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Author Topic: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker  (Read 5890 times)

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Offline Scared and Frantic

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Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« on: July 10, 2006, 11:31:23 PM »
Please pardon the intrusion. I'm sorry to open another thread. When I click "Show own posts" nothing comes up. This was posted on the old boards and I wanted to again ask for expert opinions on a situation that I really didn't think much about at the time.

I was on call on 4/26/06. I have eczema/dermatitis on my forearms near my elbows. The patches of eczema were not weeping or bleeding, but they did burn when tested with alcohol. An emergency patient came in who was super unstable. He had been doing cocaine before being brought in so he might have also been HIV positive. Brownish bloody fluid was on the sheet he was lying on and some smears of it were next to him on a sheet or blue chux. I did not have my usual gown on due to the speed with which he came in. I had to lift him over onto the bed. My forearms might have touched the blood, I don't know. I don't recall feeling anything wet, but I was concentrating on helping the patient. I certainly did not put all of my weight down on the blood but my arms might have brushed it. I had to stay with the patient for a couple of hours since he was very unstable, which means at least a couple of hours passed by before I could wash my arms.

As I said, I didnít think much of it at the time since my eczema wasnít running or bleeding, it just burned with alcohol. And I didnít recall feeling anything wet on the sheet. I'm dealing with my OCD so I had actually put the episode out of my mind. But 0n 6/21/06 until more or less 7/7/06 I had been having tender lymph nodes and lots of muscle aches that come and go and move around somewhat but seem more constant in my calf muscles. Also streaking pains in my head which change sides. I havenít noted any fever, but I know that doesnít necessarily occur or I just might not have noticed. Does this sound like seroconversion illness? Do the muscle pains of seroconversion act like that?

Iíve seen talk on here about dendritic cells in the skin that actually bring the virus inside under the skin where it is then brought to the lymph nodes where it can take over and start the infection. Is that a factor in my case? I read with interest HIVworker's message a while back about blood forming a lattice as it dries. Is that only for blood on a hard surface or does it also hold for blood on a cloth sheet or blue chux? Would the cloth fibers keep the lattice from forming? How "nonintact" does "nonintactĒ skin have to be before transmission can occur assuming the patient was positive? Does the skin need to be bleeding or weeping?

Thank you so much. Again, Iím sorry for the intrusion. I have an appointment for an HIV test tomorrow, but Iím scared to pieces and have no one to talk to. Due to my own stupidity it looks as though I might need to join the ďliving withĒ forum, that is, if I would be welcome there after intruding upon you all like this. Sorry, itís just that Iím scared, anxious, and sad. Thanks so much. I wonít bother you again. By tomorrow I will know one way or another.

Edited to make paragraphs.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2006, 08:48:43 AM by Scared and Frantic »

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2006, 11:39:53 PM »
Brother, heard of paragraphs? Oy!

That to one side, we've changed to new forums software. Your old thread is not available here.

As I understand it, you're concerned about HIV because you may or may not have brushed your forearm against something wet in your workplace, which is a hospital -- yes? If so, HIV is not a concern for you. Doesn't your place of employment provide basic training to staff about these issues? You might want to consider discussing that with your boss.

Symptoms mean nothing when it comes to diagnosing HIV, so your skin condition is not relevant to this. Nor are your swollen nodes. Lymph nodes swell for all sorts of reasons, it's not specific to HIV infection. Prodding them all the time is one sure fire way to make 'em bulge.

You should read our friendly Welcome Thread which explains HIV transmission and testing methods. Amongst other things.

I would think this is certainly an OCD situation. You should seek therapy for that condition. If you already are, continue with it.

Regards,

MtD

Offline DingoBoi

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2006, 11:45:13 PM »
I am going to give you a very harsh lesson.

You first of all, as a health care worker, need to learn and understand tranmission risks.  You don't get hiv by your purported 'exposure' which is casual contact.

For a health care worker to not know that is unforgivable.  You should quit your job because you are unable to provide the services you are supposed to.

You most certainly are NOT welcome in the living with forum since you are not hiv positive.   Post there and fear the retribution.

If you lack so much education and understanding about hiv, you should talk to your work about that so they can inform you are reassign you to a job where you shouldn't have to worry.

I hear mcdonalds is hiring.

Offensive to you?  It should be.  You are being completely offensive to everybody here who does have hiv.  As a health care worker you should know better.  Get some mental health care because you need it a whole lot.







Offline yoshi

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2006, 12:55:56 AM »
Hi All,

Sorry I have to ask my question here but I cannot view the main "Infected" thread forum as I am behind a company firewall that looks for "words" that it disapproves and once a certain number of words is reached, it makes the page non-viewable, so I cannot see the "Infected" forums threads, just this one from a link on the main page.

