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Author Topic: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?  (Read 2434 times)

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Offline TorinoZZ

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Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« on: February 20, 2010, 01:04:33 PM »
I had "protected" anal receptive sex in early December. There was a question of condom integrity, at which time we stopped. The partner said that the condom only tore at the very top and I was not compromised. I took his word for it (maybe unfortunately, and not going the Pep route). Two weeks later an illness ensued with swelling in groin, underarms and a a sore throat. No fever occurred. The swollen underarms and groin continue now over 2.5 months later. the underarm swelling is particularly troubling as it wakes me up at night often due to the pain (throbbing sort of swelling pain, not intense pain).

I did some early tests on my own (two pcr DNAs at 4 and 7 weeks) - non-detected, and antibody tests at 5, 7 weeks, all negative. I also brought the person I was with to the clinic and he tested negative at 7 weeks(although I have no idea if he was in a window period). I d0 not know him personally.

The scary part is that the groin swelling in the first 1.5 months was painful so I went to a HIV/Gay/lesbian health center, and the experienced HIV doctor there felt it was advisable to do a PCR viral load test at 9 weeks, along with an Elisa, and other STD tests. All were negative, including mono and Syphillis. They also I think mistakenly ordered a Western Blot (since I never had a positive Elisa), and it came back with no bands detected. The folks there though seemed reluctant to state anything like I was "in the clear". I also got a rapid antibody test this past week at 11 weeks which was negative.

My final act was to ask my PCP if he would refer me to an ID doc. I met with the ID doc from a major teaching hospital yesterday and he examined me, asked questions and then looked at my existing labs. He said that the testing made it very unlikely I was infected, but he was not definitive. He wanted me to come back in a month (although I need to come back for a hepatitis vaccine second shot). That sort of scared me and it seems as though the continued swelling symptoms drove his recommendation. He felt my lymph nodes all around, but he never commented on his findings other than to state that the groin swelling seemed to be weight related.

Anyway, I just wanted to post to a community I can feel comfortable with and I welcome any comments related to my testing and risks. Does anyone have any thoughts? My underarm swelling that seems to emminate from my underarms often down my arms and seems to be almost like "fluid retention" is really scaring me.

I apologize if this post is more involved/intense than what this forum is designed for as I see that most other threads are related to low risk worried well type of posts.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2010, 01:24:33 PM »
Nothing you are reporting suggests to me this is an HIV situation. It's questionable as to whether the condom actually broke or not. In a situation like that the prudent thing is to get tested.

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 an exposure. So your negative at  7 weeks is more than a little reassuring and is a strong indication that you will continue to test negative at 13 weeks.

As for your painful lymph nodes, those could be caused by many different problems. It's definitely not an HIV-specific occurence. Your doctor(s) need to pursue what the real difficulty is about. As far as HIV is concerned I expect you to come out of this ok. Incidentally, ARS does not go on for weeks and weeks as your condition has. ARS occurs, lasts for two weeks or so and then the symptoms are gone.

Being so uncomfortable with a painful symptom naturally gets you worried. But I don't see the problem as being HIV.

Cheers. 
Andy Velez

Offline TorinoZZ

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2010, 01:56:41 PM »
Thanks for the response. My anxiety level is high related to all of this as well which is probably bringing me down as well. I'm hoping for the best.

Thanks again.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 01:58:23 PM »
That's understandable. But I do expect you to continue to test negative for HIV.

Good luck in finding out the real cause of your symptoms.
Andy Velez

Offline TorinoZZ

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2010, 06:57:46 PM »
I got a 12 week antibody test yesterday which was negative. Guys, I know the tests are showing nothing but wow this swelling and sick feeling that started after the encounter just won't quit. I'm really scared. :( My family doctor does not know what to make of me and my symptoms. His solution is to prescribe me anxiety medication. While I appreciate that medication since it seems to help a bit, the underlying physical issues are the cause of the anxiety. Arghhhh!!!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2010, 07:07:47 PM »
You have reliably tested negative for HIV. So that is ruled out as an issue.

See another doctor for a second opinion to find an explanation for your symptoms. I wouldn't suggest settling for getting brushed off with anti-anxiety medications if you are having physical problems.

For sure it's not about HIV so that is not the issue as we had already told you. And if anxiety is a part of the problem you might talk with a counselor or other professional to get some support with the emotional aspects of the situation.

Andy Velez

Offline TorinoZZ

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2010, 07:17:40 PM »
Thanks for the response. I think the reason I am so nervous is the swelling.  I'm just going to have to persevere and try to remain calm. Thanks for the responses again, they are much appreciated.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2010, 08:01:31 PM »
Your concern is understandable. Get a doctor who can tell you what's up. It is not about HIV even though you anxious mind may be thinking otherwise.   
Andy Velez

Offline TorinoZZ

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 03:58:50 PM »
Well, as you suggested, I got my 13th week (3 month) test results back and the Elisa is negative. Now, if I can just get a handle on these symptoms. Thanks for the feedback in my thread.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 05:22:49 PM »
Good to get that happy confirmation of your HIV negative status. Good luck in finding out what is really causing your symptoms.

Cheers.
Andy Velez

Offline TorinoZZ

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2010, 11:10:57 AM »
Thanks! I have swollen lymph noes in multiple locations for a few months since the even so I sure hope the testing is conclusive!

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Very Concerned - Risk, Testing - Any Feedback?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2010, 11:27:01 AM »
Swollen lymph nodes are not an HIV-specific occurence. They happen for all sorts of reasons. Make sure you aren't squeezing or otherwise bothering them as you can create a much bigger problem by doing that.  And yours have nothing to do with HIV.
Andy Velez

 


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