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    Encouragement for those who are worried
    HowDidI posted:
    I gained a lot of reassurance reading this board over the last week and I just wanted to post my own experience to hopefully ease the minds of other people who, like me, found this place out of fear over symptoms they were experiencing.

    I live a very promiscuous heterosexual lifestyle. I am normally careful in my practices but 7 weeks ago I had unprotected vaginal and anal sex with a woman whom I also know to be rather promiscuous. She claims to be tested and clean, but I've never seen test results.

    Three weeks after our encounter I developed a sore throat, cough, and sinus congestion. I thought nothing of it at first- figured it was just a summer cold, but it persisted with no improvement for two weeks and I began to wonder. At the beginning of the third week of the cold I had restless sleep due to night sweats and awoke experiencing extreme lethargy and loss of appetite- and found my tonsils swollen and splotchy with white spots. This is when I started internet searching for symptoms and when I read the common symptoms of Acute HIV Infection my blood ran cold. I went to a doctor that day, and he was confident I had something bacterial, so prescribed antibiotics. Within two days my symptoms were gone, but I could not kick the feeling that I had become infected with HIV, purely based on the timing of my "cold" and the specific symptoms I experienced.

    I stopped having sex with anyone, but became extremely worried that I might have infected my two partners with whom I do normally have unprotected sex, as your ability to give HIV to others is supposedly significantly greater during the acute infection period.

    I immediately had an OraQuick antibody test (negative), but wasn't satisfied with that, so I got an HIV DNA test as well. $300 and several panic-filled days later I now have conclusive proof that I'm not infected.

    What did I really have? I'm guessing it started out with a (viral) cold and then I developed some kind of bacterial infection. I also experienced a severe over-active imagination.

    I'm posting this just as further evidence that you can have all the symptoms of early HIV infection but still have something completely benign. DO get tested if you suspect infection, even if it's unlikely, but try to remember that HIV is kind of difficult to get.
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    Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
    This is a GREAT post and, I hope, will be very helpful to others here.
    We never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace. ~Peggy Tabor Millin

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