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Author Topic: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms  (Read 3395 times)

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Offline symptoms2

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Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« on: October 18, 2011, 12:51:44 PM »
I want to thank all here on this site for the supportive information in a time of crises. After being in a very long term monogamous relationship, I found myself single after over 6 years.  Dating did not happen until this summer (almost a year after the breakup) and met someone who worked at a local bar in the city in early September. We did not get together for a second time until September 23rd which ended up being a confusing time in my life.  Although we had talked about my negative sero-status a couple of week back, he wanted to not use a condom, had said he just went out and got tested negative the previous week and could not keep an erection with a condom on because he was used to also being in a relationship.  Gave him oral sex a couple of times during the early evening but by the time he made dinner and finished drinks and a movie I decided it was okay to actually have anal sex with him.  He had put on the condom but several days later, it was revealed he had removed the condom by the time he ejaculated.

By early Wednesday morning September 28th (which is 4.5 days after exposure), I notice a half dozen, flat pin point size , crimson red dots on my inner thigh which I assumed was underwear irritation or ingrown hair.  Did not think much about it until the dots multiplied a hundred times the next day and the rash became symmetrical on both sides of the thighs and merging towards the pubic region.  The older rash coelesced and formed wide red patches wall the newly infected areas just started to get the pin point dots.  Went to a GP at the gay part of town and he did not know what it was, thought it was bacterial and prescribed Minocycline.

By Friday, September 29th, the rash had spread up to the side of my stomach, coelesced into red areas on both sides of my front torso and then hundreds of pin point, raised pimples started to appear on the flat, crimson areas and started to dot on my actual stomach.  Googled HIV and Rash and new I had to go to the LGBT clinic.  The doctor was confused since I had no fever or malaise, no thrush or enlarge lymph.  Took bacterial swabs and throat cultures, etc.  She told me to start with the antibiotic and sign up for HIV testing the following week.

That first weekend in October was Hell.  I started taking the Minocycline but the rash did not get better and was spreading toward my lower chest and a bit further out on the upper thigh (it did not go further than just below chest).  Only slept 1/2 hour at the time for 36 hours with heat flashes, light night sweats and some nausea waking me up.  I had had odd frequent bowel movements but with moderately firm stool since everything started but had a bout of diarrhea on the third day of taking the antibiotic.  Looked up all the side affects and decide to stop taking the Minocylcine since the rash was not getting better.  Diarrhea automatically stopped but I had the white coated tongue of thrush that would last for 10 days after that weekend.  Flashes mitigated to once an night or early morning for the second week and only had one bout were I thought my head was slightly warm at the end of the 2 week period. The third week saw mostly slight warm flashes in the morning and no cold sweats.

Of course my finger prick HIV test in less than 2 weeks on October 4th came back negative and they took more blood that day and the results should be back this week.  The rash started to fade by the third week into brown patches which faded in beige spots and started to flake off in the order of the location it started.  My front torso was last to be affected so there are still some patches there today.  The HIV counselor who administered the test flat out said she did not think it was HIV because of the quick timeline and the LGBT clinic doctor was confused about not seeing a fever or other major symptoms so was reticent to confirm ARS syndrome. 

Can anyone give any advice? What are my chances given the circumstances?  I have been in therapy and had suicidal thoughts early on and am taking sedatives.

Offline symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 02:37:21 PM »
Forgot to mention that I am a gay male living in the big city on the east coast.

Offline Ann

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 06:49:14 AM »
symptoms,

Neither the presence nor absence of symptoms mean a darn thing when it comes to diagnosing hiv. ONLY testing will tell you your accurate hiv status. However, that said, I also think your symptoms came on too soon for it to have anything to do with hiv in relation  to that encounter. But ONLY testing will tell you for sure.

You tested too early - it wasn't even two weeks - and all that test tells you is that you were hiv negative before this encounter. (although it's good to have a baseline)

The earliest you should test again is at six weeks (November 4th), as the vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by this time, with the average time to seroconversion being 22 days. A six week negative must be confirmed at the three month point, but is highly unlikely to change.

You need to learn from this incident. I realise the guy was dishonest in removing the condom, but for your own sake, get into the habit of periodically reaching down to check the condom is still in place on your top, particularly when you do not know the person well. This is something I've had to learn to do myself, so please don't think I'm being condescending or whatever. You need to take an active role in protecting yourself.

Make sure you get tested for all the other, much more easily transmitted STIs as well. You're more likely to have been infected with something other than hiv from this one-off encounter.

Good luck with the testing.

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 symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2011, 09:18:13 AM »
Thank you once again Ann of your guidance. I have learned a painful lesson here on trust and that in the world of dating, trust has to be earned first and just talking about HIV does not always work with the other party. 

It turns out that the man that I had been with had some drug problems and was probably on chrystal that night.  I had not been in that part of the club scene in the city for years since dating is new to me now and did not recognize the symptoms until my friends pointed out that he was probably high the entire night.  Needless to say, I have not wanted to date or have sex with anyone for the past month now.

The bacteria culture came back inconclusive and other test confirm that I do not have anything staph, strep or syphilis related.   Your advice on testing by November 4th is well noted and I am still waiting for the second round of test this week to come.  They drew blood from my arm 2 weeks ago after the finger prick test came out negative and sent it to a lab. Not sure if this is just another antibody test or if they decided to go for a viral load check. This is a big LGBT clinic in NYC but this is the first time I have been tested this extensively anywhere so do not know the process.

