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Author Topic: Terrified  (Read 3704 times)

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Offline FL_Guy80

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Terrified
« on: January 25, 2013, 09:04:59 AM »
Hi everyone, I'm looking for a little insight.  I had an unprotected exposure on Nov 19th, 2012.  I know symptoms don't mean anything but very strange things have been happening to me.
     Immediately afterword and for two weeks, I had an extremely itchy scrotum (assuming transferred thrush from her mouth).  As soon as that cleared up, I had a small painfull sore on the 'rim' of my penis head for about 3 days.  These things were strange but they were nothing compared to what happened during the next few weeks.
     Beginning during week four, I had extreme pain in my right groin and my right foot went numb, also had extreme nausea for 3 days, couldn't eat.  I also had a rash on my arms and thighs that looked like small sunburn splotches.  At night I had severe pain under my right and left ribs.  Week 5 I had severe pain around my kidneys while I was trying to sleep, it progressed to severe leg pain and feeling like someone smashed my first two toes on my right foot with a hammer.  Also pain continued in my groin, left armpit and under my ribs.  I also had an extremely coated tongue, a breakout of angular chelitis, a stye (never had one before) and dermititis in my beard and eyebrows.
     All these things continued, only more mild until now.  I've also had what looks like foliculitis, but they won't 'pop', when I try to pop them they turn huge and red with a long wavy red line coming out.  I woke up soaked at 3:30 am pretty much every day during week 7 & 8. 
     I'm now almost through week 10, pain from what seems like swollen nodes continues to 'pop up' all over my ribs, chest, and groin.  The pain under my left ribs is still there, but milder.  Also, the shin on my hands has been peeling terribly & dermatitis continues in my beard area.  My MD thinks I'm crazy & has moved me from Klonopin, to Librium, and now to Cymbalta + counseling.  The testing I've done is listed below.

Week 2: Lab based ELISA AB & all STDs = Neg
Week 3: Oraquick = Neg
Week 4: Oraquick = Neg
Week 6: Oraquick = Neg
Week 8: Lab based ELISA & all STDs = Neg

     Thanks in advance for any help/insight.

J

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 09:30:35 AM »
FL,

It sounds as though your "unprotected exposure" was getting a blowjob and not unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse.

Getting a blowjob is NOT a risk for hiv infection. Not only is saliva not infectious, but it also contains over a dozen different proteins and enzymes that damage hiv and render it unable to infect.

If a blowjob is what you're worried about, rather than unprotected intercourse, then you do NOT need further hiv testing as you never had a risk in the first place.

If you DID have unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, then you will need to test one more time at the three month point, but your negative result 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 negative is highly unlikely to change, but must be confirmed at the three month point - when there has actually been a risk.

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 FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 09:42:37 AM »
Thanks for the quick reply Ann.  I am seeing my MD again next Wednesday, exactly 10 weeks since exposure (it was more than a blowjob).  I was going to test again that morning but I think I will wait until I'm beyond 12 weeks since a negative before then won't allow me to rest.  I plan to go over all of this with her then & ask about the index # on my 8 week ELISA.  I know you guys say you've never seen an 8 week result change, I think I may be the first!  She thinks this is 'all in my head' but when the pain is waking you up from a dead sleep, I don't think so.

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 09:51:15 AM »
FL,

"More than a blowjob"? Again, unless you had unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse then you're worrying over nothing. We do not deal with symptoms here, we deal in risk assessments. Unless you fully reveal what you think put you at risk, we can't really do our job properly.

You may be experiencing real pain, but hiv isn't the only illness in the world. Keep working with your doctor to find out what is actually going on. Whatever that is, it is highly unlikely to be hiv.

If the symptoms you've experienced had anything to do with hiv, you would have tested positive by now. Seriously.

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 FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 01:57:55 PM »
Thanks again Ann.  I really hope you are right.  Either way, I will report back with my 13 week test result.

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 01:49:02 PM »
I apologize for not wanting to go into detail about my exposure.  I am a male, the exposure was very rough oral followed by brief vaginal sex, both unprotected.  I couldn't stand the waiting & tested again at 10 weeks (oral swab), it was negative again.  The skin issues persist on my face and hands, along with pain under and around my ribs, in my groin & neuropathy in my feet, mostly right which is where the groin pain is primarily as well.

