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Author Topic: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!  (Read 11181 times)

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Offline HopefulDespair

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Hello Everyone!

I want to start off by saying that if I have been infected with HIV, as is my fear, this site will defnitely become my new home.  I have been reading through all of the posts on these forums and believe I may have quite possibly stumbled upon some of the most caring and comforting people ever.  What a wonderful support system everyone has built for themselves and one another.  If everyone was so caring in all aspects of life, this world would be a much better place!!

Here is my situation....I have been happily married to what I have believed to be a wonderful man for the past 3.5 years (Togerther for 8).  Through alll of these years we have been very happy and he had never once given me even the slightest reason to doubt his faithfulness.  Well all of that came to an end on 10/13/07 when my husband went out of town for the weekend and traveled many hours to see an ex girlfriend he had bumped in to on the net.  When my husband returned on 10/15/07, I had unprotected sex with him, not knowing what had happened and having no reason to doubt him.  Well the next day, being completely guilt ridden he confessed to me where he had been.  10/15/07 is the ONE & ONLY time I have had sex with my husband to this date, since was gone for those 3 days. He says he did not have sex with the girl and as much as I deeply want to believe him in my heart, I am just not sure.  Now, I have NO CLUE whether or not this girl actually has HIV or not, but about 6 weeks later I came down w painless pharyngitis (swollen red throat. which didn't hurt, but my throat was just red and swollen), had completely lost my appetite, developed a terrible sinus infection and a single swollen lymph node the size of a pea behind my ear.  I never had a fever or a rash or anything like that, but I just started to feel tired and crappy all of the time.  The swollen throat eventually went away, as did the node swelling,  and my appetite began to slowly return.  Due to my fears, I was tested for HIV via oraquick at 5 & 8 weeks with a negative result each time....I am currently waiting on the 3 month mark (1/15/07) to SLOWLY roll around so that I can test again.  I am paralyzed with fear and have a few questions that I am praying someone could maybe answer for me, so here goes.....any input is GREATLY appreciated.

1.  Assuming the girl was HIV positive and infected him on 10/14/07, could he have in turn infected me the very next day on 10/15/07 (Again this is the one and only time I have had sex with him since this happened?

2.  I have Multiple Sclerosis and several other minor autoimmune diseases, could the presence of these diseases cause a false negative oraquick test result?

3.  If I test negative on 01/15/07 (3 month mark), will there be any need for me to retest?

I LOVE my husband so very deeply and have forgiven him and want to move on with our lives as quickly and safely as possible and resume having relations with him.....this has been such a terrifying experience for me, one which I trust he totally and completely regrets deeply. 

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you so much & god bless each and every one of you!!!

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 01:33:10 AM »
HD,

Your 5 and 8 week test results point to a good outcome here. HIV is a difficult virus to transmit and the likelihood of you having been infected are quite low. Most people who test positive do so by the 6 week mark. Nevertheless, as you've correctly noted, you must test again at the 12/13 week mark to receive a conclusive negative result.

I am confident (as you should be) that result will be negative.

Your MS and other autoimmune disorders will not affect the validity of your test results and you can be sure that the results are accurate. Please be aware that symptoms or their absence in are not accurate indicators of HIV infection.

You should be aware that there other STD's such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea are more prevalent and transmissible than HIV. If you haven't already, you should make arrangements for a full STD screen.

Regards,

MtD

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2007, 01:41:32 AM »
Marty...Thank you SOOOO much for your quick and thorough response :)  I was just still wondering if it would be possible to be infected w HIV and in turn infect someone else immediately the next day?  For instance, you get infected on Sunday and turn around and infect someone else the next day on Monday....this is the one question I have searched for an answer high and lo on the internet and have came up completely empty!  GREAT and SOUND advice regarding the complete STD panel and I will surely follow up w that!!!  Lastly, if I test negative at the 12/13 week mark, will there be a need to retest again, assuming that my hubby is also negative?  Thanks so much and happy holidays!!!!

