Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > HIV and AIDS Forum

Determining risk of HIV infection

User Profile
In the past 8 months since my risk incident I have had pronounced physical issues such as weight loss, abdominal pains, night sweats, muscle aches, headaches. I actually got shingles two months ago which my wife also got about 6 weeks after me. I currently have swollen glands in my neck, jaw area as well as a two large white spots on my tonsils that do not respond to antibiotics after almost two weeks. My neck collarbone area hurt and my throat is sore constantly. The headaches are constant and quite debilitating. I feel nauseated and have no energy at all. I believe I have HIV but have tested negative up to the 32 week mark. My question is two fold, 1. Have you ever heard of, or is it possible for someone to take more than 32 weeks to test positive? 2. How can I get some other test other than antibody test performed as my family doctor says my negative test is conclusive? I am frustrated, feeling worse as time goes by and looking for advice, thanks.

Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied April 22nd, 2010
HIV and AIDS Answer A11411
Hi and welcome to the forum! I am glad that I can help you.

You want to know whether you are at risk of developing HIV.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), a condition in humans in which the immune system begins to fail, leading to life-threatening opportunistic infections. HIV infection has basically four stages: incubation period, acute infection, latency stage and AIDS. The initial incubation period upon infection is asymptomatic. It usually lasts between two and four weeks. The second stage lasts an average of 28 days. It is characterized with symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, rash, muscle pain, malaise, mouth and esophageal sores. The latency stage shows few or no symptoms. It can last anywhere from two weeks to twenty years and beyond.

Given the data that you described, a negative HIV diagnostic test after 32 weeks (8 months) after a suspicious event, it is not likely that the symptoms that you experience are caused by an HIV infection. The shingles that you experienced may appear due to temporary weakening of the immune system, that can appear due to chronic exhaustion, poor diet, or diet in favor of losing weight, infective disease such as flu, etc. The pharyngeal infection that you experience may be a result of secondary bacterial superinfection also as a result of the weakened immune system. You may consider seeing an infectologist for further advice and information about diagnosis of the symptoms that you experience.

Please keep in mind that I provide medical information only. I am not able to diagnose medical conditions online. Please contact your doctor for further advice and information about diagnosis and treatment options.

Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Do you know what causes HIV? Get started by learning the facts on HIV and AIDS here....
Do you know what puts you at high risk of HIV? Debunk the myths and get the facts of HIV risk factors here....
Can you identify early HIV symptoms. Learn what to look for and when to seek medical help as we review symptoms of HIV here....
DISCLAIMER: "Ask a Doctor" questions are answered by certified physicians and other medical professionals. For more information about experts participating in the "Ask a Doctor" Network, please visit our medical experts page. You may also visit our HIV and AIDS , for moderated patient to patient support and information.

The information provided on eHealth Forum is designed to improve, not replace, the relationship between a patient and his/her own physician. Personal consultation(s) with a qualified medical professional is the proper means for diagnosing any medical condition.