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Author Topic: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?  (Read 4261 times)

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Offline californiablonde

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Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« on: July 31, 2011, 04:24:50 PM »
Hi all, here is my story. My last sexual experience was two years ago. After my ex boyfriend and I broke up, I wanted to get tested for HIV but I was too scared to get the results. I finally made myself go because I have a new boyfriend and I didn't want to unknowingly give him something. I got up the courage and got tested two weeks ago. I took a rapid HIV blood test. The website that advertised the rapid test says that it takes 15 minutes to get the results. When I got the test done, the girl at the doctor's office told me to wait ten minutes for the results. She finally came back and told me it came back negative. I didn't believe her so she showed me the test and it had one line that she said was a negative result.

I was worried that the test would turn positive a few minutes later.
She assured me that the test was already
done because the red line was there and if the test wasn't finished then no line would be present. I left the office still not convinced. If the website stated that the results take fifteen minutes then why did she only wait ten? I was so worried about it the next day that I called the office the next day and asked the man on the phone the very same question. He told me that the fifteen minutes the website stated meant the results took fifteen minutes from the time you enter the waiting room til they draw your blood and wait the ten minutes to test. I still didn't believe him so he passed me on to another lady who told me the same thing. She said that she is 100 percent positive my test results were negative.

I am still worried that they did not wait the appropriate amount of time. If my test turned positive then they would have no way of notifying me because it was anonymous testing and I didn't even give them my name. My new boyfriend gave blood six months ago and tested negative. His last sexual partner was a year ago. He does not want to use condoms but I'm afraid I will give him something. Can I be sure my results are negative? I cannot afford to retest and I am worried!

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Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2011, 05:56:27 PM »
You are worrying needlessly. You have reliably tested negative for HIV.

And unless you are in a securely monogamous relationship in which both partners have reliably tested negative for HIV, until such a time you need to make sure that condoms are being used everytime for vaginal and anal intercourse. No exceptions including because of what you think you know about the other person's history or how great he looks, etc.

Condoms are a must. Get on with your life now. HIV is not a problem for you.
Andy Velez

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 07:39:56 PM »
So even though they only waited for ten minutes instead of fifteen? I really am paranoid about this! And as far as my boyfriend goes, I asked him to get tested and he swears he gives blood all the time and he is negative. My mom says I am totally out line for asking him to take the test. She says that if I trust him enough to have sex with him then I should trust him enough that he is negative. Should I persist? He did trust me when I told him I tested negative. Should I put the same faith in him or demand a test?

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 08:08:34 PM »
So how accurate are rapid HIV tests compared to others?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 09:39:38 PM by californiablonde »

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 10:54:57 PM »
What you should do is move on. As Andy has already advised you your test results were conclusive.

Offline Ann

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2011, 07:47:41 AM »
Cali,

As long as the rapid test was done three months or more after your last incident of unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse - with anyone - then you are conclusively hiv negative. A positive result on a rapid test will normally begin to show at around five minutes, so the ten minute wait is not a problem.

You say you are worried about passing an infection on to your new boyfriend, but until you have both tested together for not only hiv, but all the other STIs as well, then you should be using condoms. You don't have to stop having sex, but you DO need to start using condoms. The man from whom I acquired my infection honestly thought he was hiv negative, but as it turns out, he wasn't. He was poz and now so am I. Please learn a lesson from my experience.

You have every right to insist on either both testing together or insisting on condom use. I wish I had!

Here's what you need to know in order to avoid hiv infection:

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL sexually transmitted infections together.

To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex without a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results.

Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!

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 californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2011, 08:19:07 PM »
Thank you all for your help. I feel much better.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 09:34:49 PM by californiablonde »

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2011, 12:49:30 PM »
Okay sorry here's another question. How do I know if I had a PCR test or an antibody test? I called the doctor office and they said they didn't know what kind it was. the test cost me $150. I gist want to make sure my test was conclusive.

Offline Ann

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2011, 02:08:54 PM »
Cali,

I doubt very much that it was a PCR test. There are no rapid PCR tests and they typically take one to two weeks to return results.

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 californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2011, 02:27:05 PM »
Thank you Ann I've been misinformed. I thought for sure that PCR tests were rapid tests. Just out of curiosity, how accurate are PCR tests compared to antibody tests?

Offline Ann

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2011, 02:45:56 PM »
Cali,

There are two types of PCR testing for hiv. One is DNA PCR and it is not approved for diagnostic purposes because of its very high rate of false positive results. RNA PCR testing is approved, but only for people with a definite chance of being infected, such as for someone who has had receptive unprotected intercourse with someone known to be hiv positive. It's a very expensive test and we do not recommend their use for diagnostics as they are both prone to false positives.

As long as your test was done three months or more after your last incident of unprotected intercourse - with anyone, then you do not have hiv. If the test was done at or after six weeks, it is highly unlikely to change when you confirm at three months.