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2007, 01:48:03 AM »
I was just still wondering if it would be possible to be infected w HIV and in turn infect someone else immediately the next day?  For instance, you get infected on Sunday and turn around and infect someone else the next day on Monday....this is the one question I have searched for an answer high and lo on the internet and have came up completely empty!

Given that HIV would need some time to enter one's CD4's cells and replicate in sufficient numbers I would think this is unlikely, but HIV is a serious disease and I would err on the side of caution and answer "yes" to this question. Another AIDSmeds expert might correct me here.

will there be a need to retest again, assuming that my hubby is also negative?

Your husband's test results will be immaterial. If you test negative at the 12/13 mark, that result will be conclusive as far as you're concerned; even if your husband tests positive.

Enjoy your holidays,

MtD


Online Andy Velez

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2007, 10:25:57 AM »
Hope, in addition I want to suggest that for the timebeing if you and your husband are having intercourse he should be wearing condoms. Until such time as you both have reliably tested negative at 13 weeks past the most recent unprotected incident and are certain you're in a committed, monogamous situation, until that time the wise thing is for him to be using condoms.
Andy Velez

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2007, 12:09:36 PM »
Thanks so much for your input Andy......but my hubby knows that I will not sleep with him until after the window period has elapsed and we have tested negative, now AFTER that, it will be condoms for a while.  That being said, could you try to way in on the next day scenario I had described and also, given that my 5 & 8 week tests were negative, what would you say my chances are here.....have you ever seen an 8 week negative end up changing to a 3 month positive?  Your input and MtDs are greatly appreciated.  Thanks so much!

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2007, 12:41:52 PM »
HD,

I've never seen an eight week negative change and I don't expect yours to change. Make sure your husband also gets tested before you stop using condoms again.

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 HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2007, 06:07:18 PM »
Ann,

Thank you very much for your feedback.  I trust in your experience and if nothing else, feedback like this will definitely give me the courage to follow through with my 3 month conclusive testing.  Testing is ALWAYS such a terrifying experience thing for me, but I once heard someone say "Get tested or get sick" and that kind of puts things in perspective and reminds me that no matter how scary an experience it is better safe than sorry and find out if you are so you can take advantage of finding a good doctor and getting the medicines you need.

Have a Happy Happy Holiday......as a closing thought.....any opinions on the next day infection scenario?

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2007, 06:49:54 PM »
So sorry for the follow ups, but I just wanted to ask if the Oraquick test with oral fluids is just as reliable as one done w blood?  Is there ever a reason to doubt the oral swab oraquick result other than being in the window period?  Any feedback to this question and further insight on my posting above would be greatly appreciated.  I am definitely going to test at the 12 week mark, but that is not until 01/15/08 and I am just so paralyzed with fear.  I apologize if I am being redundant or annoying, I just have nowehere else to turn to.  Thanks!!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2007, 06:59:23 PM »
Oraquick is a blood test. OraSure is an oral test and OraQuick Advance HIV1/2 can be done orally. They are all FDA approved and reliable taken at the correct time.

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2007, 07:04:47 PM »
Ok I had the Oraquick HIv 1/2 advance test with oral fluid both times....

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2007, 09:42:44 PM »
Could anyone else please wigh in as to being infected with HIV on a Sunday and whether you could immediately infect someone the next day (Monday)?  Any insight would be great.  Thanks!

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2007, 09:56:07 PM »
HD,

It would be unusual for it to happen so quick. As we've already told you, your eight week negative is unlikely to change. I suggest you turn your computer off and go wrap some presents or something. Keep productively busy until you can collect your negative confirmation at three months. I don't expect your result to change and neither should 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 HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2007, 12:02:14 AM »
Hi Ann!  Well I did get off of the comp (For a short while and plan to do do sgain soon....very sage advice which I am trying my best to follow).....my only concern is according to MADBRAIN's post below, there are people who clearly have a positive result following an 8 week negative (I am not sure if we are allowed to copy and paste.....my apologies if we are not!!).....I am just praying and praying that I will not be one of them!!!!

