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HIV Prevention Message Board

HIV Prevention Board Index


First of all, many thanks to the knowledgeable people who post here regularly. Your willingness to help and your seemingly endless reserves of patience are inspiring.

To test that patience a bit more: about 7-8 years ago, when I was 16, I had unprotected sex that lasted for probably less than one minute, though I can't actually recall the exact amount of time. I found out later that the woman whom I had sex with worked as an escort, though I have reason to believe she'd only just begun and only had done it once to make some money on the side. She was quite older than I (how I got into this situation is a long story and suffice it to say that the circumstances won't recur).

Well I was stupid at the time and did not put too much thought into the risk I had taken. Time went on and I sort of forgot about it.

Fast forward to 2012, and I'm a bit worried. I've been experiencing numbness/tingling in my limbs, and I have recently had some sort of rash appear around my mouth (google tells me it's something like Seborrheic dermatitis or eczema, I have struggled with dandruff and rash-prone skin all my life). The back of my tongue is covered in whitish gunk, though it looks to me more like the regular buildup of food and post-nasal drip for which they sell tongue-scrapers. My lips are sort of blistery and rough--just not in the best of shape. Other than that, I do not have a fever and have not had one in a very long time, my lymph nodes do not seem to be swollen, certainly not in more than one place, and I have actually gained about 20 pounds in the past few years.

I do understand that symptoms are not used in diagnosis and that testing is the only actual way to tell. I'm absolutely going to get tested. However, I am in the middle of an extremely stressful, career-making endeavor at work and simply cannot muster the courage to test until probably ten full days from now. If I do test positive, I want to have accomplished this goal, and I'm sure that the diagnosis would prevent me from following through if I turn out to be unlucky.

In the mean time, I would greatly appreciate any input or thoughts or really anything to soothe my writhing nerves. As I understand it, if I had contracted HIV on the night I described earlier--all sex since then has been protected or with a woman of known negative status--I would now be experiencing symptoms of the onset of AIDS if I were experiencing symptoms at all.

Is it likely that what I've described would occur without constitutional symptoms like fever and weight loss? Is fever a sort of pre-requisite to the rest of it?

And of course, the big one: there is no way to answer, I know, but I'm going to ask anyway because desperate times call for stupid questions: the odds seem to be in my favor, the most often-cited statistic for my risk as a circumcised heterosexual male living in a developed country being 1/2000. Given the odds and the description of my situation and symptoms, what should I expect, realistically? If it seems bad I'd rather hear it, because I'd rather go into this expecting trouble than to be surprised with something as devastating as a positive diagnosis.

Thank you for reading. I know these posts must get old; trust me when I say that I wouldn't have typed this out if I hadn't felt like it was the only way to get me through the next few days.

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