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Author Topic: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?  (Read 3808 times)

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Offline WorriedFather

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Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« on: October 07, 2006, 04:40:59 AM »
In desperate need of some answers?

My son broke down last week to our family and admitted he had an encounter with a sex worker when he went to the World Cup this Summer, he has been seeing a mental health councillor for three weeks due to his obsession over this incident and he is also been prescribed anti-depressants. He told me about this web-site which I believe he has been banned from, (I have just read his postings). I have some questions as at 53 years of age I am not familiar with the HIV virus.

I spoke to his friend last night to get the full story, apparently he was in the same room on the night in question and they both had unprotected sex with the same woman, (my son is not fully aware of this and I think best that he is not).

His friend tested negative last week, but did pick up some other STD, which I believe he has been treated for.

Lingering obsession my son has is with a rash he obtained while on holiday, he thought it was due to bites, but his doctor has confirmed its either a viral infection, (does he mean HIV?) or possibly a reaction to a bite / something he ate. I am not a doctor but must admit it does not look like bites to me and it is very generalised, (both sides of his back / arms and legs and feet).

From the Welcome thread I understand all than less than 1% will show a positive test at three months, and believe my son has been tested out to fourteen weeks. All his tests came back NEGATIVE - so for me this is a great relief - coupled with the fact that I understand symptoms are not a reliable indicator of infection do we need to worry about having a son with HIV?

Other problem I have is knowing he has not told his wife and he had admitted to having sex with her again since the incident, she is very close to us and I could not bear the thought of something happening to her, at the same time we do not want to wreck their marriage.

Thanks to whoever replies, (a worried Dad).

P.S. I would appreciate that no matter what my son is not given access to this site again.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2006, 04:55:44 AM by WorriedFather »

Offline WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2006, 04:57:23 AM »
Sorry my wife just pointed out to me I made no reference to who my son is, he is called Simon and his postings where under the acronym fivecantonas.

Offline Ann

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2006, 06:01:48 AM »
Hi WF,

I knew who you were talking about as soon as I began reading your first post. Your son is hiv negative. There's no doubt in my mind about that.

The only other STI I can think of that might cause a rash is syphilis. Has he been tested for that? Otherwise, get him to keep working with his doctor to get to the bottom of this rash. Whatever is going on, it's not about hiv.

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 WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2006, 06:20:12 AM »
Ann:

Firstly thanks for the support you TRIED to give my son - I would like to apologise if his erratic behaviour has caused you any frustration, (but trust me when I say this he is a good person).

I cannot understand why he will not accept his test results, he has always been quite an obsessive kind of guy and we are hoping the councilling will resolve everything over the coming weeks.

To be honest the rash he has is fading by the day and to our knowledge he has been well apart from this. I know he had a Syphilis test at fourteen weeks which he is awaiting the results for and had a HIV test at fourteen weeks which was NEGATIVE. I have a slip of paper from the GUM clinic that states "HIV1 / HIV2 / P24 Antigen NOT detected".

We have spoken to a few helplines here in the UK, (THT & National HIV helpline) and they say to their knowledge there are no documented cases in the last ten years of people testing NEGATIVE at three months and later testing positive from the same incident.

Unfortunately my son has managed to convince my wife this rash is the start of him turning from HIV negative to HIV positvie.

My son wants me to take him to London next week for a viral load test, (which I believe looks for the virus itself) its quite expensive but if it will help him to get over this then I think it is worth it.

Do you know much about these tests? To date from what my son has told me he has had seven HIV tests, so I really am not sure what good another one will do?

Thanks, Ronald.

Offline Ann

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2006, 06:38:14 AM »
Hi Ronald,

We don't recommend PCR testing - those tests have a high rate of FALSE positives and you don't want him to chance getting one of those.

The thing is, ANY PCR test result must be confirmed with the type of test (antibody) your son has already had. It is NOT a stand-alone test. Your son is already conclusively hiv negative and there is absolutely no reason to use PCR testing. It has too much potential to cause more problems.

Make sure he picks up that syphilis result. This will also be a conclusive result as syphilis shares a three month window period with hiv.