I can't be certain of when my seroconversion happened. I was tested for HIV and came negative on March 6, 2006. But I had a serious illness in early April of 2006. I vomitted several week-ends in a row and lost a lot of fluids. The 2nd week-end, I had to go to the ER. I could no longer eat anything or barely swallow. I had a high fever too. I lost about 10 pounds in one week (and I'm only 145, so that's a lot). I was treated with antibiotics, and everything cleared up quickly.
My doctor (who is an HIV specialist) did not correlate this to seroconversion at the time either, even though I'm in a high-risk group as well. I had several sex partners early in the year, but believed that I had had safe sex with every one. Obviously the oral sex was not as safe as I thought :-(.

2 months later, in late June I was diagnosed with chlamydia. I was freaked. Thus, I got retested for HIV. But I was negative for HIV antibodies again.
I got retested for HIV in late October as part of my annual physical, and was positive then, which was a complete surprise to me. I don't believe I had any risky behavior in between the June and October test, and therefore my HIV infection and seroconversion predates april .

Unfortunately my boyfriend, who had tested negative in late April, also tested positive in November, right after I got my result. I believe he got it from me ... Sadly IMO this is a case of the HIV tests being too unreliable and taking a long time to show positive results.

ANY FEEDBACK??

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2007, 02:31:34 AM »
That's what you get for reading where you had no business.

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2007, 06:14:21 AM »
HD,

We don't give feedback in this forum over things that are written in the forums meant for hiv positive people ONLY. I suggest you stay out of those forums. The situation you brought here was obviously a confused one - but at the end of the day, it's none of your business and has no bearing on YOUR situation.

There's nothing more we can tell you at this point other than we don't expect your eight week negative to change. This forum is not the appropriate place for you to work through your anxieties. I suggest if you are having trouble coping, you make an appointment with a doctor or therapist and talk it over with them. We cannot give you that level of support 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 HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2007, 09:41:30 AM »
I understand and will only stay in this forum going fwd, but Ann,  you stated that you had never seen an 8 week test change in to a +, but clearly you have been exposed to these types of instances here in this community, so now I am just uneasy all over again and am afraid I will doubt my 3 month test if it is negative since this person did not state that they had cancer or were immunocomprimised, so now I am just totally confused.  I do however thank you so much for your continued follow up and assume that since I broke the rules I will probably be cut off, which I hope is not the case....nonetheless, thank you so much!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2007, 09:51:32 AM »
Then I suggest you get off the forums and seek professional mental health help. Just because that person said it, doesn't make it true.

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2007, 04:43:59 PM »
Hi Andy, Ann, RapidRod and  the rest of the community!  Well I have been trying to remain calm and keep myself busy, but it has been a challenge!  I am still extremely worried and bc of this the holidays truly truly sucked this year , which is so sad bc this is normally my favorite time of the year!!  Anyways.....my husband and I would like to get tested on January 17th.  This will make 12.5 weeks since either of us had sex and since the unprotected vaginal sex encounter on my husband's part.  Since this is not exactly 13 weeks, will the results still be completely conclusive?  I am just asking bc I then COMPLETELY want to try to put this behind us and pick up the pieces of our marriage and resume our sex life. 

I hope all is well with everyone and hope that everyone had a nice holiday!!

Thanks for your support and feedback to the WW which I can only imagine can become very annoying when you yourself are dealing with something that all of us fear so much.

Waiting for the day I can change my screenname to Hopeful instead of HopefulDespair.....

HD

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2007, 04:44:42 PM »
CORRECTION - I meant to say January 7th, not January 17th

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2007, 09:57:27 PM »
In addition, just one last question to the above, is it harder for a man to contract hiv from a woman bc they normal have a lower viral load in their secretions and if so, would a man take longer to seroconvert if he was infected via heterosexual intercourse w a woman?  Thanks

Offline HIVworker

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2007, 01:51:25 AM »
Yes it is harder for a man to get HIV from a woman for the reasons you list and the mucosal membranes are smaller on a man (top of penis) vs a woman (vagina).

