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Author Topic: anxiety and questions  (Read 1364 times)

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Offline someonexxx

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anxiety and questions
« on: October 04, 2013, 04:43:13 PM »
Unfortunately I had unprotected anal sex a few weeks ago. Since then I've been worried about HIV. Of course I went online and tried to look up symptoms. Mine that match are headache, fatigue, and mouth ulcer. All these things can be from something else. There's also something going around my work that I have or can attract so I'm not sure if I'm starting to suffer the "flu like symptoms" that are associated with HIV or just really have the flu
 I already have high anxiety so I don't know what's true and what I'm fabricating. I know the only way to really know is to get tested so my questions are:

How long do I need to wait to get tested?

How do I work up the courage to go? (I have a tendency to chicken out of things)

How do I deal with the anxiety of waiting to be tested?

Where do I go from here after being tested whether positive or negative?


Thank you very much for you time in reading this and any answers are welcome.

Offline Jeff G

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  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: anxiety and questions
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2013, 05:21:01 PM »
You did have a risk and can test at 6 weeks past exposure and again at 3 months to confirm the results .

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.

We do care about your emotional well being but we do risk assessment's and offer advice on testing and window periods . About all we can offer in the way of advice about your anxiety is to suggest counseling or talking to your doctor if you are feeling overwhelmed . 

Try to find things to do so that you are not fixated on HIV testing . The fear and uncertainty of not knowing your HIV status should be enough motivation to go test . The anxiety of the testing process will be over in 3 months but not knowing your HIV status by not testing is forever or until you end up in the emergency room critically ill . Best of luck  .

Offline anniebc

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Re: anxiety and questions
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2013, 05:23:32 PM »
Hi there

In answer to your questions:

1...The average time to seroconversion is 22 days, and most who are infected will test positive by 6 weeks.
For various reasons a small number will take longer and that is why we follow the CDC recommendation to test at 3 months for a conclusive negative result.

2...It can be a bit stressful going in for an HIV test, but  ask yourself a couple of things, 1) do I go in for a 5 minute test or 2) do I just take the chance that things will work out in my favour, I would suggest the first option, take responsibility for your health and get tested.

3...Waiting can cause anxiety, and one of the best ways of avoiding this is to keep busy, go for walks, go to the gym, just keep your mind occupied.

4...As for "where do I go after" wait until you get yourself tested, no point in going there until you know.

Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline jkinatl2

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  • Doo. Dah. Dipp-ity.
Re: anxiety and questions
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 05:26:55 PM »
Unfortunately I had unprotected anal sex a few weeks ago. Since then I've been worried about HIV. Of course I went online and tried to look up symptoms. Mine that match are headache, fatigue, and mouth ulcer. All these things can be from something else. There's also something going around my work that I have or can attract so I'm not sure if I'm starting to suffer the "flu like symptoms" that are associated with HIV or just really have the flu
 I already have high anxiety so I don't know what's true and what I'm fabricating. I know the only way to really know is to get tested so my questions are:

How long do I need to wait to get tested?

How do I work up the courage to go? (I have a tendency to chicken out of things)

How do I deal with the anxiety of waiting to be tested?

Where do I go from here after being tested whether positive or negative?


Thank you very much for you time in reading this and any answers are welcome.

Hello!

You have indeed had a risk and you need to test. Obviously, if you were the insertive partner the risk was lower than if you were the receptive partner, but in any case you need to test.

The current global standard remains three months for a definitive test result. However, a test at six weeks is considered all but definitive. I do not believe I have seen, in the ten years I have been giving risk assessment on these forums, a six week negative test turn into a three month positive (in the absence of continued unprotected sexual activity or other risk).

As to your other questions, I can only answer like this:

In today's world, a newly diagnosed person faces two obstacles: access to treatment/medication and stigma.

In the US, there are options for almost anyone to get treatment and medication, even without insurance. It's more paperwork, absolutely, but it can be done.

Also, many newly infected people do not NEED medication for months or even years after diagnosis, though there is compelling evidence that early treatment spares the innate immune system, gives the person a sense of empowerment over the virus, and act in a beneficial way to society as a whole by providing "Treatment As Prevention" going forwad.

As to the stigma, that depends on where you live and with whom you associate. I've noticed that many people who fear stigma/rejection do so because they have participated in both themselves, and/or associate with bigoted and ignorant people. This, of course, is purely subjective.

How do you get the courage to get tested?

You just do.

People who stagger into an ER with advanced HIV disease-related opportunistic infections, soaring viral loads, and no immune system left generally suffer a LONG road to recovery and far more intrusive and extensive treatment - assuming that they survive, and are capable of pursuing anything at all.

This is completely avoidable by GETTING TESTED.

If you put off rent, you eventually get evicted. So you don't.

Every person who sexually active outside a mutually monogamous relationship needs to get a complete STD panel, INCLUDING an HIV test, at least twice a year.

Syphilis, I might add, shares the three month window with HIV and is also debilitating and deadly without treatment.

In my opinion, it does not take a great deal of courage to get an STD panel including an HIV test. It is simply the adult thing to do, like paying rent.

It takes far more recklessness to walk around willfully ignorant of any and all diseases that, though totally treatable, will cause you to become infirm, permanently disabled, and dead if you do not.

It's totally your call, of course, but if you are too afraid to deal with the possible consequences of your behavior, it might be a good idea not to engage in that behavior.

You are sexually active. You had unprotected sex. You need to get tested. It's really as simple as that.

If you feel incapable of moving forward, I suggest a therapist to help you overcome your fear.

"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 someonexxx

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  • member
  • Posts: 2
Re: anxiety and questions
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2013, 04:13:05 PM »
Had my six week test last week and the results came back negative.
I will return for my three month test and hopefully the results will be the same.

I just want to thank you all and this site for helping me ease my anxiety and to educate myself more on the virus. From now on I will be much safer in my sexual activities.

:)

Offline Jeff G

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  • Member
  • Posts: 12,083
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: anxiety and questions
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 04:28:26 PM »
That's excellent news . Its rare that a 6 week test will go on to be positive at 3 months so you should expect a negative result when you retest .

 


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