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Author Topic: Four weeks post exposure  (Read 1993 times)

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Offline Banter

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Four weeks post exposure
« on: September 18, 2013, 07:47:33 AM »
Four weeks ago I was raped, both vaginally and anally. The person ejeculated inside me, but there were no obvious cuts/abrasions.

My baseline testing came back clear for all STIs (I knew I was negative anyway), but I have been advised by my immunologist to be retested at the six week, three month, six month and 12 month mark. I already have a pre-existing immune deficiency and I am on immune suppressants for an autoimm une disorder. I believe this is why they wanted to keep testing for the full 12 months. My body usually has trouble building antibodies to various things, and this is something that is quite well documented.

I am on antibiotics for infections more often than not, but as of the last few days I have developed an illness which doesn't seem to be responding to antibiotics. I have a fever, inflamed ears and throat, sore joints and muscles, and a headache. As of today I have also developed a rash on my chest, back, neck and face. I have no idea whether it is viral or bacterial so am sticking with the antibiotics regardless, but it has hit me quite hard and I have had to bump my steroids up because I was starting to go into shock. It doesn't seem to be contagious since my son is showing no signs of illness (he also has a primary immune deficiency). My GP seems to think there is quite a high chance that this is ARS, but only time will tell.

I guess what I am wanting to know is what effect having a primary immune deficiency would have on the treatment/long term prognosis if I were to test positive. Obviously it isn't a good mix, but I can't really find much information on the matter.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Four weeks post exposure
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 08:02:54 AM »
Hi Banter . Im so sorry you are dealing with this situation . Having an immune disorder can delay the testing window period and you doctor seems to be doing a good job and is aware of the fact and will test you at the appropriate times . 

Its tough to answer your question about treatment if need be . Many people with immune disorders respond very well to ART therapy but its hard to give an accurate assessment because of the unknowns in your specific case , so I would urge you to talk to your doctor about this because he would have a full picture of your over all health and is better able to address your concerns than we are .

I would hope the perpetrator has been arrested and tested himself . I'm wishing you the best of luck and sorry I couldn't be of more help .

Offline Banter

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Re: Four weeks post exposure
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 06:04:44 AM »
Hi Jeff,

Thanks a lot for your response. I am very lucky to have such a great immunology team, so if the worst does happen and I do end up testing positive, then at least I already have doctors that are aware of my other medical issues.

Unfortunately whatever I have at the moment (regardless of whether it is ARS) has hit me quite hard, and as a result my body has gone into shock. The increased dose of oral steroids didn't do the job, so I am now on twice daily hydrocortisone injections until things start to settle down. With a bit of luck I should be able to switch back to oral steroids again soon, then start the slow weaning process back to my usual maintenance dose. I am also riddled with fungal infections at the moment, so all in all my body isn't in the best shape right now! At least my white cell count was pretty good the other day (quite unusual for me), but j have no idea what my various immunoglobulins are doing. My kidneys and liver enzymes are slightly out (although not too bad), and my platelets are down a bit.

The police haven't had any success in catching the perpetrator, so we are working blind in terms of whether he is positive or not. My assumption would be that the guy wouldn't have been overly cautious in the past when it comes to protected sex, and he had obvious needle marks on his arms which is also worrying. This is a case where PEP would have been beneficial, but living rurally means that nobody stocked the drugs (not even our local hospital). Given it happened just before the weekend made it hard to find an immunologist that knew what to do given my history and reactions to multiple drugs, so in the end we had to give up on the idea.

Only time will tell of course, but my gut feeling is that I am going to end up testing positive. All I can do now is hope for the best and work on getting my body as strong as possible.

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Four weeks post exposure
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 08:14:06 AM »
There is not much more to do than to continue to test at the appropriate time . Its important to remember that if he was HIV positive not all incidents lead to an infection .

Lets keep the faith that you will come out of this medically OK . Best of luck to you .

Offline Banter

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Re: Four weeks post exposure
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 09:48:33 PM »
Just coming back to update this in case anybody wants to refer to it in the future. My last HIV test was back in November, at approximately 12 weeks post exposure. It came back negative along with all of the other STI tests.

It has now been over six months since I was exposed, and I am a little overdue for my next test. I'm scared. I have been putting it off because of that, but it has to be done. I'm about to make another appointment with my GP, so hopefully I will have a better idea of where I stand once those results come back.


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