It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



HIV Prevention Message Board


HIV Prevention Board Index


Okay, so here I am completely freaked out about ARS symptoms I am having. Its been 5 1/2 weeks since my last high-risk exposure. Since reading through all of these forums, I would say approx. 75% of the people concerned about ARS have little or no risk exposure. But let me say that I am 24 y.o. gay man and recently had unprotected anal sex with a guy I was dating.

I met this person a few months ago, and during the beginning of our relationship we both decided to get tested together for STDs/HIV. We went to the local health dept and got tested, and came back negative for everything. I even saw his paperwork that showed his results. (I had also been tested 4 months prior and was negative and had not been with anyone since that time). After we got tested, we talked to each other about previous partners and relationships and how we both have always been very careful when it comes to safe sex.

We had protected anal sex/unprotected oral for the first few weeks, but one night (37 days ago, exactly) we were both drunk, and I just got caught up in the moment and had unprotected sex. For about a week I didn't really think anything of the situation, I knew it was a mistake and I wouldn't be so careless the next time.

Day 7--I went to the dentist and had a cavity filled on my right side (I think this might be relevant later)

Day 10--I noticed a discomforting burning sensation when urinating. I was really scared at that moment! I went straight to my doctors office and got tested, my urine came back + for chlamydia and I was given azithromycin 1 gram for treatment. I had also had my blood drawn at the time (10days after the exposure and of course it was the ELISA test was negative, syphilis also came back neg)

Needless to say, I informed this guy about what had happened, and he basically had no explanation. He made up some excuse about my infection coming from the unprotected sex, but claims to not have been with anyone else since we were together. I couldn't believe this guy! I told him to leave me alone and I did not want to hear from him again.

Day 14--the burning in my urethra had subsided, but I noticed I was getting what felt like a stiff neck, I don't remember panicking too much about it at the time though

Day 15--I started noticing a burning/warm sensation in the muscles of my neck...this is when I started freaking out about HIV. I already knew the major sign of ARS beforehand: swollen lymph nodes. I started checking my neck everywhere. I could feel slight pain just under my left jawbone, near the ear, not swollen, just a soreness.

Day 16--Well, I woke up the next day and in the same spot was a swollen lump (lymph node). It wasn't sticking out at all, but I would estimate it was maybe an inch in size. My neck was still burning all over, and I also felt soreness on my adam's apple, and what felt like 1 or 2 little lymph nodes, not swollen, but very painful when swallowing. I was completely freaking out...crying all of the time. Also experiencing wierd muscle twitches all over my body. I knew muscle soreness was also a symptom, and even found some descriptions of twitching that some people reported.

At this point, I started looking up all symptoms on the internet. I quickly checked my temperature, knowing fever was a sign of ARS and it read 97.6 (I always run a temp below 98.6). The next couple of days these symptoms continued, I spent hours looking up symptoms of ARS, checking my lymph nodes, and temperature constantly.

Day 20--I started getting a sore throat. My anxiety skyrocketed. I couldn't sleep or eat. I wasn't hungry, and when I tried to force myself to eat, it made me feel uneasy.

Day 21--I went to a local HIV nonprofit agency and had a rapid test done (oraquick oral swab). I already knew I was in the window period, and expected it to come back neg, which it did. I just needed the reassurance. I tried everything I could do to distract myself. I took a trip home to see my family, thinking it was the last time I could be around them before I had to tell them that I was HIV + Since I live alone, this trip gave provided me with a distraction during the day, but I had sleepless nights, staying up worried about my symptoms.

Day 25--(3 1/2 weeks) I started getting soreness and swelling of the lymph nodes in my groin. My neck muscles were no longer sore, but throat still hurt. Towards the end of my stay, my father got sick with a bug. Sore throat, chills, nasuea, etc. The fact that I was having simular symptoms didn't register, I had been having symptoms for almost 2 weeks prior, and most flu bugs are only infectious the first 3 days. Also, I had swollen lymph nodes first, no fever or chills, the sore throat I had also came much later. I assured myself that my dad got his flu from someone else. The swollen lymph nodes in my groin was also something different I had never experienced before, and doubt that could be caused from a flu-bug.

Day 33--When I got back to my apartment away from home, I went to another agency and got tested again. unigold rapid finger stick, neg. I researched online that this test was more accurate at detecting an acute infection because it detects the IgM antibodies which are present sooner, around 4 weeks. (oraquick only detects IgG, which can take up to 6 weeks to be detectable). The test was negative and provided me some brief assurance, around this time the soreness in my throat stopped, though I can still feel the swollen lypmh node, (which remains slightly hardened, under my jaw) At the same time I also found out that my sister and her husband back home also came down with a sore throat and naseau. I started to feel a bit more assured at this point thinking it was a common flu-bug maybe.

