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Author Topic: New to this board - Please read my story  (Read 4062 times)

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Offline PRCR625

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New to this board - Please read my story
« on: September 17, 2008, 09:26:34 PM »
Dear All,

Let me start out by saying how wonderful this board is. The information is so informative and the compassion is inspiring. God Bless you all!

My husband and I have been together for 12 years, married for 2. He has always been faithful but did admit to having a "happy ending" massage (fellatio only) 4 years ago on vacation. He was diagnosed as HIV positive on June 25, 2008 by Elisa test and Western Blot. Needless to say, we are both devastated.

We had unprotected intercourse the last week in May. During this time he developed an odd rash all over his body. I was tested on June 27, 2008 after his diagnosis (the 4 week mark since intercourse) and was HIV negative. His doctor did not attribute the rash to his HIV status and gave him Zyrtec. Let me mention that each time we had intercourse he never ejaculated inside of me because we were not sure we were ready for children. Out of paranoia, I had another HIV test on July 8, 2008 (6 week mark) and again tested negative.

Three weeks after his diagnosis his doctor called and said his RPR test for syphilis came back positive. More devastation. We now know this is the cause of the rash. He was put on a three week course treatment of penicillin and was cured. I then had another HIV test and a RPR test on July 14, 2008 (7 week mark) and tested negative for both.

Out of paranoia I again had a HIV test and RPR test on July 24, 2008 (8 week mark) and again tested negative.

On August 5, 2008 he began Atripla. Aside from minor side effects such as a rash which disappeared within 2 days, he is doing fine. His doctor tested me again for HIV, RPR, Chlamydia & Gonorrhea on August 18, 2008 (13 week mark). I tested negative on all accounts.

Our hearts are broken. He has no idea how this happened to him. I have an HIV test every year as part of my regular physical. He tested once years ago. We figured we were safe because I always tested negative. How wrong we were. His doctor says it is possible he contracted HIV years before meeting me and it layed dormant for years. I have a very hard time believing that.

My questions are:

1.) Do you believe the virus could lay dormant in him for over 10 years?

2.) Do you think the syphilis he had could have altered to HIV test results to show a false positive?

3.) What are my chances of converting to HIV Positive past the 13 week mark?

Thank you all for the time you spent reading this post. I know we will get through this somehow but we just haven't figured it out yet.

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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  • Cheech 2.2.94 - 4.23.10 We miss you so much!
Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2008, 09:38:47 PM »
Hi P~

I can offer my opinion with regards to your first question.  My late husband died of AIDS.  I tested positive in '93, and found out that he had known he was positive but never told me.  While my husband was ill with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, I spoke with many of his doctors and also had copies of medical records sent back and forth.

Upon reading my husband's medical records in '95, I learned that he had been diagnosed as pos back in '88.  He also didn't take his meds during the time that we were together.  He took AZT for perhaps a week.

So, my point is, he was diagnosed in '88, didn't take meds and showed no symptoms until '95, passing in '96.  That's seven years of him looking like anyone else walking down the street with no infections, 8 years of no meds until the time of his death.

I'm not sure if I'm addressing your question exactly when you ask about the virus being "dormant" though.  It sounds as if perhaps your husband tested a long time ago, became exposed and was pos, but didn't know it.

I know you are devastated, but be happy that you KNOW, and continue to seek treatment.

~ Cindy
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline Ann

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Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 06:31:35 AM »
Hi PR, welcome to the forums.

I've moved your thread from the Am I Infected forum here to the Someone I Care About forum, which is the more appropriate place for you to be posting.

A better word for the doctor to have used would be asymptomatic rather than dormant. The word dormant implies that the virus is "sleeping", but in fact it would have been quietly doing its damage for the duration of the infection. And yes, it is totally possible that your husband has been positive for years with no symptoms, hence the word asymptomatic. If he had an antibody test during those "dormant"/asymptomatic years, he would have tested positive.

This is why, in the Am I forum, we stress that symptoms, or even the LACK of symptoms, mean nothing when it comes to knowing your hiv status. ONLY hiv antibody testing will ever tell you anything about your hiv status.

As the doctor has already put your husband on hiv meds, and is of the opinion that this is a long-standing infection, there is little doubt as to his hiv status. You don't mention his CD4 counts or Viral Load, but if he's on meds already, these numbers would have indicated the need for meds. They don't do that if a person is hiv negative but having false antibody results.

And besides, syphilis is not one of the conditions that is known to cause false positives.

A negative three month hiv antibody is conclusive. You do not have hiv. This isn't as unusual a situation as you might think. We have had other women posting here whose partners tested positive yet they remained negative. The fact that you were avoiding conception likely went in your favour.

As long as you two use condoms from now on, you'll retain your negative hiv status. Please read through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use the correctly and with confidence.

Good luck, and please keep in touch with us. You don't have to go through this alone.

