Anonymous
Hello,

A few months ago (August 18th of 2015) I had a high risk encounter with HIV. It was in a different country (Dominican Republic) and with a girl that I've never met before. I gave her oral sex and we had vaginal sex for around 10 to 15 minutes. A week later I started feeling really sick. I had a really bad cold, a fever and a sore throat. This cold lasted for a few weeks ( around 4). I later started getting diarrhea for a week or two weeks into the cold with black stool and mucus. I told my self that If this continues I will get it checked out. I went to the hospital and got tested for everything and it came back negative. The next day ( September 26th ) I went in for the rapid HIV test. At this point my cold had gone away probably a week before. The test came back negative. The lady told me to come in a month after that and I did. I was still feeling ill at this point (probably because of anxiety) and was almost positive that I've had HIV. When I took the test it came back negative. I asked the doctor if it was conclusive and she said yes so no appointments were made. Fast forward to now.. I got my very first canker sore (2 of them). A quick google search says that they can be caused by the HIV virus... I also found online that rapid HIV test are only conclusive after 3 months. I'm freaking out right now. Was the test at 2 months ( 9 weeks ) conclusive? Were my symptoms HIV symptoms? Are my canker sores caused by HIV? By the way, I'm a male 20 years old. Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully answer my questions. I appreciate what you guys are doing.
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you're concerned about the possibility of HIV transmitting during an encounter. We're happy to answer your question for you.

You mention this was a high risk encounter, but you then didn't mention if you were wearing a condom. If you were wearing a condom this would be considered a low risk activity, and if you were not, this would be considered a high risk activity. Low risk means that while transmissions are possible, they require specific circumstances to occur (like the condom breaking). High risk means that of the transmissions that have occurred, most have occurred due to activities such as these. We encourage you to check out our [risk assessment page](http://helpline.aidsvancouver.org/question/risk-assessment-chart) to see the risks associated with these and many other common activities.

As for the symptoms you are experiencing, we at AIDS Vancouver are not healthcare providers, so cannot comment on them. However, HIV infections are never diagnosed based on symptoms alone, simply because the symptoms of an HIV infection are quite common to many other common medical conditions. Testing is the only way to diagnose an HIV infection. If you're concerned about any symptoms you're experiencing, we'd encourage you to see a healthcare provider about them specifically.

Here is a bit more information on the RAPID test you had:
Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
Rapid or “Point-of-Care” Blood or oral swab 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. The rapid test is a type of 3rd Generation test. Two forms available: finger prick blood sample or oral swab. Oral swab test is most common in the U.S. but due to false positives in Canada it is not approved and blood collection is more likely. Many places in the U.S. and abroad may charge a fee for rapid testing. Conclusive at 3 months post exposure

You'll see in the chart that it is considered conclusive, meaning the results are taken as accurate, 12 weeks post exposure. Your test about 1 month and 2 months post exposure are really good indicators of your status, but you'll need to go for another test at 12 weeks.

Thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question, we hope it has been answered fully.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org**
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