There are no real short cuts to hiv testing.

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 californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2011, 05:49:51 PM »
Thanks again, Ann, for your wealth of advice. I feel more confident in my results. My test was performed two years after my last sexual experience. Now if only I could get my new boyfriend to get tested
I'd be very happy. He insists he gives blood all the time and is negative. I'm not convinced. His last unprotected sex partner was six months ago. He would rather use condoms than get tested, which really pisses me off. My mom still thinks it's rude to ask him to use condoms. I don't agree. Now I have to be paranoid about condom breakage. It's already happened before and I got pregnant that way. Now pregnancy is the least of my worries, damn him!

Offline Ann

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2011, 07:23:38 PM »
Cali,

I don't agree with your mother either. You're doing the right thing insisting on condoms - you're protecting yourself. Good for you! I'm a bit surprised by your mother actually. I started giving my daughter condoms when she started dating and always told her to insist on their use.

Correctly used condoms rarely break. Please read the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can make sure you're using them correctly. The Condoms are a Girl's Best Friend links to a particularly informative site.  The two leading causes of condom breakage are 1) leaving an air bubble in the tip and 2) not using enough lube. You should be using a water-based lube, even for vaginal intercourse.

You are definitely hiv negative - do you best to stay that way and keep insisting on those condoms! Mother doesn't always know best.

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 californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2011, 02:50:11 PM »
Thanks Ann I will check out your link and best of luck to you on your treatment. :)

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2011, 02:30:42 PM »
Okay I really think I need to stop reading some of these forums because I am finding out more information that's making me even more paranoid. I just read in someone elses thread that there are different types or strains of the virus. How do I know I am negative for all strains. I googled it online and found out that not all antibody tests can detect rare strains of HIV. What if I have one of those strains? I am particularly worried about an unprotected sexual encounter I had with a very promiscuous man I met on the Internet five years ago. After sex I later developed severe swollen glands, rash, fever, nightsweats, and diarrhea. My symptoms lasted for two weeks. I never did get tested after the incident and I remember them very clearly even though it was so many years ago. This man traveled frequently for business trips and I'm afraid he could have picked up a rare form of the virus and given it to me. maybe my recent test did not find antibodies to my particular type of HIV. I'm not sure how possible it is for this to happen but now that I've got the idea stuck in my head I just can't get it out! I should also mention that I am diagnosed OCD and I am obsessing more than usual lately. I don't know if I can believe everything I read on the Internet so I don't know if I am overreacting. I seriously need help because I am going out of my mind with worry!

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2011, 03:02:03 PM »
Cali,

You are most definitely are overreacting. If you had hiv, you would have tested positive.

You say you have been diagnosed with OCD, so you should be following up on that and try therapy.

You do not have hiv.

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 californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2011, 04:23:18 PM »
Sorry for the repeat posting. My OCD meds that I was on for fifteen years suddenly stopped working a year ago. Since then I have tried eight different meds and none of them have worked so far. It's been hell. Anyway you have successfully convinced me I am negative. I am closing the book on HIV. Time for me to move on to a new obsession, God help me.  ::)

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2011, 05:26:29 PM »
Okay so now I'm back with a totally different question and I hope it's okay. Basically I gave my boyfriend an unprotected blow job last week. I have read on this forum that oral sex is zero risk so I didn't think anything about it. However, I googled oral sex and HIV in the Internet and found many, many sites where it says that oral sex performed on a man, especially when he comes in your mouth, is a definite risk. Some of these sites were actual medical doctors who absolutely insist that there have been confirmed cases of HIV through oral sex given to a man. At the time of the incident, I had bleeding gums in the back of my mouth. I already know that I have gingivitis and at the time of the incident I tasted blood after he came. Wouldn't this put me at
High

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2011, 05:29:29 PM »
Sorry I posted a little early. Wouldn't I be at high risk because of the blood? Why is there so much conflicting information about oral sex? There are medical doctors who swear up and down that there are documented cases of women who have contracted it this way, and now I'm worried.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2011, 12:36:42 AM »
There have been medical doctors who have sworn upside down that kissing is a risk.

Most HIV transmission theory posited before 2000 was based on patient report after transmission. Patient report is notoriously unreliable for many reasons (misremembering events, shame at having had unprotected anal or vaginal sex, drinkng and drug use, etc).

Only after the advent of modern, powerful drugs to treat HIV has there even been a pool of healthy, sexually active HIV positive people to track. This has only been since roughly 1996.

However, since then, no fewer than three separate studies using hundreds of serodiscordant couples over a dozen years have been performed. On two continents.

In these studies, couples who used condoms for anal and/or vaginal sex, but chose NOT to use condoms for oral sex, were tracked.

All these studies, all those instances of oral sex (estimated in the hundreds of thousands) and all the diversity of viral load (from low to high) and over a vast cross-section of the world, and not a SINGLE instance of seroconversion took place that could not be traced to an unused condom. Not one. And even those infections that did occur were very, very rare.

