Probably get this a lot on here, but I'm starting to panic about possible HIV symptoms. Had unprotected sex 4 1/2 weeks ago with a male (I'm female) he is of Jamacian descent if makes any difference. Just had a bad feeling about him afterwards, no reason, just felt like he wasn't trustworthy and so my mind is on overload.
A couple days after I developed a cold - no cough, sore throat or fever. However, it's since then I've had the following:
- mild sore throat for past 2 weeks (not enough to cough, just aware it's there)
- can feel small lumps in groin that I've thought could be lymph nodes (felt them after Googling symptoms - silly - so they may always be there but I've never checked before)
- sore and aching neck and shoulders for past 2 weeks
- side of necks felt swollen and as though there was pressure last week
No rash that I'm aware of, no fever that I'm aware of. My other thoughts, could this be symptoms of anxiety? The neck aching was really bad last week which I understand could be this. Not sure if it's worth pointing out I am currently on my period, perhaps this is related to the nodes - I don't know.
I'm planning on going to the clinic for a full STI test this week, which will be 5 weeks after having sex with him. Is this long enough to get a truthful result?
The checkup is a good idea. No, it isn't long enough for a reliable result.
Procedures vary depending upon the facility.
For example, we do an initial test to determine if you have the virus. We test again at 30, 60, and 90 days.
A negative test at 60 days is considered valid. We do follow-up at 90 days to confirm.
The window period depends on the type of test
Antibody tests or "Rapid" tests - 3 months
Antigen tests or RNA tests - These are more expensive comparing to rapid tests, so many times they are not offered and they can be done as soon as 1 week after infection.
PCR tests - 2-3 weeks after infection.
Oraqucik for example (home test) - 3-6 months.
So, 5 weeks from an intercourse - either RNA or PCR for a valid result. In hospitals - as medic Dan said they can provide a reliable result at 90 days ... I mean you can do a test at 5 weeks, but the results won't be reliable at least not 100%. Only the RNA or PCR will work in your case, but I am sure you'll have to ask (and pay) for them specifically.
Good luck hon!
We're keeping fingers crossed for you!