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Author Topic: Do I need to test for HIV?  (Read 5639 times)

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Offline Dave

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Do I need to test for HIV?
« on: August 15, 2007, 12:25:07 PM »
First of all I would like to congrat for your wonderful job.

I'm a male and in the past I often had sexual encounters with non-monogamous females.
I have always used condoms during my sexual activities and sometimes I even refused vaginal intercourse because I was a bit suspicious of the partner. It seems they were used to have unsafe sex with others.

I'm a bit paranoid regarding this issue but safety is not a joke!

I'm not married and I haven't had a girlfriend so far. Five or six years ago I was used to date with escorts. I have always used condoms with them and practiced safe sex.

Since then I decided to make a stop and I entered in a totally forced sexual abstinence.
I'm now very unhappy and I'm often nervous or depressed. I don't know if it is due only for the lack of sex in my daily life or whatever but I think that sex plays a good role in my discontent.

I'm planning to date with an escort but I'm concerned with the following:
She told me she sometimes practice fellatio without a condom. Maybe I'm a bit exaggerated but for me this behavior is unsafe for the following STDs:

-Chlamydia.
-Gonohrrea.
-NGU.
-Herpes.
-Syphilis.

I usually like to get fellatio. I like to practice mutual masturbation, vaginal fingering and, if I get a good feeling from my partner, vaginal intercourse too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My questions:

-Does the condom constitutes an effective means of prevention against these STDs?

-Are these STDs so frequent in female sex workers practicing fellatio without a condom?

-Does it count she is a sex worker? I was thinking the number of encounters have something to do with the risk. Is it true or not?

-What do you suggest me? Should I feel myself safe if I decide to have sex with her?

Thank you a lot for your support and patience.
-----
Dave

P.S.I'm sorry for my english but this is not my native language.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2007, 12:31:03 PM »
Seek the proper information that you requested from an STD website or clinic. This is an HIV assessment website forum.

Offline Dave

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2007, 12:47:51 PM »
Hi RapiRod,
Thank you for your quick response.
I read the STDs Chart at the following URL www.dph.sf.ca.us/sfcityclinic/stdbasics/stdchart.asp

Anyway I'm not totally satisfied with the infos. In particulary, in the whole website there are no proper informations about the way Syphilis is trasmitted.

Does it have to be clearly visible over the skin to be contagious? In other websites I visited they claims it doesn't need to be so and that it is transmittable even during the latent phase. Is it the same for Herpes?

Could you point me to a good web resource that is able to shed some light on the subject?

Thank you again and sorry for making my questions in the wrong place.

--
Dave :)

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2007, 01:18:58 PM »
This is a women's focused site regarding STDs, but you may find the general information will answer some of your questions:

http://www.4women.gov/FAQ/stdsgen.htm

Have you talked with your doctor about this subject and your concerns?

Andy Velez

Offline Dave

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2007, 01:51:02 PM »
Thank you very much Andy.
I never talked to my doctor because he is too much catholic. I respect all forms of religions but most of the time it's very difficult to speak about sexual issues to doctors who have a very conservative vision:
I mean the ones who profess a monogamous relationships and only abstinence for the non married people.

Many years ago I was very concerned with HIV and I talked to my doctor. I told him about my concern and that I have had a sexual relationship with a sex worker.

He was only able to tell me that I did a mistake and that it was not the case to expose myself to such an high risk. He didn't alleviate my panic and my discomfort. Many years have passed since then and if I recall to mind such event I think of him has an untouchy person. I have informed him I had used a condom and there were no reasons to be so dramatic.

Maybe I have to speak about these kind of issues with a sexuologist. I think it will be more comprehensive with me than my doctor.

Thanks again for your precious help.  :)

--
Dave

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2007, 01:53:16 PM »
Dave, if you cannot speak openly with your doctor about any health issues you may have, either now or in the future, then I suggest you get yourself another doctor. The one you have now may be very good, but you should be able to have a very open working partnership to get the best healthcare.

That's my unsolicited opinion on that.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2007, 02:03:34 PM »
Dave,

The Drama Down Under is a good site as well. It's geared toward Australian gay men, but the information is the same no matter what your location or sexuality.

As regards not being able to talk to your doctor about sexual matters, most communities have sexual health clinics. Check your local phone book or ring your local hospital and ask for a recommendation.

While you're here, check out the three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use them with confidence.

Ann


« Last Edit: August 15, 2007, 02:05:29 PM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dave

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2007, 02:26:29 PM »
Thank you Ann and thanks to all of you. You are all very nice and friendly.