Powerful stuff, that. And it matches perfectly with what scientists had known for years working with HIV, SHIV, and SIV in the lab in petri dishes and using primates.

However, so entrenched is the obsolete stuff, and so fitting with an anti-sex attitude that has been foisted upon HIV positive persons (and people in general) by medical experts, that the old guard has a really hard time changing to a sex-positive and scientifically accurate mindset.

Which is sad, because it sets people up to fail. It reinforces stigma, and it causes fear of intimate contact. So people lie. People drink or do drugs or perform whatever actions create enough cognitive dissonance they need in order to have unprotected sex.

It is not the job of this site to refure on a case by case basis the fallacies that still exist regarding HIV transmission. We have enough on our hands trying to impart the correct information.

Your worry is fueled by your fear. Your fear is caused in small part by the misinformation/disinformation you read elsewhere, or by trawling the forums here. And I have absolute confidence that you will find things that make you afraid.

So here's the thing. You are afraid to have oral sex with your boyfriend? Then don't do it. Or do it with a condom. Or wait until you are both tested reliably negative and are monogamous.

But at this point it looks to me like you are trying to find reasons to be afraid, ashamed, or both.  We have offered you the science. I would be happy to point you to the studies from which we draw our conclusions.

But at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable with your chosen level of intimacy. If you are not, then I suspect its got more to do with other things than simply HIV.

Lets face it. HIV has become a far less effective boogeyman than it was two decades ago. People diagnosed today in a developed world will likely live as long as the general population. They will be healthy, able to have children, to have sex with their HIV negative partners, and as medicines become generic, they will be increasingly able to easily afford them.

I know none of this will assuage your fear. But at some point, you have to decide exactly how scared you want to be, and take whatever steps you need in order to overcome that fear.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2011, 02:55:33 PM »
Thank you I do actually feel better after your response. I seriously doubt my boyfriend is positive but of course I can't be sure. He won't get tested. Says he donates blood all the time and doesn't need to, but I am still making him use condoms for sex. I am negative and want to stay that way. I just wish he'd go and get the damn test!!!

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2011, 03:12:59 PM »
I hate to say this, but if he loves you, and if he's faithful to you, and if he wants to have sex using birth control rather than STD prevention, then he will.

Someone who loves you will want you to feel safe. To not be afraid. There's a lot more to love than that, of course. But at it's core, to be afraid with the one you love is tantamount to being alone.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2011, 05:42:14 PM »
I think he's afraid to get tested and part of me can relate. I had unprotected oral sex with a man five years ago and two weeks later I developed every single HIV symptom in the book. I thought for sure that I had it but it took me five years to get up the courage to get tested. I thought for sure that I would test positive because of all the symptoms I had. When I tested negative I was shocked. Part of me even doubts the results but people on this site have convinced me I'm wrong. I can totally understand his reluctance because I was scared to death for years and too terrified to get tested. I can understand where he's coming from in a way but I wish he'd just get the test done. I got my tubes tied after my son was born so we don't have to use condoms for birth control. Right now we
Are

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2011, 05:44:58 PM »
only using them for STD protection. I know he truly loves me he treats me like a queen and he has a big heart. Right now I believe it's lack of insurance and fear that's holding him back.

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2011, 05:29:58 PM »
Okay I'm sorry for keeping posting but I'm starting to have anxiety again over the test. I just read in someone elses post that autoimune autoimmune disorders or chronic fatigue syndrome can cause false negative results on elisa antibody tests. I'd this true? A fee years back I had major chronic fatigue symptoms like swollen glands and sore throat and exhaustion and the doctors never could find anything wrong with me but they thought it could be chronic fatigue syndrome. If I do have the disorder or any other immune problems could my negative results be innacurrate? Is it true that these disorders can cause a false negative result two years after exposure? I really am paranoid and I know I should stop reading these threads but I can't help myself at this point. So what are the chances that I'm really positive? Please help. I am paranoid.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2011, 05:49:48 PM »
The chances of you being positive are roughly the same as my chances of getting pregnant.

Please do not make this forum a bitter reminder of your OCD. I honestly think you've squeezed as much out of it as we have to offer.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline californiablonde

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2011, 05:58:23 PM »
Sorry I know I'm being overly paranoid. I just want to be sure that there's nothing that can cause me to have a false negative result.

Offline Ann

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2011, 09:49:07 PM »
Cali,

The types of problems you're currently worrying about may cause false positives, not false negatives.

I'm giving you that time out you've been warned 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

Offline Ann

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Re: Can I be sure my test results are accurate?
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2011, 06:45:38 PM »
Cali,

You are now permanently banned as you attempted to create not one, but two additional accounts. You only had three days left of your time out!

I hope you get some face-to-face counselling for your OCD problems. Drugs are rarely effective where OCD is concerned.

Bye!

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

 


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