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Author Topic: 12 Weeks, conclusive??  (Read 11746 times)

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Offline stirlingseven

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12 Weeks, conclusive??
« on: August 22, 2011, 07:18:10 AM »
Good afternoon,

I have had nine HIV AG/AB tests between day 24 - 84 of an unprotected exposure with my ex girlfriend, - all negative.

I managed to get myself to the 12 week mark but my God it was stressful, in a nut shell I broke up my girlfriend of 5 months and turned to an ex for comfort, - the ex and I have two unprotected encounters over two days, I then got back with the girl I had broken up with a few days before and having confirmed that the ex had "practiced safe sex with two partners" in the time we had been split up, I continued an unprotected sexual realtionship with the girl I had broken up with.

My worries started when the ex (two day encounter girl) had symtoms such as swollen glands, panful legs, sore throat & fever within around 3ish weeks of sleeping with the partners she mentioned.

Within one week of my encounter, I developed a mouth ulcer, I have now had a "strange" throat for nine weeks, - the doctors have put it down to my sinusitus, I had raised taste buds on my tounge for weeks and a light whiteish coating although this is probably because I have started lookimng at my tounge, - I also only breathe through my mouth at night not my nose due to my sinusitus so this is prob causing these symptoms.

My girlfriend has had a bronchial cough for many weeks although she does have bronchitis, she has also had a couple of mouth ulcers, dry eyes, headaches & abdominal pain. (Although in any 8 week period most people would experience some of these anyway)

Now, to my question, having had 9 X Blood Tests all 4th gen with the last being on th 84th day, can I take this as CONCLUSIVE that HIV is not something I need to worry about any further???

I know that anxiety has played a huge part in my fear, saldy timings of all of these symptoms (mainly non specific though I undersand that) have occoured within the six week ish ARS period, I have pursued councelling for my anxiety to try and make some positive change.

I am not 100% sure that I believe whet the ex tells me about having had "protected sex" although she could be telling the truth, I guess I am basing my fears on the fact she has lied.

Today, I am thinking of getting retested, however, having listened to countless proffesioanls say "no need", I just want to get a second opinion from youselves if I may.

Thanks in advance.


Offline Ann

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2011, 08:02:43 AM »
Stirling,

Provided you have tested hiv negative at or after twelve weeks since your last incident of unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse (it's not clear), then you are conclusively hiv negative and do not need further testing at this time.

You need to wise up and start using condoms every time, no exceptions, regardless of what the other person tells you about their hiv status or their sexual habits.

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.

ALTHOUGH YOU DO NOT NEED FURTHER HIV TESTING AT THIS TIME, 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

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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 stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2011, 08:16:57 AM »
Hi Ann, thanks a million for your reply.

The final test was done exactly twelve weeks to the day after the exposure, all tests between day 24 - 84 (9 of them) have been negative.

I am not going to be a "worried well" who keeps posting a million questions in a slightly different text, I just wanted to comfirm that even though all three people involved have had symtoms such as sore throats etc, can I still take the 12 week test as absolutley conclusive????

I know the 4th gen tests look for AG as well as AB & I have been told they are extremely accurate & good at what they do.

I am not a wreckless person but believe you me, this has changed my life for good, - the worry is still lingering somwehat but I am getting there.

Can I now put this entire debarcle behind me, having learned a massive lesson & move on with my life with my girlfriend knowing that if she sneezes, coughs, has a stiff neck etc that it is really nothing to do with HIV??

Thanks Ann, - I assure you that your time is greatly appreciated! :)

Offline Ann

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2011, 08:37:42 AM »
Stirling,

Neither symptoms nor the lack of symptoms will ever tell you a single thing about your hiv status - ONLY testing will. You have tested conclusively hiv negative.

When people are being intimate, they are at risk of passing on all sorts of bugs, ones that cause sore throats included. However, the use of condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse will rule out the possibility of passing on hiv. Remember that.

Sometimes a sore throat is just a sore throat. If yours continues to bother you, see a doctor. It's nothing to do with hiv. You do NOT have hiv!

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 stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2011, 08:52:45 AM »
Hi Ann, oce again, many thanks for your reply.

Having gone through a hell like existance for weeks, wantng to believe the "six week window period", then the 8, now the 12 etc it has been tough.