Ann, I will check if in my local community there is a sexual health clinic. I know of a toll free phone service which offers support for AIDS prevention, maybe they will be able to give me the informations I need.

You give me a lot of informations and support . Now it's my job to do the rest here in my country. *I'm based in Italy*

I will read about condom and lube as soon as possible.
I visit the POZ website very often. I like it a lot, it's full of interesting articles. Keep up the good work!


cheers  :)
--
Dave

Offline Ann

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Re: Not only concerned for HIV!
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2007, 02:32:48 PM »
You're welcome Dave, and remember, keep using condoms, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid not only hiv, but many other STIs as well. It really is that simple!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dave

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Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2008, 07:59:51 AM »
Hi all at Poz,

Sometimes I feel myself worried about an encounter i had in the past with a sex worker.
I don't even remember in which year I had this sexual encounter. Maybe 2000 or 2002.

Anyway I'm worring about a possible exposure to HIV.
I had a protected vaginal intercourse with her sitting on top of me (I'm a guy). After ejaculation she remains over me in the same body position and my phallus was yet in her vagina. Just for joke, she suddenly begin to move her hips in a fast way acting as she had another vaginal intercourse with me. In that same instant I was very worried about my condom and I thought her behavior could damage the condom or make it slip away from my phallus.

After stopping her, I looked at my condom and it seemed intact to me. Anyway my phallus was not fully erected and I was scared to touch the condom to check its integrity because of the vaginal fluids over it. *I'm a very apprehensive person by nature* After one minute or less she quickly take off my condom and trashed it.

After the encounter *and this is the most scaring part for me* she greeted me with: " Well. we will meet us in another world!*  This strange greeting contributes to  my apprehensiveness and despite many years as passed since then I'm very scared about this encounter. Do I have to test for HIV?

Thank you for your support, I'm living a very tough time and maybe I'm only depressed or at least I hope so.
--
Dave

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2008, 08:05:35 AM »
Hi Dave,

From what you have described I don't see any cause for concern about HIV in relation to that incident. You wore a condom which is exactly what you're supposed to do. They provide very effective protection. Despite that rather cryptic remark the sex worker made which has troubled you, I don't read any evidence that you were at risk. Whether you are riding or she was on top, condoms do the job.

You're worrying needlessly and I don't see any need for testing. We do advise anyone who's sexually active to at least annually have a full STD panel. But that's just a precaution. I don't see any cause for further concern about HIV on your part in relation to what brought you here.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2008, 08:49:01 AM »
Dave,

I've merged your new thread into your original thread - where you should post all your additional thoughts or questions. It helps us to help you when you keep all your additional thoughts or questions in one thread.

If you need help finding your thread when you come here, click on the "Show own posts" link under your name in the left-hand column of any forum page.

Please also read through the Welcome Thread so you can familiarize yourself with our Forum Posting Guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.

I agree with Andy - you weren't at risk with the sex worker.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dave

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  • Posts: 19
Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2008, 11:45:40 AM »
Andy,
thank you very much for your reply. For what concern my worries I had it many times in the past but I was very reactive and I was able to control my discomfort taking these negative thoughts out of my mind and going on with my life.

I found out that an obsessive thought has more to do with the desire of control than it has with reality.

This kind of problem lead me to doubt of everything I did and everything I seen. As an example: for the same incident I thought the condom was broken but I didn't notice or even I didn't want to notice because I was scared.

It's a very dangerous approach to life because it makes me vulnerable and unsure.

On the other hand the girl's remark was very untouchy. Maybe it was not her fault because she came from a different country than mine and despite she seemed fluently with my native language she didn't know it perfectly. Who know?

Thank you again for your sincere understanding.

--
Davide
 

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2008, 11:53:46 AM »
Ann,
Thank you for your kindly reply. I'm sorry for the mistake. I wanted to insert my new post into the same old thread but I was unsure it was the way to go! Yes I know I had to read the Welcome Thread and I don't because I'm a lazy guy!  You can blame on me now, I deserve it :-)

Anyway, should I use this thread from now on ?

Dave
--
Cheers

Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2008, 01:40:18 PM »

Anyway, should I use this thread from now on ?


Um, yes Dave, that's what I asked you to do iin my above post. I also asked you to read the Welcome thread - I hope you did. You also need to read the Transmission Lesson - you'll find the link in the Welcome.