     It may be worth mentioning that all of the Oraquick tests have been the oral swab type.  I'm not exaggerating or imagining what is happening to me either.  I'm a professional guy, early 30's and have never experienced anything like this in my life.  I called my PCP last week & asked for a referral to an ID specialist, she refused based on the negative 8 week test she gave me.  Because of insurance, I cannot see a specialist without a referral.

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 09:22:08 PM »
Tonight the node under my left ear has decided to join in the fun.  I will be shocked if I continue to test negative beyond 12 weeks.

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 04:14:06 AM »
FL,

Your doctor was right to not refer you to an ID specialist. You don't need one. Your eight week negative was never going to change and neither is your ten week negative.

Stop chasing a virus you obviously don't have and start working with your doctor to find out what is actually causing your problems. Whatever that may be, it ain't hiv.

And just so you know, I have no doubt that what you're experiencing is real. You just need to understand that hiv isn't the only pathogen or illness in the world - and you've all but ruled hiv out of the picture. Good luck in getting healthy again.

By the way, have you tested for all the other, MUCH more easily transmitted STIs? Just because you didn't get hiv from this encounter doesn't mean you didn't pick up some other STI. If you haven't already, get a FULL STI panel done.

Syphilis, for example, is often known as "the great imitator" due to its frequent atypical presentations. Primary syphilis chancres (sores, pronounced shankers) are painless so unless you see the chancre, you wouldn't have a single clue it was there. Syphilis shares a three month testing window period with hiv, so get a blood test for it when you confirm your negative hiv results at twelve weeks. DO IT. (Are you aware that there are FAR more people walking around with undiagnosed syphilis than there are people walking around with undiagnosed hiv? Gets you thinking, eh?)

I hope you learn from this and start using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse. This isn't the Summer of Love, it's the 21st century. Wise up.

Ann
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 04:18:42 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 FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 07:17:36 AM »
Thanks Ann, your confidence helps, I appreciate it.  I was tested for all other STIs, at 2 and 8 weeks.  My MD doesn't believe there is a need beyond the test she gave me at 8 weeks.  I know you've seen this a million times, so I truly appreciate your opinion.

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 09:16:02 AM »
My MD believes this is all being caused by anxiety, depression, stress and alcohol withdrawal.  I was a pretty heavy drinker for ~16 yrs & quit shortly after this incident.  She is treating me with Cymbalta & counseling.  I hope you are both right!

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 09:23:58 AM »
Well, because I seem to not be able to relax I tested again at 11 weeks.  As you predicted Ann, it was negative.  So I now have negative tests out to 11 weeks, the opinion of 2 M.D.'s, people on this board & others, as well as a psychiatrist telling me to relax.  I have a follow up with my PCP on the 27th which is exactly 14 weeks. Hopefully I can stave off my anxiety about this until then & test ONE more time before I go in to see her.

Thank you,

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2013, 10:35:27 AM »
Even with my 11 week results the neuropathy in my feet, and pain (feet, groin, ribs, & back) and SD all over my face is continuing.  Also still having issues sleeping.  I sent a message to the local ASO this morning looking for an appointment to see a counselor there.  I'm still hoping I'm wrong about all this. 

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2013, 12:10:57 PM »
     Going to the ASO yesterday was a very good experience for me.  The people there were great.  They listened to my concerns, didn't dismiss my 'symptoms', and really made me feel that however this turns out, it will be ok.  I recommend it for anyone in this situation.  They also tested me again, which was negative @ 80 days post exposure.

     The reason I am still concerned is what's still going on physically.  I still have constant dull pain under my left ribs.  PN in my feet, which seem to be asleep all day & hurt like hell at night.  You can actually tell by looking that my right foot & toes are swollen.  Also the severe SD in my eyebrows & beard continues.

     I have a lot of respect for Ann's opinion, I'm wondering if the rest of the moderators/experts here agree.  I know Post 90 days is conclusive & have an appointment with my PCP at 98 days, when I will test again.  I'm still convinced & preparing for that result to be positive.

