HIV Transmission and Testing > Am I Infected?

one risky incident...should i worry?

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mag33:
Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and I am just looking for some answers and hopefully some peace of mind. I am a male, white, heterosexual, non drug user. About 8 weeks ago I was fooling around with this girl I know from school (heterosexual, non drug user). One thing led to another and we ended up having brief, unprotected vaginal sex. I say brief because I was a virgin at the time and the sex did not last long at all (less then a minute). I asked her about her history and she claims: only 2 partners (both of which she always used protection; and that she regularly dontates blood).
 At the time of the episode I had already had a respiratory infection. Two days after the incident my already existing respiratory infection was being treated as bronchitis. So I had a heavy cough with plegm, and some sinus headaches, and my neck glands were slightly swollen. Within 5 days the antibiotics cleared up this infection so I don't know if that rules out ARS or not. However, my glands remained slightly swollen for a few weeks following the infection. I don't know if that was due to a post-bacterial infection or if it was because of my intercourse. My nerves started to drive me off the wall and I occassionally had diahrrea. My appetite was never lost and I actually gained a few pounds since the incident. I checked my temperature everyday for about 2 weeks and I never had a fever, nor did I have any rash or night sweats. My energy levels are normal. I am still in a state of panic - constantly checking my glands and looking for oral infections. I must say that week after week I worry less and less. Some people tell me that it was just the spontanious way that I lost my virginity which is causing my panic. It's weird though, just like everyone worried about being infected, its like theres a weight on my chest telling me that I have HIV. Apart of me wants to get tested and find out its negative and move on. But theres another part that tells me the results are going to come back positive. And then theres another part of me that is terrified of a false-positive, which is why I dont want to get an unnecessary test. I read that most physicians suggest it is not clinically necessary for a low risk person to be tested after a single episode. To be honest I am completely lost and I would love if I can have some advice on the risk of my encounter and what I should do about, and if testing is necessary. Is it possible to not have ARS and still have HIV? What if I'm asympomatic?
    I find that the only times I really convince myself that I am infected is when I desperately search the internet looking for warnings and symptoms. So maybe it is all in my head. I just really need some advice or reassurance. Whatever you guys can offer. thank you.

Ann:
mag,

Symptoms or even the lack of symptoms means nothing when it comes to hiv infection. Only the appropriate test at the appropriate time will reliably reveal your hiv status.

Any time you have unprotected intercourse, you are putting yourself at risk for hiv and other sexually transmitted infections as well. 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 STIs together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

You would be wise to test. 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.

Ann

Andy Velez:
Since you're new to being sexually active, this is a good time to develop healthy habits. From here on in you need to always wear a condom when you have intercourse. It doesn't matter what you think you know about your partner's history or how great she looks or anything else. A latex condom everytime is a must.

In relation to this recent incident, the prudent move is to get tested at 13 weeks past the most recent unprotected intercourse. HIV is not an easy virus to transmit. It's significantly harder to accomplish from female to male. Given that you had a single incident the odds of your testing negative are overwhelmingly in your favor.

The symptoms you are concerned about are in no way HIV-specific, but then neither the presence or absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Only testing gives you a solid answer.

I expect you will test negative. But, learn from this experience and in the future make sure you're always using a condom.

Cheers,

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