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Author Topic: Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious  (Read 843 times)

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Offline lazyyboyy

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Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious
« on: February 27, 2013, 09:54:11 PM »
Hello All,
First of all, let me say that I am sorry for such a long and detailed account of everything.  I just want to make sure that I am expressing all that I need to express and have gone through the past couple of days.


I am an 18 year-old male who is sexually active (heterosexual).  Let me start off by saying that I am sexually active but not intensely "out there".  I had a girl over the other night(one, who on the other hand is very promiscuous, has had sex with 19 guys and claims to have had unprotected sex with only her ex-boyfriend of 2 years who is 30 years old, which I found out after having intercourse with).  She also had said that she gets tested monthly and has no positive readings for any STDs, including HIV.  This is going to sound completely ridiculous but I inserted my penis in her for probably at most 15 minutes, felt kind of dirty, and proceeded to stop.  All of this happened without a condom fyi (risk factor).  I "kicked" her out of my room because I felt guilty (ironic I guess) I then took a shower and washed myself with a bar of soap then called it a night.  That was a week from Monday. 

Recently, this past Sunday(6 days after unprotected sex), I started feeling like I had a sore throat and that a sickness was coming upon me.  That morning (Monday morning 7 days after uprotected sex) at around 3 AM, I woke up with massive chills and I assumed I had a fever.  Acompanying the fever was a small cough really sore throat, swollen neck glands dizzyness and fatigue(probably from not being able to sleep due to the fever).  I, immediately went to our college's health services where a nurse told me that she thought it was strep and did a sample for Strep-A and I would get the results back on Wednesday.  As the day progressed, I began to feel even worse, feeling like I had no energy in me and a runny nose and cough also followed.  I also had a loss of appetite and had not eaten anything all day.  I went to bed quite late, not from anything but stubbornness of my part.  I had been taking two advil every 4 hours.  I think I may have accidentally overdosed on advil because I woke up at 3 AM to take a shower to warm myself up after taking 2 more advil (I think accidentally 2 hours after my last dose) and while I was showering I proceeded to vomit Advil color liquid and consequently, at the same time, had a nosebleed (which makes sense with Advil overdose due to the fact that Advil is a blood thinner? I think)  I then woke up the next morning and felt pretty degraded and tired.  My sore throat got worse and I also got a runny nose and stubborn cough(wet cough).  I went back to the health center since I only got worse, they took a blood mono test and a rapid strep test for A (negative).  They did another test because there were white patches on my throat area(just formed today), which is more consistent with strep whereas the first time I did not have white patches just inflammation on my throat.  They gave me penicillin to take that day for my infection.  I took 2 pills twice that day.  I proceeded to finish the day off feeling somewhat better except later in the night I still had a 102.4 fever.  I took Nyquil and passed out at 7PM.  I woke up 17 hours later feeling a great deal of progress.  My tests results came in for mono and the original strep test.  Both were negative.  They did CBC (complete blood count) and it showed that my white blood count was 18(I'm guessing 18,000 per whatever the units of measurements are).  This suggested to my doctor that I have a bacterial infection and the doctors represcribed my azithromyacin.  I have been a lot better today, with a lot of energy, regained my appetite.  I just took the first two pills and am on my first day of that.  It is now Wednesday, I still have a wet cough, slightly runny nose, really sore throat, but no fatigue or tiredness.  I have also developed cold sores on my upper lip, but this comes as no surprise since I get these a lot in the winter and just had a couple cold sore a 2 weeks ago. 