For me, guilt (as I did not tell the gf abouth the encounter with the ex), anxiety & the symptoms in all three people made it so s hard to see reality.

The symtoms in my gf have ranged from nausea, dry eyes, abdominal pain on the right, headaches, mouth ulcers, sore throat, fatigue and dizziness. - thry have not always come at the same  & apart from the cough, she is okay now.

In a normal world where I had not had the "encounters" with the ex, I would not have given these a second thought, - problem is the internet has fuelled my anxiety but I have pursued counselling for this.

I will make this my absolute last question Ann I promised you that :)

With all symptoms between the three people involved, my nine negative Duo tests between day 24-84, are you absolutely certain that I can now "forget about this" and move on? 
Is there ever a need to test beyond 12 weeks other than where PEP is used? 
Is 12 weeks quite a "Conservative" guideline in your opinion?

Ann, - thanks in advance, this weill be my last post as I know your time is very valuable.

Thank You :)

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2011, 09:00:33 AM »
You continue to focus on symptoms, both yours and whichever of your gfs. As Ann has clearly told you, neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV test taken at 3 months can give you a conclusive negative result.

So if  you or your gf is having symptoms that is something to discuss with a doctor. There is nothing HIV specific about anything you are reporting.

What you do need to do is to stop having unprotected intercourse. Until if and when you are in a securly monogamous relationship in which both partners have reliably tested negative together, until if and when that happens, you need to wear a condom everytime you have intercourse. No exceptions, no stories, no blah blah blah. That is how you will protect your health and that of your partners and get off of this merry-go-round of risk and testing.

Get it? 
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2011, 09:06:07 AM »
Sterling,

Yes, I am absolutely certain that you are conclusively hiv negative. You do NOT have hiv!

In my opinion, yes, the twelve week window period is conservative. I expect the official window period to be redefined as six weeks sometime in the next few years.

The only people who might.... let me repeat that.... MIGHT take a bit longer than six to twelve weeks to seroconvert and test positive are those on chemotherapy for cancer, anti-rejection drugs following organ transplant, or people who have been injecting street drugs, every day, for years. I trust you do not fall into any of these categories.


In a normal world where I had not had the "encounters" with the ex, I would not have given these a second thought, - problem is the internet has fuelled my anxiety but I have pursued counselling for this.


You know, this is something that really worries me - about most people, not just you. Many, many people never experience a single seroconversion symptom and therefore imagine they could not be positive and so never test. That's one of the big reasons so many are not diagnosed until they've been positive for years and find themselves in hospital dying from PCP or worse. Sites that prattle on about seroconversion symptoms do everyone a disservice. We do not discuss symptoms here, because not only are they unreliable, but the lack of symptoms is even more unreliable.

BTW, you're welcome. You can show your thanks by letting this go and using condoms form here on out. Don't forget to get your ass down to your local GUM clinic at least once a year for a FULL panel of STI 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 stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2011, 09:26:26 AM »
Ann, Andy - thanks a million.

Andy, - I know it's a complicated story, believe me I know...  I am in a realtionship & only sleepiing with her, stupidly I turned to an ex when we parted company (all be it only for a  few days but I thought it was over..), - my concern was that I had potentially passed something on to my girlfriend from my ex.  I am not a wreckless person, quite the oposite, - this has taught me a HUGE lesson, it has been a horrible journey to the 12 week mark but apart from seekig help with my anxiety, I have removed my ignorance to HIV & learned so much, - I hope to settle down & have a family with my GF but you know what, if the worst happened and we split, - I would ensure that any future gf and I were fully checked before persuing a sexual relationship, - sex is so missold from an early age, I only wish the dangers were pointed out so clearly in school.

Ann, - thank you for all of your time today, I can only imagine how hard it must be for people who discover late that they have HIV, - I guess on that token when people like myself potential "overtest" it must get a bit annoying..

I will indeed let this go, - I hope to never need Condoms again as I hope to settle down with my GF. as mentioned above, if anything changed. believe you me I would use them and get the other person tested first.

A Dr told me last week taht the internet is good for two things. "porn & shopping", - I would urge anyone reading this to stop "googlong" things (symptoms) as this is what got me into a mess, - countelss hours wasted behing a screen reading info from as far back as 2000!!

You do a great job and your work is certainly appreciated, you reassurance means allot.

Andy - Ann, - all the very best!



