Anonymous
Hello,

I am a guy living in Belgium. Here it is my question:

I had sex with a guy on 31 August. I was the top and I used a condom. The penetration was very superficial. We stop immediately because it was hurting him.

I received unprotected oral sex from him and I also received protected oral sex from him (but his mouth touched the condom right after the superficial penetration occurred).

Then we went on with kissing and oral sex (I was always the receptive partner).

That was it.

Then I had protected vaginal sex with a sex worker in Belgium. This happened on 11 October.

That was it.

Around mid November, I started having strange symptoms like: light flu, fatigue, muscular pain, lynfonodes of the neck were hurting, sense of dizziness. These symptoms went on more or less for 5 weeks.

I went to the local HIV center and they told me that the HIV test was not necessary because what I did was not to be considered as "risky".

I got tested anyway with a normal test I guess (the one which looks for antibodies only). I did the test on the 87th day from the first "episode" and on the 45th day from the second one.

The test was negative.

However, the liver's values were higher than normal, lynfonodes of the neck were still a bit swollen and the white cells were slightly higher.

Now, after the Christmas break (during which I was feeling alright) I still have some symptoms like light flu, cough, lynfonodes a bit hurting and slightly swollen, fatigue, sore throat, dizziness.

Can all these put together be symptoms of HIV? Would it be possible, given the factual description I gave you?
Can it be that I did the HIV test (antibodies) too early?

Please, let me know what you think about this.

Thanks a lot

best wishes
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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It seems that you want a factual information regarding HIV transmission. Here in AIDS Vancouver we provide the latest update regarding HIV.

Let's talk about your first encounter, sex with a condom is considered low risk meaning this risk level presents to you is a potential for HIV because it involves an exchange of body fluid. Oral sex on the other hand, (receiving) will give you negligible risk for same reason.Your second encounter involved protected vaginal sex with a sex worker is also considered low risk

Please take a look at our [Risk Assessment Chart ](http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart)for more information of the risks associated with some common activities.

Lets talk about the testing that you done and focus on the last encounter (45 days period after exposure). HIV antibodies are detectable from 4 weeks, with up to 95% of cases of new infections being detectable at 4-6 weeks. Here at AIDS Vancouver we recommend a follow-up test at 12 weeks to be conclusive that you have not acquired the HIV. Here is some information on two of the most commonly available tests, which might applicable to you - both of these recommend a follow up at 12 weeks.

EIA 3rd Generation

4th Generation EIA
Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
Enzyme Immunoassay Antibody (EIA) 3rd Generation (ELISA) Blood test that looks for antibodies. Up to 95% of infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks post exposure. Most people develop detectable antibodies in 21-25 days. Most commonly available testing method. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure.


Here at AIDS Vancouver we do not look to symptoms to diagnose HIV. This is because many people experience no symptoms at all when they acquire HIV, and of those that do, the symptoms mirror many other viral infections. If you are unwell, it is always best to visit your healthcare provider to evaluate these symptoms and have them accurately diagnosed.

I hope this information helps and continue to be proactive with your sexual health and regular testing is a good practice for all people who are sexually active.
If you want to know more, please browse [our website ](www.aidsvancouver.org)and [CATIE.ca](http://www.catie.ca/en/home).

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

Best in Health!

Roel

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

Monday-Friday 9am-5pm (PST)

1 844 INFO-HIV (Toll free Canada & U.S.)

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Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
4th Generation EIA Blood test that looks for antibodies AND p24 protein antigens. Commonly referred to as the "combination," "combo" or "DUO" test. P24 protein is detectable immediately after infection but only for the first few weeks. The antibody (ab) test has a window period of 4-12 weeks post exposure. This test is widely available in North America. Most HIV specialists consider this test to be conclusive at 6 weeks but official HIV testing guidelines still recommend re-testing at 12 weeks for conclusive results. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure.