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Author Topic: Need Support  (Read 2707 times)

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Offline jj88

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Need Support
« on: June 18, 2009, 01:11:59 AM »
I was here approximately five years ago for what turned out to be something I probably shouldn't have worried about.  Here is my situation this time-

I became engaged last November and after our engagement we had a chat about our sexual history. We had both been tested for HIV in the past and both of us had never had any risky encounters post-testing. Because of her family history of female health problems, we wanted to concieve a child sooner rather than take a chance of problems developing later so we ditched the condoms.  We ended up ending our engagement in April and amicably ending our relationship not much later.  After our relationship ended I found out a detail and she then confessed to me that she had a one night stand with a family friend (who is married) a couple of months before we started dating. She didn't really think about that when we were having our conversation about our past sexual history, she said.  I am not wanting to waste time on that issue as it was my choice as much as hers to begin unprotected intercourse, and I know being that I was with somebody unprotected who herself could not be 100% on her status puts me in the category of unknown status but very likely negative. However, my big question revolves around some medical problems and subsequent tests she had which may have in fact ruled her out as negative, I am just not versed in what these tests show and hope someone here may be able to help.  She had a lumbar puncture after some headaches to test for meningitis and presumably other infections and that came back fine. I was there when they gave her the results. She was also diagnosed with a cervical infection during our relationship and they performed a pap smear to test for Chalymidia and "Std's" but HIV was never mentioned specifically to us.  They told her they would notify her if there was any other problem except the cervical infection and they did not contact her further.  During the course of these tests would HIV have been ruled out?... if so, having no other unprotected contact, I'd be out of the woods and can finish out closure with this relationship and the potential WW status I may be in.... Thank you in advance for any help.

Offline Ann

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Re: Here Again
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 03:36:39 AM »
JJ,

It's because of situations like yours that we recommend that people do not dispense with the condoms until they have been tested TOGETHER and are in a monogamous relationship. Going by what people say about past test results and past sexual behaviour just isn't enough. People forget and people omit. It's human nature.

The details about your ex's medical problems are irrelevant. One can NEVER know their own hiv status going by their partner's health issues. The ONLY way to know your own hiv status is by getting tested yourself.

And yes, that's what you need to do. You need to have a full sexual health check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing. I would expect you to test negative, but test you must. It's the ONLY way to know your status accurately.

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL sexually transmitted infections together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex without a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

In case you've forgotten, the vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days. A negative result at six weeks MUST be confirmed at three months, when there has been an actual risk.

Good luck with the test.

Ann


Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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 jj88

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Need Support
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 09:18:18 PM »
I was a "worried well" back in 2004 and found a lot of comfort and support while waiting out my window period. I posted here once before during this second round but couldn't find my original post as it's a few months old by now so will just briefly re-hash things here.

I really had no reason to worry back five years ago... was just paranoia. Tested negative.  Played it safe through a couple of partners over the years, last year met a girl who I became engaged to. She had children and had been tested during both pregnancies (negative) and said she had used protection with every other partner. Because of a family history of problems in this regard on her side, we decided to have a child while she was still able to and ditched the rubber. We ended our relationship amicably before concieving a child, but I found out later her sexual history wasn't completely truthful. She had several blood screens and a spinal tap done during our relationship as well as specific testing for "STD's" during a cervical infection and was told everything was OK but I don't know if HIV tests were specifically done. We were together for a year, so that is the significant risk I am worried about. The worry just keeps creeping back into my mind.  I have had a couple partners since her, all protected, with two condom breakages, this second one occuring two days ago. Both were very brief exposures.  I am now scared out of my mind again, just as I was five years ago.  I have decided to test five weeks or so from now... if I do and test negative will that be conclusive for the risk of the one condom break? The other two instances I'm worried about happened over 90 days ago.   If I were to test at about 3/4 weeks past the broken condom, would that be enough?  And just in general, I need some support to get through the time I will be waiting.  Thanks much in advance.

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2009, 05:47:35 AM »
jj,

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 have to admit I'm a bit surprised that you haven't tested yet over the ex-fiance. What's up with that? You'd be best off waiting for six weeks after your last broken condom, as the vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days. A negative result at six weeks MUST be confirmed at three months, but is highly unlikely to change.

You have a very good chance of testing negative after such brief incidents. I've yet to see the insertive partner (that's you) end up positive following a condom break. You should not be having so many condoms break as a correctly stored and used condom rarely breaks. Make sure you read through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can stop having them break on you.

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 jj88

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2009, 12:26:41 PM »
Ann,

Thank you for your response.  I live in a small town and other than going to a doctor, I don't know of anyplace to recieve testing here. I would rather do it anonomously. I was on a business trip out of town in a big city about a month ago and was planning to do a rapid test, but I read where they have a much higher incidence of false positive results than a regular blood test. Since I play it safe always except for the ex I didn't think waiting to be more mentally prepared would affect anybody but me... unfortunately now with the broken condom it has.  I'm going to test about six weeks from now for sure. I'm not sure why they have been failing, the first time may have been because I had had them awhile. This time they were brand new. Hopefully it's just a fluke, as it has got me wondering if I should even be engaging in sex at all pre-testing.   