Unfortunately, your son is not alone in his hiv obsession. We see it all the time here. I'm glad to see that you are being supportive and looking for information to help in your endeavour.

The bottom line here is that your son is hiv negative, period, end of story.

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 WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2006, 06:53:13 AM »
Thank-you Ann I will DEFINATELY point blank refuse to take my son to London for the test he wants. I could not imagine the state he would be in if he received a so called false positive you mention.

I will explain this to my wife and let her read your comments as unfortunately she is making the mistake of siding with my son, who is clearly mentally unwell.

I am going to print this out and give it to my son to read later today, I think to be honest all his feelings are guilt related due to sex with another woman and I wish he would just open up to his wife, but not my place.

I believe he will receive a text message with his Syphilis results sometime next week, I will let you know how this comes back - if it does I understand its easily treated by Antibiotics?

One last favour if you ever suspect he has somehow got back onto this forum I would appreciate if you IMMEDIATELY blocked his details - which from reading his post I know you have done in the past.

Cheers, Ronald.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2006, 07:01:15 AM by WorriedFather »

Offline Ann

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2006, 07:04:20 AM »
Ronald,

Your son has sixteen days left of his time out. To be honest, I don't feel comfortable agreeing to permanently ban someone on someone else's say-so. I'll discuss this situation with the other moderators. Rest assured that if he DOES come back after his time out, he would be given another time out if he is still in the same place mentally as he was. We do understand that this forum does some people no good and we give people time-outs to encourage them to seek the counseling they need.

You are correct about syphilis - it can be easily treated with antibiotics. The earlier the infection is caught, the easier it is to treat.

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 WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2006, 07:21:57 AM »
Understand...

To be honest maybe in the future it will help him to realise his irrational behaviour.

Thanks again for answering all my questions - now I know neither Simon or his wife can be infected with HIV its just a case of getting him back to work and forgetting this incident.

Ronald.

Offline WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2006, 08:32:54 AM »
Ann:

Sorry one last question by my wife, (I think I know the answer) can you be a carrier for HIV like other infections, i.e. son NEAGTIVE but transmit the virus to another party = his wife?

Ronald.

Offline WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2006, 08:57:33 AM »
Ann:

No need to answer this we phoned THT and they confirmed its not possible.

I am at my sons house today and just to let you know he has read your comments and I honestly think they have helped - he has another session with his councillor on Monday and he will take these notes along.

Hope you enjoy your weekend.

Ronald.

Offline Ann

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2006, 09:34:33 AM »
Ronald,

While you're here, you might want to check out our Welcome Thread and follow the Lessons links. Once you've read those two lessons, feel free to have a browse through the others as well. Hiv isn't going anywhere for the foreseeable future, so you might as well get an education. At least some good will have come out of this situation that way.

If and when you have grandkids, maybe you can then be the one to make sure they know how to protect themselves. Many schools do not have adequate sex education going on but that doesn't stop kids from experimenting. Knowledge is power and can be a lifesaver too. It's far better for teens to be able to make informed decisions. And just so you know, I'm telling you this as the mother of a teenage daughter.

Hang in there. Keep giving your son that unconditional love and support and he'll get through this.

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 WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2006, 06:56:12 AM »
Ann:

I decided to go with my son today, (at his request) to his councilling session, (what an eye opener that was - whale music is not my cup of tea).

A lot of what my son was talking about was way over my head, (I think he has become an HIV expert over the last few months).

Believe it or not I was surprised that most of it was not as irrational as I feared, infact his only real concerns seemed to be that (a) he may be one of the few to become positive between 3 - 6 months and (b) he tested to early after obtaining his rash to show positive, (one week later).

Can you answer three specific questions for me and my wife so we understand further?

My son wants to test this week to rule out the rash vs. illness debate:

1. What is a P24 test, apparently all my sons test included this out to 14 weeks?
2. If a patient is experiencing an illness due to conversion when would it happen?
3. If a person was experiencing illness and tested for HIV would my sons tests detect infection? (he tells me they where all 4th generation, whatever that means?)

Councillor kept me to one side today and concluded that she was very confident over the coming weeks this obsession would not be a long lasting problem and the improvement she has seen could be quantified as 100%.

