HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Highly likely symptoms of ARS? Please help!

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Hi I just posted something before but it all failed because I was logged off  >:(

So you can call me Ray. I had a recent exposure on December 22, 2013 with a sex worker in Toronto.

1) Unprotected Oral sex. Receptive and Insertive -- aka she gave me oral for 3-4 mins
2) Protected vaginal sex for 8-10 mins. But it was dry and quite a lot of friction was there. Stupid me did not ask for lube but instead asked if she was okay, which said "yeah im fine". I fear that micro-tears occured. In addition, I highly suspect she is infected (HIV) because she lost significant weight compared to her recent pictures.

1) Shingles on bottom right stomach 2 weeks post exposure. In fact I noticed red flat itchy rash on bottom right stomach on the day after meeting her. Not sure if that is too soon for immunosuppression? I was really stressed though in the week prior to this exposure with exams and having only 2-4 hours of sleep each day.
2) Oral hairy leukoplakia? appeared 2 weeks post exposure. White corrugated lines on sides of tongue. Not painful. Also a red ulcer? or dot size of a penicil eraser was present on right inner cheek near lip border.
3) Mild fever very mild. Red eyes. Night sweat once. Swollen node maybe? Because I noticed a lump on my jaw line near my ear. Two lumps actually, one on each side of head. Lump was 1cm diameter, not painful. Mild headache or short spiking pain at back of head that was only recently January 16. Mild muscle ache recently on upper right arm on January 16.

Tests performed:
1) Rapid test (INSTI Test) on January 15. Tested negative.
2) P24 + Antigen test. Awaiting results January 29.

Questions are:
1) Based on risks and symptoms, am I infected?
2) Can i trust my test result?

Thank you for your time in reading and answering to my post,



1. You did NOT have a risk. Oral isn't a risk and protected intercourse is just that, protected. There are no such thing as "micro-tears" where condoms are concerned. When the break, they do so in a very noticeable way.

2. You do not need further testing over this NO RISK incident.

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.

ALTHOUGH YOU DO NOT NEED FURTHER TESTING OVER THIS NO RISK INCIDENT, 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!


Thank you Ann for the quick response. It makes me feel warm inside to hear someone respond to me during this time in which I am feeling very vulnerable. Especially the way you said that I had no risk. Unfortunately I have a lot of reason to believe that I am at risk and am infected. I'm not trying to say anything against those who are infected, or that is it a bad thing. It's just that I am concerned because I am still a student (with a lot of debt) and add to that I'm living in Ontario where there is really no effective support to pay for your HIV medication. At least from what I am aware of. 

Anyhow, Symptoms like these don't just happen for no reason. I still believe I am infected. Sorry for being an idiot and not listening to you. I will keep you posted however on my results this coming tuesday. Thanks again! -Ray


You go ahead and believe whatever you want. None of your symptoms sound even remotely like primary hiv infection - and timing is all wrong - and that doesn't sound like shingles - it's all irrelevant.

What IS relevant is the fact that you did NOT have a risk for hiv infection and your negative test results are not going to change in relation to this NO RISK incident.

If you continue to feel unwell, see a doctor. Whatever is going on has NOTHING to do with a virus for which you have not been at risk.


I have another question about symptoms of early hiv infection related to my symptoms and was wondering if anyone could help?

Asides from the shingles outbreak (which I know was shingles because it only occured on the right side of lower abdomen and appeared as a strip of raised red bumps that eventually became red scabs in the centre of the bumps -- but most importantly they itched every now and then but when I scratched it became painful.) I also had very dry hands to the point that my palms felt like sand paper. This happened at the same time as the shingles outbreak which was around week 2-4. I also experienced 4-5 bouts of mild cough (so mild that it was just a single light cough) and shortness of breath that I actually can notice from time to time during regular breathing but it wasn't severe or anything. I also lost weight, about 8 pounds and am at 135 now, which never really happens as I am quite fit and always stayed at 140-142 or above for the longest time now. But what worries me most is that I lost fat in my cheeks or the thinning in the face that occurred over the past 4 weeks despite me eating regularly.

Can anyone tell me if they have seen or heard ANYONE with these symptoms and tested positive? Or can somebody tell me whether I have early HIV symptoms or not? I've been losing a lot of sleep, not eating very well, along with wasting my time stressing over symptoms and searching the internet when I should have been working on other things that needed to be done. But I just can't stop thinking until I know the truth  :( or at least until I can find some kind of valid answer. Please help!

My major concerning symptoms (if it makes it easier):
-oral hairy leukoplakia or corrugated white line that formed a sort of long ring on each side of tongue that lasted only a day (twice; once during week 2 and again during week 4)
-dry palms that flaked off skin...I can only compare it to a chapped lip appearance (week 2-4)
-cough and shortness of breath (5-6 bouts over 4 weeks)
-night sweat (1-2 nights)
-weight loss, especially in face (over 4 weeks but I noticed it first during week 4 after exposure)


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