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Author Topic: sick  (Read 1864 times)

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Offline mkmm

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sick
« on: March 31, 2010, 08:54:27 PM »
Hello

First thank you for being a safe place for me to go online, as I have really been struggling these past couple of weeks. I commend the efforts of this forum and have a newfound understanding of the severity of irresponsible sexual contact

I am a female who had unprotected vaginal sex with a male acquaintance.
We engaged in sex a total of three times. The first time the condom broke; the second and third time was completely unprotected though he did not ejaculate inside me.

I am unaware of his HIV status but do not believe he is of immediate risk (i.e. not an IV drug user, does not participate in male/male sexual contact)

The first completely unprotected contact occurred 5 weeks ago.
18 days after that contact I had an HIV/STI screening performed through blood work and all tests were negative.
2 weeks after the first completely unprotected contact I began feeling unwell and have felt “sick” in many ways since that time. I have now been what I feel is “sick” for 3 weeks. I have never felt this way in my entire life.
Symptoms range from cough, head and nasal congestion, sharp pains in head and headaches, complete exhaustion, zero appetite, 10lbs of weight loss, pain in ears/neck/throat, and severe pain in upper arms, hot flashes. A doctor recently told me I have Enlarged Circumvallated Papillae- bumps on the back of my tongue associated with taste buds. I am 23 years old and have never experienced that in my life. I currently also have a very red, sore and irritated throat.
I have had no registered fever and no swollen lymph nodes (that I can tell by feeling them)

I understand completely that symptoms are no indicator of HIV infection but wanted to give some background.  I have visited 2 doctors on 3 occasions over the past couple of weeks and feel they have been unhelpful, continually explaining that my risk for HIV is low but giving no explanation for my symptoms.  I am going tomorrow to have a CBC performed to rule out any other serious medical issues. I recently (2 weeks ago) stopped use of oral contraceptives, which I have taken for 9 years now. My hopes are that this may be causing some serious adjustments in my health and I can chalk my unwell feelings to that change.
I understand too the power of the mind and how anxiety and depression over an impending illness will affect the body, However, I do feel I have an illness unrelated to my mental health, whether it be HIV or not.

I have contacted my acquaintance and asked him to have an HIV test performed but have not heard back from him about the results. (LET ME JUST SAY THIS WAS VERY SCARY FOR ME TO DO)
My questions for you would be

Exactly what are the initial symptoms of oral thrush and how do they develop?
Would it be possible that the beginning symptoms of HIV infection could last 3 weeks?
Would it be at all helpful to have an HIV test performed at 6 weeks in order to ease my troubled head? If so, is a blood test the most efficient?

Thank you for any and all feedback

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: sick
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2010, 09:26:46 PM »
MK, the only HIV test result which you should ever rely upon is your own.

And yes, a negative result at 6 weeks would be very reasurring even though you would still need to re-test at 13 weeks for a conclusive result. The average time to seroconversion is 22 days. All but the very smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after an exposure.

None of your symptoms are HIV-specific. Actually neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV test can give you that answer.
 If your symptoms persist you should discuss them with your doctor.

Hopefully you will test negative. You need to learn from this experience and in the future always without exception make sure the guy you're with is wearing a condom for intercourse. No exceptions. It doesn't matter how well you think you know him or how great he looks. He has to wear  a condom. Period.

Good luck with your test. Keep us posted.
Andy Velez

Offline mkmm

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Re: sick
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 04:07:48 PM »
Andy

Thank you for your timely response. I wish I could hear something more reassuring from you but I know that I must face up to the mistake I have made and accept the fact that I may indeed be infected with HIV.

Next Thursday will be 6 weeks post exposure, would it be acceptable to test on Tuesday rather than Thursday? I have a doctors appt. on Tuesday to receive the results of my CBC and was hoping to just have the HIV test performed at that appt., but is it most necessary to wait EXACTLY 6 weeks?

Thank you for your time

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: sick
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 04:23:23 PM »
Yes, go ahead and test on Tuesday. Fingers crossed here. If you test negative at that point, then the likelihood of testing negative again at 13 weeks is very strong.

Good luck and keep us posted.
Andy Velez

Offline mkmm

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Re: sick
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 12:06:40 AM »

Andy-

in your opinion, what is the quickest most efficient test for me to take next week at 6 weeks. i simply cannot imagine visiting my primary care doctor (who in my opinion would not know where to even begin if she had to tell me i was indeed positive) and/or waiting an entire week or more for the lab results to come back, then having to set up a "special" appointment to come back and discuss the results with her.... and so on

other than my primary care doctor- are there specific doctors i can visit who are better prepared to counsel and prepare patients for possible HIV positive diagnosis after testing is completed?
i am hoping for a rapid test to be performed

i live in the United States fyi

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: sick
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2010, 08:20:49 AM »
Contact any AIDS Service Organization or the Board of Health in your area and ask them where you can get tested. Mention that you would like to take a Rapid test if possible. You can also call Planned Parenthood and see if they have a branch in your area.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 08:24:45 AM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: sick
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 09:56:37 AM »
mkmm,

You can find a place to test for hiv by putting your zip code into the poz.com health directory. http://directory.poz.com/

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 mkmm

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Re: sick
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2010, 05:21:28 PM »
Ann and Andy

I wanted to check back and let you know that today, 8 weeks after having unprotected sex, I went to my local HIV/AIDS organization and had the Clearview complete HIV 1/2 rapid finger prick test completed. It came back negative.

The woman at the organization was very helpful and gave me plenty of information and forms of protection to use in the future. She did advise me to come back at 3 to 6 months to complete another test to confirm the negative result.

Where do I go from here? Should I be confident in my negative result?

I breathed a deep sigh of relief, I have spent the past couple of months in agony over what occurred. This experience has taught me so much. I had mentioned before that I asked the man I had unprotected intercourse with if he would get tested as he did not know his status. He was very offended by this request and said he would complete the test when he felt like it. This confused me but I realize now that my body and my health are for me to be concerned with.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: sick
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2010, 10:25:24 PM »
That's great about your negative result. The woman you saw at the testing place was wrong. You only need to re-test once more and that is at 13 weeks. Assuming you get a negative result and I certainly expect you will, there is no need for further testing. Using 6 months as a testing point is long outdated except in special situations such as when longterm intravenous drug use or an organ transplant are involved.

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

Offline mkmm

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  • Posts: 5
Re: sick
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2010, 02:40:34 PM »
Andy

I will plan then to re test and collect my conclusive result at 13 weeks.
Just out of curiosity, what is your reasoning for believing I will continue to test negative at that point?
Is 8 weeks a could indicator of the results expected at 13 weeks?
I appreciate your feedback and hope your expectations are true for me


Offline Andy Velez

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Re: sick
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2010, 03:18:44 PM »
The average time to seroconversion is 22 days after an exposure. All but the very smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after an exposure.

Your negative at 8 weeks is an indication you are well on the way to confirming a negative status.
Andy Velez

 


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