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Author Topic: Must have HIV  (Read 4838 times)

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Offline lonelytraveller

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Must have HIV
« on: February 09, 2010, 01:11:41 AM »
On the 25 th Jan this year I am currently traveling in South East Asia and after our first day there had a night out where a mixture of the heat and strength of the local measures meant that I did not remember anything after around midnight.

All I can remember after this time was going back to a girls flat with her and having both oral and vaginal sex with her.  I cannot remember anything about the girl: where she lived; what she looked like; whether she was a local or a fellow traveler.  All I can remember is here saying a few words of English to me.  I believe I had a condom on for at least the start of the intercourse.

This is the sort of thing that I never ever do back home - not much comfort in that thought now I know.

I woke up the next morning and noticed I had managed to break the skin around my penis and foreskin.  At this point there were also tiny red marks on the head of my penis that went away within 24-48 hours.

On 5th Feb (11 days after potential exposure) I began to feel really hot and sweating a lot.  Other symptoms included swollen lymph nodes in neck arm pits and groin; bloated stomach; felling sick; fatigue; feeling not hungry and red rash like spots on the lower half of both my legs. I went to see a local doctor on 7th Feb who confirmed that I have a fever (38.5 0c) and that my nodes are extremely inflamed.

It is now 9th Feb and I still fell terrible. All of these symptoms point to ARS and i dont know what to do.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 02:28:42 AM »
Lonely,

The problem with mixing booze and casual sex is that you can end up in predicaments like this one.

You say that you had vaginal and oral sex with a girl you met. You also say that you recall wearing a condom "for at least the start of the intercourse".

My guess is that you had protected vaginal sex and really don't have any HIV worries. But because you can't be sure we need to err on the side of caution. For that reason I recommend you get tested 3 months from the date of this sexual experience or in about 9 weeks from now.

You should also ask about being tested for STIs other than HIV.

Your symptoms are not HIV specific. Symptoms mean nothing when it comes to diagnosing HIV and I would imagine that your sweats, fevers, upset tummy problems are more likely to be some form of "Bali belly" - gastrointestinal disorders are very common amongst travellers in SE Asia.

Please take the time to read our Welcome Thread and follow the links to our lessons on HIV transmission.

I expect you to test HIV negative as a result of this encounter and so should you.

MtD

Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 04:01:30 AM »
Matty

thanks for the reply. 

I am concerned as this is now the fifth day I have been feeling absolutely terrible with no let up.  It is even harder to deal with as ii feel so alone at the moment in a different part of the world.  Everything I am experiencing seems to be pointing to HIV (I know symptoms cannot be used to diagnose alone, but mine match up perfectly to the main early signs).

Is it true that there is a different strain of hiv in asia that makes it easier to be transmitted?

Thanks,
Lonely


Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 04:19:07 AM »
What you refer to as the "main early signs" of HIV are indistinguishable from the symptoms of numerous other viral infections.

In fact many people who test HIV positive never show any symptoms of acute infection at all.

For these reasons, we do not focus on "symptoms" as a guide to diagnosis. Rather we focus on risk behaviours and then testing at the appropriate time.

Your risk behaviour (if indeed there was any risk at all) is vanishingly small. HIV is notoriously difficult to transmit, especially from female to male through vaginal sex. I am advising you to test simply because you cannot recall if you use a condom properly through out this sexual transaction you describe above.

Similarly, you should not concern yourself with "strains" of HIV. One strain is no more transmissible than another one.

MtD

Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 06:18:11 AM »
The rashes I have on my legs appeared on the same day that I began to come down with fever etc.  Having looked at pictures online the rashes appear to match those associated with primary hiv but are situated below the nee on both legs.

Do you know if there are any places in south east asia where you can get the rapid tests that you can take sooner than 3 months after potential exposure?  Are the test you can take after six weeks reliable (from what IO have read they are 90% accurate)?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 08:49:09 AM »
There is nothing HIV specific about any of the symptoms you are reporting. Like Matty I expect that ultmately you will test negative.

I think you have a mistaken idea about rapid testing. The rapid refers to the short time for getting a test result. It doesn't change the length of time you need to wait to get a reliable result, which is 13 weeks post-risk. You can initially test at 6 weeks. A negative at that point is unlikely to change to positive at 13 weeks.

You haven't mentioned where in Southeast Asia you are going to be, but there shouldn't be any problem with finding a reliable site to get tested.

Again, ultimately I expect you will come out of this ok. 
Andy Velez

Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 05:11:00 AM »
The rash on my legs has now gone.  Woohoo!

However, I am still very concerned that I have HIV.  I have had a high temperature now for eight days along with swollen lymph nodes, fatigue.

I don't know what to do as I still cannot recall whether or not I used a condom and the fact that the skin around my penis was broken (very red) does not help my mental state.  Add this to the fact I am uncircumcised and the symptoms I find myself worrying constantly and have accepted my fate that I am going to be HIV positive in three weeks time.

What is the life expectancy for a person after they have been diagnosed with HIV?

Does anyone know if you can buy the rapid over the counter HIV test kits in either South East Asia, Australia or New Zealand?

Thanks,
Very lonely and scared

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2010, 08:27:00 AM »
There is nothing in anyway HIV-specific about the symptoms you are reporting.

We're not going to get into matters such as life expectancy for living with HIV. You haven't tested positive and we actually don't expect that will happen with you.

I don't know where you are writing from at this point, but you should be able to locate a pharmacy in any of the areas you have mentioned where you can buy an HIV test kit. Or call any hospital in your area and ask them about getting one.