Thank you once more for your kind support and wisdom.

Offline symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2011, 05:02:41 PM »
Went to the clinic again today to get more tests as you suggested.  Misunderstood the previous tests which were actually for gonorrhea and chlamydia which ended up negative.  They drew a lot of blood today for the syphilis testing and somehow my thrush tongue has returned after being gone for a week. Saw a new doctor at the LGBT clinic and he too was questioning the 4 day timing of the onset of the rash from exposure but stressed that anything goes with the acute phase of HIV infection.  Still waiting for the call back for the RNA test from October 4th which I understand is for viral load.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 06:22:25 PM »
Yes, the RNA is an approved test to be taken around 28 days after a risk. It looks for viral load.
Andy Velez

Offline symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2011, 01:03:20 PM »
Still waiting for the RNA test to come back but the doctor also said less then 2 weeks after possible exposure was too recent.  I have read that the viral load is highest during the the symptomatic phase of the acute HIV and my rash was extreme - and there were the night sweats, heat flashes, fatigue and thrush.  Called the clinic but no return call for a follow up appointment yet.  Anxious some nights but trying hard to keep busy. 

The rash has faded but still light brown/beige confluent patches have remained which flare red occasionally on either side of my front torso. It kind of looks like a sunburn now from the side my hip to my lower chest but light brown in color.  Been also getting slight heat rashes around my arm pits or neck where clothing rub against the skin during workouts.  It has been about 4 weeks since all of this has started but the fading of the rash is taking some time to resolve.  Syphillis test has not come back and still pending. 

I guess I am just writing all this to get things off of my chest while I wait. 

Offline symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2011, 10:41:19 PM »
Got the result of the RNA test which was taken 12 days after my initial unprotected exposure. It turned out negative and the counselor advised it was her opinion that that the results were conclusive.

One of the hiv specialist that I had seen mentioned that usually 2 weeks is the general time to take an RNA test to test for the virus but I already had severe symptoms such as the maculopapular torso rash, night sweats, hot flashes, fatigue and thrush of the tongue. Would that not indicate that the viral load was high theoretically since symptoms were present? 

My syphilis test came out negative so it is still a mystery what happened.

Offline Ann

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 08:00:05 AM »
symptoms,

A twelve day RNA is NOT conclusive. Any PCR test result must be confirmed with antibody testing anyway. What happened to you using antibody testing on the 4th like I suggested earlier?

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 Andy Velez

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2011, 08:01:50 AM »
You still need to test at 3 months for a conclusive negative result. You can do a test at 6 weeks. If you test negative at that point, the likelihood is good that you will continue to test negative.

In the meantime while waiting to re-test you need to make a real effort to focus on other matters in your life. It will make the waiting time go much more easily. And don't bother saying you are too worried to do that because that kind of response is not going to fly here. Just do it and make your life easier.
Andy Velez

Offline symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2011, 08:20:15 AM »
Thanks for all of the advice and support Ann and Andy.   The clinic was taking forever to get back to me on the RNA testing results and testing counselor advised that I should set up another appointment if I was still concerned. 
I literally just got the results last night.  I have another doctor's visit on the 15th which I will inquire about further antibody testing which will be around the 6-7 week point. 

I guess I have a unsubstantiated sense of peace at this point but what are the chances of a false negative for the RNA test?

There is a lot written about false positives results but are false negatives common for finding the virus when a patient is symptomatic?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2011, 08:27:00 AM »
You still need to test at 3 months for a conclusive negative result. You can do a test at 6 weeks. If you test negative at that point, the likelihood is good that you will continue to test negative.

In the meantime while waiting to re-test you need to make a real effort to focus on other matters in your life. It will make the waiting time go much more easily. And don't bother saying you are too worried to do that because that kind of response is not going to fly here. Just do it and make your life easier.
Andy Velez

Offline symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2011, 10:41:32 PM »
An update on the antibody test is after 7+ weeks, it came out negative.  I took an oral one at another clinic since the reputable one that I was going to just basically said I had nothing to worry about after the PCR test.  Will keep testing in the following weeks.  None of the doctors have been able to diagnose my previous symptoms.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2011, 11:26:48 PM »
Really, then I would find a doctor that knows what they are talking about. PCR-RNA tests are not standalone test and have to used in conjunction with an antibody test. You can obtain your conclusive test result 3 months post exposure.

Offline Ann

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2011, 06:29:36 AM »
Symptoms,

You do not need to "keep testing in the following weeks". That is just a waste of time, money and resources.

Your seven+ week negative is highly unlikely to change. You only need to test one more time at three months to confirm your negative result. Continually testing in the mean time is just silly. Don't waste your money and the clinic's time. It's unnecessary.

I fully expect you to confirm your negative result at three months, and so should you. You're more likely to find a winning lottery ticket worth millions lying on your doorstep tomorrow morning than you are to go on to test positive over this incident.

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 symptoms2

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Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2011, 09:40:49 AM »
Thanks all for the support. This forum has helped tremendously during this stressful time and I will take your advice as noted for the 3 month test. There is still that nagging nervousness in the back of the mind but I am overall in a much better place than the near suicidal state that I had been in during the beginning weeks.

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Highest Risk Exposure and Symptoms
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2011, 10:07:19 AM »
Symptoms,

You're welcome. Keep yourself productively busy while you wait for the appropriate time to confirm your negative results and the time will go much more quickly.

Again, I fully expect you to continue to test negative, so relax and 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

 


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