My questions for whoever may be reading this post is:

1) Are my symptoms ones that are related to those of ARS, which is the onset of HIV? OR am I just being paranoid and naive?
2) It has been 10 Days since my sexual encounter, and since most of you are going to tell me to get tested just in case, what are my options for testing closest to exposure time rather than waiting 3 months?
3) What are the statistics of female to male trasnmission? Does washing with soap and urinating almost immediately after decrease my chances (probably not but hey never know)?
4) I am very disappointed in myself for this stupid decision and I would hate to tell my parents that I need or want to get tested for STDs, which means I am sexually active(which they have no clue about).  How do I tell them/hide from them that I want to get tested?  Can I reach out to my doctor, my primary physician, to get tested without him talking to my parents and without the insurance bill coming to my parents with "std testing" in the bill?
5) Are there any other tips that you could give me? Or if I am just being anxious(which I really really really hope I am), could you tell me I am a naive dumb teenager? hahah

Thanks to all who may be responding.

Sincerely,
Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious teenager
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 09:56:00 PM by lazyyboyy »

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 11:12:20 PM »
Hello!

I am sorry you have had cause to come to us for support, and I did read your message in its entirety.

As the insertive partner in vaginal sex, you did have a risk and you do need to test. The insertive partner in vaginal sex is far less likely to get HIV than, say, a female who has unprotected vaginal sex with a male.

It can and does happen, of course. It's simply far less common than the other way around.

To your questions:

1- We normally do not discuss symptoms here because they vary so widely from person to person. What I CAN state is that initial symptoms (which are not of HIV itself, but symptoms of the body's initial immune response to the virus. It's not exactly nit=picking, since it explains why symptoms vary from person to person) are "flu-like" in nature - and do not generally include respiratory symptoms like coughing and runny noses. Nor so they generally include a sore throat.

It really does sound closer to strep to me. I also have tested negative on rapid strep tests, then gone on to test positive for strep when symptoms worsened. I keep meaning to investigate the efficacy of those rapid tests, actually.

2- If you need to test earlier than three months, a test at the six week mark is almost definitive. Most people seroconvert in less than one month, but six weeks is an almost certain indicator. Of course, the gold standard remains three months.

3- While there are several statistical studies floating around, many are only of any real usefulness on a meta scale when dealing with population groups. The variables which change from person to person, from moment to moment, from sex act to sex act, make applying statistics to a single act not only meaningless but dangerous. We do know that it is significantly less risky to be the insertive partner in penetrative sex, and that the probability cliff is rather steep. How much would require mathematical models and information about the sex, both of your medical histories, not to mention genealogy information.

4- You are 18. I urge you to find a local public health clinic that tests for STDs. That way nothing shows up on your permanent insurance record (and an added bonus, your folks won't get the bill.) Some places offer free HIV testing, but if you have been sexually active and have never gotten tested for anything, I highly urge you to get as full an STD panel as you can afford.

If you click this link (it's also at the top of this page) you will enter your zip code (assuming you are in the USA) and you will find the location of the local ASO (AIDs Service Organization) as well as your nearest community health clinics. Many of these places are VERY low cost and even free.

Every sexually active person who is not in a mutually exclusive relationship should have a complete STD panel done every six months. HIV is rather difficult to transmit, but other pathogens are MUCH easier and can be VERY dangerous. Syphilis, for example, has primary symptoms that are often nearly invisible and painless. Syphilis also shares the three month window period with HIV. And like HIV, it can be deadly if not treated.

Not saying that to scare you. It's just something you need to budget for testing.

4- I wish I had more tips than I do. You need to occupy yourself during these next weeks. Scouring the internet to allay your fears will likely accomplish the opposite.

We all do stuff we regret, whether we are teenagers or fifty-somethings. People are humans. Sex is a powerful drive. It makes us batty sometimes, and we do stuff our rational selves might not consider. Such is life.

I don't know you well enough to know if you are a naive teenager. But the fact that you came here, and are interested in facts rather than speculation, speaks volumes about your maturity to me.

Find a community health center (health clinic) near you, or an ASO. Get tested at the appropriate time. And I know I don't have to remind you to budget for condoms as well.

I certainly wish you the best, and I rather think you are going to be fine after all this. I'm not often wrong about that stuff.