Today she will be writing to our GP to suggest taking my son of tablets after his six week course - HURRAY !

Thanks again to this site for helpling our family through this difficult time

Ronald.

P.S. I would hate to give advice wrongly, but if any other people are in this situation, I suggest working with a mental health councillor the difference in my son has been incredible over the last three weeks !! This was the site he used to locate the councillor, (only UK).

http://www.bacp.co.uk/

Offline Ann

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2006, 07:32:57 AM »
Ronald,

If you read through the Welcome thread and follow the testing link like I suggested you do, you will find out all you need to know about p24 testing.

If a person experiences an illness associated with seroconversion, it normally happens between two and four weeks after infection has taken place. Not everyone experiences any noticable illness. That's why we say symptoms or even the LACK of symptoms means nothing, only the testing is reliable. And it is reliable.

The only people who MIGHT seroconvert late are people who are on chemotherapy for cancer or anti-organ rejection drugs following organ transplant, or people who have been injecting street drugs every day of every week for years. I trust your son does not fall into any of these catagories. These things only MIGHT cause delayed seroconversion. The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks. The twelve week window exists to catch the RARE person who takes a little longer than six weeks.

Your son is reliably hiv negative. Period. End of story.

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 WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2006, 10:45:12 AM »
Ann, (+ any other forum users reading my postings)

Good News day today, (unfortunately short lived) I went to the local GUM clinic with my Son to collect Syphilis tests = NEGATIVE.

What I did not realise was that he had booked another HIV test, (now 16 weeks after exposure). Thank God for the NHS they refused to test him, on the grounds of no new exposures, they would not even look at his rash he keeps prattling on about.

Nurse told me that this case needs to be closed, testing at 4/8/6/10/12/14 weeks is ridiculous and if anything bordering on obsessive, especially considering the type of tests he has used.

I hope any other users of this forum do not go down this route, if you are asking for advice then take it !   

I am at a loss... ???

Ronald, (was a Worried Father, now just plain Frustrated)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 10:53:36 AM by WorriedFather »

Offline WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2006, 01:04:47 PM »
Ann:

My wife has come home from work in a complete state and is begging me to take my son for a FINAL test at a private clinic, (due to this rash) she is really dissapointed that the GUM would not test.

In your opinion do you think it will do more damage than good?

I am worried this could lead to another test in another few weeks - I would like her to read your answer...

Thanks, Ronald.

Offline Ann

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2006, 03:12:47 PM »
Ronald,

I think further testing of your son would be a waste of time, money and resources. Rashes happen for all sorts of reasons and hiv has been ruled out in this case. Your son is absolutely, conclusively hiv negative.

The best thing you can do for him now is to make sure he keeps up with the counseling. Maybe take the wife along for a few sessions too.

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 ScienceGuy25

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2006, 08:49:56 PM »
Ann:

My wife has come home from work in a complete state and is begging me to take my son for a FINAL test at a private clinic, (due to this rash) she is really dissapointed that the GUM would not test.

In your opinion do you think it will do more damage than good?

I am worried this could lead to another test in another few weeks - I would like her to read your answer...

Thanks, Ronald.

Dear Worried

I would definitly not get your son another HIV test.  From the little bit I've studied in psychology (i'm a biomedical scientist, not psychologist) I think these HIV tests are becoming a slight addicition themself.  That is, a person feels a certain anxiety before receiving the results and when the test comes back negative they get a strong feeling of relief, which unfortunately in your son's case lasts only for a short time before he is back to obsessing about infection.

As Ann has correctly stated there a many reasons people get rashes and most of them have nothing to do with HIV.  If this rash is a significant health problem than your son should seek the help of a dermatologist to find out what's causing it.  Additional HIV testing is certainly not warranted and could even be harmful from a psychological perspective.

Offline WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2006, 11:30:29 AM »
Thanks Ann, thanks scienceguy for your responses, I will try to stop this testing cycle and hopefully my son can move on soon.

Its really difficult to know whats the best thing to do, out of love you think you should give your children what they want even though you know it is wrong. The strain this whole incident has put on our family is incredible.