If you're having trouble with obsessive thoughts, you'll need to discuss that with your doctor or other qualified person. This forum isn't the appropriate place for you to work through those kinds of issues.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dave

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  • Posts: 19
Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2009, 01:40:50 PM »
I recently did a blood test. The blood test was not related to HIV. Anyway I got mildly high transaminases values:

GOT: 37 U/L (10 - 35)
GPT: 70 U/L  (9 -43)
LDH: 784 U/L (150 - 450)

and slightly low thrombocytes:
99 (150 - 450).

At the hospital they told me to do a full hepatites check.
My personal doctor prescribed me other exams in addition to the ones of the hospital but not an HIV test. Do you think I have to do it? I thought I have a very serious liver damage without being aware of it and it could be due to an HIV infection. I'm scared to death with this and other desease as well and I'm struggling to put my mind at rest.

I haven't had recent sexual encounters and the past ones, even if promiscous were all protected, oral included.

Thanks in advance for you precious support and sorry for being so pathetic...





Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2009, 06:15:17 AM »
Dave,

Hepatitis simply means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis can be caused by many different things, but hiv is NOT one of them. Do as your doctor told you and get a full hepatitis check.

You have NOT had a risk for hiv infection. Whatever is going on has NOTHING to do with hiv.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dave

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  • Posts: 19
Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2009, 10:06:40 AM »
Thank you very much Ann for the reply. You are a very kind person  :)
I redo the blood test two other times and they are OK.

Anyway after an ECG they diagnosed me with a Wolff Parkinson White syndrome.
After that I did an eco-doppler test and they found out I have a light aortic insufficiency and a light insufficient mitralic valve. I'm worried about it has to do with some kind of infection in my blood.

Could itl be related to an HIV and/or a Syphilis infection? I read so on wikipedia and in other medical websites.

I'm very scared to be in a tertiary stage of syphilis and I'm worried nothing could be done to heal me now, maybe is too late. If I had made a full STD panel test I wouldn't have such worries. Me stupid guy...

Please, give me some advice on Syphilis too. I know that Syphilis isn't the topic of this forum but the links you provided me doesn't go beyond basic informations. It seems a very neglected topic on the web and in real life.

Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2009, 10:51:03 AM »
Dave,

Syphilis shares a three month window period with hiv. Other than that, as this is an hiv specific forum, the only thing we can tell you is that if you're worried about syphilis, then you need to test.

You've already been given two very good links to STI websites - please RE-READ your entire thread! This is one of the reasons we are so adamant about keeping your posts in one thread - so we don't have to continually repeat things we've already told you.

As a sexually active adult, you should be testing for this and ALL the other STIs at least once a year. You've been told this already.

You can find references to hiv for just about any illness you can think of - because what hiv negative people can get, so can hiv positive people. The problems you list happen to people who are hiv negative too - it has nothing to do with hiv. The possible cause for these problems is something you need to talk over with your doctor. S/He's the expert.

Once again, you should be testing for ALL STIs at least once a year. We cannot diagnose you here - testing is the only way to go. You can fully expect your hiv test to return with negative results as NOTHING you have mentioned has been a risk for hiv.

Ann
« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 10:52:46 AM by Ann »
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2009, 11:04:52 AM »
Thank you Ann!
I will do the STI's test. Anyway I'm scared about Syphilis more than HIV because I know it's very easy to transmit even if you are protected with a condom. I just wanted to be reassured that my slight heart insufficiencies weren't not related to a tertiary stage of syphilis. I have no symptoms at all.

I'm aware that you couldn't diagnose me through the web and that your answer was the best approach to my question, anyway I'm in a very anxious state and I need to break such obsessive thoughts.

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2009, 11:08:25 AM »
What scared me the most is the tertiary stage! If I was in the first or the second one I will accept it better because there is an effective cure and there are no damages in the body. Just my thoughts. Please forgive me I'm sorry :-(

Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2009, 11:15:49 AM »
Dave,

Syphilis can be cured no matter what the stage. You cannot be treated unless you test, so go test. Chances are you don't have it anyway. As I said, you need to talk to your doctor about the possible causes for your problems - there are probably more likely ones than syphilis.

And by the way, if you were testing regularly like a responsible adult should, then you wouldn't be worrying about tertiary syphilis. I hope this is a lesson learned.

Please, no more posts about syphilis. This is something you need to talk to your doctor about and get tested for.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2009, 11:29:13 AM »
Thank you Ann! You made my day! Really!
Lesson learnt! You are right! I'm a bit childish...not so good for a 43 years old man  :)
I will try to grow up. I'm an hypocondric type and this doesn't favor me because it freezes my own will to do the right things.

