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Author Topic: I know I'm at risk...need some support  (Read 1125 times)

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Offline prettylady

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  • Posts: 4
I know I'm at risk...need some support
« on: July 24, 2011, 11:52:26 AM »
Hi everyone! I've been reading this forum for a few days now and there's some really good information being given here. It's a wonderful resource.

I'm a little different than the others that post here. It seems most people are wondering if they were at risk. I KNOW I have been at risk several times...and I'm SCARED TO DEATH to get test.

Here are my situations. I've been sexually active for about 2 years. I've had about 10 partners within that time span. Most were protected. The others.....well....were unprotected. In total I would say about 50% were unprotected. Most of them however were one time unprotected encounters except for 2. I remember being with one guy on a regular unprotected for about 3 months and the other (the one I'm really concerned about) 3 different times. The last one was only about a week ago so I'm trying to wait 3 months to get test for that situation. I've asked everyone I've slept with if they had been tested and they all said the were HIV- but I know you cant trust people these days.

Here's the other reason scared out of my mind. I'm an African American female and we have the highest number of new HIV cases. I am a really smart person, as a matter of fact I'm a teacher, but I know I have made some truly dumb mistakes that were totally not worth the risk. I am 25 years old and have my whole life in front of me. I do not want this virus. I have prayed and prayed about this and I'm soooo scared to get tested. I think my life would end. I couldn't tell my parents if I had it because it would completely crush them.

So the reason why I'm here is to get some support. I have a few questions as well.
1. What are the benefits of getting tested? I feel like I would rather not know.
2. When is the earliest I could get tested and have some type of answer as to if I have it?
3. What's the best place to go to get tested? Clinic or doctor's office?
4. Are there any tests that I could get and if out my status instantly? The waiting is gonna kill me.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Online Andy Velez

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Re: I know I'm at risk...need some support
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 11:55:30 AM »
Hi everyone! I've been reading this forum for a few days now and there's some really good information being given here. It's a wonderful resource.

I'm a little different than the others that post here. It seems most people are wondering if they were at risk. I KNOW I have been at risk several times...and I'm SCARED TO DEATH to get test.

Here are my situations. I've been sexually active for about 2 years. I've had about 10 partners within that time span. Most were protected. The others.....well....were unprotected. In total I would say about 50% were unprotected. Most of them however were one time unprotected encounters except for 2. I remember being with one guy on a regular unprotected for about 3 months and the other (the one I'm really concerned about) 3 different times. The last one was only about a week ago so I'm trying to wait 3 months to get test for that situation. I've asked everyone I've slept with if they had been tested and they all said the were HIV- but I know you cant trust people these days.

Here's the other reason scared out of my mind. I'm an African American female and we have the highest number of new HIV cases. I am a really smart person, as a matter of fact I'm a teacher, but I know I have made some truly dumb mistakes that were totally not worth the risk. I am 25 years old and have my whole life in front of me. I do not want this virus. I have prayed and prayed about this and I'm soooo scared to get tested. I think my life would end. I couldn't tell my parents if I had it because it would completely crush them.

So the reason why I'm here is to get some support. I have a few questions as well.
1. What are the benefits of getting tested? I feel like I would rather not know.
2. When is the earliest I could get tested and have some type of answer as to if I have it?
3. What's the best place to go to get tested? Clinic or doctor's office?
4. Are there any tests that I could get and if out my status instantly? The waiting is gonna kill me.

Thanks in advance for your help!

First of all, you need to make a committment to behave responsibly regarding your own health from here on in. That means anytime you are with a guy and having intercourse he has to wear a condom. No exceptions no matter what you think you know about his history or anything else. Even well meaning guys don't necessarily know their accurate status, so a condom is a must. Everytime. You can have sex with anyone you want to regardless of his HIV status. You just have to do it the safer way which means always using condoms.

And yes, you absolutely need to get tested. It makes all the difference in the world to know your status accurately. Burying your head in the sand about this issue doesn't work. You know yourself that this is on your mind.

You maybe worrying needlessly. Hopefully you may have scooted by safely and will test negative. But if you test positive, that puts you in the best position to protect your health and to keep you healthy. Not getting tested is not a responsible option. As for worrying about the reaction of your parents, I am sure they want you to always protect your health and getting tested is doing just that. 

I don't know where you are writing from. If you are in any city there is likely an AIDS service organization. You can call them and ask where you can get tested. A link for where to get tested: http://aids-testing.com/ or to find out the location of your nearest anonymous HIV testing site call the AIDS and Sexual Health Infoline at 1-800-668-2437. You might be able to locate a site which can give you a reliable result while you wait.

You should get tested at 3 months after the most recent unprotected intercourse for a conclusive result.

Getting tested doesn't mean waiting until you feel brave. The important thing is to get it done.

Good luck and keep us posted.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 12:11:23 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline prettylady

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  • Posts: 4
Re: I know I'm at risk...need some support
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 12:33:22 PM »
Thanks Andy.

I defintely will get tested and will not engage in unprotected sex any more. It is not worth the risk and worrying.

At what point can I get tested before the 3 month mark? I really dont want to wait 13 weeks although I know is the most conclusive.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: I know I'm at risk...need some support
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 12:55:25 PM »
The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. You can test initially at 6 weeks because all but the very smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will have done so within 4-6 weeks after a possible exposure.

Assuming that hopefully you test negative at 6 weeks, the likelihood is that you will continue to test negative for a conclusive result at 13 weeks.

I'm glad to know you are going to get tested. Good luck.
Andy Velez

Offline prettylady

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  • Posts: 4
Re: I know I'm at risk...need some support
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 12:58:28 PM »
Last question...I promise.

What is seroconversion? I googled it but still don't quite understand it.

Thanks again for your help.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: I know I'm at risk...need some support
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2011, 01:05:05 PM »
Seroconversion is the process during which your immune system is responding to having become infected with the HIV virus. It is the mobilization of antibodies to fight off the infection. After seroconversion is when you would test positive if that has happened. 

It is during that period of seroconversion that ARS may occur, the symptoms which some notice. However, neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms is ever an accurate barometer to knowing one's HIV status because the symptoms resemble those of so many other illnesses. An HIV-specific test is the only reliable way to know.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 01:06:41 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline prettylady

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  • Posts: 4
Re: I know I'm at risk...need some support
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2011, 01:18:41 PM »
Thanks hun.

Online Andy Velez

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  • Posts: 24,707
Re: I know I'm at risk...need some support
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2011, 02:07:07 PM »
You're welcome. Good luck.
Andy Velez

 


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