HIV link to reactive arthritis

JP29 Member Posts: 2

I'm new to this site, so apologies if this is not the best place to post about this topic but i'm pretty worried tbh

Came into contact with a high risk (HIV) person recently in more ways than I would have preferred had I known more about their sexual history. Anyway to cut a long story short, I am now suffering badly with joint pains and lower back discomfort - the first symptom (badly aching left ankle) occurred within a day or two after exposure to her.

I'm getting screened and tested at the mo from the sexual health clinic, still awaiting results for chlamydia and ghonnorea which I've read somewhere can cause reactive athritis (something my docs have already admitted they are concerned that I have) and I also tested positive for a uti which apparently also may cause reactive arthritis. I've never had these severe joint problems before without knowing what caused them - Ie sport injury or other knock etc - I know they are related to my unfortunate experience with this highly-likely infected (with allsorts) "person" I stupidly slept with recently - I'm not asking for advice on how to avoid such dangers in future - this whole experience has more than taught me that, but I am very scared that a link between reactive arthritis and HIV seems to exist which means I could be at risk of having both!

Despite arthritis sounding like a horrible pain to endure I am obviously very worried I may have caught HIV or will develop the disease as a result of my stupid actions recently.

Does anyone know what the likelihood is that my reactive athritis is a result of being infected with HIV? I appreciate other risk factors should be taken into consideration and noone can conduct a scientific or robust diagnosis online based on what I've written here, but at least knowing roughly how likely the two are linked would really help me to deal with this psychologically until I receive my HIV test results in a few months time (I started pep within the 72hrs post exposure period after 56hrs roughly but stopped temporarily the following day under the advice from a health worker, but then elected to restart the day after having missed a dose and a half - I have since taken them religiously every single dose - I am half way through the 28 day course)

I would be very grateful if anyone has a rough idea how likely (given the fact I have very strong suspicions the person I slept with unprotected is HIV+) my reactive arthritis is a result of HIV and not just the uti they've found so far - or even just a rough percent of cases of reactive arthritis which are due to HIV also - any advice or info would be greatly appreciated so I can rationalise things a bit better in my own mind.

I know once I have all the HIV tests in a few months after the pep has cleared from my system I will know for sure, but the wait is terrible and I'd much rather put my mind either at ease if the chances or the two conditions being linked are very low or start to come to terms with a possible realisation that my life may have to adapt rather drastically in the distant future.

Thanks for reading


Ps is this something the helpline would be able to answer, if so maybe I should give them a call and ask??


  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,340
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi JP29

    I realise what an anxious time this is for you. I would love to put your mind at rest however we do not have any information on HIV in connection to reactive arthritis as it is simply too medical for us. You may want to contact NHS direct but I suspect they will probably recommend you wait until the test results come through as no one would want to play guessing games with you on this one. If you would just like to have someone to talk things through with, feel free to give us a call.

    Very best wishes

  • TheOnlyKey
    TheOnlyKey Member Posts: 24
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You probably have your results by now and are a lot further down the line then your last comment. But in a nut shell H.I.V is linked with Reactive arthritis but its very unlikely. The most common STI that triggers Reactive arthritis is Chlamydia. 1 in 100 people with urethra infections of some kind develop arthritis but most clear with in 3-6 months and tend not to bother them very much through life. 1 in 3 of them people will have it for a lot longer can become Chronic. Information that is not wide spread enough in my opinion.

    This reply may be to late for you but may help others looking on this Forum.

    All the best