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Author Topic: HIV+ and social impact  (Read 5653 times)

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Offline esperanza

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HIV+ and social impact
« on: July 08, 2009, 07:01:22 AM »
I have not tested yet, but the amount of symptoms (dermatitis, white tongue, intestinal mobility, malabsortion, skin rashes, night sweats, etc) I have developed since the day I was infected leaves little doubt I am positive. Although I'm still within the "window" (32 days), I'm hesitating to face the Truth because I am uncertain of how the HIV+ tag will impact my life from now on.

Due to a particular situation I have been thinking about getting treatment in another country (Brazil) and perhaps be a stealth in the US.  I wanted to poll all HIV+ members of this forum living in the US and ask:

"If you had a chance to treat the condition somewhere else and not get tagged in your country would you do so and why ? It's not only a matter of cost, but rather of health insurance, job, etc.

Please tell me what you think ?

Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 09:19:31 AM »
Esperanza, neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you anyting accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV test at the proper time, (13 weeks is recommended by the CDC), will give you a reliable answer.

There is nothing HIV specific about any of the symptoms you have mentioned. You also haven't mentioned what you think may have put you at risk.

As for polling others about what they might do, you are definitely jumping ahead of things. The first ting to do is to get tested at the appropriate time and establish whether in fact you are HIV positive or not. And hopefully not.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2009, 07:16:37 PM »
Andy,

Thank you very much for your reply. I fully agree with you. I intend to test at my 13 weeks for sure. Of course my anxiety is something I'll have to work on between now and then, but that's a different story.

As far as what I think it might have put me at risk I can try to explain. I had sexual intercourse with a female CSW back on Jun 6th. Of course we had a lot to drink, so our judgement and rationality were impaired.

To my dismay, at this time I don't remember if it the condom broke, and I might even have forgotten to wear it. I do remember coming inside her once and trying to other times, but the alcohol in my blood didn't help beat gravity.

That's when I remember using condoms (at least trying to use them). We tried anal on her but stopped because it was hurting her, she performed unprotected oral on me and I ended up fingering her while I was masturbating myself. One thing that surprised me was that she came profusely all over the bed (squirt) and I am almost sure I stroke my unprotected penis with the same hand I was fingering her. Although she kept saying to use the condom, I could have easily done without condom because her drive was high also. Long story short I might have had unprotected vaginal intercourse with her. My apologies if my description was too depicting...

On a slight moment of lucidity I asked where she was from and she told that she was from one of these border city between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. A place where drugs abound and foreigners from all over the world drop in for sex vacation...That's when the bitter truth started to sink in.

Since then I have been through a roller coaster of symptoms. I can hardly keep up with: for instance I had night sweats, fatigue and shivers in less than 24 hours after I was potentially infected. Developed a urinary incontinence and lower back pain after a couple of days, going 10 to 15 times / day. Went to the hospital and they could not find anything. After that, some small red dots appeared in my trunk and arms along with the white covered tongue (candida ? ). I was dehydrated and constipated, liquid diet and enema saved me from an intestinal infection (I hope), but my intestines are still not absorbing all the food (and meds)  I eat.

Short of fever, diarrhea and acute head ache, I've plenty of other flu-like symptoms, but as you said they don't tell anything. I was just wondering if anyone had anything like this and what kind of meds or procedures they took to cope with this roller coaster. Not even my loyal Ambien CR, which I have used occasionally in the past, has been helping me get some sleep....

I've always used condom before I got married - this was my first encounter outside my marriage. I didn't want to expose my wife to this potential contamination, so I told her what happened and she has been the greatest soul I could have found on earth.

I also called the CSW and discussed the situation with her - she was negative seven months ago. I convinced her to take another HIV test not only because of my own interest but because she might not know she is infected and might keep spreading the disease unknowingly - the poor girl has two toddlers. Don't have a lot to trust here, but not much to lose either.

I just bought an home access kit and will submit it tomorrow. As you said, lets hope I am not  positive.

Thoughts any one ?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2009, 07:19:14 PM »
Excessive drinking and sex don't mix...

Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 08:21:50 PM »
OK. A few thoughts...

Since you aren't really certain about what happened as far as protection or not, you definitely need to get tested.

Forget about pursuing the woman. Even if she reports having tested negative you need your own test result to know for sure. YOU are responsible for your health.

