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Worried about HIV contraction

12 days ago from this posting, I engaged in unprotected sex with a stranger.  3 days later, I came down with Flu like symptoms.  It took me 3-5 days to rest up and kick the cough(flem) and fever.  A week later and since then, I have been feeling better considering the Flu but I have had a tiredness feeling over me that has not left.  This and my head/nose seems to be clouded.  With that, I feel fatigue all over my body at times.  I just dont feel 100%.  I have also gone to my doctor and he put me on anti-biotics(Biaxin).  I have not felt that much of difference for the better.  The cycle was for a week.

I also am very active (sports/gym/clubs/drinking/smoking) and have not been getting good sleep.  But I dont get sick often at all so this is worrying me.  Sometimes, I grasp for air after climbing 4 flights of stairs.  I feel lightheaded and tired almost all the time while Im awake.  These symptoms have lasted for the past 10 days now not including the cough and fever.  The cough and fever were gone after 3 days into the sickness.  Whats worrying me is the constant fatigue and giddiness.  Also, I usually recover from being sick rather quickly.

1)  Do these symptoms sound like I may have contracted HIV?
2)  Can there be a bug going around that I have not recovered from?
3)  Do you think that its less severe, like the Flu?
4)  Does this sound like Mono?
5)  What other possibilites or deseases does this sound like?
6)  Should I be this nervous?
7)  Should I do get a blood test done from the doctors?

Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions with this matter.
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The level of risk you experienced depends a lot on the nature of your exposure:  if you're a gay man and had anal sex with another man, your HIV risk is significant (although still less than 1 chance in 100-200 for any single encounter); vaginal sex less; giving oral sex, very low; receiving oral sex zero, even if your pick-up parnter had HIV.  Further, you don't describe your general sexual habits at all.  Your symptoms came on too soon to be due to HIV acquired during that particular event (see below), but for all I know you have had other risks over the years.

Acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) symptoms typically begin 10-20 days after infection, and cough with phlegm (even with fever) is not typical of early HIV disease.  Your other symptoms (4-flight shortness of breath, sleeplessness, fatigue, giddiness) are very nonspecific, ie could be due to any number of things, mostly not serious.  But if they continue, return to your doctor and get evaluated.  They could be due to overt AIDS (i.e., infecton present for several years) but almost certainly not to recent HIV infection.

Your specific questions:

1) Your symptoms almost certainly are not due to recently acquired HIV.  I cannot comment about the possibility of more prolonged infection.

2) Of course "there can be a bug going around". Viral illnesses of various kinds occur all the time, and some of them last for more than a week.

3) Conceivably influenza, among many other possibilities.

4) It doesn't sound particularly like mono, which doesn't cause  stuffy nose, cough or phlegm.  But mono has highly variable symptoms, so I suppose it is possible.

5) Too many possible causes for me to speculate any further.

6) You should not be nervous about HIV, if the exposure above was your only possible source of HIV infection.  (And maybe not even then, depending on the kind of exposure; see my opening comment.)

7) You need personal evaluation by a health care provider.  Let that person advise you about diagnostic tests, including HIV testing.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
Thanks for the prompt response Doc.  I actually have had a physical less than a year ago and the blood results came back good.  Through blood extraction performed during a physical, the lab checks for abnormalities correct?

I have had unprotected sex 3 times before (all people I know but dont know if they have ever been tested before for HIV), ranging from 3years ago and as early as 6 months ago.  I have had a long time girlfreind before that for 4 years who isnt infected with HIV.  Yes, I am heterosexual.  The issue with the other times was that I never became sick of had any ill effects from those encounters...this time, 3 days later, I was sick.  Within those days, they were def flu like symtoms with the fever, night sweats, congestion, and fatigue...now, 10 days later, I still feel the fatigue and congestion, which is scaring me since I usually dont fall sick.

These have been bad decisions but there is no way that Im having unprotected sex ever again (not being the point at hand).  Im going to the doc on Monday, 3/27 to get some blood work done.  I just cant shake the constant pressure on and around my head (nostrills) and the feeling of tiredness/fatigue.  At work, I feel fine but then feel tired again once I get home.

With all this said, how concerned do you think that I have to be with the possibility of contracting HIV?  Im ridiculously scared at this point being that my immune system has not cleared whatever I have yet.  Please let me know your thoughts.
Thanks!
Sounds like a pretty low risk lifestyle, further lowering my concern about the possibility of HIV.  The timing and nature of your symptoms suggest you might have caught a respiratory virus from your partner.  (Anybody close enough to have sex with someone is plenty close to catch a cold.)  Speed of recovery from infections is almost totally unlrelated to a "strong" or "weak" immune system.  Most likely you were just unlucky enough to pick up a more virulent bug, maybe influenza.  However, I can only speculate and repeat my advice that you see a health professional and not try to sort it out through online advice.  But I wouldn't worry about HIV.

HHH, MD
Thanks Doc...I just had one more question so please let me know.  What are the perecentages, hypothetically speaking, on contracting HIV from an infected person if you had unprotected sex?  Has this question ever been determined or its impossible to tell?  Thanks
This has been addressed many times; search the threads and archives for "HIV transmission risk".  For unprotected vaginal intercourse between an infected and uninfected person, it averages 1 chance in 500-1000 for male to female transmission and 1 in 1000-2000 for female to male.  These averages don't necessarily apply in any particular case, depending on information that generally is not known:  viral load in the infected person, how long s/he as been infected, whether or not on treatment, circumcision status of the male partner, presence or absence of other STDs, and other factors.

HHH, MD
Hi Doc, Since this last posting, Ive been just tired and my head congested and the doc diagnosed me with a severe sinus infection.  Ive been on antibiotics for 17 days, then I went on a nasal spray for a week and now Im on a stronger antibiotic with the spray...so I thought I was getting over this cause I started to gain some strength back but Im def not 100% still.  The thing is, I had a series of night sweats 3 days in a row starting from 4/17-4/19...more than a month past encounter (3/12).  I also have enlarged lymph nodes in my groin area. Can that be due to working out again, which I started to do on 4/17 and every day after up till today. With that said and me still being under 100%, Im scared beyond belief about being infected with HIV...my doctor gave me a blood test in the midst of all this and everything was normal as can be...can a regular blood test give indications of an infection or none at all sometimes?  Please let me know as Im losing my mind over here...I also plan on getting a STD/HIV test this week...please let me know your thoughts.  Thanks.
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/STDs/Worried-about-HIV-contraction/show/247680