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Author Topic: all the ars symtoms!!!  (Read 6547 times)

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Offline boseph6

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all the ars symtoms!!!
« on: March 03, 2009, 07:24:32 PM »
Hello to all, here is how my story begins... First off I am a 24 year old heterosexual male whom is uncircumcised.  I just graduated college this past December and decided to go on a solo mission backpacking central America starting in January and on the night of the 12th i found myself taking part in some very very high risk behavior in San Jose Costa Rica with a very high risk Chica.  The day after the event i knew i placed myself at risk, and since then have been an absolute mess... but you make the bed you lye in right!!!! My symptoms almost started immediately... 5 days post exposure i had a rash on my arms and knees, slightly raised red dots with no itch, my friends passed it off as bed bug bites, but i did not... the rash went away in a few days and a bit of my anxiety went away with it, but not all... I then traveled north no Nicaragua where i spent a week camping on the beach's and surfing waves... after returning to town, San Juan Del Sur, i spent a night at a hostel.  After my first night of sleeping in my 5 dollar a night hammock i woke up with another rash, this one much worse at 2 1/2 weeks post exposure.  A band went around my thy and down my calf and then several other spots around my body, slightly raised ichless red dots again.  The weird thing is i did not have any spots where shorts and a shirt would cover... I instantly got on the internet at the hostel and began to look up STD related rash and of coarse the dreaded HIV rash popped up... i knew then what I had gotten myself into... my friends continued to tell me that i am in a different country and eating different food and camping on beach's and so on, but i knew it was more then that!  This is when i decided to book my ticket back to the states, and bail out on this adventure, which was more like a nightmare at this point... I returned home early February and at 3 1/2 weeks went and got a blood test, it was negative... I was so excited for about a second, until I got home, went on the computer and learned about the window period... I then booked a ticket down to Key West were my mother lives, because i knew they did testing for free down there and i needed some support.  While in the keys i got tested with a rapid test at 5 weeks which also came up negative, this made me feel hopeful but by no means in the clear... maybe it was just a rash from some exotic bush i rubbed on or some bug bites or something... however it got worse!!!  At the 6 week post exposure, while in the keys, i got a very severe penile yeast infection, my genitals and anus itched incredible bad, to the point were i scratched it with the back side of my Velcro on my board shorts, which thus left my shaft with some scrapes, not the best idea, but it did feel great at the time!!!  Then several days later i got an oral infection, i had a colsore on my lip, several cancures on my tongue, very swollen gums both on the top and bottom, a sore throat that went into my ear, and all the glans in my neck swelled up... This is when i became very very freaked out!!! I have now at this point returned from the Keys to my home on the east coast, where i am presently in week 7 post exposure... the oral infection had begun to go away but i still cannot brush my teeth because of my gums and tongue and I have been forced to eat soft foods such as yogurt!!  In my mind i am 100 percent positive that I contracted HIV, all the symptoms point toward it and fit within the time frame... This was the first time I had ever traveled abroad and before leaving i had opened myself up with a girl from California, whom I was planning on moving in with when i returned home in April... Now we aren't together so it wasn't cheating, but damn i wish i would have thought of her that night before drinking far to much whisky and simple disrespecting myself!!  Anyways I'm in the seventh week, awaiting the 3 month test, which i already know the answer too, very very frustrated with myself... I have told the beautiful lady in Cali that i am still in central America, via the internet, but i am waiting to break her the bad news, that we cant be together because of my stupidity!!!   I hate to lie, but i still have my figures crossed, and Ive been saying my prayers to every god every night and if it does come up negative, she has no idea the life I'm going to give her after staring down the barrel of a gun for three months!!!  Anyways so here is my question, sorry this has taken me so long to get to, hopefully you have all enjoyed reading my story!!!  I was planning on moving to California like I had said, for a girl or for myself!!! I was wondering how long after you become diagnosed positive can you go without starting the medication!!  I was thinking about leaving regardless very soon, but it would take a year to get residence in California, and with no present income or insurance I would not be able to get the meds for another year.  Is that a gamble of my life???  I am not good at staying in one place ever and this is going to be a challenge so i figure at lease if i start my new life on the other side of the country, even if its alone, then i will feel content for a few minutes!!!  Anyways anyone who wants to chime in and hand me some information it would be appreciated muchly!!!  Once again sorry for this obsessively long Blog!!!

