Anonymous
I had unprotected vaginal sex about six or seven times with a male repeatedly claiming to be HIV negative. Eight weeks after my last possible exposure, my throat was sore for two days. A couple of days later, I had diarrhea. Then, for about a week, I noticed ulcers in my mouth. I am now experiencing bone/joint pain, and my neck lymph nodes seem to be swollen (since sore throat). Here are the tests I've had done through LabCorp:

8 weeks - HIV Antibody (negative)
9 weeks - HIV RNA (negative)
11 weeks - HIV 4th Generation Antibody/Antigen (negative)
13 weeks - HIV Antibody (negative)
19 weeks - HIV Antibody (negative)

Am I conclusively negative? Do I need more testing done? Why are my lymph nodes still swollen, and why am I experiencing bone and joint pain? Can this be attributed to stress? Please help, I am very scared!!
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Anonymous
Hi there,

I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms. While it may be human nature to attempt to link these with a particular infection or diagnosis, it is important not to do this with HIV infection. This is because not all individuals experience symptoms at all, and the HIV virus mimics many other types of infections. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you are living with HIV!

Your test results have consistently comeback negative since your last exposure. These negative results are the best indicator of your status. All tests that are conducted at or after the 3-month (12 week) post-exposure mark are considered conclusive. Since the last 2 tests have been conducted after the 12-week mark, they can both be considered conclusive. In the absence of any new exposures, you do not require further testing.

We recommend that you continue your communication with your family doctor to figure out the real causes behind your symptoms.

I trust that I have answered your questions.

Best wishes,

Malath
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