HIV is not an easy virus to transmit and it is significantly more difficult to accomplish from female to male. This was apparently only a single incident. You may have even been protected for part of the time with a condom. All of those factors work in your favor and make the likelihood of transmission to be less.

For the future you need to remember that it is very dangerous to mix excessive drinking and casual sex. For excactly the sort of reasons you have indicated in this experience.

You can do an initial test result at 6 weeks. A negative at that point will be very unlikely to change to positive at 13 weeks.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 03:50:43 PM »
Andy,

Thank you very much for your help so far. You and this website have been very supportive to my situation. I know you don't talk about symptoms here, but I'll share the situation because I've searched a bit online and could not find anything similar. Is just that I've been having a rollercoaster of different symptons and it's confusing to see if they are or can be related - There is always something new, everyday. Not even my doc was able to figure it out after all the exams I did so far (I'm getting another doc, though - mine had never treated any one that suspected of HIV infection).

I finally convinced my doc to give me Fluconazole to combat the white tongue and the stomach mobility. It worked far better than the Nystatin she prescribed before. But now I started to develop an "anorexia" of sorts, where I don't have the slightest appetite. I've eaten because I know I need not because I feel like. I already lost 10 pounds in the last 10 days.

I thought that anorexia and wasting was more related to later stages of HIV (even more so with AIDS). would it be possible I might be developing this symptoms before having other more known flu-like symptoms (diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomit - which I haven't had ...so far... I'm exatly 5 weeks behind my potential infection date - 06/06/09).

Also, I started to feel my right arm a bit colder than my body, blood pressure is quite high 145/80, but gets from hypo to hyper in a matter of hours. Could this be somewhat related ?

Any suggestions ?


Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2009, 04:50:05 PM »
Suggestions? Yes. Stop searching the net for quasi-information to feed your fears. Your various "symptoms" that you're coming up with are not even remotely HIV-specific. You're just driving yourself nutz is what you're doing so it's no surprise is jumping around up and down. Stress will knock your immune system and wreak havoc on your body.

You need to get productively busy with other things in your life. Ultimately I expect you to test negative.

We've evaluated your situation. There's really nothing more to say since you have to wait to get tested. And then collect what I expect will be a negative result.
Andy Velez

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2009, 07:36:53 PM »
Kudos Andy:

You were right. Several of my symptoms are not HIV related. Last Monday I finally started having pain in my lower left abdomen and learned in the hospital I had diverticulitis. I'm now on Metronidazole + Ciprofloxacin. Nevertheless, I did my home access test on Jul, 9 (33 days after exposure) and bDNA on Jul 15 (39 days after exposure), both negative (yeah !).

Now, what concerns me is the myalgia and fatigue I feel frequently and on a daily basis (of course the recurring white tongue, diarrhea and swollen lymph nodes are more associated to the antibiotic interaction with my immune system, correct ?).

I know I still have to test at 13 week to rule out, but some peace of mind would certainly help improve my immunologic system, right ?

Would it be possible to have undetectable Viral load 39 days after my exposure. Could I be concerned of a false-negative on a bDNA test ?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2009, 07:46:02 PM »
DNA tests are not approved diagnostic tests for HIV.

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2009, 08:02:03 PM »
Thanks rapid rod. Can you please be more specific ? I thought bDNA had a close to 99% sensitivity. My concern is whether the short-timeframe after exposure could lead to a false-negative.

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2009, 08:05:56 PM »
esp,

No, you need to be concerned about false POSITIVE results from a DNA test.

Chill out. You don't even have any idea if you had unprotected vaginal intercourse or not. I'd say not. Get a grip already.

Considering the testing you've done so far, you need to stop obsessing about 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 RapidRod

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2009, 08:08:54 PM »
DNA tests are monitoring tests for those that are HIV positive to monitor the progession of HIV.

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2009, 09:56:33 PM »
Ann:

Thank you for your encouragement words. I'm trying to stay away from the web-searching about the topic, quite successfully in the last days I might say. After learning from a DR that what I have in my white tongue is not thrush. I finally started to sleep more than a couple of hours a day. At least until today....

