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Author Topic: What Should I Do?  (Read 1774 times)

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Offline Catchafire

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What Should I Do?
« on: October 23, 2012, 11:52:13 PM »
(this is a bit long, I apologize)

First of all, I would like to share my appreciation for this forum in educating people on HIV/AIDS and helping those who have tested positive, who are living with HIV, and individuals who are worried.  Thanks to modern medicine, HIV is not nearly as scary as it was when it first hit the media but it is still something that people worry about and it is scary.  Personally, the fact that someone can be HIV positive, get tested, and the results show up negative is one of the reasons why HIV is so scary to me; its also what has driven me to this forum for help.

Like many others who have confided here, I started mixing myself in the company of RISKY SEXUAL BEHVIOUR.  In other words, I sought escorts and prostitutes fully aware of the potential risks.  That risk came to fruition either April or May of 2011 when the lady I was with used the same cloth used to remove the condom to wipe the top of my uncircumcised penis (which may have aggravated/cut/sore due to sexual interaction).  My fear is that her vaginal fluid on the cloth came into contact with an open cut on my penis.  I should note here that I have ALWAYS used a condom while having sex, especially with individuals who pose higher risks and they themselves maybe positive.

Fast forward a month and I am at the doctor receiving the results from my physical which was done AFTER the episode described above.  Everything seemed to be going well and then my doctor told me that he was curious about my White Blood Cell count which was alarmingly low.  This news immediately placed my attitutde and outlook into a downward spiral because I assumed myself to be HIV positive.

This led to me purchasing Rapid HIV tests that based a result on finding anti-bodies in the saliva.  I must have bought 3 of these tests during June-July 2011 which ALL showed my result to be negative based on the instructions.  Okay, I know that people say to wait 3 mos after exposure so while these results are negative, I AM STILL NOT IN THE CLEAR.

*Then, the first week of August 2011 (August 2nd to be exact) came and something peculiar started to happen to my body.  The saliva in my mouth basically started to dry out leaving me with this persistent dry/cotton ball mouth feeling.  My voice started to change slightly (hoarse sounding, like when you have a cold) due to my vocal chords being irritated/swollen.  Now, I knew at the time that swollen glands in your mouth region / irritated vocal chords are a sign of HIV.  On the 12th of August, I decide to go to Planned Parenthood for an HIV test.  They performed a Rapid Test but this time with a quick prick to my finger where I then placed a drop of blood onto the test.  It was negative.  I felt slightly relieved...

(let me try and wrap this up)
The test asked me to take a follow up test 3 mos and 6 mos after the date I took this RAPID HIV Test.  This was done, and during this span I have seen a general doctor, a urinologist, and an ear, throat, and nose specialist.  My blood was drawn in February 2012 and July 2012 by my doctors for HIV and results were negative.  Not to mention, I have performed several HIV Home Access KITS that have you prick your finger and mail blood samples.  They have ALL showed up NEGATIVE.

To this day, my mouth is STILL dry, my throat STILL hurts, and my vocal chords are STILL irritated.  My suspected HIV exposure was May 2011 and I have tested out to September of 2012 where my results are negative.  These symptoms may indeed be non - HIV related, but I am still worried due to my risky behaviour and persistent TROUBLING symptoms.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?  Is there doctor that specializes in infectious diseases that I should see?  Is there a doctor who can advise me on what STD tests I should take that an E&T specialist has no clue about?  Am I serconverting?  If I were positive, shouldn't I test positive if I am experiencing these symptoms?

Thanks, and I apologize for being so long winded.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 12:33:18 AM »
I am very sorry you are in distress!

Let me cut to the heart(s) of the matter:

Quote
That risk came to fruition either April or May of 2011 when the lady I was with used the same cloth used to remove the condom to wipe the top of my uncircumcised penis (which may have aggravated/cut/sore due to sexual interaction).  My fear is that her vaginal fluid on the cloth came into contact with an open cut on my penis.

Let me assure you that this is NOT a way in which HIV is transmitted. No way, no how. Even if you have an open chancre or lesion on your penis. HIV simply cannot transfer outside the body and remain infectious. It's far too fragile for that. There is absolutely no risk for HIV in the scenario you present here.

I cannot state this firmly enough. Under NO circumstances, and you know there are a zillion of them, can HIV be spread through the sharing of towels or wiping your penis off with a towel, even if it is positively drenched with vaginal fluids.

Even if you were having gay sex, and an HIV positive person with a very high viral load ejaculated into his hand and used that semen to masturbate you, there is not a chance for transmission. I am using that example because A) semen typically carries far more infectious fluids than vaginal fluids, and B) you'd be surprised how often that scenario has presented itself.

You had absolutely no risk for HIV. None.

But I wanted to make one little comment, based on what you said here:

Quote
I should note here that I have ALWAYS used a condom while having sex, especially with individuals who pose higher risks and they themselves maybe positive.

Please know that individuals do not pose risks. Activities do. Here on this forum we've got soccer moms, nurses, soldiers, businesspeople, librarians, you name it. The whole spectrum of humanity is presented here. Ironically,  a sex worker is more likely to take better precautions than a "civilian," mainly because her/his livelihood is thwarted by the smallest of STD in most cases.

