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Hello, I had unprotected sex with a sexual worker in a massage parlour and about 4/5 days afterwards I began to have slight muscle and joint pain in my legs and arms, nothing severe. A few days after that, I had a sore, stiff neck and sore lower back. The sore neck and back went almost completely away in 3 days and the sore joint and muscle pain went away about 5 days after experiencing them. I have been experiencing slight throat irritation, its not sore, but it feels like something is stuck when I swallow. Its not hard to swallow, but it feels like something is in the back of my throat when I do. I also have one small lump on my upper neck located around and behind the ear. I had the unprotected sex 10 days ago as of this post and this has all happened within this time. Once again, slightly sore muscles/joints 4/5 days after sex, disappearing 5 days after they appeared. Stiff neck and lower back a 5/6 days afterwards and disappearing 3 days after it started. A small lump about a week after sex and minor throat irritation 5 days after sex, not a sore throat though. Could this be signs of HIV seroconversion?

Thank you for your question.

It is unlikely that the symptoms you have described are related to HIV seroconversion.  Symptoms related to an HIV infection usually do not occur until 2-4 weeks after exposure. It takes this long for the virus to multiply enough for the body to recognize it and to start producing antibodies. It is at this point that symptoms would occur.

Because you had unprotected sex it is recommended that you test for HIV as well as other STIs as this is the only way to know for sure if you were exposed. You can check out our "STIs at a glance" table on our Types of STIs page to know when would be the best time to test.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

This answer was posted on April 30, 2014

Community comments

Health Nurse says:

Thank you for your comment.

The symptoms you describe can be related to many things, including colds or even anxiety, and may not be related to your recent sexual encounter. That said, it is recommended that people who are sexually active be screened for STIs every 6-12 months even if you are not having symptoms.  If you reside in B.C., Canada, have a look at our Clinic Finder to locate a sexual health clinic in your area.

For more information on a variety of sexually transmitted infections please visit STIs at a Glance or for info about transmission risk check out Know your Chances.

Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.
Health Nurse

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