No it is VERY unlikely that even if she was HIV positive that you would get it from your Husband the next day - actually I think it is impossible.

You are dealing with four variables. "What if" he had sex with her and "What if" she had HIV and "What if" he was infected by her and "What if" you got infected by him the next day.

That's four very big "IFs" if you don't mind me saying. If you test positive from that, take out meteorite insurance!

R

Edit : I took the bit about the shower out of it. Doesn't matter if he did or not...the virus can't survive outside the body for that long. Stupid HIVworker!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 02:46:32 AM by HIVworker »
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2007, 02:21:10 AM »
THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR YOUR REPLY!!  So a test for the 2 of us at 12.5 weeks since either of us have had sex ( INCLUDING WITH EACH OTHER), via the Oraquick oral fluid HIV 1 / HIV 2 test will be considered conclusive?  I am just asking bc I am wondering if a man infected via heterosexual sex may take longer than 3 months to seroconvert due to the lower levels of viral load normal found in a woman's secretions barring that there was no blood exchanged.  Your insight is greatly appreciated!

Offline HIVworker

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2007, 02:25:09 AM »
In the UK the testing window is considered to be 12 weeks. In the US it is 13 weeks. If 12 weeks is enough of a standard for 60 million people, then you should be OK.

And to answer your specific question, the testing window is designed to account for the overwhelming majority of seroconversions - be they from hetero, bi or homosexual sex. Otherwise it would be called the "Bisexual" window period or something. 12.5 weeks should be good enough for the pair of you.

Your line of thinking is along the lines of exposure to HIV and not replication. You think because there are less viruses in vaginal fluids the seroconversion takes longer. Both people infected by anal sex or vaginal sex become infected due to the virus being able to find a target cell and establish an infection. The more viruses you have in the body, the more likely the virus can establish an infection in a host-cell. After the cell has been infected, the kinetics of replication and seroconversion are the same regardless of the route of entry.

R
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 02:29:34 AM by HIVworker »
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2007, 02:31:28 AM »
GOT IT!!!  Thanks again, I was actually wondering about the seroconversion period being longer due to the fact that they claim that healthcareworkers infected via needlestick sometimes take longer to serconvert and I assumed that was bc they are subjected to a lower viral load.....but I definitely defer and t rust your expertise!!  i will look in to the meteorite insurance, only if you promise to pay the premium.

Offline HIVworker

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2007, 02:45:02 AM »
I'll pay the premium no bother.

Needlestick exposures are a little different. Many of them occurred when the tests were older and the window period was 6 months and if you average them it still comes out to 3 months or so but there are a higher percentage of people who tested positive later because of the older tests and the fact there have been fewer (100 compared to 30 million) transmissions that way. Furthermore, it is not the same route of infection as sexual exposure and the rules can be different - also co-exposure to HCV can change things. Even so, the vast majority of cases still test within 3 months.

R
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 02:48:41 AM by HIVworker »
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2007, 12:34:01 PM »
Hello Moderators / Inifinite holders of HIv Wisdom,

As I stated previously, my husband and I have decided to test one and last final time (Barring any UNFORSEEM future episodes of infidelity) at the 12/13 week mark.  Neither of us will have had sex since that time, so this test should be conclusive and HOPEFULLY allow us to move on.  That being said, the clinic will not test me again right now bc I  think they think that I am habitually testing.....so I was wondering if the HOME ACCESS test is just as reliable as the Oraquick Advance HIV 1/2 test using oral fluid, bc that is the one I am used to and the one I have always taken.  So is HOME ACCESS reliable and will we be able to trust in this conclusive 12/13 week result, just as we would w any other test?  PLs advise.

Happy New Year and LOW LOW LOW LOW CD4s and Viral Loads for everyone.....I will wish for that for all of you (And maybe us) when we watch the fireworks tonight and make our wishes!!!  Thanks again for all of your support!

