McCrin
Hello.

I had unprotected sex 6 weeks ago with a man and for the last week I have had a cold running nose, phlegm cough etc. I read online that during the acute phase of HIV the white blood cell count is down. I was wondering if that is why I still have a cold and that once my body has made enough antibodies, my body will make more white blood cells andy cold will go. I took a home test a week ago and it was negative and I bought another one today from a differnt pharmacist and it was negative too. I know the window period is 3 months. Maybe it's because my body is trying to fight the cold before it starts to try on the HIV and then the test will come back positive. I can't go to the hospital for a test for another two weeks. 
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helpline-volunteer
Hello,

Thank you for your inquiry. From what we gather from the question, you were asking about whether your cold is a symptom of HIV transmission from unprotected sex with a man six weeks ago, and the accuracy of at-home rapid tests.

From this information given the scenario is determined to be a High risk (There is evidence of transmission through these activities and are the majority of cases of transmission). The scenario mentioned above does meet the three components of the transmission equation. Helpline Transmission Equation .jpgAt home tests are good preliminary tests. Although the two tests came back negative, CDC statistics show that up to 8 percent of HIV-infected people who use a in-home test can have a false-negative result (1). Due to the fact that you recently had a high-risk exposure, follow up with a physician is recommended.

As for the cold, there are many reasons why you may have contracted a cold or why it is taking a while to go away. This can be do to stress, or many other factors, and is not conclusive of HIV infection.

If you are continuously engaging in high risk activity there are biomedical approaches such as PrEP and PEP that help lower your risk of acquiring HIV. Refer to your physicians for further information.

Recommendation: Refer to a healthcare provider for HIV testing and for other health related questions.

Regards,

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online
Saro
References:
1.) HIV Home Tests

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