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Had intercourse. Tested negative for HIV. Having sore throat, headache and stiffness. Any advice?

Sep 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 1416 Questions
I had vaginal intercourse on aug 25. Since Than ive had a full screen of hiv test done at 37 days. And at 32 days i did a home access hiv test from walgreens. Negative. on 37 day i did a oral swap test by oraquick. neg. But i have been bothered by a sore throat untill now. Nodes in my neck are noticable swollen, and a nagging headache that comes and goes for over 6 weeks. Also neck seems a little stiff. Any advice?
Ps. I had a full screen of std tests done at 37 days. Also i was very sick with a respiratory infection lots of coughing extremely tight chest hard to breath about a month prior that a z pak did not help. Stayed sick from July 22-aug 25 ish. It did subside at times just not sure.(so i was sick prior to the intercourse) Thank you
Posted Sat, 24 Nov 2012 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 3 hours later
Thank you for posting a question.
Firstly, if you know that you have been exposed to a risk of getting infected by HIV, it is better to take postexposure prophylaxis. It generally, reduces chance of getting infected in more than 75% cases depending upon the time of starting post exposure prophylaxis.

The tests you told, may not be conclusive within 6 months from the day of getting exposed. Because, these tests mainly search for presence of antibodies against HIV.
For being sure in this time period, DNA PCR test, specific for HIV may be considered. One more test is p24 protein assay. These tests just search for presence of any active / inactive virus in your body. These are most specific. If these tests show negativity, you can rely on them.

As you told previously, you have a history of long standing infection. This sore throat which you are experiencing may be a relapse of the previous infection.

For this, you have to do the followings
1. Take a nutritious diet. Must take some fresh fruits daily.
2. Take a multivitamin drug which also contains micro nutrients.
3. Consult with your treating doctor for ordering a complete blood count. If you are suffering from any bacterial infection, there will be neutrophilic leukocytosis.
4. You should take a more broad spectrum antibiotics like third generation cephalosporin group of drugs. Consult with your treating doctor for prescribing a cefpodoxim like drug.
5. As you told, you have already completed a course of antibiotic, Fine needle Aspiration Cytology from the noticeable lymph nodes may be considered depending upon the number and site of the lymph node, and antibiotic effectiveness.
6. For your headache, you can take non steroidal antiinflammatory drugs like paracetamol.
7. You must take pantoprazole (40mg) group of drug once daily if you take nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs.
8. You may consult with an Ear Nose Throat specialist for further examination and further management.

Hope this information suffices. Let me know, if you have any more question.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had intercourse. Tested negative for HIV. Having sore throat, headache and stiffness. Any advice? 1 hour later
Thank you for your reply doctor. I would also like to ad the female i was with has been very open talking to me about this. She also said she went in for a complete screen of std testing a few days after and every thing came back fine. Another symptom i was having was 3 weeks after i was feeling nauseous when i would eat my stomach would settle and i never vomited. That symptom is gone along with the sore throat for the most part. (sometimes just feel a litte pressure) Every thing ive read through my exposure was somewhat low risk wouldnt you say? Ive also never ran a fever during this time. Although on more than one occasion my temperature has been in the 97.xx. area. Today 97.4 Im probably just being a worry wart but im a little scared. I was planning on taking another HIV test in a week and a half(12 week mark) and everything ive read says this test should be conclusive. What do you think? thank you. I also do work in a high bacterial environment. I work in a roofing warehouse(fiberglass shingles and insulation) and UPS at night loading trucks.(Very dusty) Thank you for your opinion
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 6 hours later
Thank you for writing back.
Firstly, yes. It was a low risk exposure. But you should be more cautious. Because for any other sexually transmitted diseases, there are definite treatment except for HIV.
Secondly, according to Harrison's XXXXXXX medicine, the conclusive result is at 6 months. Because, sometimes, your body may take upto 6 months to produce antibodies. For which reason, DNA PCR and p24 protein assay has much importance than the simple Elisa test done for antibodies.
So, consult with your doctor for ordering this investigation.

The high bacterial area may also predispose to infection like sore throat. You must do a chest XRay for excluding any occupational hazard.

If you have your answers, then close this discussion.

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