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Author Topic: symptoms and testing  (Read 2071 times)

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Offline tamundo

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  • Posts: 5
symptoms and testing
« on: October 06, 2011, 12:59:02 PM »
Hi--

On 8/28, I had an unprotected oral encounter with a man I met online (HIV status unknown, though he claims to be negative on his site).  I both gave and received.  My concern is that I have a lot of dental work, and sometimes bleeding gums.  There was no ejaculation, though possibly precum.   

Exactly 7 days later, I came down with fatigue and fever (almost 102), and within days developed a sore throat and a cough (the latter occurred when I inhaled deeply).  I also had night sweats.  The fever stuck around (mostly in low grade form) for the better part of 2 weeks.  I lost 5-6 lbs, and according to a CBC, had a lowish platelet count (147, down from 201 one month prior).  Now I am feeling mostly fine, though a little sluggish.

I tested negative at 3 weeks (Orasure, non-rapid) and at 31 days (fingerstick rapid).  I am planning on testing again on Monday, which will be 6 weeks.  The anxiety is driving me crazy, especially when I think about the highly uncharacteristic symptoms (weight loss, platelet count, etc.)  Is this cause to keep testing beyond 6 weeks, despite the low risk?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 01:33:23 PM »
I expect you to continue to test negative. Nothing you have described symptomatically is in any way HIV specific. But then that is not surprising since the only confirmed risks for the sexual transmission of HIV are unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse.

Receiving oral is absolutely no. Your saliva contains over a dozen elements and proteins which very effectively prevent the transmission of viable HIV if it is present. You would have to have fresh gaping open wounds in your mouth for me to consider there was any possible risk.

If any of your symptoms persist you should discuss them with your doctor.

I expect you to come out of this ok. I don't really see a need for testing but you can do that strictly for your peace of mind.
Andy Velez

Offline tamundo

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  • Posts: 5
Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 01:47:32 PM »
Thanks for the response, Andy.  My symptoms are gone, other than some vague abdominal pains.  I went to a doctor twice and explained my anxiety to her.  She thought testing would be a good idea (this was the 3 week test), but didn't see any immediate cause for concern (she checked my lymph nodes and said they felt fine).

I'm trying to be as rational as possible, but I keep reading about the window period and rapid tests--specifically, that most rapid tests need 2 weeks longer than 3rd generation ELISAs to detect antibodies.  Have you heard similar claims?  So while my 4.5 week negative is reassuring, I'm still going nuts.  I'm just going to make sure to get a 3rd generation test at 6 weeks and see what happens.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 02:15:10 PM »
Tam,

If your illness at seven days had anything to do with hiv, your last test would have been positive.

But why would it have been? You have not had a risk.

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 tamundo

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  • Posts: 5
Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 02:23:08 PM »
That's exactly what the "rational" side of my brain keeps telling me! :)  I'm just going to get a third generation test at 6 weeks--for peace of mind--and move on.  Thanks, Ann.

Offline tamundo

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  • Posts: 5
Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2011, 11:42:40 PM »
Hi again--

I went for my 6 week test last week Monday, to a clinic that advertised the lab blood test.  Of course when I got there, they just had rapid testing (Clearview...it's hard to find any clinic that offers anything other than rapid tests in my state).  I thought "When in Rome..." and took the test.  Unsurprisingly, it was negative.

Unsurprisingly, I'm still having anxiety.

Does anyone have any stats on the difference between 2nd and 3rd generation tests?  How long does it take after the onset of ARS to have detectable IgM antibodies (for 3rd generation) and to have IgG antibodies (for 2nd generation--most rapid tests)? 

I know the numbers are in my favor at this point, but my faith in the rapid tests is pretty slim.  I'm trying to relax but whenever I think about the symptoms I had, I start to freak again.

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Posts: 6,007
  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2011, 11:51:29 PM »
You have not had a risk.

You are reliably HIV negative.

Rapid testing is quite reliable, erring (when it does) on the side of false positive, rather than false negative. After all, better to temporarily freak some people out for no reason than allow positive results to go unnoticed.

You had no risk. Moreover, your flurry of testing has produced a negative result.

You had no risk. You are negative.
"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 Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2011, 07:49:17 AM »
Tam,

The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, REGARDLESS of what generation the test may be. Even on the first generation tests, a person who has actually been infected will normally test positive by six weeks.

As far as I am aware, first and second generation tests are no longer being manufactured. Most in use today - including rapid tests - are third and fourth generation.

If you decide to continue testing, don't be surprised by your further negative results. As you have been told, you did not have a risk. Please re-read your entire thread until it sinks in.

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

Ann


edited to correct terrible spelling
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 07:52:48 AM by 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 tamundo

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: symptoms and testing
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2011, 12:07:24 PM »
I know that you are probably right, jk and Ann, about the risk, and I'm trying to get over it.  But just one correction, Ann--the only rapid test with third generation technology is Uni-gold.  The rest have technology similar to second generation.

See the next-to-last paragraph: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2292942/

That's why I was worried about IgG vs. IgM antibodies.

 


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