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Author Topic: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection  (Read 1598 times)

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Offline vaspa75

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possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« on: May 18, 2014, 04:28:30 AM »
Hi, I am extremely worried i could have been infected with Syphilis and HIV at the same time, and i would be grateful if you could read my story and asses my risk.

3 weeks ago i had vaginal intercourse with a SW, i used a condom but I was not fully erect and could not do it, so we stopped and removed the condom, which seemed intact.  not sure how protected i was considering i was not fully erect when inside her vagina. A few min later we put a new condom and tried again, and i checked the condom at the end and it was again intact. We also kissed and I touched her briefly with my finger inside her vagina she was extremely wet and had a lot of fluids. We didn't have oral sex. When i went home, I noticed 3 red spots ( like a rash ) on the tip of my penis, I thought it must be the reaction from the wet tissue i used to wipe out after i finished. After one day the red spots where gone, but 7-8 days after the exposure I had a flu who took almost a week to go away, together with diarrhea which I still have today, 2 weeks from the start of the flu, despite the meds i am taking. Also all my lymph nodes in my neck, armpits ad groin got swollen, had a small rash on the palms of my hands ( on one finger ) and the sole of my feet. the rash is in the form of two red bumps which seem to be inside the skin not itchy and quite firm when touched.  I feel very tired, had headaches and constant diahreea and cold sores on my lips.  I am worried I could have been co- infected with HIV & Syphilis as the rash I am experiencing resembles the syphilis one. I know HIV is easier to transmit when syphilis is present.

What is your opinion on the risk of contracting syphilis and HIV at the same time from this encounter ? I would like to get tested for HIV but it's a but early and the tests won't be conclusive. your thoughts would be appreciated, I am so worried !

Online Jeff G

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 08:18:00 AM »
You had protected sex and that was not a risk for HIV . The dots on your penis had nothing to do with an std from this specific incident . Syphilis does cause lesion or chancre's but not at the very instant you are having sex . Syphilis chancre's take time to form so whatever is wrong with your penis is not from that . Stds are much easier to transmit than HIV and the only way to know if you have one is to test .     

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 did not have a risk and do not need to test for this specific incident , 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!

Offline vaspa75

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2014, 10:00:28 PM »
thank you Jeff, i do understand the dots on my penis had nothing to do with HIV or that particular incident. What I am extremely worried about are the other strong symptoms that started a week  after the encounter and I am experiencing even now, 3 weeks after the incident ( swollen lymph nodes, constant diarrhea and bloating, the sore throat,  the rash on my palms and soles of my feet ).

As other STDs including syphilis are easier to transmit than HIV, my worry is:
- got infected with syphilis ( primarily )
- as a result of the syphilis infection, a HIV infection is also possible at the same time, given the fact that HIV is easier to transmit when syphilis is present

the question was: based on your knowledge and experience and given the incident described is the co infection a possibility?

 I know HIV is not diagnosed by symptoms, but what I am experiencing is scary and very real and is affecting my day to day life, it's difficult to ignore.



Offline Ann

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 03:10:35 AM »
vaspa,

A rash on the palms and soles is a symptom of secondary syphilis, not primary. If your palm/sole rash is being caused by syphilis, you contracted it a few months ago at the very least, not recently.

If you're worried about syphilis, go get tested. It could be the cause of ALL of your symptoms - it is sometimes known as the great imitator because it can mimic so many other illnesses.

Whatever is going on, you were NOT at risk for hiv infection during your encounter with the sex worker, regardless of whether or not she (or you already) had syphilis.

You need to realise that it's not only sex workers who may be infected with a sexually transmitted infection. That young man/woman you picked up in a club and had a one night stand with could also be carrying something, as could a regular sex partner you know well.

Unless you're in a mutually monogamous relationship where you have BOTH tested together for ALL STIs, then you're potentially exposing yourself to STIs, and your risk of potential exposure is much higher when you do not use condoms.

Most of the time you can prevent STIs through correct and consistent condom use, but some, like syphilis, genital warts and herpes, can be transmitted despite condom use as they can be present/transmitted in places a condom does not cover, and it only takes skin-to-skin contact fr transmission to take place, UNLIKE hiv. Condoms have been PROVEN to prevent hiv infection. Regardless of the presence or absence of other STIs.

There is nothing more we can do for you here, other than to once again stress that any sexually active adult should be having regular STI screenings, including but NOT limited to hiv testing.

Provided you test for hiv at three months past any incident of UNPROTECTED anal or vaginal intercourse - with ANYONE - your test result will be conclusive.

You do NOT need to test over this protected encounter nor should you count any hiv testing window period from when it happened. You can count your hiv testing window period from the date of the last time you had UNPROTECTED anal or vaginal intercourse with ANYONE.

I hope that's abundantly clear.

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 vaspa75

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2014, 05:11:31 AM »
Dear Ann,

Thank you for taking the time and respond in such details it is very clear.  I will get tested for all STDs including syphilis soon.

In the meantime, my diarrhea continues after 2 weeks and I have really bad cold sores on my lips. If you add the lymph nodes and all the other symptoms it's really worrying and drives me crazy, i find it difficult to calm down. I will test for HIV at 6 weeks as well and then at 12 weeks after this incident to know my status.

