Anonymous
Dear whomever it may concern,
I am a gay man and had unprotected sex two weeks ago. I start to think that I contracted HIV because I got symptoms:
1. skin peeling off between my fingers on my left hand only
2. red spots on my arm, they are not bumpy nor itchy though (i think its rash)

I really want to know my results, but two weeks is too early for an HIV test and I have been worrying the past week. Are these symptoms of HIV?
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Anonymous
Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It seems like you are concerned that the symptoms that you are having are HIV related after engaging in unprotected sex activity and that its too early for you to go for an HIV test. We are glad to provide some information.

Engaging in unprotected sex is a High Risk activity. We recommend that people who have been engaged in such activities get tested for HIV.

\We do not use symptoms to determine the HIV status of an individual as some symptoms can also be caused by other viral infections that are not related to HIV. The only way one can determine the HIV status of an individual is by getting an HIV test. You are correct that for most tests you have to wait for 3-4 weeks after the exposure. However there is what is called an Early Test or Pooled RNA NAAT test that detects viral RNA in blood who have yet to develop detectable antibody levels. I encourage you to either approach a testing centre or your doctor to check if it is available. This will help to remove the anxiety of whether the symptoms are HIV related.

The Aids Vancouver Helpline Online forum has postings that are related to your question that you can read for additional information. If you have any further questions feel free to contact us again.

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

In health

Lawrence

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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