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Author Topic: Raped, high-risk exposure and I just need to talk about it  (Read 1062 times)

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Offline japji

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Raped, high-risk exposure and I just need to talk about it
« on: August 01, 2013, 07:58:00 AM »
Sup. I'm a 21-year-old student from the UK.

I was raped in mid-May. I don't want to go into the details because I've been back and fourth about it in my head, blaming myself. For not fighting him etc and just letting him. Whatever. But he didn't use condoms, and he did it several times (unprotected vaginal, which I obviously know is a real risk. Since it was several times i.e. 4 that I was conscious for, but possibly more, that just makes it worse and the situation more bleak). I didn't know about PEP when it happened, and I've been on BC for a while (I'd had one boyfriend before this happened, and we were always as safe as you can be. I was also bleeding as a side-effect of my BC and how rough he was - more bleakness, from what I've read) so I didn't have to go anywhere to prevent pregnancy. Maybe if I'd had to they would have mentioned PEP. It doesn't matter now, though.

I buried my head in the sand about it for a while, and then my dad had to have a brain tumour (and at the time we didn't know how big it was or if it was cancerous) removed at the beginning of July and I was like, wow, what else could possibly happen? And then I was like, oh, I could have HIV. And then the typical Internet diagnosing kicked in.

I experienced some symptoms which have been connected to seroconversion, over a period of a few weeks. When I got back home from university, on the 17th of June or thereabouts I had some mild diarrhoea. It wasn't much, and I had no other symptoms, so I didn't really think much of it. It happens sometimes. Probably smoking or eating like shit all year, I thought. Then after my dad went into the hospital at the beginning of July, I got a little head cold. It wasn't any worse than what I usually get, when I do get them. I just felt like crap, nothing to prevent me going about my daily life. I also had some acne on my face. That freaked me out the most - I've never had anything like that on my face before. Maybe one or two spots when I was a teenager, but that's it. After my dad got out, about a week later, I got a rash on each forearm. Kind of like "chicken skin" or whatever. It was red at first, but the redness faded after I applied cream. The one on my left arm went away first, but the skin on my right arm is still kind of rough. I also have some purple spots on my inner thighs, which I noticed at the same time, but they haven't reacted to my cream at all and are still there. (I have a surplus of cream for skin problems, since I have eczema.)

I know I need to get tested, and that it's the only way to know for sure. I saw my doctor today about a toe infection I've had for years and mentioned needing an HIV test. He told me to go a clinic, or back to him if I didn't have any luck getting seen to, so I'm going to do that tomorrow, and hopefully I won't be waiting too long to hear back. He said, like I already knew, it would be reliable since it's been about 3 months.

It's just that...I don't really want to live if I have HIV? Like, it must be awful to hear that sort of thing constantly from people like me when many of you have been living with it for years, and are doing fine. But I've been dealing with depression and anxiety for most of my life, which I can usually keep at bay by burying my head in the sand or my degree and occasionally treating myself to nice things. I'm supposed to be going abroad for a year in 2 weeks as a part of my degree, but I probably won't be able to, nor will I want to, go if I'm HIV+. The country I'm going to takes a dim view of foreigners with HIV, and I've always wanted to work there when I graduate. And presumably doctors will want me here for more tests. I'd rather just die, and not deal with any of it.  :-\

I already feel dirty and gross because of the rape and an STI, especially HIV, would make me feel worse, added to my usual depression. (Yet another awful thing to hear from people like me.) It just makes me mad when people come here with no risk situations. No wonder PEP is not as widely discussed as Levonelle... :-\

I'm so angry at myself, that this is even a possibility. At first I just wanted to finish my degree and hopefully just drop dead after that, but I can't study with this anxiety. But I can't live with HIV. It's such an impossible situation. All I've ever wanted to do was this degree - I spent years working to meet my university's requirements, and saving to make it financially viable, and I got excellent marks in my first year. And now this.  :-\

Thanks for reading my massive tl;dr vent. I just needed to talk about it.

Offline Ann

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Re: Raped, high-risk exposure and I just need to talk about it
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 08:26:36 AM »
Japji,

I'm very sorry to hear you were raped. It sounds like you really need to get some counselling to help you deal with that. Please look for a Rape Crisis organisation near you.

The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive for hiv 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. It sounds like you may have another week or so to go before it's been twelve weeks, but a negative result at this late stage just isn't going to change.

Don't assume that because you've felt unwell that you must be hiv positive. You've had a lot on your plate and that kind of stress can do all sorts of things to your physical well-being.

ONLY testing at the appropriate time will ever tell you a single thing about your hiv status.

You should also be fully tested for all the other, MUCH more easily transmitted and more prevalent STIs. Some can be present with no obvious symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to test.

You can very likely get a walk-in appointment at a local GUM clinic. Ring them this afternoon, explain your situation, and they may even take you in this afternoon. Get it done and get it over with. The GUM clinic can also put you in touch with a local rape-survivor's organisation and they may even have an in-house counsellor.

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

Offline japji

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Re: Raped, high-risk exposure and I just need to talk about it
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 09:03:57 AM »
Thank you, Ann.

I'm going to a drop-in clinic tomorrow morning for a full screen since my local clinic can't see me until next week. I'll also ask about counselling. Even just one session would be useful, probably.

Offline Ann

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Re: Raped, high-risk exposure and I just need to talk about it
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 09:06:22 AM »
Japji,

Sounds good. I'm glad you're getting it taken care of.

Please be aware that you only have one free post left, so use it wisely.

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 japji

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Re: Raped, high-risk exposure and I just need to talk about it
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 10:21:03 AM »
I called the automated results line today and it says my HIV, syphilis and Hep B blood tests were negative. I hope this is correct and it's not a patient ID/DOB mixup, since the Hep C and chlamydia and whatever else I was tested for are not back yet. Not sure if I should relax, call them, go to my appointment tomorrow or whatever as normal to make sure. I intend to go to my counselling session on Friday anyway (I had a listening ear when I got tested, and it helped a little) and various other things. But if I'm negative, and the other test results aren't back yet and so can't be treated, I'd rather not waste the bus money.

Thanks for everything you guys do.

 

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Raped, high-risk exposure and I just need to talk about it
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 10:27:38 AM »
Hi Japji ,

I think you can rely on the fact you got accurate information and can relax . Go to your appointment and get your results so you can put this stress behind you .   

 


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