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2007, 12:34:28 PM »
OH MY GOSH, I MEANT TO SAY HIGH HIGH HIGH HIGHHHHHHH CD4s NOT LOW.  So sorry!

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2007, 12:45:18 PM »
HD,

The Home Access test is FDA approved and just as reliable as any other FDA approved hiv antibody test.

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 HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2007, 12:51:17 PM »
THANK YOU ANN!

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2008, 12:44:31 PM »
RapidRod, Andy, HIVWorker & Ann,

1st and foremost I want to take a moment to thank you guys for having so quickly and consistantly responded to my posts over the past month!  If nothing else you guys have given me the courage to test and that truly means a lot to me because as you all know it can be a very frightening experience!!  You give of yourselves so freely and lend an ear to so many of us, who have had such a little risk, when yoy yourselves are dealing with a terrible disease that all of us fear so much and are not compensated for your time and efforts, when I am sure you have so much other stuff you would rather be doing.  I cannot imagine having to calm people's irrational fears, when our fears are your everday reality!  I think part of me would just want to physically shake some sense into the worried wells and even develop a disdain for them, especially when you guys probably find yourselves repeating yourselves over and over and over again!  How very frustrating that must be and I apologize if I contributed to this problem.

In my case, I hope I was not overreacting, I was really just being precautious and concerned, as I believe everyone should be when they have unprotected sex and thereby put their life and well being on the line.  As stated in my original post, my husband of several wonderful years cheated on me on 10/14/07 with an ex-girlfriend.  HE JUST FINALLY admitted this to me yesterday, although I knew it in my heart all the time! 

Anyhow, today we went and got tested, via Oraquick Advance HIV 1/2 test using oral fluid.  Today marked 82 days since his unprotected encounter and since my husband and I have been intimate.  I realize that this is 2 days short of 12 weeks, but they had an opening for us to come in so we did.  THE TESTS WERE N-E-G-A-T-I-V-E!!!!!!!!

A few parting questions:

1.  Does it make any relevant difference that we tested at 12 weeks (82 days) rather then 13 weeks (91 days) or can this now be considered a conclusive result on both of our parts  (I do understand that the average time to seroconversion is 22 days and all that jazz)?

2.  Assuming that neither he nor I will be unfaithful to one another in the future and once this has been trustfully solidified, can we resume having sex without condoms because I really really do want to get pregnant.

3.  Just one question out of curiosity....It is well published that the ONLY people who take longer than 3 months to seroconvert are chemo patients, the immuno compromised, and LONG TERM IV drug users.  That being said, if someone had sex with an individual who is KNOWN to have HIV, why do they still recommend testing to 6 months even if you are not in one of those longer conversion groups.  What's to say that a person of unknown status isn't HIV infected, so how would they feel safe telling people they only need to test to 3 months.

And now a note to the WORRIED WELLS.....and deep inside you know who you are.....AND PLEASE PLEASE TAKE HEED!!

The last 3 months have been a complete waste of my life and I can never ever get them back, my fears and depression made me miss out on the happiness and fellowship of Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years.  It caused me to isolate my friends and family, heck, even my cat!  I have spent 3 months looking in the mirror holding flashlights to every bump, lump, and mole I could find....looking for Oral Hairy Leukoplakia in my mouth, searching for Thrush, monitoring my every bowl movement (EVEN POKED AT SOME IN THE TOILET ----- YES T-O-T-A-L-L-Y GROSS).  I spent hours EVERT SINGLE DAY online looking up ARS symptoms, reading medical journals that were way beyond my comprehension, lurking in HIV chatrooms hoping I would come accross some seroconversion posts from positive people so that I could compare my "symptoms."  I think I must have taken my temperature 20 times a day.  I was extremely depressed and anxious and completely lost sight of who I am.  I stopped eating, i stopped loving and laughing, and most importantly I stopped being me.  Perhaps all of this was made worse by the fact that I actually came down with the flu about 5 weeks after my exposure and that was the breaking point.  I suffered, my job suffered, and it has just been awful to say the very least.