     Thank you all for what you do here.  This site, your knowledge, insight, experience & time are invaluable to people like me.

Online Jeff G

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 12:17:43 PM »
You are most assuredly HIV negative .

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 12:50:00 PM »
I agree with others who have told you HIV is not your problem. Symptoms are something to discuss with your doctor. And perhaps you might find it useful to discuss your fears with a therapist or other professional.

HIV is not causing anything you are reporting. Really.
Andy Velez

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2013, 02:02:28 PM »
Thank you both, I've been seeing a therapist for a few weeks now & taking Cymbalta for a little over a month.  Things are getting better, slowly.  Only a few days left until I am 'out of the woods' according to the CDC.  I'm sure you have seen it before & know people like me can't rest with anything less than a test beyond 90 days.  I am very gratefull to you all for what you do here.  And also my local ASO.  They will be getting a donation as soon as my crisis is over. 

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2013, 03:52:44 PM »
Well, my primary care doc has 'fired' me over this.  I received the very callous letter Friday.  I'm still hoping that you all are right, and I'm looking for another doc.  I still have skin issues, peeling palms, bad SD in my eyebrows & beard, tiny red pin dots under my skin in several places.  Still have groin, leg, pain & neuropathy in my feet.  Still wake up soaked every day.  And today I found 3 ulcers in my mouth, 2 on my inner cheek and one on the side of my tongue.  Today is 84 days & I would take a 12 week test today, but now I don't have an MD to see if it is positive!

Online Jeff G

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2013, 04:14:48 PM »
Hi Guy80 . You can google and search for a testing center if you are still insisting on it but HIV isn't your problem .

If your Doc fired you over this I would use the experience as a wake up call that you have issues he feels isn't for one thing anything to do with HIV . Doctors often use this tactic to send a strong message that they stand by the information they provided you and feel there is little more they can do if you refuse to except the best advice they have to offer .

This is something to discuss with your therapist , good luck .

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2013, 09:30:38 PM »
Thanks again everyone for your encouragement.  I did find a new doc, appointment this Wednesday morning.  That will put me beyond 90 days so my final test will be before I see him.  I picked up my records from the old doc yesterday and looked through them.  She had an ultrasound done for my abdominal pain & told me everything was 'normal'.  That isn't what the report says, however.  It says my spleen was enlarged.  We will have a verdict soon enough..

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2013, 10:54:39 PM »
Thanks again everyone for your encouragement.  I did find a new doc, appointment this Wednesday morning.  That will put me beyond 90 days so my final test will be before I see him.  I picked up my records from the old doc yesterday and looked through them.  She had an ultrasound done for my abdominal pain & told me everything was 'normal'.  That isn't what the report says, however.  It says my spleen was enlarged.  We will have a verdict soon enough..


You cannot possibly be chasing HIV still, are you?

"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 FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2013, 10:59:53 PM »
Just waiting to have it officially ruled out.  There are still a lot of unexplained things going on.  Believe me, I'm hoping you all are right.  And if stress, depression & anxiety is causing all this I'll check myself into a mental hospital!

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2013, 10:13:36 AM »
Well, the Oraquick oral swab at 91 days was negative as everyone predicted, and the only one surprised is me!  Unfortunately however, I'm afraid I will have to renege on checking in to a mental institution at the moment, as I have far too much going on in my life right now.  It is still very hard for me to believe my result, though most of my 'symptoms' have faded or completely disappeared. 

Stopping unisom & valerian root and switching Cymbalta to the AM has resolved my night sweats & insomnia.  Lotion & dandruff shampoo has also mostly resolved my skin issues.  I am still meeting with my new Physician today & will give him the full story as the groin/leg pain & neuropathy issues persist, though significantly less intense. 

I cannot thank you all enough for what you do here.  Without the help of this forum I would likely have been committed to the institution against my will!  I understand that it would be a medical/scientific oddity for me to test positive now & hopefully I can put this all behind me and get back to normal.  I'm a young married professional guy with children.  My life & career have been going incredibly well.  I made a mistake on a business trip & it nearly destroyed me.  THAT is something I will NEVER forget!  Thank you all.  Feel free to steer the incredibly worried to this thread, as there isn't a SINGLE 'ARS symptom' that I did not experience!