Day 34--The following day though, I developed a canker sore on my epiglottis (the thing that hangs down on the back of your throat) I freaked out, again. This was clearly a new symptom, I had never had something like this before, and it was very painful. I looked up ARS symptoms again, but already knew mouth sores was one of them. I spent hours again researching/googling everything. Couldn't sleep this night, so I took some sleeping pills I had stashed away.

Day 37, March 1st (5 1/2 weeks from my last exposure). Today I went back to a testing agency and had a oraquick rapid finger stick done this time. I felt more assured with a blood test, that oral swab. It still came back neg. I know I am still in the window period, but have read that most people have detectable antibodies at 6 weeks, I just couldn't wait that long. I spoke to a counselor this time. He said you can't really diagnose HIV by the symptoms, but I just feel terrible about all this going on. I spilled my whole story to him, he felt so bad for me, he made an appointment for me to come back on the 6 week marker.

The pain from the canker sore has almost gone away now, only had it for a couple days. My neck muscles feel stiff again, but I think its because I am always checking it. The swollen lump is still there too, but not painful. My groin actually still has pain on the left side. I feel lumps in that region, everywhere, on both sides. Not huge, but maybe 1/2 inch. They are still slightly painful even after this long.

For anyone who is still bothering to read this, I apologize for making it so freaking long. I know where I stand, and that its a waiting game now. I just needed to relieve some stress and writing this all down is providing some therapy.

I know my symptoms are not specific. I go back and forth all day/night. At one point I am totally convinced that I just had the flu, but then the sollen lymph nodes don't add up, so I go back and totally freak out about ARS.

**A couple last minute details: I don't think I ever had any night sweats or the rash. Nothing unusual that I could distinguish. I had maybe 1 or 2 zits on my shoulder/back. They popped just like a zit, so I am pretty sure that is what it was.

Also, because I think this might be relevant: Two days after my possible exposure I went to the dentist and had a cavity filled (same side the lymph node was swollen). I thought a lot about this and I still can't chew normally on that side (tooth still sensitive). Is this related at all? Its been over a month and the tooth is still sensitive...the lymph node just under my jaw started swelling 7 days after the dental work, but remember I was treated for chlamydia around this time too, shouldn't the antibiotic given cured any possible tooth infection? With all these symptoms I am too afraid to go back to the dentist and bring it up until I find out a conclusive result for the HIV. And the guy I was dating, haven't spoken to him again. I want him to get tested, but he won't return my calls/texts.
I am going in tomorrow for my 6 week test. I have been feeling a little better about the outcome, hoping it will be negative.

I don't talk to that guy anymore. I texted him and asked him to get retested, but he didn't seem very concerned (which worries me) but said he will get around to it and let me know.

Update on my family: about a week and 1/2 after I started experiencing symptoms, I mentioned earlier that I went home as a distraction. Well 4 of 7 seven family member I have been around now have gotten sick. Their symptoms include sore throat, swollen white tonsils, dry cough, fever, chills, & nasuea. They are not the same symptoms I had exactly, but that's too much of a coincidence right? I certainly feel bad about them getting sick, but it does ease my mind a little (lol).

Update on my symptoms: the one separating factor that I have from this just being a common cold/flu is the swollen lymph nodes (still present) in my groin area. Does anyone think this could be from the chlamydia (even though they appeared after I received the antibiotics?) And would they still be swollen/tender 5 weeks after the chlamydia showed up and was properly treated?

New "ARS" symptom today (Day 41) These little pink bumps on the back of my throat behind my epiglottis. they are kind of tender when swallowing. I thought they were more canker sores at first, but they are completely pink, rather that white with the red rim. I goolgled this symptom and it says that they appear commonly during a cold/sinus infection when the throat is irriatated from nasal drainage. I have allergies, and often experience nasal drainage, but have never noticed their appearance before now.

Wish me luck when I go in for my test tomorrow. I do have an additional question. I read on several other forums about 6 week negative being a good indicator, though many others dispute this saying "you must follow CDC's recommendations for 3 month" I plan to test at 3 months to get this out of my head, once and for all, anyone's scientific input on the 6 week test indicating a negative infection would be appreaciated. Thank you all for your help thus far.
Well its not a shock buddy as you both tested NEGATIVE before having sex, so its fair to say neither of you had HIV.

As for 6 months thats incorrect. If you had pep, its 3 months after your last course, so it would be 4 months.

Your 3 months test will be negative also, so dont give it another thought.





All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:08 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2017 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!