In actuality, putting ALL hypchondria aside, I actually did have the following symptoms (Aside from my sore throat and swollen lymph node behind my ear from my flu):

Extremely dry skin
Dry mouth
Hair loss
Strange bowel movements
EXTREME fatigue
Depression
A white painless tiny white spot in my mouth
Hives
complete loss of appetite
Burning pain in my thighs
Weakness in my uper arms
Brittle toe nails

I could go on and on.  Well I also have been to about 5 different doctor's during this period and they actually did find out that I have an enlarged thyroid goiter and possibly have an autoimme thyroid problem called Hashimoto's which I was tested for today (I already have Multiple Sclerosis). 

So what advise can I give to a worried well, from a confirmed worried well?  Here are a few words of wisdom and please please take heed before you truly do wreak havoc on your immune system needlessly!

-TESTING at 3 months is the only way to be certain of your status and no matter how many times you ask the window period questions to the moderators and no matter how differently you word it (Believe me I tried everything), the answer will always always be the same and that is because this is a proven FACT and not just something they are telling us to make us feel better.

-Be keen to yourself and your body, most of us subconsciously know when we are having "symptoms" that we deep down inside known to be highly unlikely or completely unfounded.

-On the flipside, if you really are having some TRUE symptoms, don't be scared to go to the doctor because you are afraid it will be HIV because you could be letting a TRUE health problem go untreated and unnoticed.  The one thing I learned in this ordeal is that there are truly SO SO SOOOO many illnesses that have the supposed ARS symptoms and 95%  of the time the timing is completely coincidental!

-Eventhough the window period is 3 months, I also tested at 8 weeks.  I found that this helped ease my fears termendously and also gave me the courage to go for a final test.  So I suggest testing at 8 weeks and 3 months....NOT every other week and having PCR tests done and all of that!

-Lastly, please respect that all of the moderators and HIV positive members on this site undoubtedly have enough on their plate and the last thing they need is ongoing frustration from Worried Wells who post over and over again without reading through the archives & lessons first.  If they tell you something, trust in their knowledge and don't come back asking the same question over and over again in 100 different ways, their answers will always be the same and it is a complete waste of their time and extremely well meant efforts.

Best of luck to all of the Worried Wells in dealing with your fears and anxiety, it has been a long road for me, I will probably still have bumps in the road, but I am definitely armed with better knowledge now and have gained the courage to get tested 3 months after ANY unprotected sex, other than with my husband when we are monogomous - Which I definitely do not foresee to be the case.

RapidRod, Andy, HIVWorker & Ann,

Thank you for all that you do and have done for me and so many others.  In all the years to come I wish you life, happiness, health, and prosperity fand thank you for fighting to change the stigma associated with HIV and get the facts out there to everyone. 

Regards

HopefulDespair....who wanted to change her name to Hopeful but couldn't figure out why!



Online Andy Velez

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2008, 01:52:06 PM »
Congratulations on the happy negative test result. Way to go!

The CDC says 13 weeks for testing but many countries use 12 weeks so yes, your test result is definitive and reliable.

As to dispensing with condoms, that's a decision for you and your partner to make if you are both comfortable with being in a securely monogamous relationship. (If it's a yes, you can enjoy yourselves getting pregnant.)

I don't know who the "they" is who say test to 6 months if the other person in an incident is known to be HIV positive. That's simply not so. It's nonsense. 12-13 weeks is sufficient with any of current tests to give you a reliable result with the exceptions you have also noted.

Good luck to you.
Andy Velez

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2008, 02:28:16 PM »
And best of luck to you Andy!!!  By the way, I got that statement about the 6 months from reading Dr. Bob's posts on TheBody.  I am confident in my negative result.  Thanks!!

Offline HIVworker

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #33 on: January 05, 2008, 01:58:11 AM »
Hurrah...although we knew it was going to be negative.

