HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

HIV risk, unprotected sex & symptoms


worry henz:
Hi All

I have been exposed to a HIV risk situation. On 29th December I had unprotected sex with a 'bar girl' I met on my vacation in Bangkok, Thailand. My exposure was was around 1-2 seconds on unprotected penetration where half my penis was inserted into her vagina. After that, we proceed to have protected sex for a short period. Her HIV status is unknown.

About 19 days post this event, I experienced a dull, constant, forehead headache which I still experience today.

2 days after that, I experienced joint and muscle pains/aches around my body, especially in my feet. The pain/ache is short, sharp, and random, but does not hurt as much. This has been going on for about a week and has not been showing up as much today.

About a few days ago, I started to feel sharp pains in my neck around the lymph nodes area, and have been looking out for them. I have been feeling pea sized lymph nodes yesterday on my neck and have been freaking out.

I also had a mild sore throat which lasted a day, and my throat is constantly dry and sometimes I would get a dry cough.

I understand this forum does not like discussing symptoms as the symptoms are not always an indication on a HIV infection. However, when symptoms come on around the 2-4 week period prior to exposure, you do get extremely concerned and worried.

I had a full STI/HIV screening on the 19th day, which included a 4th generation combo 24P antigen/antibody test, and all tests were negative. I am going to have another test in a couple of days (at 4 weeks), possibly another one at 6 weeks, and a final one at 13 weeks.

Please advise on my risk and symptoms that have shown up because my mind is in a ruck at the moment.



You are very unlikely to end up hiv positive following this brief unprotected insertive incident. Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus and it's more difficult to transmit from a woman to a man.

None of your symptoms sound hiv related and yes, you're correct when you say we don't deal with symptoms anyway. Neither symptoms nor even the lack of symptoms will ever tell you a single thing about your hiv status. ONLY testing at the appropriate time will.

If you feel unwell, see a doctor. It's highly unlikely to have anything to do with hiv.

The earliest you should test again is at six weeks, not four. 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 22 days.

A six week negative is highly unlikely to change, but must be confirmed at the three month point.

I do not expect you to test positive over this extremely brief incident (although you do need to confirm that with testing at the appropriate time). If hiv were that easily transmitted, the whole world would be poz by now.


worry henz:
Thanks for your reply Ann. I feel a little more at ease about the situation, but nonetheless still worried.

I have a more couple questions.

1) Is my risk similar/more/less to one of a condom breakage or 'dipping'? I have read that you have never seen the insertive person end up hiv positive over a condom breakage.

2) Say if I have a test at 4 weeks, and test negative, would my symptoms be confirmed that they are not due to hiv?

Thank you.

Andy Velez:
You are listening to your doubts and fears rather than to what Ann has already told you. A negative result at SIX weeks would be a meaningful result. Assuming you test negative, which I think is likely, that would be a strong indication that the result will again be negative and conclusively so at 3 months.

You've got a bit more time to wait to do that. In the meantime you need to make a real effort to focus on other matters in your life while wating to test. It will make the waiting time pass more easily than you may imagine is possible.



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