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ARS symptoms after 4 months scared to death

Question: 

Hello,

I am scared to death that I might have HIV it's ruining my whole life.I'm 23 years old (circumcised) I only had sex once with an female late 20's divorced it was quick about few minutes cause we were in her car it happened on 18th of April 2013 it was unprotected vigainal sex I came out cause we weren't using protection and that was the last time I talked to her (I feel extremely guilty and stupid of how could I let myself be so naive!).After 119 days exposure (17 weeks) I got sick with flu (I just came back from a holiday and one of my friends was sick during that holiday so I assumed I got it from him) I didn't pay much attention after a week from that I got some kind of small dots on my arm so I googled it and started reading about HIV symptoms and hell broke lose from there I had severe anixaity and depression I didn't eat for for a whole weekend and I believed I was doomed after a week from that I found out I had bedbugs so I used a cream that treated that after that I felt a bit of relief but not fully cause I still had sore throat and since that time until now I have sore throat then I got some kind of dots (23 weeks from exposure) on my upper arms, shoulders, back, and forehead they are small red dots and some of them got yellow heads I went to a doctor he said it's some kind of acne I got from changes in my body due supplements I take for gym. after a week (24 weeks from exposure) from that my throat got worse so I went to the doctor again this time he said that am having some kind of acid reflux so he gave me pills and told me to change my diet to get better.So far I had sore throat for about a month and a half (cools off and becomes sore again) I keep thinking I have HIV and it ruins my life I can't live normally keeps eating me alive. I live in a society were HIV and sexual interactions is considered a great taboo I can't talk to anyone about it and only way to get tested is by everyone knowing about it and am afraid I might turn out positive!!Please help, Is it possible for anyone to show HIV symptoms after 4-5 months? Or its up to 3 months only? Do you think I have HIV?

 

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for using the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source of HIV-related information.
First of all, HIV is no longer a death sentence; with medication, it is a manageable chronic illness like diabetes. HIV is one of many sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and it is harder to acquire than you think. Having unprotected sex does not always lead to exposure to the virus and its acquisition.
Secondly, HIV does not discriminate based on characteristics of an individual (age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, occupation, marriage status or any other socioeconomic status).
Thirdly, HIV cannot be diagnosed by symptoms and there are no clinically defined symptoms of HIV; thus testing is the only way to know one's HIV status. Some people may experience strong flu-like symptoms 2-6 weeks after the point of infection, lasting for up to 7-10 days. But most people do not experience anything at all. The symptoms of your concerns are nothing to do with HIV. It seems like you have seen a doctor for the symptoms, I encourage you to keep doing so to address your health concern. I am not sure whether you have been tested; if you have not, I encourage you to get tested for all STIs (just to note that HIV is one of many STIs). All HIV tests done by a healthcare provider are conclusive at/after 3 months. So when/if you decide to get tested, it will give you a conclusive result since it's been more than 12 weeks has been passed.
When we talk about HIV, we need to talk about sex and drug use which are still taboo to talk about in many societies. Thus, educating yourself about STIs is important so that you can make the best decision for yourself and your partner(s). Here at AIDS Vancouver, we encourage all sexually active people to get tested for all STIs as a routine checkup. It may be every 3-4 months, bi-annually or annually, depending on an individual.
Hopefully you find the information helpful.If you have any other questions/concerns, please feel free to write us back.
Stay healthy and keep smiling,YoshikoAIDS Vancouver Helpline VolunteerE-mail: helpline@aidsvancouver.orgPhone (Mon-Fri 9am-4pm): (604) 696-4666Web: www.aidsvancouver.org/helpline

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