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Author Topic: A New Strain?  (Read 5580 times)

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Offline teach73

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A New Strain?
« on: June 07, 2006, 07:59:26 PM »
Hi everyone...I realize that this has gone on for too long, but my symptoms are really scaring me and I don't know what else to do. I have taken way too many hiv tests from a one time possible exposure and yet I still don't believe them for the following reasons:
Sometimes swollen and pronounced stingy nodes
Nightsweats that wake me up at night, but mostly VERY wet in the hair and chest area..they happen for a few days back to back then disappear for a good while, but always back to back when they do occur (?)
Sensitivity to sunlight (after being in the sun my body itches horribly, even in places the sun doesn't hit)
Diagnosed thrush that doesn't respond to treatment (almost 3 months)
Follicules (many, many) inflamed- new ones everyday
Confimred dermatitis in eyebrows and facial area
Stomach pain
Nausea for weeks
Sweating that feels like a fever, but normal temperature
Arms and legs that fall asleep or sting when awake but worse when I sleep
Muscle ache that feels flu-like not overexerted feeling
Chills
Tired a lot
Rashes on arms that come and go
Headache for 2 weeks straight
Diarrhea--ish movements (very soft) sorry..
Very dry skin..
Shaky feeling that doesn't go away-even after taking a SSRI
Tingly feeling in scalp and pulsating feeling various parts of the body..

I realize that you have assured me that I am negative, but I still can't believe that it is possible...I have lost all hope in that I am actually negative...these all started after that one time exposure. I am normally a very rational person, but the symptoms really scare me and the doctors can't figure out anything that is wrong with me. They have looked at CBC's and everything under the sun, but everything turns out ok. My question is this: can a mutant strain exist and not get detected by the current elisa tests? As much as I have tried to learn about hiv - the science of it eludes me. The exposure was last year (SEP '04) and nothing makes sense to me - not even my CD4 numbers, I figured if I actually was + and suffering symptoms wouldn't my numbers reflect that? CD4 May..863/44% and normal CD8 ratio and %??? I used to be worried about group o, but not really anymore because of the great number of tests that I have taken (3 elisas and one oraquick adv. ) I figured that it would have popped up at least in one if that was the case, although I can be wrong. HIVworker any info on the science of mutation from maybe a + person on HAART that has unprotected sex with another....is that even something that can actually happen? Thanks in advance for any help...

Offline Morgan

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Re: still worried
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 08:11:01 PM »
Teach73,

All of the symptoms you describe have many other plausible explanations outside of hiv infection.  Take solice from the fact that you have eliminated HIV infection as a cause.

Symptoms mean nothing where hiv is concerned.  You can have some, none, or all of the symptoms usually associated with primary hiv infection and be positive or negative.  That is why at-risk behavior and properly timed testing are the focus in risk assessment.

Symptoms, if you get them at all, come all at once 2-4 weeks after exposure, and leave all at once a week or two later.  The timing and duration  of your symptoms is not indicative of primary hiv infection.

Continue to work with your doctor to get to the bottom of your ailments.  You are reliably hiv negative.

Morgan
Morgan Landers

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 07:43:33 PM »
Thanks for the response, however, is it at all possible that a mutant strain could have escaped and created a new version that is not detected by the current elisa? Kind of like the supposed supervirus in New York? Was that a different strain of a current subtype?

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: still worried
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 08:29:20 PM »
<< however, is it at all possible that a mutant strain could have escaped and created a new version that is not detected by the current elisa>>

Possible? Sure, in the meteor hitting you on the head sort of way.

But realistically? Its not going to happen.

<< Kind of like the supposed supervirus in New York? Was that a different strain of a current subtype>>

Neither. It was shoddy reporting, compounded by an attention-seeking sensationalistic researcher. To date, there is no "superbug," and HIv is detected by standard ELISA testing, currently some of the most accurate and sensitive tests medical science offers.

You do not have HIV. I am sorry you cannot let this go, to the point of delving into science fiction for your fears. I respectfully disengage from the conversation.

"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 teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 08:57:40 PM »
Jk thanks, I did go to the doctor and she is checking my testosterone level (she has run out of ideas she says..) I mentioned everything to her and yet she strongly feels as everyone on this site does...I know exactly why I can't let it go, but that's beside the point because I know that symptoms don't mean infection...but that's just it, I guess there isn't anything else I can do in relationhip to hiv except give up and hope that everyone is right and that I am horribly wrong.