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2009, 07:25:44 PM »
 sorry I spelled symptoms wrong!!! =)  spell check missed the title!!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2009, 07:36:35 PM »
hopefully you have all enjoyed reading my story!!! Not really.  Just amazes me that in 2009 people still don't use condoms to prevent HIV and other STDs. 3 months post exposure will give you a conclusive test result.

Offline Ann

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2009, 08:02:36 PM »
bo,

And it amazes me that someone with a college education has no idea about paragraphs. I nearly went cross-eyed reading your unnecessary block posting of symptoms.

Symptoms or even the LACK of symptoms will never tell you a single thing about your hiv status. Would you be worried if you had no symptoms? You still had a risk either way.

And by the way, PEOPLE are not risky, ACTIVITIES are. The only true risk group is that group of people who have unprotected anal or vaginal interocourse and that puts YOU into a high risk group.

Luckily for you, hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus and more so from a woman to a man. I don't expect your five week negative result to change. The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days. A six week negative must be confirmed at three months, but is unlikely to change. (your five week negative is also unlikely to change)

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

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

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

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

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 boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2009, 08:22:37 PM »
Ann,
thank you for your fast response, and i appriciate the opptimism in a time when i couldn't be more pesimistic...  Your right you should always use condoms, i knew that when i was 16 and started having sex and I know that now when i am 24, nothings changed....  HIV was never something that I had even considered, why i have no idea!!!! The biggest concern in my small college was pregnancy or maybe clamidia or so I thought!!!  This whole situation has deffinatly made me view sex and never mind life for that matter through a very different lense.  If someone would have scared me the way that i am scared right now i would be in very different shoes today.

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2009, 08:46:45 PM »
Sorry i wasn't done, my commputer freaked out... But thank you for you optimism in a time when i could not be more of a pessimist...

but Yes, i would still have been concerned, i always use condoms and for some reason I didn't this time... I was scared and even more so disappointed even the next morning and didn't go out with my friends the next night...

And yes she was high risk, in the morning i found out she was a prostitute, i had no idea and there was no discussion over money ever... very strange... but like you said the situation would have been completely avoidable with a condom... not to mention i am uncircumcised which i have recently learned steps up the chances...

I have already scheduled my 3 month appointment for April 10th for a full STD screening, so now all i can do is remain abstinent, which sounds great right now, and wait for my results...

thanks again to this website it is the best i have found for personal information on HIv and I am very appreciative of that!!!  Also I was disapointed by the statement "not really" not that it isn't the truth, you dont have to be interested in my life,  but if i haven't beaten myself up enough over this situation somebody else's negativity is not appreciated...

Offline RapidRod

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2009, 09:11:21 PM »
Then you should not have made that comment, now should you? I didn't enjoy reading your story. Just goes to show that even educated people don't use there head when it comes to sex.

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2009, 09:19:29 PM »
Truth... i couldn't agree more!!!

Offline Ann

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2009, 09:50:00 AM »
Bo,

Once again, PEOPLE are NOT high or low risk, ACTIVITIES are. You need to be using a condom with ANYONE, no matter what risk group you perceive them to be in. As I told you before, the ONLY REAL risk group is that group of people who have unprotected intercourse. And that my friend, includes YOU.

Considering you had some genital symptoms, you'd be wise to test for the other, more easily transmitted infections NOW. With the exception of hiv and syphilis, which share a three month window period, you can test for the other STIs ten days to two weeks after an encounter, or sooner if symptoms arise.

I sincerely hope you learn from this incident. Use condoms no matter who you're with, until you're securely monogamous and have tested for everything together.

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 boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2009, 09:57:08 PM »
I was just wondering if someone could answer my question in regards to how long someone typically can go after being diagnosed with HIV without starting medication?  Is a year or so a gamble of ones life?  Also what is the average length of time someone with HIV, living a holistically healthy life will  live?  i couldn't find anything on this online! thanks

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2009, 08:11:49 AM »
Bose, you're jumping way ahead of yourself to be asking about HIV treatment and progression. It's not a simple matter and there are variables and different opinions.