Thanks again for your response. I will try not to bombard with posts but I'm sure the next six weeks will be a time where I can use more advice, especially on testing, and support.

-JOSH-

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2009, 01:06:12 PM »
JJ, what you need to do now during this 6 week waiting period is to get productively busy with other things in your life. That may sound impossible to do but believe me it IS possible. Doing that will make the time go much more easily than you may imagine is possible.

And at the end of it I agree with Ann that you are most likely going to have a negative result.

Now, get busy.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline jj88

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2009, 12:07:26 AM »
Thank you for your reply Andy. I took you up on your advice and got through much of last week by staying extra busy at work and tackling a home improvement project. It did help, and the worries were even out of my mind for a time.  Statistic reading, for once, also calmed my fears rather than fanned the flames, as I realized statistically the odds are very much in my favor, although I refuse to have the mindseet of "This could not happen to me". I played with fire and I need to make sure I wasn't an unfortunate minority who get burned. With that being said, now that I am approaching the three week mark I need to begin to start to process what I have promised myself will be the final HIV test of my lifetime. I live in a small town and the only test available here anonomously is a blood test that takes two weeks for results. I have still not decided if I am going to wait until just 6 weeks or closer to 9/10 for the test, as I do not want to test more than one time. I also do not want to wait the full 13 weeks, as the most risky situation (the ex fiance) is already four months past and the one time broken condom with the other girl is the only thing I am worried about in a window period, and my chances from that are lower because of the brevity of it.  So if I'm going to wait till 9 or 10 weeks to test I don't want to then wait an additional two weeks for my results.  I have a big city about 2 hours away, and can test with near instant results there with the Oral Rapid test. I have read, however, that these are a slight risk for false positive, a risk I am not willing to take. I cannot find anywhere in this city that does the rapid blood test.  I am thinking about flying to a city that offers rapid blood testing, but it's really not in my budget until after the first of the year. So that's my dilemma. I know nobody can tell me what to do, but some advice would sure be appreciated. Once again thank you all for your advice thus far and taking the time to respond, I very much appreciate it.

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2009, 08:49:23 AM »
jj,

You can also get a Home Access test. It may not be a rapid test, but you can do it at home and send off for the results. It's a bit cheaper than flying to another city.

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 jj88

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2009, 10:33:07 PM »
Ann & Andy,

Thanks again for your replies. I am now at week 3, and am going to go ahead and test at around week 6/7. I have enough confidence in what I have read about six week reliability especially coupled with it being a one time very brief woman to man exposure. I estimate my risk of being positive AND it not showing on that test at around one in ten million, so with those odds I think a pre-holiday test would be best.

In any case, thanks for reminding me about Home Access.  One question hopefully you can answer in regards to that, should a positive result come up in their testing, presumably ELISA, do they automatically do a confirmatory Western Blot or a second confirmatory test via that method?  I don't want to take a chance of a false positive as I have a family history of false positives on diagnostic tests due to high immune response because of upper respiratory problems. It's happened to me when I was a kid on a Hep test. Because of my age and lack of any exposure the Doc was pretty sure iimmediately it was a false positive but the waiting still sucked for the second round of testing.  Anyway, whatever route I take I want there to be no chance of a false positive result, so the secondary confirmatory testing is a must, which is why I don't want to go with the rapid oral test.

Thanks in advance,
Josh

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2009, 06:53:10 AM »
jj,

No, Home Access cannot perform a WB test on the sample that is sent in with their kit. A positive Home Access must be confirmed independently.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you want to test in such a way that you will not be notified of a positive result until it has been confirmed by a WB. In order to do this, you're going to have to go somewhere where they take a vial of blood, so they have enough to run the second test.

However, you need to know that many places will require a second blood draw where they will re-test with an ELISA before going on to a WB if that ELISA is also positive. This is to safeguard against lab errors etc. After all, you don't want to be falsely diagnosed with hiv infection. This can take anywhere from two days to two weeks. Your best bet is to phone the clinic where you intend to test and ask them about their proceedure.

I don't know if you're aware, but there is an hiv-related, searchable service directory at http://directory.poz.com/ where you can select the service you require and enter your zip code. You can also expand your search by entering zip codes from your surrounding areas. There may be services available near you that you don't know about.

At the end of the day, there really are no short-cuts to hiv diagnosis. While it is easy to rule hiv out, many precautions are taken before confirming diagnosis. It's for your benefit, even if it makes you anxious waiting.

Ann
« Last Edit: October 27, 2009, 06:57:05 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 jj88

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2009, 08:15:41 AM »
Ann,

Thank you again so much for taking the time and responding with very educating responses.   I think it may be best that I go to the local health clinic as I did five years ago. She drew a vile of blood and I believe during the post-counseling she said that they do confimratory testing so the result is 100% conclusive. I will call beforehand. Yes, I definitely want to avoid being notified of any positive result until the point it is 100% conclusive with confirmatory testing. Even being called back in for re-testing would be better than, say, getting a false positive result and being told of that result via the Oral method or what have you. 