Offline vaspa75

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection - now shingles !!
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 07:24:22 PM »
Today i developed shingles on the right side of my torso.

I am really freaking out, please answer this: is shingles common in the seroconversion period?

Many thanks for your help, I am sorry but I have no one else to talk to and these symptoms are making me crazy !

Online Jeff G

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 07:28:50 PM »
You have not had a risk for HIV so the shingles outbreak have nothing to do with ARS .

Offline vaspa75

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2014, 07:35:24 PM »
Jeff thanks for the quick reply. I understand what are you saying about my risk but the question was: based on your knowledge and experience is it common to develop shingles in the seroconversion period ( let's say 3 weeks after infection )  or is it more common in the later stages? I read shingles can occur if you are stressed and obviously I am extremely stressed.

Online Jeff G

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 07:41:18 PM »
We do not discuss symptoms and concentrate on risk assessmants . You did not have a risk for HIV so if we were to comment on what is causing your shingles it would be to guess .

Shingles and other symptoms are not specific to HIV and the only way to know is to test at the appropriate time ... and not by symptoms .

Offline vaspa75

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 08:04:26 PM »
thanks Jeff, most certainly i will test at 6 and 12 weeks. it's just all these symptoms that appeared all of a sudden are driving me mad and i wanted to ask the questions here, as i trust the info on this site. sorry my question was symptoms related

Online Jeff G

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 08:13:49 PM »
thanks Jeff, most certainly i will test at 6 and 12 weeks. it's just all these symptoms that appeared all of a sudden are driving me mad and i wanted to ask the questions here, as i trust the info on this site. sorry my question was symptoms related

You are welcome . Please note that we do not have an aversion to symptom questions, its the fact is would not be fair or accurate to speculate . I also will add that the vast majority of people who come to us for risk asessments test negative for HIV and almost all of them have symptoms they are concvinced are from HIV but in fact never are . We rarely have a person go on to test positive symptoms or not .


Offline Ann

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2014, 02:02:06 AM »
Vaspa,

ANYONE who has had chicken pox can develop shingles at some point in their life. It usually happens during times of emotional stress - something you've been experiencing. Herpes outbreaks happen during times of stress too - and they're both in the herpes family of viruses (Herpes simplex = herpes; Herpes varicella-zoster = chicken pox; Herpes zoster = shingles.)

Whatever is going on has nothing to do with a virus for which you have not been at risk - but it may have to do with the unnecessary stress you're putting yourself through due to your mistaken beliefs about hiv transmission.

Go see your doctor about the shingles. You can be given prescription meds that will help.

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 vaspa75

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test results - help please
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2014, 07:51:35 AM »
Dear all,

A few months ago i posted here about a possible risky situation.

During the last 4 months i had ALL the symptoms of HIV infection, in fact even today after 4 months i feel very bad, with constant tiredness, abdominal pain, diarrhea and abdominal pain, swollen lymph nodes and neuropaty ( hands and feet ).

So i decided to test again after 4 months ( 16 weeks ), the test i took is Ac / Anti HIV 1/2,CMIA Architect Abott.
 I asked them if this is the combo test and they said yes ( although from the description it looks like it's the antibody test only ).

The test came back NEGATIVE ( after 16 weeks ), it says 0.38 S/CO, non-reactive.

1 have two questions please:

1. Can i consider this test conclusive after 16 weeks ( no sexual encounter . other incidents in the last 16 weeks ) ?

I want to mention that don't take any medication and didn't have any transplant that could affect the test results, although my health has deteriorated quite badly in the last 4 months. 

2. I am worried about the high reactivity value ( o.38 ) in the test, basically above 1 is considered reactive/ positive and mine was 0.38. Can I still be in seroconversion period after 16 weeks?

Many thanks in advance for your answers.



Online Jeff G

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2014, 08:40:49 AM »
The test you took and a negative results at 12 weeks would have been conclusive so you can count your 16 weeks negative test as super conclusive  ;) . You do not have HIV . 

Offline vaspa75

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2014, 04:00:28 AM »
Thanks Jeff for the answer.

I read all the lessons and articles on the site and I know HIV is not diagnosed by symptoms only by testing,  but for the last 4 months I am experienced symptoms that cannot be associated with anything else, that is why I am still worried / tested again at 16 weeks.

Apart from being super tired all the time, chest pains, neuropthy in hands and feet, constant pain in the abdomen and change in bowel movements and being constantly bloated, I have these round skin lesions in my palms that are associated with the seroconversion phase of HIV.
I have done numerous other tests apart from HIV and it didn't reveal anything / all negative. I didn't have any of these symptoms before my sexual encounter 4 months ago.

So is the expert's opinion that:
1. thhis 4th genereation HIV test is conclusive ( cannot be wrong after 16 weeks )?
2. the high reactivity value on this test is not something to worry about?


Many thanks in advance for your answers.




 

Online Jeff G

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Re: possible HIV & syphilis co-infection
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2014, 08:15:29 AM »
That is correct ... You are HIV negative .

 


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