Dear Ask The Doctor: Hi i am male 29, last night i had unprotected sex with agirl and i don't know was she HIV free or not, i am worried now, what should i do, plesae suggest
Dear Younis: The initial symptoms of HIV infection can be very unspecific as: fever, fatigue, night sweats, rash, swollen nodes, sore throat, headache, oral ulcers. Many people do not show symptoms after they first get infected with HIV. Others have a flu-like illness within several days to weeks after exposure to the virus. They complain of: fever, headache, tiredness, and swollen nodes in the neck. These symptoms usually disappear within a few weeks. After that, the person feels normal and has no symptoms. This asymptomatic phase often lasts for years. The development of the disease is different among individuals. This state may last from a few months to more than 10 years. Even though the person has no symptoms, he or she is contagious and can pass HIV to others. After the virus enters the body there is a “window period” in which the tests are negative, because you have not produced the antibodies against the virus; this window period is variable from one individual to another, but generally is between 6 weeks to 3 months. In your particular case, if you are not sure about the HIV status of your partner or if you are feeling very stress out and worried, it is strongly recommended that you get tested. There is a test that can be done without using a needle. This test, called the OraQuick Rapid HIV Test for Oral Fluid, gives results in 20 minutes using saliva. This test can detect only HIV type 1 (HIV-1) antibodies. Also, a negative test result does not mean you are immune to HIV, always keep in mind that engaging in risky behaviors (having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person or sharing needles or syringes with an infected person) can transmit HIV. If that test is positive, a second test (Western blot) is done to confirm the result. Please try to avoid the high risk sexual behaviors as: unprotected casual sexual intercourse (especially receptive anal), large number of sexual partners, sex with persons who exchange sex for money and/or drugs.