Thanks again for the info, that rules out home access for me. I will just have to suck it up and g o to the local health department for testing, it felt last time like they took enough blood for a transfusion, so I would imagine the route of testing I am seeking is probably a match or the closest thing I will find to one there.

Your point about the waiting is a good one... they have to have all the ducks in a row. I've got to get it through my head that this will take some time.  Thanks also for the link to the testing directory, I will look there and see if I can find anything out here. Rural areas really have a general lack of awareness about this issue, the true facts of it (a guy I know one time was convinced you could pick up HIV from using a shopping cart!)  and a lack of testing and counseling resources. I see the ignorance all the time with friends and colleagues.  And if I'm reading the stats right, it seems rural areas are on the rise with infections. It's no wonder.

Thanks again,
Josh

Offline Ann

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2009, 09:09:51 AM »
jj,

Don't assume that just because you've had false positives on other tests, that you'll get one with this test. You may be pleasantly surprised. Again, you're most likely to ultimately test negative over the brief incidents you're worried about. You may want to mention to the person who tests you about your family history of false positive results on diagnostic tests.

There's ignorance surrounding hiv infection no matter where you go. It's frustrating.

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 jj88

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2009, 12:20:02 AM »
Ann,

Thanks again for your continued conversation with me... I will try not to bombard as I know you guys are very  busy not only with moderating these forums but also your own lives, but having a conversation here does ease the waiting period to get tested.

I agree the odds are in my favor. I am most worried about the ex-fiance, and I kick myself for not getting tested on that issue sooner, actually for ever ditching the condoms in the first place. The waiting period for the other two very brief exposures would have been much easier had I.  But I hope that at least the "STD" testing the Dr. did on her during our relationship may have tested for HIV or may have picked up something that would have led to a test, so I suppose the odds are lowered just a bit by that circumstance. 

When I was a kid, both of my parents (My mom a nurse who had a needlestick, my dad unsafely promiscous) both had scares where they thought they may be infected.. both turned out OK but it left me with an awareness of this and I had always been on the safe side until the fiance and the unfortunate condom breaks. I suppose as we talk about education, even someone as educated as I was (here five years ago over a WW scenerio) made a bad decision, so imagine those who aren't aware of the genuine risks. I plan to donate or volunteer some time or do something to help the cause when this is over, either way the test goes.  I only wish everyone who was worried about a possible exposure saw this site first... there is so much mis-information out there, and as I have seen here over and over and experienced myself five years ago, once the mis-information is digested it is harder to accept the real facts about transmission, testing window, etc. from knowledgable people such as yourselves.  I would have went out of my mind the first time had I not found this site, and this time would have been much harder as well.

I have met a new girl, we have been talking... it's getting to that stage. I have condoms on hand but in a way I feel like I should wait to get tested before I do anything... the condom breakages not only left me worried about myself but also about potentially infecting someone else if I did get it from the ex fiance. It's hard being a hormonal girl crazy man. :D

Thanks again.
Josh


Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2009, 08:22:42 AM »
I hear you, Josh. And like Ann I still expect that ultimately you will test negative.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline jj88

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2009, 12:32:37 AM »
Six weeks is coming up a little over a week from now.... still much debating as to what I will do... test now, and if I collect a negative move on, wait until after the Holidays and the New Year, with this cloud over my head but be out of any statistical window period.  And how I'm going to test is an even bigger question. I am without health insurance currently (a big thanks to my company for posting the open enrollment announcement where nobody would ever see it! ;)  so a Dr. is out of the question, and I live in an uber-small community. The first time I tested, the nurse ended up being the great-aunt of a girl I tried to date a year or so later.  The first time I met the family.... you guessed it, the girl ended up giving me the "lets be friends" speech. 

I hope I am not bombarding with too many posts here especially regarding my testing, but it does help to talk things over. Thank you Ann and Andy for listening. You are both great.

If I did decide to just hop in the truck and drive 2 hours to the big city and do an Oral test, statistically what are the average chances of having a false positive with that test?  I would assume they would automatically do a second test just to rule out the first sample being contaminated or the first test being faulty, correct?   

To top it off,  In the past I have usually felt like I was probably infected because I didn't have any symptoms, as crazy as that sounds. Now, I'm having a lot of pins and needles in my legs and arms, and a lot of eye floaters and that type of thing. When I think about it hard enough I can also invision a time last winter, during the time with the ex-fiance, when I could have had ARS symptoms, specifically a chest sort of infection where It was very painful to eat and drink for a couple days. But I know that means nothing, it's just scaring me a little extra at the moment. 

Trying to talk myself into the easiest testing method... the oral at the big city clinic.



Offline Ann

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Re: Need Support
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2009, 08:19:38 AM »
jj,

Look mate, you're just going to have to bite the bullet and get tested. If you get a false positive, that will be sorted out. The bottom line is that the possibility of a false positive result is not a good enough reason to not test. While false positives can and do happen, they're not all that common, given how many tests are done each day. (I don't have any stats to hand, I know what I know through years of experience.)

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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