My question is related to ARS.

Does ARS all occur at once, for instance, do you come down with fever, aches, sickness, sore throat, etc all at once.

OR

Can it be, you have a sore throat for 3 days, then that clears and you feel sick for a few days, then that clears, and your muscles start to ache, and that clears, IE: does it come at once, or can it happen in this kind of order where it all comes in bits and pieces over a few weeks.

Im curious how it comes in most cases, I know everyone is different.

Thanks.
Yoshi.

Offline Morgan

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2006, 12:59:57 AM »
Scared,

Like Dingo I'm a little surprised that someone who works in a health care setting doesn't have a fairly well grounded understanding of hiv transmission basics.  

Nothing you present is a risk for hiv infection.

By the way, why would you equate cocaine use with hiv infection.  Stereotyping potential hiv risks is dangerous and rooted in ignorance.  

Do yourself a favor and get up to speed..... this site is a perfect place for it.

Morgan
Morgan Landers

Offline Morgan

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2006, 01:04:53 AM »
Yoshi,

Your computer issues are not an excuse to hijact someone else's thread.  Get to a computer that doesn't have firewall issues and post from there.

Morgan
Morgan Landers

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2006, 05:41:41 AM »
Scared,

Your old thread is here.

And our answers are not going to change here in the new forum. You didn't have a risk of hiv infection and if this is still bothering you, you seriously need to get that professional help we talked about earlier.

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 Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2006, 08:53:08 AM »
Thanks to all who replied. I will be going for testing later today. Whatever happens, I appreciate all of you.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2006, 09:33:12 AM »
Scared, I hardly have to wish you good luck with your test result since you weren't even remotely at risk in the incident which prompted you to start this thread.

What is a risk, and an especially incomprehensible one is for you as a health worker to be so uninformed about the basics of HIV transmission. You can begin by reading the lesson on transmission which you can reach through the link on the opening thread in this section. I also urge you to speak to the appropriate person in HR or wherever in your workplace about having some HIV101 training for all of its staff.

If it's true that the situation is how it seems to me, it is unforgiveable that 25 years into the epidemic the hospital is not properly educating its staff about HIV transmission.

Andy Velez

Offline Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2006, 06:18:18 PM »
You guys were right! I just returned from the clinic and I am negative thus far. I asked for a copy of the report and when I looked at it, I saw that they had the wrong last name on it. I questioned them and they corrected the name. I looked at the corrected paper they gave me and saw that they had yesterday's date on it instead of today's. I just let it go. I didn't start obsessing over whether they really gave me the right results or whatever. I just decided to be happy that the results were negative. I didn't want the report for anything legal anyway, just for my own records.

I asked what generation of test they used and the doctor said they use 3rd generation tests. My supposed exposure was on 4/26/o6- 76 days ago which is almost 11 weeks ago. I started getting symptoms on 6/21/06 which was 56 days or 8 weeks after the event. Today's test was 20 days after the start of the symptoms. If it was a real exposure and a real conversion should the test be able to pick up something now, at least indeterminate?

Further, do you always count from the date of exposure or do you need to be a certain amount of time away from the seroconversion illness before it's picked up? This is only for future reference. I understand that this particular event was not a risk.

Offline Morgan

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2006, 08:06:49 PM »
Scared,

Not that any of this applies to you, but if your "symptoms" were indeed related to seroconversion, you would indeed test positve by now.

You were not at risk.  You are hiv negative.

Morgan
Morgan Landers

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2006, 08:23:20 PM »
You guys were right! I just returned from the clinic and I am negative thus far.

Shit! Who would have thought?

MtD

Offline moniqua

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2006, 11:13:04 PM »
"For a health care worker to not know that is unforgivable.  You should quit your job because you are unable to provide the services you are supposed to."

Are you for real?

This person asked a legitimate question.  You are treating him like he asked if you could get HIV from shaking someone's hand.  We know that HIV is blood borne and this guy had an open wound and was afraid that this open wound was exposed to HIV.  If he is incorrect, then why didn't you just share your viewpoint without being condescending little assholes. 

Besides, I don't know if you have children, but if you have a relative who is a young child would you take that child's open wound and rub it into HIV infected blood, and know with absolute certainty to the point that you would bet his or her life on it?

Try not being so cuntish is your answers.


Offline RapidRod

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2006, 11:18:46 PM »
moniqua, post all your questions or thoughts in your own thread. Your opinions are not warranted in other peoples threads. 

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2006, 05:37:35 AM »
Moniqua,

Normally I would not further hijack a thread with comments to a thread hijacker, but I'm going to make an exception in this case.

Coming from a health care worker, this is NOT a legitimate question. Health care workers in this day and age MUST be up to date on hiv transmission. This is NOT negotiable. Hiv ignorance in a health care worker is NOT acceptable.