I just got back home and saw a bunch of non-itchy 1-3 cm size blister in my left groin / pelvic area . Any idea what's this ? It doesn't look like an HIV symptom, but the word of the day seems to be systemic immunosuppression, hence the worry. It's been almost 8 weeks and symptoms are piling up day after day - what's next ? I know nothing is normal on the this potentially acute phase, but is this at least plausible ? any one with such experience ?

by the way, I'm planning for the worse and hoping for the best. Just in case the fever comes up any med (prayer, herb, etc) suggestion as far as fending off the 106 F levels ? Thank you and god bless us all !

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2009, 07:47:34 AM »
esp,

See your doctor about your blisters. It's nothing to do with hiv.

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 esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2009, 06:17:59 PM »
Thanks a lot Ann. You are really an angel....

I went to the GP (for the second time this week) and the blisters seem to be some side-effect to the AB i was taking after the diverticulitis. But considering my HIV fixation, it really looked like a combination between psoriasis and seborrhea.

Although I'm a bit concerned with overall mylagia and the swollen glands (neck and now groin), weren't they suppose to come all at once ? ). I'll try to chill out. I'm just having a hard time not being able to focus in my work as much as I would like and stay away from the web.  >:(

In one time I find reassurance that my <75 bDNA test at 39 days after exposure since there is no information of false-negative to date (rapidrod I know what you are going to say and I appreciate your previous inputs - but if there is something more specific you want to say and cannot do it here - please pm me !), on the other hand I learn that bDNA might not detect other viral strains or subtypes.   ???

At end, all I want to do is be able to sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours a night...I've taken meds but these doesn't seem to work well and make me even more anxious..... ::)

Any suggestion of a head-doctor (with HIV experience) in central NJ ?

Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2009, 07:59:01 PM »
It is the policy of the site not to make referrals to doctors or other professionals.

If you have a doctor you might ask for a referral or call any professional organization for therapists in your area if you can't get a referral from a friend or someone else whom you know.

Andy Velez

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2009, 04:56:11 AM »
Hello Andy & Ann:

I have been following your advice and tried to stay away from the web. The anxiety has subsided a bit but I'm still preoccupied.

Just to recap. I had my exposure with a CSW in Latin America in a city known for the diversity of tourist from all over the world. All test so far have been negative including an undetected bDNA at 39 days.

My 9 weeks (65 days) home access test came back negative (Great !). However I've painful swollen glands in my neck, groin and armpits. An  intermittent headache, general muscular pain (feet sole, joints, wrist, arms, biceps and other muscles), a strange pain in my eyes and scalp is sensitive to touch,no fever yet. ESR of 1 and all other STD test came back negative too. My ID says that I might have an undetermined virus illness. Questions:

1) How likely is a 9 weeks negative become a positive at 13 weeks ?
2) Is it possible my tests have been negative because I might have been infected with a unidentified strain of the virus ? What are the chances this could happen ?
3) What do you suggest using to manage pain in swollen glands ?

You guys a have been great and I truly respect your drive to help others here. I wish you a blessed life and thank you for your help !

Offline RapidRod

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2009, 05:23:57 AM »
See your doctor for your concerns.

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2009, 07:39:28 PM »
Hello to all of you !

First of all, allow me to thank you for the great support you guys provide. I really appreciate the good will and dedication you exude for this challenging but manageable cause. I'm now  15 weeks behind my last exposure and my antibody HIV 1 & 2 came back negative. Needless to say your support helped me a lot to manage the anxiety and grief I was going through. Once again than you very much !

Now I have a couple of questions:

1) browsing through your forum, I noticed there are some members who tested negative during the first three months and after a month or two tested poz. How likely does this happen ?

2) I still carry the following symptoms:

-          Swollen glands: groin, neck and arm pits (from most painful to less, respectively)
-          Pain in the back of the eyes
-          Constantly feeling tired and fatigued
-          Few “short-lived” blisters in the face and backs
-          Redness all over the body, particular in feet, face and hands
-          Fatty secretion on nose and now starting in the forehead.
-          Scales falling from hair and bear (like dandruff / seborrheic dermatitis), hair also started to fall
-          Mild Sore throat
-          Fingernails have 3 different horizontal “colors / textures” stripes: white and translucent, a red one, a white diffused one
-          Flaky skin between fingers and toes

Can I rest assure, 3 months is conclusive despite all these symptoms ? If so, since these symptoms are quite unusual to come all together unless you have HIV, any suggestion which type of medical professional should I look for ? My ID says I have an undetermined virus and my PCP doesn't know how to address this. She thinks I'm perfectly healthy. How do I get out of this conundrum ?

