HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

still in limbo after 5 years


here is my (30y, m) story, which happened in Western Europe

I always used to be a healthy person.

* But, in spring 2002, in alcohol-induced state of recklessness, exposed myself to grave STD risk. Partially unprotected intercourse, possibly menstruational blood involved. I remember having dry blood on my lips next day.

* next morning the girl told me out of the blue that she had a history of hard drug abuse, denied IV use. Anyway, she also lamented about constant tiredness, said she will die soon, etc. Her roommate suggested she did IV drugs. But she insisted she was HIV negative, but i never saw a test.

* 2 weeks later, lymph node start swelling, i come down with flu like symptoms, night sweats. Bingo. From that on i knew i was infected with something, most likely HIV.

* However, i tested consistently negative on HIV 1/2 antibody tests, combined p24 tests, HIV1/2 PCR tests (by RNA and DNA), had a viral culture with tests for retrovial transcripate activity (PERT), and some more. All negative! (One quantitative ultrasensitive p24 test was at 2.30, with detection border being 2.31, hence the result said 'negative')
The last test HIV 1/2 test was done spring 2007, negative.

Also tested for Hepatitis A,B,C,D, especially B and C, both via antigen, antibody and PCR. All negative.

All other STDs: negative, too.

So, i shall be happy, right?

The catch:

- i still have swolen lymph nodes, especially in my arms. in 2002 doc's dismissed them, but now in 2007, they agree to take a look. i am currently waiting for an appointment for lymph node biopsy. (other reasons, like Cat Scratch disease, Cancer, rheuma, etc. have been ruled out by blood tests). Probably

- i still suffer from fatigue, but i admit that some of it might be psychosomatic (because, when i take [prescribed] tranquilizer to calm me a bit, i feel better in general)

- anyway, i wanted to believe the tests, and to confirm my negative tests via CD4, expected to see something around 800-1100, but instead i got this:

  31.07.02 CD4 499, CD4% 33, CD4:CD8 1.4
  28.08.02 CD4 592, CD4% --, CD4:CD8 1.3
  15.10.02 CD4 472, CD4% 45, CD4:CD8 1.6
  31.01.03 CD4 810, CD4% 41, CD4:CD8 1.39
  08.02.07 CD4 604, CD4% --, CD4:CD8 1.28

- most doctors tell me i do not HIV, but i am very skeptikal, because to me, it appears there are too many "coincidences". (lymph nodes, fatigue, rather low CD4)

- i have trouble (to say the least) to commit into a relationship with a woman again. i tell of course my history, but the negative tests may give a false feeling of security, especially to my gf, but ultimately it would be me who would be guilty of endangering an innocent girl, because i feel first hand that i am not feeling right.

if anybody has some hints or insight, please let me know

in particular what would you feel if a guy with my histroy, would for instance date your sister?? would you be worried ?

and yes, i will start getting therapy (it will be second try). But undersand that my painful nodes  (diagnosed micro-lymphadenopathy) and low-ish lymphocytes are not mentally induced :-(



You have ruled hiv out of the picture, conclusively. You do not have hiv. Your CD4s are in the normal range. Whatever is going on with you, it is not hiv.

Keep working with your doctor to get to the bottom of what is going on. You do not have hiv.


thanks Ann,

for your assessment,

yea, i will try to forget about hiv. i will see what the biospy yields...
if it's not suggestive of infection, then i will try to put it to rest alltogether, but if they tell me, yea you have SOME kind of infection, then i REALLY want to know.


Even if they tell you that you have an infection, it is unrelated to HIV.


CD4 counts fluctuate in HIV negative people.  Yours are fine.  You've conclusively tested negative (several times) for HIV.  You say you are "skeptical", maybe you don't understand, the tests don't lie and they don't "miss" - if you were infected with HIV you would have a positive test result.  Don't take this negatively but it doesn't matter what you think, you are not a medical professional. Medical science has repeatedly told you, you don't have HIV and you need to accept that. 

Also I don't believe "most doctors tell you, you don't have HIV." All doctors looking at your tests would tell you that you do not have HIV.

Now stop wasting your mental effort, time and money worrying about HIV. I agree you may have a real medical problem in need of treatment, but the problem is not HIV. Hopefully you and your doctors can find the real problem and get it treated!

Good luck!


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