptoms with your doctor.

I don't see this as an HIV situation and I expect you will test negative. 
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2012, 01:24:37 PM »
Thanks again Ann and Andy.  Seeing my doctor today. Will get tested ASAP (just about 8 weeks now).

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 01:42:13 PM »
A negative at 8 weeks would be very close to an all-clear on HIV. Just to be perfectly certain it would be good to re-test at 3 months for a conclusive negative result.

Good luck.
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 05:59:56 PM »
saw my doctor today.  He didn't pay much mind to my current symptoms--aggravating, because the last time he did that I turned out to have Guillain Barre.  He couldn't feel anything wrong with my lymphs or spleen (again, not reassuring given all the symptoms I've had in the past week or so). 

Anyway, he gave me a lab req. for an HIV test but nothing else.  So, I may wait another two weeks or so before going in for testing. I'll try and keep my head on my shoulders til then.     

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 06:09:52 PM »
OK. I expect you to come out ok on the HIV test.
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2012, 09:33:46 PM »
sorry to take up more of everyone's time, but these symptoms won't go away.  It's been a little over a week now.  Tender neck, armpits, groin, nausea, some diarrhea,  White-ish canker in my mouth, sore muscles, sore joints.  The malaise keeps getting worse and I know it's not just stress.  Any thoughts as to what else this could be?  Any other viruses that produce these symptoms?

Offline Ann

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2012, 05:47:40 AM »
Rory,

Our focus here is on hiv. We cannot give general diagnoses - or any diagnoses for that matter. All we can tell you is that whatever is going on is highly unlikely to have anything to do with hiv.

You're just going to have to wait for the appropriate time to test. There's nothing more we can tell you here.

Ann
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

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 05:23:33 PM »
just got blood tested.  It's the eight week mark, hopefully that's close enough for accuracy.  The lab tech said it would take two weeks.  This is going to be a long two weeks... living with these flu-like symptoms and all. 

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2012, 06:52:55 PM »
If you get a negative at 8 weeks it strongly points towards a conclusive negative at 3 months since it's even questionable as to whether you had a risk at all.
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2012, 04:39:13 PM »
... I read in another thread that there's never been a man whose posted here that contracted HIV from a one-off with woman (i.e. through vaginal sex). 

If this is true, it makes me a bit more optimistic... still worried about these symptoms and wondering if whatever it is, is related to my bout of Guillain Barre.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2012, 04:51:53 PM »
Fortunately worries and wondering are not facts. And I still expect you to come out of this ok.
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2012, 05:22:38 PM »
Hi Ann and Andy,

Thanks very much for your patience and insight.  All that's keeping me somewhat composed right now is the chance that this may not be HIV... though my list of symptoms keeps growing... new:  dry mouth, nose, and eyes, eyes and skin are highly sensitive to sunlight... and, to top it off, I've been shedding some skin from the tip of my penis (I'm uncircumsized).

I have about 12 days to wait for my test results... I know there are some common sense factors saying I shouldn't stress too much, but I know my body and there's definitely something wrong, between the GB, and everything else.

I can't promise I won't keep going on like this.  I just felt like talking to someone, and right now, it seems this forum is all I've got. 

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2012, 06:52:47 PM »
None of your symptoms are in anyway HIV specific.

Unfortunately now you are busily misinterpreting everything that happens or doesn't happen to your body through HIV jitters.

 
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2012, 02:39:02 PM »

I've read on this forum that ARS symptoms won't last longer than two weeks. I've read other places on the web that they may last up to four weeks. Can someone comment on this? Are there any known instances of ARS lasting between two and four weeks?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2012, 03:12:38 PM »
If symptoms are going to show up at all, they last a couple of weeks. The average time to seroconversion is 22 days after a risky incident.

Do yourself a big favor and stop surfing the net about HIV. All you will do is find more to feed your fears with and all to no good purpose.

I expect you to come out of this situation ok.
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2012, 04:15:34 PM »
Thank you Andy, I know that is good advice... it's just that with these symptoms I can't do much at the moment, so my options are Netflix, Xbox and looking up HIV stuff.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2012, 06:50:33 PM »
Yah, well control yourself and nix on surfing the HIV stuff on the net. OK on Netflix and Xbox, whatever that is.
Andy Velez

Offline Rory_G

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2012, 07:51:05 PM »
Doctor called today.  Test came back negative. This was a blood test done at 7.5 weeks, during flu-like symptoms and well after neurological symptoms. So, I'm thinking I should be in the clear...  I will do a follow up at 13 weeks just to be sure.

 I still have something going on (gotta be viral) but I'm close to taking HIV off the list. Thanks everyone for your help and guidance.


Offline Andy Velez

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Re: lots of symptoms and ailments... awaiting three month mark
« Reply #29 on: July 05, 2012, 07:45:39 AM »
That's happy news. I expect you will continue to test negative.
Andy Velez

 


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