Right now the most important thing is for you to establish what your HIV status is. Hopefully you're going to test negative. So let's hold off any further conversation about this subject until you get that answer. With a negative at 5 weeks, I agree with Ann that odds are in your favor that you're going to continue to test negative.

Meantime I suggest you get productively busy with other matters in your life. It will help passing the waiting time much easier if you do that.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2009, 01:19:57 PM »
Once again thanks Andy for your optimism in a time when I am nothing but a pessimist...

Its a tough time because after just returning home from this not so epic adventure I am now living at home, not in a school and without a job... its making time pass mighty slow... and after getting this miscellaneous oral infection, which i have definitely never had anything like before and it came on a week after my last test therefore it is hard to stay positive...

But you are correct and I simply need to wait it out... only five more weeks... its going to be a long 5 weeks though...

I regards to the oral infection are there any other STD's that this seems to resemble... several chancres on my tongue, colsore on my lip, bleeding and swollen gum's, and extremely swollen and sensitive glans in both sides of my neck... Anyways thanks again for the advise!!!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2009, 03:14:24 PM »
I understand and appreciate your anxiety. That may be a contributing factor to your symptoms along with other life realities you have mentioned. They often affect the immune system adversely. Nothing, absolutely nothing you are describing symptomatically is in any way HIV specific. In general neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms should ever be taken as a way of knowing one's HIV status.

I will say that ARS symptoms do not come in spurts. If they are going to show up it's all at once and they remain for a week to two weeks generally. Again I want to repeat that nothing you are reporting is HIV-specific. And if I am reading your details correctly, you had a single unprotected incident that you're concerned about. HIV is not an easy virus to transmit. It is significantly more difficult to accomplish from female to male. All of those factors weigh in your favor against infection having occured. e

It takes effort but direct your attention to other matters in your life. That will help to make the time pass quickly than you may imagine is possible.

Now, get busy with other things.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 04:26:14 PM »
I am so excited .... cant even explain the degree of happiness in my soul today... i just got my 8 week test back and it was negative, i almost cant even believe it... most of my symptoms are gone now, except the glands in my neck are still swollen, I'm 10 weeks post exposure now ... I still have my appointment for April 10th for the full STD screening but I'm in the best shape i could be in at this point!!

Defiantly a lesson well learned and some serious life changes on my part are to come...

Anyways my question is how accurate is an 8 week blood test? i know i still have to be re tested but just curiouse...

Thanks again to all for you support!!!!   

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2009, 09:51:57 PM »
That's great about your negative test result.

The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. All but the smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after a risk.

A negative at this point points the way to virtually certainly continuing to test negative at 13 weeks. That's certainly what I expect for you.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2009, 12:10:29 PM »
Andy once again thanks for your optimism...

I was also wondering if you had any knowledge or if there have been any studies done on the correlation between experiencing the acute syndrome and when the individual test positive...  I read somewhere on the internet that people often test positive 10 or so days after they experience the syndrome ... Therefor if you have the symptoms early then you would test earlier and vise versa... i didn't know if this s fact or simply internet blabber?

Also last time we talked you said to move toward the things that are important in life... so i wanted to let you know that i started working out last week again, i have a bike rout which goes to the gym... so regardless of the outcome this is a start and i haven't had drink in well over a month, i even DD for my father and his friends last Saturday to a comedy show... I'm never the DD...

So once again thanks for your inspiration and words of wisdom... keep doing what your doing!!!


Offline Andy Velez

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #16 on: March 25, 2009, 01:13:25 PM »
Everything but a test result at the right time is just more speculation. And speculating about HIV is not something that I have found is useful for anyone.

Taking good and better care of yourself is much more to the point. And it's something you can do no matter what your feelings are at any given moment. So press on.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2009, 01:27:16 PM »
I went for my final test last week... now the wait is on!!!  I am still 100% sure I contracted the virus, but i would rather know then not... its been an interesting 3 months, I've learned a lot about myself, however it hasn't been easy and not all good things.  It definitely is quit the reality check, I've completely eliminated myself from the social scene.  I don't know if that's good or bad, its just been real hard to be "present" when you mind is on another planet!!