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2010, 12:02:36 PM »
Hi all, since the beginning of April  I developed Peripheral Neuropaty symptoms. I'm worried about it because I think it could be relatated to HIV infections. I met my neurologist, and told her my symptoms. She visited me and was really skeptical about a real disease telling me I have nothing and that's because I'm anxious. I didn't tell her I was scared by HIV and I didn't mention any type of STD at all. Monday I checked for STD's (HIV, Syphilis, Hep A, B, C) and thusday I will go to collect my blood test results. I'm scared I'm HIV positive and the disease has beginning spreading in my body and damaging my peripheral nerve system. I'm really scared there is nothing to do to repair it because I waited to much time before doing an HIV test. I'm feeling very guilty. Please help!

Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2010, 12:14:09 PM »
Dave,

Did you bother to re-read your entire thread before posting? Because if you did, you would have read this:


You can find references to hiv for just about any illness you can think of - because what hiv negative people can get, so can hiv positive people. The problems you list happen to people who are hiv negative too - it has nothing to do with hiv. The possible cause for these problems is something you need to talk over with your doctor. S/He's the expert.


I don't have anything new to add to your latest self-induced drama.

NOTHING you've ever brought to us has been a risk for hiv infection. NOTHING! Why should anything you may or may not be experiencing be down to hiv?

I hope you're aware that stress can cause the type of sensations you're wringing your hands over this time. I suggest you seek out the services of a mental health care professional to deal with your hypochondria and resultant stress levels. We cannot help you with that here.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2010, 12:22:17 PM »
Good Lord, this is what reading stuff on the internet gets a person. Periphreal neuropathy is FAR MORE likely to be caused by the meds used to treat HIV than HIV itself. And it's usually the result of an extended time on certain meds at that. By extended, I mean years.

 I urge you, after you collect  your test results, to see a professional counselor about your issues.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2010, 12:30:14 PM »
Sorry Ann, I can barely manage my anxiety. I feel myself overstressed because the STDs test result day is coming closer and closer. I can't wait and I'm scared at the same time. I feel myself guilty for having procrastinated the test for so many years (almost 15). The number of my sexual encounters concerns me also. Probably all my worries are unjustified but the sense of guilt make me sick.

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2010, 12:40:54 PM »
Hello jkinatl2, this week I made an appointment with my psychologist but unfortunately she will be  unaavailable until the first week of june. I have to manage the huge level of stress myself. I'm trying it very hard but I must overcome! Thanks for your reply.  :)

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2010, 11:00:59 AM »
Just another little question, please: as far as condom is concerned, I always used the one provided by the sex worker, letting her manage it. (putting it on my penis and removing it after the intercourse). Do you consider this choice safe?

Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2010, 11:16:00 AM »
Dave,

Sex workers use condoms to protect themselves, not you, so you can bet it's safe.

If you have any doubts, buy your own and deal with putting it on and taking it off yourself. Make sure you read the condom and lube links in my signature line.

Ann
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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2010, 11:16:36 AM »
Yes, that sounds just like what you are supposed to do and I don't see any reason to doubt the effectiveness of the condom protecting you in that scenario.
Andy Velez

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2010, 05:34:41 AM »
Thanks Ann and Andy for your quick replies. Just one more question and I promise you I will stop asking forever. Reading through the following webpage http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Neuropathy_6911.shtml I found that peripheral neuropathy could be caused by "chronic immune system inflammation" and that it occurs "in a significant percentage of older HIV-positive individuals".
My symptoms are the same as the ones described in the "What is it" webpage. Now I'm very concerned because I had sexual encounters with sex workers since 1995  and until 2003. Not continuosly anyway. I tried to recapitulate my whole sexual history and counted around 40 sexual encounters of wich 20 penetrative/vaginal intercourse with 35 different partners. All kind of intercourses (oral included) were performed with a condom, except mutual masturbation.

I'm sorry for bothering you again but I feel these symptoms since the month of april, went to see two doctors and did physio, but nothing has changed until now. No one was able to tell me which is the cause of my symptoms and now I begin to worry about it. This is one of the reasons I decided to make a test. Tuesday I will collect my results. Anyway I'm scared to death!

Offline Dave

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2010, 07:19:22 AM »
Am I in later stage of HIV? Please help!

Offline Ann

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Re: Do I need to test for HIV?
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2010, 08:25:16 AM »
Dave,

Get a grip. The only thing you're in the late stage of is hiv paranoia.

Are you aware that diabetes can also cause PN? And so can a host of other conditions.

I'm giving you a long-overdue time out. We simply cannot help you with your hypochondria here.

Do not attempt to create a new account to get around your time out because if you do, you will be permanently banned.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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