HIV Transmission and Testing > Am I Infected?

IV drug use and my fears....

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skootlebee:
Hi everyone....I'm here because I'm worried about my health. Here's a little background and a long story made short. My ex boyfriend and I stopped seeing each other about 2 months ago. During our relationship I learned he was a heroin addict and his preference was to mainline the drug. He informed me that he had been using for years and he couldn't hide it from me anymore. Unfortunately I ended up getting mixed up in it as well. We did share needles and on top of that we were having unprotected sex. I am now clean and ashamed of my behavior, but for some reason the fear of contracting any kind of disease just wasn't there....until about 2 weeks ago when I started feeling strange. It started out with a painful throat. It didn't really hurt unless I swallowed and I chalked that up to possibely a cold. Then the pain in my neck started. It was so severe that I had migrains and lightheadedness daily for a week. I've never had a migrain in my life. I also found myself waking up drenched with sweat which I've also never experienced. And now I am fighting off sores on the bottom of my tongue and bruising on my arms and legs. Even while all this was going on I still didn't know what my symptoms might be from until I did some research a few days ago because they weren't going away. I'm feeling a little better except for the sores. I am not scared out of my mind but I am concerned. I don't know who else my ex has shared needles with. Also he was very secretive. When I found out he was an addict he told me he was at the hospital numerous times to be tested and make sure he didn't "have" something. I took him to the emergency room a few months ago. He had been there before in the past but when they asked his name he gave them a fake name and social. I'm now wondering if they had his status in his file and he was afraid I would find out. I have not spoken to him and he would not tell me if he did know. I am planning on getting tested and trying to find a clinic in my area. Thankyou for listening. I just wanted to share my concerns with others that may be in my shoes or have been before.

Andy Velez:
Skoot, forget about your ex-bf as a source of information about his HIV status or yours.

You're the one who has to take care of yourself. You had unprotected intercourse with him over an extended period as well as shared needles. So the bottom line is that you need to get tested. You should do that at 13 weeks after the most recent unprotected intercourse. And since sharing needles was involved, just as a precaution you ought to re-test at 6 months to confirm what will hopefully be your initial negative result.

None of the physical symptoms you have mentioned are in any way HIV specific. If they continue you should discuss them with your doctor. Neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV test taken at the appropriate time will give you a reliable result.

In terms of the future you need to keep in mind that anytime you have vaginal or anal intercourse the guy needs to be wearing a condom. It doesn't matter how great he looks or what you think you know about his history. A condom is a must everytime. Period.

Good luck with your test and keep us posted on how it goes.

Cheers,   

ubotts:
Andy is right.just worry about yourself...My ex was a drug user and didnt tell me of the hiv status that had been going on for 2 yrs..I was offered a hiv test and they offered money, so i took the test..Not ever
thinking I was hiv..........Lo and behold, i tested positive..My ex is dead and i was left with this gift bestowed
on me by my ex......That $#&%&%#.....Please dont share needles and dont trust anyone who says there
not hiv...You need proof before you have any sexual contact......I hope all goes well for you..Concerned UBotts

Ann:
Skoot,

You would also be prudent to test for hepatitis C, as it is much more prevalent in the intravenous drug using community and it's also much easier to transmit when sharing drug injecting equipment in general. While hiv can only be transmitted during injecting when the needle is used directly after the positive person, hep C can be transmitted by also using the same water source, filters or any surface that has gotten some blood on it. Hep C is much more infectious and much more robust than hiv could ever hope to be.

Symptoms or even the lack of symptoms will tell you nothing about your hiv or hep C status. Only testing will reliably reveal your status.

Ann

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