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Author Topic: Anxiety and test reliability  (Read 1080 times)

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Offline anxiousanon

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Anxiety and test reliability
« on: May 29, 2013, 04:49:52 PM »
Hello, and thank you for what you do. I hope I can get insight, hereís my story.

About 14 months ago, after having my heart broken from a break up, I did something very stupid.  I called a CSW.  I had protected oral sex, and then I had condom protected vaginal intercourse with her where we used the same condom for oral. This lasted for a while, about 20 minutes.  When I finished, I saw that my condom appeared intact.  I have read that condom failure is catastrophic and that it looks like a peeled banana or a fringed hula around the penis.  This was not the case with me.  I remember seeing the condom on me, but I didnít see any semen.  Then the CSW went to get a paper towel, and while she was doing that, I saw that the condom looked a little wrinkled and was hanging down.  Then she removed it and I didnít have time to inspect it (all of this happened really quick).

I was really anxious for months.  I never experienced a fever (that I know of) or rash, but I did have night sweats, which sometimes would be mild, other times would leave my shirt slightly wet, as if I had done a mild work out.  The sweats started two weeks after the exposure, and would come and go, lasting for 8 months. I also have had a white tongue that sometimes gets much better.
I know you cannot go by symptoms, and since I was unsure about the condom, I decided to buy an oraquick home swab test a few weeks ago.  I took the test and followed the instructions to the best of my knowledge and it was negative. 

For some reason, I still feel anxious.  I suppose it could be the guilt and anxiety getting the best of me.  I have read so many stories in different forums, and for some reason, I still feel anxious.  I think some of the anxiety comes from some people who tested positive even though they had taken precautions and they cannot explain how they got infected.

Here are my questions:

1)   What do you think of my condom situation?  Does it sound like it never failed?  Do some people have unnoticed condom failure?

2)   I felt better after taking the oraquick test, but two things I have doubts about.  Their website claims that 1 out of 12 people will have a false negative.  If Iím out of the window period, is this a realistic chance?  Also, since my VL would be much lower than someone who just got infected, is the test still able to detect an infection over a year past the encounter?

3)   In your opinion, do I need additional testing?  I only took one Oraquick, but I have seen that most people take two or more.  Am I 100% HIV-?   This is the only risky encounter I have had, but I want to move on and go into another monogamous, committed relationship.

Thank you so much for your time.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Anxiety and test reliability
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2013, 05:06:31 PM »
As far as I can tell you are worrying needlessly. If the condom had failed you would definitely have known. When that has happened it's very visible to the eye and looks like a fringed hoop on your penis.

Nothing in your "symptoms" HIV specific. Not surprise because you weren't at risk as your reliable negative test result confirmed.

There is no need for further testing. Give it up and get on with your life. Really. You do not have an HIV problem.
Andy Velez

Offline anxiousanon

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Re: Anxiety and test reliability
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2013, 09:06:28 PM »
Thank you for your response, Andy.

I think you're right and that I need to move on and get on with my life.  I have this fear of infecting someone in the future. Also, I think I need to stop getting online anytime I get the slightest feeling of anxiety.  Those what ifs are terrible and seems to be the common problem (that I share) among the worry wells that post all over the web.

Thanks again, Andy.  I feel better and confident that I am HIV-.

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Anxiety and test reliability
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 05:43:48 AM »
Anxious,

1. As you've been told by Andy and have read about elsewhere, if the condom broke, you WOULD have known. Also, the sex worker most likely would have said something when she took it off you. Sex workers use condoms to protect themselves, not you.

2. Viral load has nothing to do with oraquick tests. Hiv tests look for antibodies, not the virus. Your body begins producing antibodies within days, and produces enough to trigger a positive antibody test usually somewhere between 22 days and four to six weeks. Once you have produced enough antibodies to test hiv antibody positive, you will always test hiv antibody positive.

The new home tests will definitely pick up an infection that occurred as far outside the three month hiv testing window period as you were. The false negatives Oraquick reports are generally due to people using them inside, rather than outside, the three month window.

3. YOU do not need further hiv testing at this time. However, the person with whom you are going into a new relationship with should be tested her/himself before you two even think about having unprotected intercourse.

I would recommend using condoms for the first three months and then testing together, for ALL the STIs, not just hiv. YOU would only need to test for hiv together with her as a show of support and mutual trust, provided you do not have any risks between now and when you enter into a new, monogamous relationship.



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.

ALTHOUGH YOU DO NOT NEED FURTHER HIV TESTING AT THIS TIME, 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 anxiousanon

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Re: Anxiety and test reliability
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 05:23:01 PM »
Thank you Ann, for your thoughtful response and your wonderful advice.  I feel like a big weight has been lifted. I will follow your recommendations. 

Thanks again! Youre an angel!

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Anxiety and test reliability
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2013, 05:48:10 AM »
Anxious,

You're welcome.

Just remember to always test - at least three months into a monogamous relationship - before you stop using condoms. I've lost count of the people over the years who ended up hiv positive through their (loving, monogamous) partner - NOT because the partner was evil or deceptive, but because the poz person in the relationship had never tested and had no idea they were poz.

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

 


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