HIV Infection Question (NSFW)

I’m a guy. Last week I was having sex with another guy. I was wearing a condom (and hopefully, without being to graphic), I was the top. The condom broke. I was a bit drunk, but I think I noticed it fairly quickly and pulled out. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I had planned to stop having sex and go for an HIV test in 6 weeks.

Cut to yesterday, and I wake up with a really bad sore throat, and the glands in my throat were swollen. I didn’t have a fever, aches, or chills. I did sweat a lot when I was asleep, but I sweat a lot to begin with, and that happens from time to time, so I’m not sure if that’s a symptom. I assumed it was a food allergy, and last night I took some allergy medication. When I woke up, my throat was a lot better, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine in the next day or so.

But then I started to think that this was not a typical food allergy reaction that I usually have. Usually, I just get itchy, and my throat scratchy. I’ve never had a really bad sore throat like this from food.

So, then I remembered that if you are infected with HIV, you usually get flu or mono-like symptoms a week later. Now, I’m freaking out.

So, here are my questions:

  1. What is the typical type of flu/mono symptoms that happen after HIV infection? I had always heard that you get something like the flu so bad that you can’t get out of bed, but now I’m reading online that my symptoms fall within the range.

  2. If I did get this type of response to an HIV infection, will a blood test show positive for HIV already? That is, if I go to get a blood test next week, and it comes back negative, can I rule out today’s sore throat as an HIV symptom? I would still go back in 6 weeks and 6 months to make sure.

Anyway, thanks for your help. As for safe sex, I always use a condom, and I do know how to properly use a condom. I can’t figure out how this one broke.

IANAD so I won’t pretend to be but according to this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiv#Transmission

Your chances of HIV infection from insertive anal sex seems to be 6.5 per 10,000 exposures so odds are you are not infected, though if you engage in risky behavior a lot you could indeed have it from an infection you got years before. Get tested and good luck.

Also aren’t infected people usually symptom free for years?

No, your own cite refers to the mono or flu like symptoms that arrive 2-4 weeks post infection and last 1-4 weeks. Most people just think it’s the flu

Wikipedia has a decent brief summary of the acute manifestations of HIV. Most people have a flu-like illness or just general malaise, and some have no symptoms.

Whether an HIV test would be positive a week into an infection depends on the method of testing. The usual screening test for HIV detects antibodies against the virus; that would be unlikely to be positive. However, HIV PCR (looking for the viral genome) or testing of the viral load would be more likely to be positive in an early infection.

True, when/if you go to a doctor be sure to explain the specific situation so they specifically order NAT testing of your blood, it’s often much more expensive though and I’m unsure of the insurance coverage. To the OP, when was the last time you were tested for HIV before this?

If I am not mistaken, an initial infection of herpes also can appear to be a really bad flu in some people.

This might sound really silly, but I feel compelled to point out that a cold virus can also, and much more commonly, cause a sore throat. Absolutely, get checked out, but the odds are really in your favor, and both HIV and herpes are pretty unlikely.

If you were the “bottom”, it would be a different story, of course. Well, kind of. The odds of a cold would be the same, but the odds of HIV infection would be much greater. Still not greater than the odds of a cold, of course.

Just try to keep calm and take care of yourself until you know more. Whether it’s a cold or something else, stress makes almost all infections hit you harder.

Are the rapid HIV tests available in your area?

As WhyNot pointed out, other illnesses present with flu-like symptoms (including colds, other STDs, etc.). So, you may have come down with something, but there’s no need to freak yourself out completely. Good to get checked out thoroughly, though.

Colloquially speaking, the “rapid HIV” tests are those used on whole blood and test for the HIV antibodies. The “rapid” nature of them is the simplicity of the testing procedure, which requires little QC/QA and a quick turn around time, and may soon be waived by the CLIA laws. If you’re looking for early detection, NAT testing is the way to go.

The reason I’ve asked BrightNShiny’s testing history because I think the best indicator of whether his recent symptoms could even remorely be HIV related seem to be a recent (in the past 3 years) negative HIV test, and as he indicated, safe sexual activity. Everyone who wanders into a dangerous activity is right to be worried, but in my limited experience it usually turns into time wasted worrying.

The “rapid” HIV test you’re talking about is a very helpful one though if used in the right circumstance. In the case of accidental needle sticks the rapid HIV test (which has a turn around time of almost <1 hour) can be performed on the patient (if consent is granted) for the sake of the nurse/phlebotomist/doctor who was accidentally stuck by the needle. That was they can begin anti-viral therapy sooner to prevent infection.

BrightNShiny, still thinking of you. I really hope all this worry is for nothing.

My last HIV test was 2 years ago–it was negative.

You’re probably right, I’m probably overreacting. It’s just that some of the things that the other guy said that night, in retrospect, make me think he usually engages in risky behavior.

Yes, I believe so. I plan to get tested next week. I just didn’t have time this week.

I don’t think I’ll go through my insurance to do the testing. I’m under a COBRA plan until I start my new job. Although they’re not allowed to drop coverage or raise my rates if I test positive, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories.

You’ve tested negative recently, and you’ve practiced safe sex in the mean time. I am not a doctor, and I am not the one testing you, but in my experience you should be fine.

Once again, I’m hoping you test negative, and wishing that things are fine. I had my heterosexual best friend in recent months go though an anxiety filled week where he was tested because he wanted to move on to unprotected sex (getting married). He really hasn’t been irresponsible, but just nervous at taking the next step. Sex seems paranoid these days, and reasonably so.

This is true. However, other than the malaise and fever, the symptoms tend to appear below the waist. (Um, that is, for a genital infection.) I don’t believe a sore throat is one of the symptoms.