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Author Topic: Ongoing symptoms  (Read 2642 times)

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Offline greenshoes

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Ongoing symptoms
« on: September 25, 2012, 12:31:02 PM »
I'll try to keep this short and to the point.

About a year and a half ago, I had unprotected vaginal sex with a woman in Taiwan (low risk, I know). Exactly one week later, I developed some symptoms.* A cursory Google search had my immediately worried about HIV. About 8 weeks later, I tested negative (in Taiwan...dunno about their tests). I then thought I put the final nail in the coffin by testing negative at 6 months (this time in Australia).

However, around the 6 month mark, I developed painful lymph nodes in my jaw and armpits. The strange thing is that they don't seem to be swollen. I just get a twinge of pain every once in a while.

I also developed shingles recently. Although, shortly after the shingles episode, I had blood work done (no HIV test), and all my levels were within the normal range.

I've also developed mild arthritis, which has been constant since I initially got sick.

*Symptoms
I know you people don't put my stock in symptoms, but I'm wondering if mine were indicative of HIV in the first place. First, I had an extremely painful throat with white spots on my tonsils. A couple days later, my tongue turned totally white. This eventually sloughed off, leaving a "strawberry tongue," which was dark red and painful. I also had angular cheilitis (cracking on side of lips caused by bacteria or fungus). During this time, I suffered some general fatigue and malaise but only one night of feeling really bad. Aside from sleeping for 14 hours one night, I was up and about throughout the illness. About a week after it all started, the skin on my palms and soles of my feet began to peel.** I recovered, but the sore throat and peeling hands and feet strangely returned about a month later.

**Many of these symptoms are textbook strep/scarlet fever, despite the lack of a rash and me being an adult.

My questions are:
1. Does it sound like my symptoms were HIV related in the first place?
2. With ongoing symptoms - painful lymph nodes, shingles, arthritis, occasional oral and nasal sores, occasional peeling skin - is it possible that the tests were wrong?

I know about the window period and that 3 months is "conclusive." I guess I'm just worried about a lab error or something. Does that happen?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 12:34:33 PM by greenshoes »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Ongoing symptoms
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2012, 01:04:30 PM »
Honestly, the risk you had was on the LOW end of the HIGH scale.

Meaning it is ENTIRELY possible to get HIV from unprotected vaginal sex.

However, you did not. Symptoms notwithstanding, a three month negative is the gold standard. You say you tested out to six months.

If your symptoms ARE related to one cause, it certainly is not HIV.

"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

Welcome Thread

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Ongoing symptoms
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2012, 06:13:00 AM »
shoes,

Did you ever bother to test for the other, much more easily transmitted STIs, or did you only worry about hiv?

I ask because you report developing mild arthritis. Are you aware that untreated chlamydia can cause this type of problem? Many people do not ever have any obvious symptoms of STIs, despite being infected.

You tested conclusively hiv negative and what ever is causing your symptoms, hiv isn't it. Go see a doctor and find out what is actually going on instead of trying to get a diagnosis from Dr. Google.

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. Some of the other STIs can be present with no obvious symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to test.

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

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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 greenshoes

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Re: Ongoing symptoms
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2012, 03:13:37 PM »
Ann, I think you may be on the right track. I have tested for other STIs, including chlamydia. However, I think I may be suffering from reactive arthritis from a chronic bacterial infection of some sort. I think a blood/urine culture is in order.

Thanks for your reply!

Offline greenshoes

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Ongoing symptoms
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 02:36:27 PM »
Sorry to be one of "those people," but I'm still having some anxiety. Some days, I can convince myself that I have a lingering case of mono or something, but other days, I'm in full-on panic mode.

Someone on here said they've NEVER seen a 6 week negative turn positive, right? Would it be absolutely 100% unprecedented for me to be positive after an 8 week and a 6 month negative?

Also, swollen lymph nodes associated with HIV are painless and generalized, right? They wouldn't randomly go up and down, and they wouldn't only be located on one side of the body?

Sorry again. I'll be taking another test in a few weeks for a foreign work visa, and I don't want any surprises. This is my last post. You guys are doing great work here.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Ongoing symptoms
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2012, 10:55:13 AM »
Green,

Provided you've not been having unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse since the time you have been worrying about, then you are definitely hiv negative. Testing positive at six (or three) months, with no further risks, is unheard of with today's tests.

You do not have hiv.

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

 


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