I just wish he could accept the fact that this is just a rash and not part of converting to HIV+. Some idiot at one of the private clinics he visited also told him that tests will not be positive for a few weeks until after the primary infection symptoms start.

So now I have my wife agreeing to take my son for a test next week.....ARRGGHHH.

Ronald.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2006, 11:32:20 AM by WorriedFather »

Offline WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2006, 11:09:31 AM »
Ann / other experts:

My husband has been getting advice from you guys for a few days and he has pretty much refused to take my son for further testing over a sexual encounter in the summer.

I have agreed to take my son to a clinic next week for a test which is now four months after his exposure, I am hoping it will finally help him to put this incident behind him, I read you advise that there is no need, but my son has showed me an article explaining HIV testing will not be positive for a few weeks after primary infection symptoms start.

I cannot sleep due to the thought it could come back positive, also I know he has been having unprotected sex with his wife since a negative at 12 weeks, do you think I should insist she gets a test as well to make sure she has not been infected with HIV?

This whole experience as been a learning curve for us and one I hope other parents do not have to go through.

best regards, Anne.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2006, 11:28:13 AM »
Yes and like an alcoholic will say, one more drink won't hurt me. You are being no different in his situation, as would a person giving alcohol to an alcoholic. Your son has reliably tested negative and no further tests are needed. If you want to help you son, make sure he continues to seek his mental health therapy. Is there a reason to tell his wife? Does she need to be tested? No, unless you just want to tell her he was unfaithful. He’s HIV negative and there is nothing more to tell anyone. 

Offline Ann

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2006, 11:49:26 AM »
Quote
but my son has showed me an article explaining HIV testing will not be positive for a few weeks after primary infection symptoms start.

Anne,

If your son were actually infected, he would have seroconverted by now and already tested positive. He hasn't. He is conclusively hiv negative and does not need further testing.

The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by SIX WEEKS, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 DAYS. The three month window period exists to catch the RARE person who takes a little longer than six weeks to seroconvert. Your son is without doubt hiv negative.

You need to understand something here. Even if the sex worker actually was hiv positive (which we don't know) it is no guarantee that your son would have become infected. I was with my current partner for a year and a half, not using condoms, before my hiv status was discovered. He is still hiv negative over seven years later.

Hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus and more so from a woman to a man. The odds were always in your son's favour of testing negative.

I think the concern on your part has more to do with your own prejudices that are telling you a sex worker of African origin MUST be hiv positive. That simple isn't true. It's also simply not true that your son would automatically become infected if exposed. It's time for all of you to take on board the science of hiv and forget about what you think you know.

In the UK, the hiv testing window period is twelve weeks. Your son has tested to fourteen weeks. He is hiv negative, period, end of story.

One more thing. If you're thinking of helping him get a PCR test, you may very well end up hurting him more than helping him. PCR testing has a high rate of FALSE positive results. Any result from PCR testing MUST be confirmed with standard ELISA testing - which your son has ALREADY had and has tested hiv negative.

Your son is hiv negative. Period. End of story. If you insist on helping him test further, what you are doing is called enabling and despite what it sounds like, enabling is NOT helpful. Perhaps you should attend a few counseling sessions together as a family.

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 WorriedFather

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Re: Son seeing Mental Health Councillor ?
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2006, 12:45:58 PM »
Ann / Rod:

Thanks for your support, I will try and pluck up the courage to cancel my sons test, I know his reaction will be one of anger and I think it could damage our already strained relationship.

As a mother yourself I know rationally you would not be telling us this if you were in any doubt about my sons status. At our local GUM clinic they have already told us no further testing is necessary, infact the nurse has refused to test my son any further.

You are right about the prejudice against the sex worker and I suppose this is selfish, but when its your child I think you always want to do whats best.

I also do not doubt that my son is HIV negative, (well from what I know) I just want the guy back in our life before this incident happened.

I have also encouraged him to admit this to his wife - they are trying for a child and I know what the next demon will be if she gets pregnant in the near future.

We WILL go to the councillor tomorrow as a FAMILY !

best regards, Anne.


 


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