Until the day you are hiv positive and have to deal with some of the ignorance surrounding hiv in the health care industry, don't presume to judge our reactions.

Moniqua, if you have further concerns or questions, start your own thread. Please do not hijack this thread further.

Ann

edited to remove a mistake on my behalf
« Last Edit: July 12, 2006, 07:55:14 AM by 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 Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2006, 06:10:39 AM »
Moniqua,

Normally I would not further hijack a thread with comments to a thread hijacker, but I'm going to make an exception in this case.

Coming from a health care worker, this is NOT a legitimate question. Health care workers in this day and age MUST be up to date on hiv transmission. This is NOT negotiable. Hiv ignorance in a health care worker is NOT acceptable.

Until the day you are hiv positive and have to deal with some of the ignorance surrounding hiv in the health care industry, don't presume to judge our reactions - especially when this post was originally inappropriately posted in the Living forum.

Moniqua, if you have further concerns or questions, start your own thread. Please do not hijack this thread further.

Ann


Hi Ann, I'm really sorry. I don't recall posting this in the Living forum unless it got crossposted accidentally. Unless you were referring to Moniqua's message as being inappropriately posted in the Living forum. As far as I know I have been in Fears. Please correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks.


Offline Ann

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2006, 07:28:45 AM »
Scared,

No, I owe you an apology. I thought Dingo's reference to you posting in Living came about because you originally posted in Living. Sometimes other moderators move threads without mention and I thought that happened in this case. I now see he was replying to your comment that you would have to start posting in the Living forum because you - wrongly - believe you were at risk of infection. Please forgive my misunderstanding.

However, I do not apologise for how I feel about hiv ignorance in health care workers. It is an understatement to say that it is an unpleasant experience to be seen by a health care worker who knows nothing about hiv transmission and treats you like a leper. There is no excuse for it in this day and age. You need to talk to your supervisor or even higher-up management about having some in-house, mandatory lectures on hiv awareness in the health care setting. It is imperative for those of us who live with this disease that we can count on health care workers to have a good grounding in hiv. No matter who you are or where you live, there are going to be patients that you see who are hiv positive. The only way to give us the care and RESPECT that we deserve is to know the score.

Ann


PS... I edited my incorrect post.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2006, 07:55:38 AM by 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 Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2006, 09:05:42 AM »
Hi Ann. I meant no disrespect. It's not an excuse, but sometimes my OCD and phobias (for which I am now seeking help) get in the way of what I really know to be true. But you are correct. If I were to get HIV, I would not want people treating me as if I were an untouchable.

Society stigmatizes anything it doesn't understand. That is one reason I neglected getting help for the OCD and phobias for so long. Once you have visited a psychiatrist, it's part of your permanent medical history and you can no longer answer "no" to those questions on applications that ask if you have any psychiatric problems.

But living with OCD and phobias is really no way to live. For example, I won't get on an airplane. I'm sure I miss out on lots of fun things because of it. At any rate I will be speaking to some of my colleagues about their misconceptions about HIV.

Again I think in most cases it's not lack of knowledge per se, but a form of OCD. For example any of them could advise someone else that they had no risk if the other person shook the hand of someone with cuts, but would themselves immediately wash their own hands 2 or 3 times after shaking the same person's hand. When it's personal, it somehow gets outside the realm of what we know to be fact.

With your permission, I would like to refer a couple of colleagues to this site. Rest assured I will try to handle things differently on the job from now on. Thank you so much for your patience and thanks to all of you here on AIDSmeds.com.

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2006, 09:33:51 AM »
Scared,

By all means, refer ANYONE to this site who you think might benefit. And you didn't need my permission either.

The ONLY way we are going to slow this pandemic down is through education. As you say, stigma comes from a lack of understanding and knowledge. Stigma helps drive this pandemic forward just as much as the lack of knowledge does.

And I'm glad to hear you are addressing your OCD problems. There is no shame in getting help.

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 Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2006, 04:43:13 PM »
I know I had no risk in my exposure thankfully, but it seems that many people in the "Just Tested" section had no identifiable risk.

I wonder if dendritic/Langerhans cells could be the common link.

Unless I'm mistaken, it appears that these cells are present in the upper layers of skin, and when skin is disrupted but not even necessarily bleeding these cells can latch onto HIV and bring HIV to lymphocytes to cause infection.

Hopefully, I misread something.

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2006, 05:02:01 PM »
Scared,

What you've been reading goes under the heading of "patient report" and is notoriously unreliable. The transmission information that you read on this side of the forum is based on science, not supposition. Sometimes people cannot admit to themselves, much less anyone else, that they had unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse. Sometimes people do things under the influence of drink or drugs that they don't remember.