Once again thanks for your help and keep up the great work.





Offline RapidRod

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2009, 07:42:30 PM »
Seek professional mental help to deal with it.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2009, 08:06:10 PM »
You're HIV negative. Period. End of story. So you can stop sniffing around trying to find more to worry about without any basis in HIV science. And we're not going to indulge you in that kind of behavior by treating your latest what if sort of questions as if they are something to be taken seriously.

If you have symptoms that are bothering you then discuss them with your doctor.

This is not an HIV situation and you are past due to get on with your life. No kidding.   
Andy Velez

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2009, 05:03:06 PM »
Thank you both for your answers.

Granted, all of these symptoms ought to be something else than HIV. Believe me, I'm already seeking both mental and medical help, what strikes me is the uncertainty and inconsistency of the diagnostics, but this is not your problem.

I apologize for the trouble and the inconvenience I've caused during the last 3 months. I promise I won't bore this you or other members anymore. Thank you for your help.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2009, 07:52:24 PM »
You're welcome.

Once again, your problem is NOT HIV.
Andy Velez

Offline esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2009, 07:14:27 PM »
Hello Andy,

I promised I would stay away from the forum until I tested at the 6 months mark and confirm my negative status. Unfortunately,I only managed to stay away for 2 weeks. I know you all are positive I'm not poz, but for Christ sake, there hasn't been one single doctor (and believe me, I've seen many) that could explain the plethora of symptoms I am currently feeling. All my labs were OK and I tested negative for HIV-1 at 4 months. But,

I'm still having abdominal pains - my bowel movements have never been the same since the episode, still have a general adenopathy (groin and axillary for sure, while I have a swollen mass in under my jaw - which might be a salivary gland but it could well be a lymph node), muscle and joint pains, a sore and cracked skin near the ankle, very dry skin in my hands and the seborreic dermatitis (itchy scalp and flaky skin in the browns). About a month ago, I started to have a mild headache, my eyes are occasionally itchy and painful. I've never had of the symptoms above before.
I usually start the day with energy, but I get worn out and fatigued towards the end of the day. To complicate things even more, I had an herpes outbreak in my lips (it healed in 10 days though).

If this clinical (and factual) status is not prone for a late seroconversion, can you please tell me what is ?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2009, 08:28:14 PM »
Work with your doctor for your concerns, HIV is not the issue.

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2009, 08:33:23 AM »
Esp,

Whatever is going on with you has NOTHING to do with hiv. You have conclusively tested hiv negative. You do NOT have hiv. Keep working with your doctor to find out what is going on. You have ruled hiv out of the picture.

If you read the Welcome Thread before posting like you're supposed to, you will have read the following posting guideline:

Quote

Anyone who continues to post excessively, questioning a conclusive negative result or no-risk situation, will be subject to a four week Time Out (a temporary ban from the Forums). If you continue to post excessively after one Time Out, you may be given a second Time Out which will last eight weeks. There is no third Time Out - it is a permanent ban. The purpose of a Time Out is to encourage you to seek the face-to-face help we cannot provide on this forum.


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 esperanza

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2009, 05:55:55 PM »
Ann, Andy and Rapid Rod,

All of you are great guys and really admire your selflessness in doing this job. A lot of the piece of mind I got so far is due to your reassurance during my moments of doubt.

I understand that I already tested negative more than once in the last months and that's not likely to change to positive. On the other hand, I believe one of your objectives with this forum is to educate people about HIV, correct ?

Let's say, for instance, that the CSW I had unprotected intercourse with 5 months ago, was infected with HIV-2, would an Home access Test detect the antibodies at the 3 months mark or at all ?

And what about the bDNA test, would it also detect it at 39 days after the exposure ?

Thank you for your help once again

Offline Ann

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Re: HIV+ and social impact
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2009, 08:09:05 PM »
esp,

As you've been repeatedly told, if you had hiv, the tests would have picked it up by now.

YOU DO NOT HAVE HIV. YOU ARE CONCLUSIVELY HIV NEGATIVE. End of story.

I'm giving you that time out I warned you about. Do not attempt to create a new account to get around your time out because if you do, you will be permanently banned.

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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