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 Finnboy

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Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 06:55:05 AM »
Hi

1.) Do you believe the virus could lay dormant in him for over 10 years?

What Ann says. HIV is what is known as a 'slow virus' meaning that it can take very many years for it to do sufficient damage for it to become symptomatic but it certainly isn't dormant and the infected person certainly isn't just an unaffected carrier of the virus.

2.) Do you think the syphilis he had could have altered to HIV test results to show a false positive?

No. Besides, if your husband's doctor has put him on medications, he will almost certainly also have had a measurable load of HIV circulating in his blood stream. That combined with positive antibody testing could only be the result of being infected with HIV.

3.) What are my chances of converting to HIV Positive past the 13 week mark?

Once again, just endorsing what Ann says. Your negative status is not just conclusive, but also quite believable. Between infection and diagnosis, I myself had unprotected sex on numerous occasions with the same individual and didn't pass the infection on.

Try to forget about the past and explaining how it has happened. Concentrate of the future, staying healthy and HIV-negative.

Offline PRCR625

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Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 07:55:11 PM »
Dear Ann,

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and extensive knowledge. I guess in my heart I want to believe this is all a bad dream but it is time I woke up, faced the truth and start being proactive about the situation.

I am gald we now know my husabnd's status. I want to focus 100% on his health because he means everything to me. His CD4 count at diagnosis was around 300, viral load 35,000. Today we received his 1 month test results on the Atripla. CD4 count is 790, viral load undectable. Even though I have my "low" moments, I think we have alot to be thankful for. I was negative @ 3 months and will re-test  @ 6 months to be sure, he is responding well to his meds and is here with me and laughing and hugging me and alive. That is a blessing.

I will keep in touch and will forever be grateful because I know I can depend on you if I need. Thank you so much!

Cindy,

You are an inspiration. I have so much respect for your strength and courage. I hope one day I can be like that. Thank you for sharing your story...I hope you will keep in touch with me.

Offline PRCR625

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  • Posts: 20
Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 08:01:50 PM »
Hi all,

I am responding to sadunkal. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me.

My husband did not decide to take a HIV test, our doctor threw it in for good measure.

I will do the google search, but I want to be realistic with myself.

Ann, since I am still learning, does an HIV negative person have a viral load of zero? A high CD4 count?
Does my husaband's first CD4 test of 300 and viral load test of 35,000 confirm his HIV status?

Thank you!!

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 08:10:53 PM »
PR,

Strictly speaking, his diagnosis was confirmed by the positive Western Blot result. Having said that, yes, a negative person would have a zero viral load - after all, they're not infected and would have no virus in the body to measure. Viral load testing is not approved for diagnostic purposes for the reason that they can sometimes return false positives, but the numbers produced by these false results are usually very small. Certainly not 35,000.

The most important thing right now is that you found  out, you've remained hiv negative and he's responding VERY well to treatment. Hang in there. You're both going to be just fine.

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 PRCR625

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 08:18:45 PM »
Ann,

Your comment about responding VERY well to treatment just put a HUGE smile on my face!!

How can we keep him doing well and remaining undetectable?

Thank you!!

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 08:39:51 PM »
PR,

He needs to take his meds everyday and as close to the same time every day as possible. Other than that, he only really needs to do what anyone else needs to do to stay healthy - eat right, exercise and enough rest.

If you haven't already, please check out the Lessons section of this website. There's loads of good information in there. http://www.aidsmeds.com/articles/Introduction_4702.shtml

And yes, he has responded VERY well. He went undetectable and had a huge increase in his CD4s all in the short space of one month. He's a lucky man, in more than one respect - and you're one of them.

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 PRCR625

  • Member
  • Posts: 20
Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 08:50:51 PM »
Ann,

Thank you very much, as always!!!

I figure we can approach this one of 2 ways:

Give up and throw in the towel
or
Get educated and live the full, wonderful life I always planned for us.

I'm going with #2!! Life threw us a lemon and I intend to make the BEST lemonade EVER!!!

Goodnight!

Offline sadunkal

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  • Posts: 2
Re: New to this board - Please read my story
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2008, 02:31:49 PM »
It's wonderful that you're so proactive.  :D
I wish everyone could be like that.

But still one little recommendation after reading about his viral load result, I hope Ann doesn't mind but you might really want to repeat the western blot too. Who knows, maybe even the doctor could have made a little mistake. False positive rates are said to be low indeed, but even very low means that it happens every once in a while you know...  ;)  (Besides, I'm not so sure how likely it is for a man to get infected as a result of a fellatio, I think it's pretty unlikely actually. It's not so much different than a french kiss in the "HIV sense" isn't it?) I don't want to give false hope, but since this is a very serious matter we shouldn't exclude other possibilities easily in my opinion.

Good luck and stay strong!

 


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