I'm obviously sincerely hoping that it was just the crazyest scare possible, with all the symptoms!!! But i know in the back of my head that's not the case.  I'm not sure where the next few months are going to take me, but i hope to be happy again soon!!  Ive never been a depressed person, actually I'm normally a very positive person, but not right now.  Its hard to not beat yourself up when you through your life away for some silly drunk night!!!  Sober sex sounds like heaven on earth these days! 

Also i think planned parenthood needs to change policy!  I think you should take the rapid test to start and if that comes up positive then have your blood drawn...  The 2 week wait is absolute tourcher, and they tend to take the full 14 days, at least here in Maine. 

Anyway thanks Andy and Anne for your support the last few months... I'll keep you posted on how the results turn out!

Offline Ann

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2009, 02:32:43 PM »
Bo,

Relax. Your eight week negative isn't going to change.

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 boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2009, 02:42:28 PM »
Ann, once again thank you for your optimism in my world of my pessimist.  You don't know how much of a difference it truly makes, even though words are only words and testing at the right time is the true indicator. 

I'm just super nervous because i have that strange oral infection from 6-8 weeks post exposure.  I got tested on the 8 week mark but my glands were still a little tender and swollen.  In my mind I'm sure that if i would have tested at the 10 week mark it would have been positive, because there would have been a sufficient amount of time after the symptoms subsided for antibodies to build up.

I mean seriously unprotected sex with a sex work, uncircumcised and that bisare oral infection, golf ball size glands, swollen gums, sores in my mouth... if that isn't ARS then what is!!!  The odds are surely not in my favor.  I'm just waiting to test positive... But the blood is in the chemists hands and only time can tell!!!   

Anyways thanks again... and I'll keep you posted!!! 

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2009, 11:12:54 AM »
Ann, you were right... I'm still in shock, cant even believe it... My full Std screening came up negative for everything at 12 weeks... I had every symptom including the rash!!!!  I just let out a five minute yell session out at my home by meyself!!! 

Thank you all for you support the last three months... I'm happy that I put myself through this tourcher though, it deffinatly is going to give me a different perspective on life for the rest of my life.... celebrating every day....

My only question is a 12 week not a 13 week considered conclusive or should I go back one last time in a month or so to get checked up!!!!

Thanks again!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2009, 11:41:21 AM »
Your results will not change within a week.

Offline boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2009, 02:11:37 PM »
sorry one last question... the doctor wants me to test at 6 months and 1 year... so I'm just curiouse how conclusive is conclusive?  Have you ever seen someone test negative at 12 weeks and then positive later?  Online you see that 12 weeks is 95%, or 99%, or 100%, or 99.97% so which one is it actually?
The reason I ask is because my friend from california is thinking about moving to maine for the summer, and i want to know if we should be using protection up to a year from now or if its all good?  thanks again!

Offline Ann

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2009, 02:19:04 PM »
Bo,

Three months is conclusive. In the UK and most of the rest of the developed world, three months is considered twelve weeks. In the US, it is considered thirteen. The ONLY difference is in how one divides up the year. While there are twelve months, there are thirteen four-week periods. It makes no difference where in the world you are, twelve or thirteen weeks are both conclusive.

You do NOT need further testing over this incident. You ARE hiv negative. (Your doctor could do with some updating on all things hiv)

You and your friend need to use condoms until such time as you have BOTH tested for ALL STIs TOGETHER. To do otherwise would be foolish. Protect your negative hiv status and NEVER go by what someone says about their hiv status - they might not KNOW they're hiv positive.

Keep posting about your CONCLUSIVE negative results and you'll be given a time out. Please consider yourself warned.

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 boseph6

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Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2009, 06:35:10 PM »
Thank you ann,

I dearly appriciate your support the last 3 months and lucklily for me you will not see another post!!!

I have surely learned my lesson that sex is not something to mess around with!!!!

Thanks again!!

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: all the ars symtoms!!!
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2009, 06:38:35 PM »
Bo,

You're welcome. Just remember to use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv infectoin. It really is that simple.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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