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Author Topic: Can't Stop Stressing  (Read 2338 times)

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Offline quinn22

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Can't Stop Stressing
« on: November 22, 2012, 08:18:49 PM »
I'm a gay man in my mid 20s. In early September, I had a high risk encounter: unprotected receptive anal sex with a bisexual man who I knew previously but not extremely well and was not in a relationship with. I was drunk and used extremely poor judgment. I got tested later that week. My HIV test was negative. They called a week later to let me know I tested positive for gonorrhea so I returned the next day to be treated. I let my partner know my result so he went to get tested. He was negative for HIV and positive for gonorrhea. Before and after our encounter, he assured me he was HIV negative. He also said he had no STDs. I realize though that people lie or are unaware they're infected when they actually are. Needless to say, I was extremely nervous after finding out I had gonorrhea. I've never had an STD in my life.

I got tested for HIV again at 60 days (8 weeks) and the result was negative. I have an appointment to test again at 91 days. I actually have an appointment to test tomorrow (about 11.5 weeks since the encounter) but I'm not sure if I should go. A negative result might calm me down, but it could also make me more stressed for my conclusive test.

I understand I can't diagnose myself on symptoms but the anxiety has been getting to me. I Google my symptoms regularly. I have fatigue, muscle twitching, low libido, dry skin, confusion...and a host of other things that could be explained by stress, poor diet, and poor exercise. In addition to this scare, I also have other sources of stress that are not health related. The past 5 months have been extremely stressful for a multitude of reasons and this health scare has only compounded my anxiety. I can't concentrate on much of anything and I have low energy, which is not normal for me. I'm not sure if it's all stress or symptoms of HIV.

I'm scared for my future and I can't seem to snap out of it. I'm trying to find a way to calm down at least for the next week and a half until my last test. I'm praying the guy I was with really is HIV-, that I'm worrying for nothing, and that I'll come out of this ok.

I think writing everything out has actually made me feel a little better. I know I won't be completely relaxed until my last test in a little over a week but I welcome any insight offered.

Offline Ann

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Re: Can't Stop Stressing
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 08:36:35 PM »
Quinn,

Your eight week negative is highly unlikely to change.

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.

A six week (or more) negative is highly unlikely to change, but must be confirmed at the three month point.

If you test at 11.5 weeks, that can be taken as conclusive. Twelve weeks is conclusive and the couple days aren't going to make a difference.

I fully expect you to continue to test hiv negative. If you continue to feel unwell, see a doctor. It's nothing to do with hiv.

You really need to learn form this and insist on condoms at all times.

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

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 quinn22

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Re: Can't Stop Stressing
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 09:54:59 PM »
Thank you, Ann. It is reassuring to know that my 8 week test result is highly unlikely to change, even given my high risk encounter. I think I can calm down a bit now. I will definitely practice safer sex 100% of the time in the future. Thank you again.

Offline Ann

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Re: Can't Stop Stressing
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2012, 05:39:20 AM »
Quinn,

You're welcome.

While heavy alcohol use combined with casual sex encounters isn't a great idea, if you're going out to the bars or clubs, take a condom (or two or three!) with you just in case you get lucky. That way, even if you're drunk you're more likely to remember to use one.

You can also buy little sachets of water-based lube (look for them online on sites that sell condoms) and take a few of those with you as well - because lube is a must for anal intercourse. If you have no water-based lube available, copious amounts of spit is better than nothing and also better than something oil-based. It doesn't matter if it's your spit or his, because saliva is NOT infectious.

Make sure you attend any follow-up appointments regarding the gonorrhea. You need to make sure it's gone. I don't want to frighten you, but you need to know there are antibiotic-resistant strains out there that need more aggressive treatment, so you do need to be re-checked once your treatment is finished. OK?

And please make sure you get into the habit of having regular, routine sexual health check ups. It's what responsible adults do to protect their health and the health of their sexual partners.

Please note you only have one free post left, so use it wisely.

Good luck with the testing - and I do expect you to test negative. Keep it that way!

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 quinn22

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Re: Can't Stop Stressing
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 08:47:53 PM »
Hello,

Thank you for the follow up response, Ann. I debated on whether to come back and post my results since this is my third and final free post. However, I did want to report that my results were negative at 91 days (OraQuick Advanced Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test - blood sample). I had a follow-up full STD check and tested negative for gonorrhea as well. I was so relieved! I don't think I've been as stressed in my life as I was during those three months. I've learned so much about myself. I value life and people so much more now than I did before. I will NEVER put myself through that kind of anxiety ever again. I'll definitely practice safe sex and get routine check-ups from now on.

However, I probably still carry some guilt about this ordeal which keeps me from being completely worry-free. I've stopped worrying for the most part, but I'm wondering if a test at 6 months is necessary. I've read conflicting views on testing at 3 months vs. 6 months being conclusive. The nurse who administered my test re-assured me that the test was conclusive at 91 days. Can I truly move on from this situation?

Thanks again.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Can't Stop Stressing
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 04:56:04 AM »
quinn,

The six month window thing that you probably picked up somewhere on the internet is extremely outdated. The window period for a conclusive negative test is three months and has been for years now. As I told you when you first arrived, most people will test positive by six weeks, and that's on all the test types currently in use. Please re-read your entire thread.

Make sure you retain your hiv negative status through the correct use of condoms every time you have intercourse. It really is that simple!!!

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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