R
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2008, 06:16:11 PM »
Hi Andy, HIVWorker, & Ann

Well here I am back again, still worried and not taking my own long drawnout advise above, which I was actually kind of proud of!!  Anyways, freaking out bc this month my period came today....a week early when I am normally like clockwork and it appears that I have developed Erythematous candidiasis, no joke, honestly....my tongue had already been looking white, so the doc gave me some Dukes Magic Moutwash w Nyastatin....I chalked it up to the 10 - 5 MG of Prednisone I have been taking for the past month, but now I have been off of that for 1 week....but now who knows bc it appears that I now have Erythematous candidiasis.  I have 2 small irregular shaped, but kind of round spots on my tongue they are flat, are asymptomatic and the papillae in those spots has disappeared.  The spots are on the top of my tongue midline twds the back right before the circumvente papillae.  They have been there for 5 days with little change.  On the link below it shows that this type of candida is more prevelant in HIV positive indivduals.....so now I am at a loss and scared to death once again.  My main concern is the following, I do have an autoiimune disease, Multiple Sclerosis and a few years back (I have stopped for the past 2 years) I was taking Inteferon injections 3 x week to slow down my immune system....but again, not in the past 2 yrs....would that still label me as immunocomprimised and skew my test results?  Due to my MS and a sinnus infection in November I took a Medrol Dose pack, 86 mg prednisone in total over 1 week and then in the beg of Dec I started taking 10mg of prednisone daily, tapered to 5MG and now have been completely off the prednisone for the past week and a half. 

http://depts.washington.edu/hivaids/oral/case1/discussion.html


Could the on again / off again Prednisone use caused a false negative at 82 days?
Could my Multiple Sclerosis have caused a false negative at 82 days?
Could the fact that I took Interferon 2 years ago for several years caused a false negative at 82 days?
Is a negative at 82 days as good as one at 91 days using Oraquick Advance HIV 1/2 w oral fluid?
Is Erythematous candidiasis, specifically Erythematous - not standard thrush, normally only related to the HIV positive population?
Do any of the above statements make you feel as tough I should retest?

Thank you so much in advance for hopefully responding to me.....

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2008, 06:18:15 PM »
Look Despair,

I think we've patient long enough here. I can't see what more we can do for you. I'm flicking this one to the Moderators.

MtD

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2008, 06:50:55 PM »
Matty,

I am very sorry, but Inteferon is a very potent medication that involves the immune system and prednisone is a systemic steroid, so I feel that my questions are a little warranted, given the fact of what is going on with my tongue.....I simply want to make sure that I don't need to worry about a longer window period, that's all.  Thanks!!!!

Offline anniebc

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2008, 06:58:18 PM »
Quote
Lastly, please respect that all of the moderators and HIV positive members on this site undoubtedly have enough on their plate and the last thing they need is ongoing frustration from Worried Wells who post over and over again without reading through the archives & lessons first.  If they tell you something, trust in their knowledge and don't come back asking the same question over and over again in 100 different ways, their answers will always be the same and it is a complete waste of their time and extremely well meant efforts

It's time for you to start practising what you preach..as for you questions regarding your tongue, steroids and inteferon then you need to talk to your Doctor...this is an HIV site, you do not have HIV..therefore we can't help you anymore...please consider this a warning.

Jan

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2008, 06:59:04 PM »
Move on. You have your negative result. There is nothing more that any of us can say. If you have problems accepting your negative result consult a mental health professional.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2008, 07:26:44 PM »
OK. Don't bother with the palaver of more "thanks." It is not going to fly here.

You are HIV negative. Period. End of story.

If you have other physical concerns you need to discuss them with your doctor.

Coming back here again with more but, but, BUT and what ifs is going to earn you a 30 day time out. Really.

Yes, you are HIV negative. Got it? Your doubts and feelings are not facts. Your negative HIV test result is a reliable fact.
Andy Velez

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2008, 07:44:36 PM »
I am sorry if I have offended any of you.