Please know that using a condom for penetrative anal and vaginal sex offers the closest science can achieve insofar as complete protection from HIV. You have been doing the right thing all along. PLEASE do so, even when you begin a relationship with someone who is not in a "risk group." Your greatest risk will always be from someone who does not know s/he is positive, and that can be anyone at all.

If it has been three months since your last sexual encounter, perhaps you may want a full STD panel - not just HIV but chlamydia and syphilis (which shares the three month testing window with HIV) as well as other STDs. Not that your symptoms point to anything I can personally peg insofar as STDs are concerned, but that's why we don't really discuss symptoms here. They vary so widely, and often never present themselves at all.

I sincerely hope that you find the cause for your problems and symptoms. Please be assured that it cannot possibly be HIV from the scenario you described.





"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 Catchafire

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 08:34:34 AM »
Thanks for responding to my post!  What you have said, "...individuals do not pose risks. Activities do." will resonate with me for a really long time.  I'm in strong agreement with this because it IS the activity and not the individual.

I'll continue to seek help for my symptoms.  It may indeed be STD related but not HIV related as I have not had unprotected sex leading up to the symptoms and test results have been negative.  Is there a particular type of doctor I should seek that specializes in STIs?  I would like to be tested for ALL potential STIs and to speak with someone who specializes in this.

THANKS!!!

Online Andy Velez

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 08:46:19 AM »
We do not make medical referrals here. You might contact the Board of Health in your area and ask where you can be tested for STDs.
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 11:03:57 AM »

What you have said, "...individuals do not pose risks. Activities do." will resonate with me for a really long time.  I'm in strong agreement with this because it IS the activity and not the individual.


Catch,

An easy way to remember the above information is: "it's not WHO you do, it's HOW you do it". Make sure you keep those three letters in the correct order when weighing up your risk factor. As long as you're using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, you will not be at risk and you will avoid hiv infection. Yes, it really is that simple.

You might find poz.com's Health Services Directory useful for finding a sexual health clinic near you.

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.

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. Some of the other STIs can be present with no obvious symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to test.

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 Catchafire

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Inconclusive Test
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 01:06:52 PM »
My doctor called me today and told me that my HIV 1/2 test came back inconclusive.  I tested negative for HIV 1, but additional confirmatory tests are needed for HIV 2 since it was reactive. 

I am at work and extremely worried.  I tested in February and July of last year for HIV 1/2 and both were negative.  I also did several tests for HIV 1 last year which were all negative.

I am worried because my wife and I started trying for kids, and I am afraid that I infected her.

What should I do?  I cant stand waiting here to be retested for HIV 1/2 and I want to get retested now.


Online Andy Velez

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2013, 02:17:26 PM »
First of all, I have merged your threads. As stated in the opening thread of this section, members are supposed to put all entries in the same thread. This is the only thread you should be using. Thanks for your cooperation.

Inconclusive results happen for all sorts of reasons. It's not unusual but of course it's scary when you are waiting for an all clear. And an all clear is what I expect you to receive when you re-test. Your fears and doubts and guilt notwithstanding, nothing you have reported of your activities put you at risk for HIV.

So it's just a matter of time before you test negative. Really. Beyond that I don't have anything else to add at this point. You can't give your wife a virus you don't have. And you don't have HIV.
Andy Velez

Offline Catchafire

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2013, 05:58:43 PM »
Thanks for responding Andy. 

I am just so worried because I waited so long to get tested at my doctor in February 2012 and then again in July 2012 before having unprotected sex with my wife.  We only recently started to have sex without a condom and that was because the tests were negative for both HIV 1/2.

I'm also disappointed because I do not understand why self test kits only test for HIV-1. 

Offline Ann

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 07:55:18 AM »
Catcha,

You more likely than not have had a false positive result. Hiv2 is even more difficult to transmit than hiv1 and as has been pointed out to you before, you have not had a risk for hiv infection.

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 Catchafire

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 10:09:10 AM »
My doctor just called and told me that the confirmatory test is negative and is a much better indicator than the initial screening.  Supposedly, when I tested in July the initial screening came up as positive and they performed a confirmatory test which showed I am negative. 

There is something viral within me that 'tricks' the HIV-2 screening test, but the much more detailed confirmatory test is negative.  This also is not the first time supposedly.  The doctor said that I do not needed to be re-tested for HIV.

I wonder if I should discuss this with my family.  I was so nerve racked last night thinking about how to tell them my status. 

I have a question related to HIV 2:  Why is it harder to transmit?

After reading up on HIV2, it seems that a lot of research has not been done regarding it and medicine is different than what one use for HIV1.

Offline Ann

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 10:19:04 AM »
Catcha,

Sometimes an underlying (and possibly not-yet-diagnosed) autoimmune disease can cause false positive hiv test results. Pregnancy can also do this and sometimes they just happen. That's why a person cannot be considered to be hiv positive until confirmatory tests have also come back positive.

Your confirmatory tests confirm that you're hiv negative. You do not have hiv - no surprise there as you did not have a risk to begin with.

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 Catchafire

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Re: What Should I Do?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 11:24:16 AM »
Thanks for responding Ann.

My new concern is what underlying auto immune system I may potentially have.  What is interesting is how the doctors I have seen seem unconcerned over this or my sore throat/dry mouth.

 


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