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2006, 02:58:45 PM »
Is there any test that can confirm a non-infection that can detect any POSSIBLE strain or mutation?

Offline AlexQ

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Re: still worried
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2006, 04:24:28 PM »
little knowledge is a dangerous thing...
 
seems like you want it...control your mind and stop obessing...and/or get a therapist.

listen to the professionals and let it go...or waste your life away...your life and your choice...


Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2006, 10:20:30 AM »
Just a quick question for the experts, if I was showing/having "symptoms" as I have described
above (ie. weight loss, nightsweats, severe joint pain, and the list goes on..) wouldn't my cd4 count reflect  that to a degree?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: still worried
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2006, 11:05:00 AM »
Teach, even if your CD4 count was to fluctuate, that happens all the time for all sorts of reasons.

The only means for acurately determining HIV status is an HIV test.

Which in your course is not a consideration since you have more than reliably tested negative for HIV. You are HIV negative. Period. End of story.

And all of your thoughts and doubts and whatever are irrelevant. Those are thoughts and feelings. They are not facts. Test results are facts.

Along with discussing symptoms with your doctor(s), I strongly recommend that you get some professional help with regard to your feelings. This is not an HIV situation no matter how much you and your mind insist to the contrary. Really.

Andy Velez

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2006, 11:10:40 AM »
Thank you Andy, but I should have said earlier that every CD4 count that has ever been taken for me has always been perfectly normal with high % and counts. This is after nearly two years of this worry...(last 863/44%) ..so if I was showing such dramatic "symptoms" wouldn't my counts be at least somewhat abnormal? Thanks again..

Offline RapidRod

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Re: still worried
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2006, 12:56:59 PM »
No, your counts aren't abnormal..

Offline Morgan

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Re: still worried
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2006, 01:46:48 PM »
Teach73,

You do not have to be immunosuppressed to get sick, as you have demonstrated.  If the cause of your sickness were an immune disorder (such as hiv) then yes, you would have seen it in your numbers.  The cause of your ailments, obviously, isn't hiv, as you have tested negative (repeatedly), and your normal immune system reflects that.

Morgan
« Last Edit: June 10, 2006, 01:49:49 PM by Morgan »
Morgan Landers

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2006, 03:41:06 PM »
What I am asking is if I was actually showing such symptoms wouldn't my counts relfect that by now or could a person have AIDS symptoms while having perfectly normal CD4 % and count?

Offline Morgan

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  • You did WHAT??
Re: still worried
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2006, 03:57:19 PM »
Teach,

If you had AIDS your count would absolutely reflect it.  One of the things that defines AIDS as AIDS is a CD4 count below 200.  You can, however, be hiv positive and have a normal count.

You have tested negative for hiv.  Do you have a rational reason to doubt your test results? 

Symptoms mean nothing where hiv is concerned as they have too many other possible causes.

Morgan
Morgan Landers

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2006, 04:13:16 PM »
Morgan, your question is rather good...I don't have a rational reason for not believing the test at all. I do realize that I am truly scraping the bottom of the barrel in regards to highly improbable chances of hvaing contracting hiv. It is just that (everyone says this..) but I never get sick at all and literally two weeks after the exposure I developed a boatload of symptoms...almost everyone possible one minus a fever...they lasted for 2 months total and then went away. Everyone says that it could have been the flu, but that seems unrealistic considering that a flu generally would have a fever and wouldn't have caused some of those conditions that I experienced. I am at a loss because I DO
believe that I definitely don't have a common strain of hiv or even some of the more rare ones..because I have tested and tested. It is just that I am progressively feeling worse as time goes by and i just want to be sure that everything is okay. To make matters worse the woman in question tested negative after a year as well and I didn't even find that comforting. I dunno..

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: still worried
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2006, 04:32:54 PM »
I submit that your mental and physical health would be best served if you ceased visiting this forum.

