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Welcome to the POZ/AIDSmeds Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

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Recent Posts

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I Just Tested Poz / Re: First Post
« Last post by Jeff G on Today at 11:43:44 AM »
People can offer support but you know only you and your doctor can fully address what to make of your symptoms . We all learn sooner or later when we are living with HIV not everything is HIV related or med related .
Off Topic Forum / Re: Louisiana Sodomy Arrests
« Last post by Theyer on Today at 11:42:32 AM »
Louisiana Sodomy Arrests ----------In this day and age should only make any sense as the name of a Popular Music Combo.
Am I Infected? / How Sure Can I Be?
« Last post by anonymousstudent on Today at 11:41:47 AM »
So about 5 weeks ago, I had my first unprotected sex encounter. I had anal sex with another man, in which I was the top (I am circumcised), for about 4-5 minutes. Neither of us discussed whether we were neg or poz, but I knew for a fact I was neg before that since I had never had unprotected anal. After that, the next 4 weeks were hell.

I was extremely anxious, and felt constant doom, expecting myself to definitely have contracted HIV from that encounter. I looked for every symptom of ARS that I found online, but nothing really showed up. Aside from a few random red dots on my arm and wrist (which I hope were caused by my stress/anxiety), I had no fever, sore throat, fatigue, aches, full blown rash...etc.

Exactly 31 days after the encounter, I called my doctor, and asked if there were tests I could take to give me a good enough answer to quell my anxiety. So he gave me a RNA test, an antibody test, and a DNA test.

Next day, he called me to tell me that my RNA test detected no virus, and my antibody test was negative. My DNA test has yet to come back to him (took it wednesday, it is saturday)

My questions are:

1. How accurate is the RNA test? I have heard that it is only accurate up to about 4 weeks after infection (due to antibodies attacking the virus and making levels in the undetectable level). I have also heard that from two weeks on, it just becomes more and more accurate. So I don't know which to assume.

2. Is the combination of the negative RNA as well as negative antibody test an accurate result? I read that the only reason RNA would become undetectable would be due to high levels of antibodies killing off the virus. In this case, would my test have detected antibodies?

3. Should I be worried about the DNA test not arriving back to him? I am worried that it might have showed up positive and they are keeping it at the lab for further tests.

All in all, should I expect myself to be negative? I am literally in agony this anxiety is so bad. I would appreciate any help!!!
Off Topic Forum / Re: Mom in Hospital - Heart Issues, Pneumonia, MRSA
« Last post by Theyer on Today at 11:39:03 AM »
Rest assured Phil that the hopes for you and your Mothers health continue with in our community. Thanks for the regular updates , and hears to your Mama,s growing health.
I Just Tested Poz / Re: First Post
« Last post by tryingtostay on Today at 11:35:57 AM »
All three of those symptoms are side effects of Zoloft. 

It's hard talking to the person I most trusted with my condition.  I mentioned the article posted above.  There is a strong sense of denial that I keep confronting with that person.  I guess there really is no other approach they can take because there simply is nothing else they person can do about my condition.  And given all the numbers I have it does seem odd about my acute symptoms. 
Living With HIV / Re: April Birthdays!
« Last post by Jeff G on Today at 11:32:58 AM »
Happy Birthday to all the April baby's . Henry ... you have been a true friend and I wish you and very Happy Birthday .
Thanks all for continued thoughts, prayers, supportive words -

Mom is getting dialysis right now
We are still waiting for her stomach to "wake up" and allow her to eat and tolerate food --- Right now she is not eating much at all - because the stomach is 'sleeping' and isn't sending message to the brain that she is hungry and in need of food...

Taking things a day at a time - sometimes a few hours at a time...

Living With HIV / Re: April Birthdays!
« Last post by mitch777 on Today at 11:09:26 AM »
Happy Birthday Buckmark, asaint, and lincoln6echo!  :)

Henry,  You are such a sweetheart with a generous soul. Hope you have a wonderful day!  :) 
Doctors are supposed to know the available treatments, their various efficacies, and the financial contexts for each. 

In the US and in Switzerland I do discuss costs of treatment.  When my elderly relatives have been in terminal illness stage, cost of treatment was always something discussed.  I don't see anything new here. 

Of course its good if more doctors learn more about costs and also if more patients are willing to frankly discuss affordability.  But, as I said, I had such conversations back in the 80's (when I had the fattest most generous health coverage I will ever have, but still sometimes couldn't figure out how to pay for recommended treatments. Or conversely when i was sometimes surprised to find that I was covered for things I never imagined I could afford.) 
Living With HIV / Re: Developing resistance to meds as an UD
« Last post by bocker3 on Today at 10:56:16 AM »
You know what else can impact your CD4s??  STRESS!!

Don't go looking for problems - you have a doctor interpreting your lab results and, I assume, assessing trends in them.  If you are finding things to worry about in places where others are not worrying, it may be time to stop looking so hard.  I know the internet is a great place to learn things -- it is also a terrible curse because people see (and often focus on) the worst case scenarios when it comes to their health.

All lab results can fluctuate - some more than others and in some people more than in others.  Add in the occasional issue with specimen handling and/or laboratory error and you get even more potential fluctuations.  This is why the labs are repeated at set intervals.  Rarely is a single value of much diagnostic significance -- one may lead to a repeat or additional tests, but rarely does a single value, in routine tests, result in anything definitive.

As pittman pointed out - you are now at a point where your UD VL is the key to how your treatment is going.  BTW - you WILL likely have a VL Blip at some point -- try not to let it set you on a path of doom and gloom.

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