Offline Ann

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2011, 09:35:48 AM »
Sterling,

Sounds like a good plan. One thing to keep in mind - you should use condoms up to three months into any new relationship. That's the point at which you should test together before dispensing with the condoms - and you should only stop the condoms if you are securely monogamous. Many GUM clinics will schedule couple's appointments. (I know about GUMs because I also live in the UK)

Now go get on with your life! :)

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 stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2011, 09:55:51 AM »
Thanks Ann, :)

Oh I would do for sure, defo three months if I ever have to enter a new realtionship.

I read that you were based in the IOM, very nice too, been there myself :)

Even with a twelve week negative (not to metion 8 others...) & constant reassured advice it can still feel difficult to move on and forget it, - I realise though this is anxiety not reality & wil no doubt clear in time.

Best Wishes..

Offline Ann

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2011, 10:06:10 AM »
Sterling,

You mentioned earlier that you are pursuing counselling and I suggest you do just that. If you're having trouble finding a counsellor, you may get some results by ringing a local Relate office (they're all over the UK). As your worries fall roughly under the subject heading of relationships, they may consider taking you on as a client. Also, your local GUM or ASO (Terrence Higgens Trust, for example) may be able to point you in the right direction.

You seem like a fairly level-headed guy, so don't let this take over your life. You're better than that.

And yes, the Rock rocks!

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 stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2011, 05:03:50 AM »
Hi Ann,

Thanks for your advice below :)

I had a prettu tough night with the anxiety last nigh which has not happened for a while :(

Something has come to my attention taht I would like to ask you if I may, would topical steroid creams used for exzema have any affect on the antibody side of the testing? I have used these for thirty years and I understand them to "supress" the immune system to help control my condition.

As mention I have had nine tests all negative, last one being on day 84.

Sorry to be a pain Ann...

Thanks in advance

Offline Ann

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2011, 07:23:23 AM »
Stirling,

No, the steroid cream would not make a difference to your twelve week test result. You are well and truly conclusively hiv negative.

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 stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2011, 11:43:30 AM »
Thanks Ann :)

You know, from your goodself, several clinics where I live in Manchester, The THT trust, private health clinic in London, Dr Handfield & Hook in America, countless other professionals all say "move on and don't give it another thought"  - It is so bloody dificult too but I do feel somehwat more at ease now, - what I am feeling is guilt and anxiety and these are the things I must deal with.

Ann, - I read pages from your blog yesterday, you are a very interseting lady & although I don't know if you are a volunteer or what have you, you do an amazing service on here & please don't take this teh wrong way, you should be very happy with the help you offer to offers.

Thanks for all of your help & God Bless! :)

Stirling

Offline stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2011, 04:45:41 PM »
Hi Ann/Andy,

Just a quick one, I notice in one of your posts about testing that the man in question should wait 13 weeks for a conclusive result, as I have only tested out to 12 weeks does this mean I require any further testing? 

Sorry to ask another question!!

I am trying to move on through this, just finding it hard.

Thanks in advance...

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2011, 06:51:26 PM »
12 or 13 weeks are equally conclusive for tests. The rule varies in some countries and in some states. Both are reliable testing points.

You need to get on with your life. Really.
Andy Velez

Offline stirlingseven

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2011, 06:25:00 AM »
Hi Andy, thank you for your reply.

Andy, I feel like I am on an emotional rolercoaster, the anxiety is killimg me... :(

I have had 9 DUO tests between day 24-84 and  4 Point of care tests, - all negative..

Given that there were symptoms in both my ex, myself and my girlfriend, given the overwhealming negative results up to and inc the 12 week mark, is there any need at all for me to retest further?

I believe the 12 weeks guideline is Conservative & I am guessing that unless IV drugs or Chemo are used, no one would Seroconvert past 12 weeks, majority of the time being six weeks???

I am sorry to be such a worrier, this is litteraly driving me mad...

Stirling,

Offline Ann

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Re: 12 Weeks, conclusive??
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2011, 07:13:40 AM »
Stirling,

You're starting to drive us mad too. To quibble over twelve or thirteen weeks is to split hairs. In the UK, twelve weeks is the accepted window.

YOU DO NOT NEED FURTHER TESTING AT THIS TIME. You do not have hiv.

While we do recommend yearly sexual health check ups, YOU DO NOT NEED FURTHER TESTING AT THIS TIME.

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

 


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