HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

Can't seem to shake it off.

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youguessedit:
Howdy. Like many users in this "am I infected?" forum, I had a possible HIV exposure. The situation was low risk (gave a blowjob to gay guy of unknown status without ejaculation for a maximun of 20 seconds), but, like most worry wells, I still worried.

I worried that my gums or lips might have been in bad shape at the time (I am guilty of not brushing my teeth as regularly as I would like, and I sometime have chapped lips etc.) and that the HIV infected precum could have had an easy enterance into the bloodstream. Even when a dentist told me 2 months post possible exposure that my gums were really healthy and pretty resistant to gum disease, I still convinced myself that at the time of the exposure it could have been a different story.

I got tested for all STDs at my local GUM clinic 9 weeks post exposure - not surprisingly, I was negative on all counts. I asked the doctor if I should come back in three months, he told me to get another test at that time just to ease my mind - his body language didn't seem to suggest he was that fussed either way.

Okay, so 12 weeks post exposure, I got another HIV test. Again, the results were negative. I asked the doctor (it was a different one) if this can now be considered conclusive, "should be" was the reply.

Unsatisfied with a 100% conclusive answer, I seeked the advice of a local GP, she told me it was understandable that I was still nervous. When asking her if the 12 week results were conclusive, she said they weren't, because nothing in the medical proffesion can be considered absolutely certain. She said that even a negative result at 6 months wouldn't be certain. I asked if I ever needed further HIV testing from this low risk exposure. She said I didn't.

It seems the despite all the indications of my negative status, I just can't come to terms with it. Even though I was tested with (according to the GP) the most up to date antibody tests currently availabe (I am in the UK). I can't get rid of this irrational fear.

Hell, I haven't even had any significant symptoms. I know symptoms are never a reliable indicator of HIV infection, but I have learnt that most people develop a prolonged fever. I, however, have not. The only symptom I have had that would suggest ARS is a coated toungue and slightly sore, dry throat, but they're both too common to worry about.

You may wonder, why I have said all this, despite the fact I am claiming my fears are irrational. I guess I just want to put everything in perspective - to say every last thing that's on my mind. You never seem to have the time to say everything you want to say to a doctor face to face. Although I have been given many reassuring answers - I just really want a straight one.

Calling me a pathetic over-the-top worrier would even help. Arghhh ... just tell me I'm okay. Please tell me I'm okay.

Thank you.

Matty the Damned:
Guessed,

Your test results are conclusive. You don't have HIV infection. I know what your doctor said, but the reality is that you're not positive.

I think it's time for you to get some counselling or therapy regarding your unfounded fears of HIV infection. I'm not going to call you an "over the top" worrier, because I don't think that will help.

Yet. ;)

Seriously love, talk to a professional and get your head sorted out. You owe it to yourself. Oh, and read our Welcome Thread, it contains links to lessons on how HIV is and is not transmitted.

Regards,

MtD

youguessedit:
Thank you for your reassurance, matty.

It's amazing how nice it is to hear a complete and trusted stranger tell you you're okay.

I found this thread aswell.

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=736.0

The guy had an identical exposure to mine - he tested at 13 weeks, 6 days - I don't think that really makes much of a diffence to my 12 week, 1 day.

Or does it ... ?

...

I'll shut up now.  :D

Andy Velez:
Your mind may continue to churn out doubts about your status .....for a long time. That's about feelings and not about facts.

A negative test result is a fact. A negative test result at 12-13 weeks is even by conservative standards accepted as reliable.

In relation to the incident you are concerned about many including me wouldn't even consider testing to have been necessary.

Give some thought to what is giong on emotionally that might make you hold on to this fear. To me that is the real issue here because this is NOT an HIV situation.

Make sure you have read the lesson on transmission. You can find a link to it through the first thread in this section. The real risks sexually in terms of HIV are unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse. There rest are more risky theoretically than in actuality. No kidding.

This time out you have no cause for further concern.

Cheers,

youguessedit:
Thank you for your reply, Andy.


--- Quote from: Andy Velez on September 01, 2006, 08:56:03 PM ---In relation to the incident you are concerned about many including me wouldn't even consider testing to have been necessary.
--- End quote ---

This is nice to hear. I always thought that, with the uncertainty over the state of my gums and lips (may have been small holes, sores etc.), the low risk incident could become high risk, because infected precum could go directly into the bloodstream. I guess I presumed that HIV infection is guaranteed when (even a very small amount of it) enters the blood. That's what made me really worried, I think. However, saying that, I am relatively certain that there was no active bleeding in my mouth at the time.


--- Quote from: Andy Velez on September 01, 2006, 08:56:03 PM ---Give some thought to what is giong on emotionally that might make you hold on to this fear. To me that is the real issue here because this is NOT an HIV situation.
--- End quote ---

I guess my mind went into dangerous territory and I actually started to assume that I was infected. Even after the 9 week negative, I was looking at life with a state remorse, as if I was about to go on a long journey. Really over the top, I know. After the 12 week negative, the fears subsided a bit, but every now and then, they linger in my mind. I should stop talking about it, really. Because, as you say, "this is not an HIV situation". Also, I'm going to be starting at University later this month (I am 19). I also wanted to be sure I was HIV free before I go. Thanks to this site, I may actually be approaching that mindset.

The real temptation will lie in my visit to the GUM clinic in a couple of weeks time for a hep jap. I'll probably end up thinking I need another HIV test and therefore, start the whole "waiting-for-results-anxiety" again (they take 2 long weeks in the UK).

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