There is no need for experts to answer to this question, I am just posting my experience to reassure some of the worried wells during this holiday period.
I, like many, had an unprotected insertive oral sex experience with a high risk partner (CSW from a country with high HIV prevalence).
I did my research before the experience and I felt pretty confident about receiving oral sex, as I read pretty much everywhere (including here) that it is not a risk for HIV transmission.
And of course a few days after the event I literally had every single symptom you can find online. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Yet I tested negative after 7 months.
I am a guy in my 30's who is extremely fit (two-sports athlete in college and doing weight-lifting 3 times a week now) and never had any health issue. But here is what I experienced:
- 10 days after the event I had flu-like symptoms for 3 days. This was not like a low grade fever or a light malaise; it was 102 fever and chills, I was literally shaking in bed, unable to even stand up to go to the bathroom
- swollen lymph nodes in my groin
- very painful sore throat and swollen throat, to the point that when I went to my doctor to get checked he asked if I still had my tonsils because of how much the throat was swollen
- Night sweats for about a week
- Unexplained skin rash on my groin
- Hot flashes and feeling of burning skin
All these symptoms started around day 10 and lasted for about 2 weeks - save for the fever that lasted only 3 days.
I still didn't think it was ARS, after all there is no way you can get HIV from insertive fellation.
However, 5 months after the exposure I developed oral thrush (diagnosed by a dentist and very painful, my entire tongue was burning), tinnitus (ringing in my ears), tiny mouth sores inside my cheeks and non-stop muscle twitching.
All these symptoms were pointing to HIV and after 2 months of them not subsiding I decided to get tested, despite all the online reassurances.
In my mind it was literally impossible to have all these symptoms (THAT I NEVER HAD BEFORE) and test negative.
And yet here I am, 7 months after that oral sex exposure, which is my last sexual exposure so far, with my NEGATIVE result.
I am posting this as a reassurance for people who are worried about symptoms and perhaps scared to get tested: trust the advice that is given online, and learn from my experience.
Symptoms mean nothing. I had literally all the textbook symptoms yet I was never exposed to HIV and indeed I am negative.
If you are feeling worried or concerned read my list above: there is no way you can even worse symptoms than me, but if you did not have an exposure you will test negative. It's as simple as that.
I wish everyone happy holidays.