You'd be wise to pay attention to the proven transmission routes and protect yourself accordingly - and maybe not read the rest of these forums if they are going to upset 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 Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2006, 02:24:31 PM »
Hi guys. I'm doing much better with my OCD. No further episodes in the workplace after the episode that first prompted me to post. I know that episode was not thought to be a risk, but I feel I need to test again to put the entire thing behind me. I am intending to go this week for a test. Although I know it's likely to be negative, the testing still strikes fear into me because of the possibility of positive or indeterminate. But rest assured that if it's negative, I will happily close this entire chapter of my life. My last test was at 10 weeks and 6 days (76 days) which was 20 days after the start of muscle aches, sore neck etc as stated earlier in my thread. I will not go for 30 more tests over the same episode. Just this one test now, if negative, will be all that I need. Please send your good thoughts and words of encouragement. They really helped before. Thanks in advance.

Edited to remove unnecessary space at bottom.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2006, 02:30:12 PM by Scared and Frantic »

Offline Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2006, 03:08:52 PM »
Today I had an Oral swab test done at the department of health. It was negative. The one thing I wish was that the tech would have done the swabbing herself. Having each patient do it on themselves seems to introduce an unecessary variable such as suppose the patient (myself in this case) didn't swab hard enough etc?

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2006, 05:53:59 PM »
Scared,

If your concerns were valid where the accuracy of the swab tests are concerned, they wouldn't allow the patient to do it. They DO allow the patient to do it because that kind of stuff doesn't matter. As long as you had it in your mouth and swabbed, the test is valid and will be accurate.

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 Scared and Frantic

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2006, 02:59:16 PM »
Hi, I just came back today from taking the rapid blood test which was negative for HIV-1. I'm ready to stop testing over the original incident finally.

A word to all the Worried Wells:

I know it's not just enough to tell you all to stop worrying because I know it didn't work with me. What I will say is that if you've tested HIV negative beyond the window period of 12 to 13 weeks, and are still having symptoms, don't just focus on HIV. In addition to working with your doctor to rule out other serious medical problems, look into your past medical history to see if you were ever given Quinolone antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin, Tequin, Levaquin, Avelox, etc. These have been known to cause all sorts of side effects even with one dose. One known effect of Cipro is Achilles tendon rupture, so who knows what else these medications can do. There are entire websites dedicated to their side effects and how they can last for years in your system causing symptoms that come and go.

To all the great people here who helped me through my Crazies:

Thank you so much for your kindness and patience. I'm trying to spread the word to others as to the ways HIV is and is not transmitted. I don't want anyone else to suffer as I did with ignorance since when you get on the testing merry-go-round, it's extremely hard to get off of it.

To everyone that is sexually active:

Until you are in a monogamous relationship where you know each other's HIV status please use condoms for anal and vaginal sex each time no matter how sexy the person looks, and even if you think it will break the mood. Nothing will break a mood faster than worrying and the feeling afterwards of OMG what have I done? Please follow the advice of the experts on this site.

I wish everyone health and peace of mind.

Offline Scared and Frantic

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Hepatitis Co-Infection And HIV Window
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2006, 10:45:12 PM »
Hi guys,

I'm not sure how to ask this question since it sounds very convoluted.

Would the HIV window period be lengthened beyond 3 months if Hepatitis was contracted simultaneously?

In other words, if the window for any Hepatitis can be beyond 6 months, can Hepatitis and HIV tests both be negative if the person has both but takes the tests before 6 months?

I've read here that no condition would lengthen the HIV testing window period beyond 3 months except advanced cancer, chemotherapy, or immunosuppressant medications used to prevent organ transplant rejection.

But also from what I've read, I don't recall where, it seems that Hepatitis can render a person immunocompromised or immunosupressed such that they have delayed production of antibodies to HIV. And since Hep's own window can be outside 6 months, tests for both HIV and Hep would be negative if taken at less than 6 months in someone who is in reality co-infected. Is this true?

Thanks in advance for any light you guys can shed on this.

Offline Ann

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Re: Possible Seroconversion? And a Question For HIVworker
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2006, 06:01:16 AM »
Scared,

Hepatitis (any) does not extend the window period.

The only time it MIGHT is in the case of hep C - when both of the infections are a result of intravenous drug use. Even then, delayed seroconversion is only a possibility when it is in a patient who has been using injecting street drugs every day of every week for YEARS. (which is a delayed seroconversion factor we always cite here but you left out.)

And guess what? You never had a risk of hiv infection in the first place. We've told you that repeatedly. Why on earth are you concerning yourself with delayed seroconversion?

You are hiv negative and if you cannot come to terms with not having hiv, then it's high time you sought some counseling. There is nothing more we can do for you here.

Ann
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