Offline FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2013, 09:24:20 AM »
I met with the new MD, who's opinion was similar to the first one.  Though he did insist on a 6 month test.  I was ready to put this to rest and move on, but it's very hard.  The pain near my spleen, problems with night sweats & waking up after a few hours are still going on.  The neuropathy & pain in my right foot/leg have been constant as well, my foot is constantly numb.  The test at 90 days was an over the counter Oraquick swab.  I'm very nervous to continue testing, but apparently I still need to.

Offline Ann

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2013, 07:38:38 AM »
Guy,

This new doctor is way behind the times where hiv testing is concerned. The window period for hiv testing has been three months for years now.

YOU DO NOT HAVE HIV!!!

I suggest you find a doctor who doesn't share you hiv testing obsession and find one who will investigate other possible causes to your physical discomfort. Whatever is causing it, it isn't hiv. You have already ruled hiv out as a possible cause.

If you read the Welcome Thread before posting like you're supposed to, you will have read the following posting guideline:

Quote

Anyone who continues to post excessively, questioning a conclusive negative result or no-risk situation, will be subject to a four week Time Out (a temporary ban from the Forums). If you continue to post excessively after one Time Out, you may be given a second Time Out which will last eight weeks. There is no third Time Out - it is a permanent ban. The purpose of a Time Out is to encourage you to seek the face-to-face help we cannot provide on this forum.


Please consider yourself warned!

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 FL_Guy80

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2013, 04:08:36 PM »
Moderators,
     Would you kindly consolidate ALL of my posts here?  You all were absolutely correct, I am 100% HIV negative.  What happened to me is incredible, and I'd like to help others avoid doing what I did.
     After Ann's warning, I stopped testing or seeing doctors at all.  I wasn't sure what to believe, science, your input, my doctors opinion.... I was fed up and frustrated.  Everything I described in my posts happened.  ALL of the symptoms, testing so much I ended up with a positive from Home Access, all of it.  Eventually, what was going on with me got bad enough that it couldn't be ignored and I found yet another MD.  I never mentioned HIV to him once, I didn't want it to be 'my idea', so I kept my mouth shut.  Test after test, a visit with a general surgeon, gallbladder removal, more tests, a visit to an Osteopath for the neuropathy, nerve conduction studies, more tests... A referral from him to an ID doc.  All the while, I kept quiet about my HIV concern.  The ID doc talked to me for about 2 hours, when he was finished he came back into the room and said "I'd like to do some tests" the first test he wanted to do was HLA-B27, because he suspected Reiter's/Reactive Arthritis.  I told him I had tested positive for that marker when I was 13, and again when I was 30.  He wanted to test me for HIV, antibody screen and Western/Immunoblot for both HIV 1 and 2, I said 'ok' and signed the papers.  He also tested me for a number of other strange and rare diseases, since my job requires me to travel all over the globe.  EVERYTHING was negative, everything.  He told me that the only explanation was Reiter's syndrome, possibly combined with rheumatoid arthritis, both 'technically' autoimmune conditions.  There was no way to know what may have 'kicked off' the Reiters, as I had taken several bucket-loads of antibiotics before seeing him, and anything that may have set it off was cured long before.  I've been referred to a rheumatologist and am doing significantly better now.
     So, I am humbled, I should have listened.  I would have saved thousands of dollars, and an incredible amount of stress.  It's also likely that I went through a needless surgery because I refused to believe the opinion of this forum, as well as the opinion of several doctors.
     Everyone, please listen, the moderators here know what they are talking about.  They give sound advice, and they genuinely care.  Please don't do what I did.  I'd also like to offer a genuine Thank You, to everyone here that attempted to 'steer me straight' and tried so earnestly to help me.  It would have done me well to listen.

J. 

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Terrified
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2013, 04:22:10 PM »
Fl, unfortunately as you have learned, when caught up in doubts and fears with HIV jitters, listening to what is said to you can be difficult. Instead it's easier to listen to what feads your fears. Happily you're in a better place now.

Now you can get on with your life with lessons learned. Cheers.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 04:31:16 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

 


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