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2008, 12:42:40 PM »
Andy, Ann & RapidRpd,

First of all, please do not get mad with me for posting again!!  I really do have a legitimate question regarding the 3% of people who have to test out to 6 months.  I have MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, which is an autoiimune disease and I do know that we have a greater chance of receiving a false POSITIVE than other people who do not have autoimmune diseases.  However, I have no clue how this would affect a false NEGATIVE outcome, so yesterday I called the health dept and asked them about the testing window and they indeed sited the 3 months, barring that you do not have certain illnesses and I asked what kind and the first one he said was AUTOIMMUNE diseases and then I said well I have one and he said well then the 6 month testing is suggested....do you think he confused false negative with false positive bc so far I have only heard that autoimmune diseases are more prone to false POSITIVES, but I never hear anything about autoimmune diseases and false NEGATIVES....I am not trying to be annoying, but i do have a disease that affects my immune system, although immuno suppressed would not actually be the correct label for it bc in my case MS actually causes an overactive immune system, could you please weigh in on this?  I know in my case it may not make any difference bc my hubby also tested negative at 12 weeks, but if I ever need testing again in the future I would just like to know.  Thanks!

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2008, 01:06:51 PM »
HD,

Autoimmune diseases do NOT cause false negatives; they sometimes produce false positives.

YOU ARE HIV NEGATIVE! Keep posting and you'll be given a time out.

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 HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2008, 01:12:36 PM »
Ann,

Thank you for your follow up....I really meant to ask whether it would extend the window period....I am a bit confused as to why this forum is so hostile at times, I thought that this is an open forum for people to ask questions and educate themselves further on transmission and testing.  I have obeyed the rules by staying in my thread and posting in the correct forum so i am just wondering why everyone is so mad at me.  I think that everyone should be happy that people such as myself want to educate themselves further and properly from a trusted source, which I wholeheartedly consider you guys to be.  I guess I am missing something, I am sorry.

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2008, 01:15:07 PM »
HD,

Autoimmune diseases do NOT extend the window period.

The problem with your repetitive posting is that we've answered the same questions for you again and again.

One more time - you do NOT have hiv. You ARE hiv NEGATIVE!

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 HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2008, 01:55:19 PM »
To the site moderators....

The only HIV test I have ever had were Oraquick orals @ 3,4, and 5 months.

This article scares the heebie geebies out of me....in your expert opinion.....should it indeed scare me and do I need to retest with blood?

http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=54297

Thanks!!

Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2008, 01:56:24 PM »
I mean to add the an 8% False negative rate seems EXTREMELY high!!

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #47 on: October 15, 2008, 02:54:33 PM »
HD,

It's highly unlikely that ALL of your results would be false negatives. Your husband also tested negative and he cannot give to you what he does not have.

If you cannot put this behind you without a blood test, then go have a blood test done. You don't NEED to have this done, it would only be for your own peace of mind. I don't expect it to be anything other than another negative result.

You will not be permitted to use this forum to go on and on about your doubts concerning your test results. As I said, if you're worried, go test. There's nothing more we can tell 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 HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #48 on: October 29, 2008, 02:20:02 PM »
Hi Ann!!

I hope this post finds you well!  Before you yell at me for posting again, please at least give me some credit for staying in my orignial thread rather than posting a new one or hijacking someone else's thread.  I just read your feedback in the post concerning the 50 school students:

"I can't help but wonder if the "powers that be" who are having these kids tested know about the possible false negatives that have recently been associated with a certain brand of oral swab testing? I hope they're on top of the window period issue as well, and make sure any kids who are still in the window - and have actually been at risk - get follow-up testing. "

That being said, it seems that you do hold in high regard, the latest on the Oraquick test problems.  Why would you take the stance then that is not necessary to retest?  Just wondering.....Thanks!


Offline HopefulDespair

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Re: Terrified! Looking for help from a site moderator or experienced person!!
« Reply #49 on: October 29, 2008, 02:21:52 PM »
Hi Andy!

Could I also get your opinion on this article:

http://www.kaisernetwork.org/daily_reports/rep_index.cfm?DR_ID=54297

Thanks and much appreciated!

 


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