 
Andy Velez

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2010, 02:00:19 PM »
As far as I am aware HIV rapid testing kits are not available to the general public in Australia or New Zealand. I cannot speak for SE Asia, where presumably anything is available.

MtD

Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 10:32:10 AM »
Nearly 5 weeks since my possible exposure.

Since the above symptoms started I have not been feeling myself at all.  My lymph nodes all over are still very swollen and sometimes sore, I have had an itchy scalp with a lot of hair loss over the past week, ulcers in  my mouth for a few day, red marks on the head of my penis, feeling tired.  Are these symptoms along with the fever etc I had acute ars symptoms?  On line most websites seem to point to these as being the 'classic' symptomd and given that mine started 10 days post exposre I am more worried than ever.

I cannot wait for the six week mark to find out if I am positive or not (i am praying it is the latter but fear it is the former).

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2010, 10:50:16 AM »
No, those are not ARS symptoms. And when ARS occurs it does not go on for weeks and weeks as your symptoms seem to be doing.

I still expect you to come out of this ok.
Andy Velez

Offline siamwalker

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2010, 11:12:13 PM »
I am not sure if I can comment on this. As someone who lives in Thailand, I suggest you go to a doctor ASAP. It is possible you have a form of glandular fever of even mild malaria that should be checked out. You can also go to any doctor and get a rapid HIV test done. There is a anon clinic in Bangkok as well. You could do that a little earlier if you wish but I believe you should be checked out for other things.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2010, 11:56:24 PM »
I am not sure if I can comment on this. As someone who lives in Thailand, I suggest you go to a doctor ASAP. It is possible you have a form of glandular fever of even mild malaria that should be checked out. You can also go to any doctor and get a rapid HIV test done. There is a anon clinic in Bangkok as well. You could do that a little earlier if you wish but I believe you should be checked out for other things.

Siam,

Please don't post in other peoples threads. It would appreciated if you'd take the time to read our Welcome Thread and familiarise yourself with the posting guidelines.

MtD

Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2010, 09:22:14 AM »
I will be in Bangkok tomorrow and was thinking of getting a rapid HIV test. 

It will be 5 weeks and 2 days since my last possible exposure.  What are the probabilities that the test will be accurate?  You all mention that testing at 6 weeks is a good time, what will the difference be if i test tomorrow?

Thanks

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2010, 10:12:47 AM »
There is not likely to a great deal of difference in terms of those few days. However, given your considerable anxiety about the result, wouldn't it make sense to hold off for a few days so that assuming you get the negative result that we expect, you would be able to have a greater confidence in it?
Andy Velez

Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2010, 06:18:43 AM »
There is not likely to a great deal of difference in terms of those few days. However, given your considerable anxiety about the result, wouldn't it make sense to hold off for a few days so that assuming you get the negative result that we expect, you would be able to have a greater confidence in it?

Hi Andy,

I have taken your advice on board and did not proceed with the test before the sixth week.  I went to the doc about my itchy scalp and hair falling out at an alarmingly high rate.  He gave me cream for this and did a full blood count (FBC), liver, malaria and dengue fever.  I got the results back and everything was in the normal range.  I know you cannot base hiv status on this blood test, however, would my white blood count not be extremely high at the moment as they would be trying to fight of hiv?

I still have ongoing fever, swollen lymph nodes, muscular pain, sore joints and hair loss.  How often do the symptoms of acute/primary hiv last beyond  the usual 2-3 week window?

Can primary hiv cause hair loss as it destroys the body's immune system?

Thanks,

Lonely

Offline Ann

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2010, 06:39:50 AM »
LT,

We do not discuss symptoms nor do we discuss blood test results other than hiv tests. The ONLY way to know your status is through hiv testing. All else is irrelevant for our purposes here.

You're just going to have to test.

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

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Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2010, 12:45:15 PM »
I still have a fever, sore joints and my hair is falling out in clumps.  Is there anything I can do before tsking a 13 week test?

Is it true that these are not all symptoms of hiv?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2010, 01:18:01 PM »
What you can do is discuss your symptoms with your doctor. There is absolutely nothing about them which is HIV-specific. 
Andy Velez

Offline lonelytraveller

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2010, 12:57:19 AM »
Hi guys,

still havent tested yet.

Since starting the thread I have many symptoms that have started.  THey include seborhheic dermatitis that will not go away (confirmed by a dermatologist), swollen lymph nodes in right hand side of neck, burning skin sensation, muscle twitches, joint pain, spot like things across back and chest.

I start a new job in a few weeks and dont want to test at the moment and get the inevitable result.  i think t would all be too much for me.  Adding the above to my ARS symptoms, would you not say it looks like im progressing quickly?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2010, 05:53:41 AM »
Hi guys,

still havent tested yet.

Since starting the thread I have many symptoms that have started.  THey include seborhheic dermatitis that will not go away (confirmed by a dermatologist), swollen lymph nodes in right hand side of neck, burning skin sensation, muscle twitches, joint pain, spot like things across back and chest.

I start a new job in a few weeks and dont want to test at the moment and get the inevitable result.  i think t would all be too much for me.  Adding the above to my ARS symptoms, would you not say it looks like im progressing quickly?
No.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Must have HIV
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2010, 08:11:50 AM »
No matter how many times you come back with more "symptoms," we're not going to make a diagnosis based on such reports. The ONLY way to know your HIV status is by getting tested.  And of course there is nothing HIV-specific about any of the symptoms you are reporting as has been said to you before.

The only real question is how long you are going to torture yourself by postponing getting tested. Because that test result is the only sure way to know your HIV status.
Andy Velez

 


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