Q. After having unprotected sex, I developed a few symptoms. Is it due to HIV?

Answered by
Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra
and medically reviewed by Dr. K Shobana
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 05, 2021

Hi doctor,

Unfortunately, I had unprotected sex with a lady. I do not know about her health status. After a month of having unprotected sex, I started to have several symptoms in my body. I started to have body itching, sore throat, pain in lymph nodes, loose motions for a week, small bumps on my face, arms, and back with severe muscle ache. I had night sweats for ten days with extreme fatigue, increased heart rate, and burning sensation in the foot, hand, and fingers. After 35 days, I did some tests. I got a negative result for western blot. HIV RNA quantitative test was undetectable taken after 105 days. I did an HIV duo combo fourth-generation antigen-antibody test. It was negative taken after 130 days. I tested HIV RNA PCR qualitative again. It was also negative. But still, I have some HIV symptoms. Kindly tell me the tests to be done to know my HIV status.



Welcome to

Thank you for the query. The HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) tests are negative repeatedly taken after three months of exposure. It is conclusive. You are free from HIV if there is no further risk exposure. There is no need to do further HIV tests. The symptoms are non-specific. It can occur due to any illness or anxiety. You can consult your physician for examination and management of the symptoms.

Thank you doctor,

Thank you for your reply. Some people told me that RNA PCR test and HIV duo combo tests are less accurate when it is taken after four months. Is this true? Still, I have some symptoms continuously in my body. I have pain in my lymph nodes present under my neck and armpits. I have a lot of anxiety. Do HIV tests are accurate only when it is taken after six months?



Welcome back to

Thank you for the follow-up query. The HIV antibodies tests (combo or duo test) are conclusive when it is taken after 3 months of exposure. You are free from HIV provided there is no further risk exposure. You can consult a psychiatrist for counseling or management of anxiety.

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