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Author Topic: terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure  (Read 3693 times)

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Offline londonboy87

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terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure
« on: July 18, 2009, 04:55:25 PM »
I'm a 22yr old gay guy and I'm in a very bad place right now. I am an intelligent guy, would never have sex without a condom and don't sleep around or have ever touched drugs.

Unfortunately I made a huge mistake.. whilst partying on holiday I got very very drunk in a club, an older guy led me into this room and everything from then is a huge blur..

I know I had sex and afterwards I remember crying because I felt guilty and ashamed of my behaviour, I could have got help and thought about pep but thought I would never have done anything unsafe or allowed that to happen.

It seems I may well be wrong.. a week later I had a period of illness, diarrhoea, swollen glands, fever and night sweats and I'm terrified about what might have happened that evening.

I know I've been very stupid and the risk here is very high, it seems likely I have hiv and I can't quite believe it could happen to a person like me.
I am a good person with a great job who loves life and now I feel i've thrown that all away.. and to top it all I could have prevented it.

I guess I'm writing this for reassurance, is there anyone out theres hiv positive because of one stupid mistake?
Im a strong person but I can honestly say this may be to much for me to handle.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 05:05:51 PM by londonboy87 »

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 05:44:50 PM »
London,

Now for a start, just because you're feeling unwell does NOT necessarily mean you've been infected. It sounds like you've been pretty upset since this happened and that kind of stress can make you more susceptible to any little bug going around - and intense stress itself can make you feel like shit. I also live in the UK and know for a fact there's been a few bugs around this summer, swine flu being only one of them. Symptoms, or even the LACK of symptoms mean nothing where hiv is concerned. ONLY testing at the appropriate time will reliably reveal your hiv status.

If you had unprotected anal intercourse,  you're at risk either way, but if you were top, you were at less risk than if you were bottom. And yes, unfortunately, the bottom is always at higher risk for any STI.

The earliest you should test is at six weeks, as the vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by then. A six week negative is highly unlikely to change, but must be confirmed at the three month point.

Regardless of the outcome, rest assured you ARE going to be ok. And yes, there are plenty of us who ended up poz because of one stupid, drunken mistake. Stop beating yourself up - that's not going to change one single thing, it's only going to make you more miserable.

I'm sure you're a good person - many of us who are poz ARE good people. It's a virus we have, not a judgement on our lifestyles or punishment for mistakes we've made. If you're a strong person, there's no reason why that should change. You can still live a full and fulfilling life even with hiv. I know I am! If I can do it, so can you if you need to.

But we're putting the cart before the horse here. You need to take some deep breaths and calm down. Regardless of the outcome, you WILL be ok. If you're negative, then lesson learned - don't get legless in a situation where someone might take advantage of you. If you're  poz, the treatments have vastly improved in the last few years. You might not even need treatment for YEARS yet and the meds are improving all the time.

The bottom line here is - if you've had unprotected intercourse, then you're at risk. Symptoms mean nothing, so don't assume you're poz just because you feel unwell. Test at the appropriate time - six weeks - and re-test at three months if you get a negative result.

Good luck with the testing. In the meantime, stay off hiv related websites - all you'll do is feed your anxiety and make yourself sick with worry. Be smart and don't do that!

Ann


edited for a stupid saturday night typo
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 05:54:37 PM by 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 decayingsinner

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Re: terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 07:58:03 PM »
I'm sorry to hear about your concern and I hope you keep us posted. I understand your anger and shame you are dealing with. Of course I was most likely infected by a stupid mistake.... partying and then not giving a damn.

Hoping for the best for you.  Just understand that in the worst case scenario, the medicine that is available today still blows my mind.  I plan on living a long, happy life despite what has obstructed my path.

Offline londonboy87

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Proviral DNA Test (PCR) At 10 Days
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2009, 08:36:26 AM »
Hi guys, I wandered if anyone would knew much about how this test works?

I have had this test taken at 10 days post risk exposure to try and give me and idea of what is happening, it has come back negative - whilst I know this is not a diagnostic test and is of course not conclusive at this time, can someone tell me what this test is actually looking for? A part of the virus I presume.

I had a week of symptoms before this date and wandered, if ARS symptoms were present would the hiv virus be detectable in large amounts? hence the symptoms, or does the test not work in this way?

Any thoughts appreciated.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2009, 03:44:40 PM »
Actually the RNA PCR is the one to do at 28 days. RNA is looking for viral load. The DNA is more prone to false positives because of its high level of sensitivity. Fortunately that doesn't seem to have happened in your case.

The bottom line in this is that you need to have a negative HIV test at 13 weeks to be certain about your status. You can do an initial one at 6 weeks. If you test negative at that point the likelihood is that you will continue to test negative.

You will have to be patient for a while. You can make the waiting time pass much more easily by getting your attention on to other things in your life. Really.

   
Andy Velez

Offline londonboy87

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Re: terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2009, 06:00:31 PM »
Thanks for your response Andy, I am trying to be as patient as possible and getting on with work but the worry is always there in my head.

and 13 weeks! :o I think I would be actually insane by then..

Its 19 days post exposure and here in the UK alot of the clinics regard the HIV Duo Test at 28 days as pretty conclusive (99.8% accurate), apparently this is now the test recommended by the UK HIV council so I will wait until I can take this test.

Am I right in thinking antibodies should be detectable shortly after ars symptoms subside?
Is it the antibodies being produced that then makes the ars come to an end?


Offline RapidRod

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Re: terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2009, 07:20:09 PM »
UK guidelines is 3 months even with the DUO test.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: terrified and angry with myself about hiv exposure
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2009, 09:30:38 PM »
You can test initially at 6 weeks. All but the very smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will have done so by that time. A negative at 6 weeks is very unlikely to change to positive when you re-test at 13 weeks.

Andy Velez

 


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