"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 lazyyboyy

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Re: Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 12:33:50 AM »
Thank you very much for one, your sensitivity to my manner, and two, your insightful and clear answers. Also, I know that this is a vague question but is it safe to assume that if the illness goes away with the azithromyacin, then it was just strep throat after all and that it probably not the onset of the illness or could it have gone away with just time?  AlsoI have an empty stomach for about two days and choe my first meal to be a spicy burrito.  Would "fiery" diarrhea that resulted 7 hours after be considered a new symptom, or just acidic due to the spicyness from the burrito haah?
Once again thank you very much.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 01:39:08 AM »
Thank you very much for one, your sensitivity to my manner, and two, your insightful and clear answers. Also, I know that this is a vague question but is it safe to assume that if the illness goes away with the azithromyacin, then it was just strep throat after all and that it probably not the onset of the illness or could it have gone away with just time?  AlsoI have an empty stomach for about two days and choe my first meal to be a spicy burrito.  Would "fiery" diarrhea that resulted 7 hours after be considered a new symptom, or just acidic due to the spicyness from the burrito haah?
Once again thank you very much.

I am rather fond of Occam's razor when it comes to things like this. While ARS, the initial seroconversion illness almost always goes away on its own in less than two weeks, the fact that your throat presented with strep symptoms PLUS the effective nature of your treatment PLUS the fact that ARS typically doesn't present in the manner you described makes me think it's strep. WAS strep, rather. PLEASE take all your meds though.

As for the diarrhea, again with Occam's razor. Anxiety plus spicy burrito? That's a dangerous combination. While you are waiting for your test results you will likely micromanage your health to a scary degree. I can certainly TELL you to cut that out, but logic has this way of taking a back seat.

We are entering allergy season. You might get sniffles, a cold, even the flu. Try to be a little gentler to yourself right now. Maybe blander foods than the spicy burrito. Maybe an effort to get more and better sleep. Lack of sleep due to anxiety plus rotten diet will probably get you sick, and keep you there.

Like I said before, many people don't have ANY symptoms at all. That is why we rarely go into depth about them. It's academically interesting I think, but not applicable.

PLEASE follow the link I put up in the last post and find a health clinic or an ASO and get tested in three months (six weeks if you can't wait.) You only have one more free post here, and it would be awesome if you used it to say that you have received negative results across the board.

I am rooting for you, and I do expect for you to come out of this OK.

"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 lazyyboyy

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Re: Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 11:42:42 AM »
Oh by the way, would you recommend a PCR HIV test at 3-4 weeks since that sexual encounter?   Do you know it's accuracy? Would it be worth it especially since I wouldn't have to wait for the antibody test?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 12:18:21 PM »
Lazy, I would suggest that for testing you hold off until 6 weeks after the incident in question to have a standard HIV test. A negative at 6 weeks is very significant and a strong indication that you are likely to test negative again at 3 months for a conclusive result.

No less important is your behavior going forward in relation to your sexual experiences. Never mind about what you think you know of the other person's sexual history and making judgement and evaluations on that basis.

The basic reality is that everytime you have intercourse you need to be wearing a condom no matter what you think you know about the other person's HIV status. No exceptions.

The pleasure of screwing without a condom is fleeting. HIV is forever.

The odds are in your favor that you will test negative this time. It was a single incident. The risk of transmission female to male is lower than male to female.But lower risk is not the same as no risk. So learn from this experience about always wearing a condom for intercourse.

Good luck to you.
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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Re: Confused, Unexperienced and Anxious
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 12:24:30 PM »
Lazy,

Don't bother with a PCR test. Regardless of what result you get from the PCR test, you would still need standard antibody testing at the appropriate time to confirm the results of the PCR.

You should also be aware that the turn-around time for PCR test results is usually around two weeks. You really wouldn't speed anything up. They are also VERY expensive and usually not covered for diagnostic purposes by insurance.

There are no short-cuts to hiv testing. You're just going to have to wait until the six week point for an antibody test.

Ann
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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

 


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