"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 teach73

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  • Posts: 15
Re: still worried
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2006, 09:11:21 PM »
I promise that this will be my last question! I AM truly beginning to believe my results, but the question that I had earlier was based upon someone on HAART having sex with another -ve person. Could the virus mutate enough to create a "new" strain in and of itself that doesn't get detected by the current tests because they don't have a lock (antigen) for it in their testing kits?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: still worried
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2006, 09:22:50 PM »
No

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2006, 09:26:21 PM »
Thanks Rapid. :-[

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2006, 05:45:44 PM »
I lied...I looked through some old posts and found this one by HIVworker and confused me a bit more in relationship to my last question. Does this seem at all feasible that a person could be on HAART and have one mutation that creates a new virus?
A few issues to deal with there.

"Firstly let’s talk about the mutation rate of HIV. It seems to come up a lot and I think people feel that HIV is going to create a new supervirus that will infect everyone. I blame Hollywood for this fantasy. HIV does indeed mutate and does so in the people infected with it. It is quite clear that at least three of the subtypes of HIV can be explained by multiple zoonotic transmission, meaning that it came from primates a number of times. This can account for HIV-2 as well as the M- and O-strains of HIV-1. Therefore although some strains represent recombination between different strains due to multiple infections, the chances of getting a new virus that can not be detected by the current panel of tests is low in my opinion. You simply can’t shuffle the pack well enough to get something that looks totally different to the HIV tests without it being a separate transmission of a completely new virus. This is of course possible, but the incidence of even the O-strain in humans is very low currently – and it can be picked up in newer tests. HIV has rules and some it can't break itself from. Even HIV-2, which is the most distant virus from HIV-1, can be picked up in the current panel of tests at greater than 60% of the time – they look that similar. To be concerned about a new strain of HIV that is undetectable would be to worry about a new virus completely – which the CDC of this country is on watch for. A small number of HIV negative patients displaying AIDS like symptoms (meaning low CD4 counts or altered CD8 counts) is an alarm bell that I know that CDC look into. Often they are due to a genetic fault that leads to CD4:CD8 imbalance. While it is true that HIV can recombine or shuffle itself to look different, the basic structural needs that are imposed by its replication cycle mean that although it can mutate, it can’t separate itself from the structural requirements of making an active capsid for instance. If it does, the mutation is lethal. Indeed, the majority of mutations HIV introduces are, and these viruses do not replicate and therefore are not prevalent. A rule in biology is that a mutation must provide a selective advantage and most mutations do not. In patients undergoing HAART, however, the normal replication is so vastly inhibited that viruses that can escape from HAART treatment do occur. Often, but not always, their replication is slower as to surmount the HAART therapy the virus forfeits replication efficiency. Sometimes, in the absence of HAART therapy, the population of HIV particles reverts back to the original mutation. The patient remains HAART resistant as the key mutation that allowed escape is withheld and will re-emerge as the dominant virus should HAART be restarted. This is just an example of what can happen and is not the rule. So you see the mutation efficiency of HIV does not mean that it is waiting to create a supervirus that can’t be seen as under normal circumstances there is no selective pressure to do so. A new strain might be born of recombination but again it will have to conform to the selection rules of HIV and therefore will retain a similar architecture and this can be easily spotted. For instance, there are discrete packaging signals in the RNA that need to be preserved or the budding virus doesn’t carry genetic material. The risk of mutation has been blown up by Hollywood and the general public has the view of viruses from films such as Outbreak – which I can’t watch. To the layman the mutation rate might sound scary, as scary as giant spiders from nuclear radiation in the 50s. In my opinion the reality is quite different and the HIV mutation is to be watched and monitored but not feared."

Possible, he says, but unlikely, how would anyone know?

Offline Ann

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Re: still worried
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2006, 06:54:06 PM »
teach,

If you read through the Welcome Thread, you would have read the following:

Quote
Anyone who continues to post excessively, questioning a conclusive negative result or no-risk situation, will be subject to a four week Time Out (a temporary ban from the Forums). The purpose of a Time Out is to encourage you to seek the face-to-face help we cannot provide on this forum.

You have reliably tested negative for hiv and there is nothing more we can do for you. If you insist on continuing to come here instead of getting the face-to-face help with this you need, then I will have to give you a time out. Please consider yourself warned. This is the only warning you will get - keep posting and you will earn yourself a four week time out.

You are hiv negative. Please seek the assistance of a mental health care professional to help you put this episode behind you.

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 teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2006, 08:58:17 PM »
I need help...and I know that everyone is going to agree that it is mental help that I need, but I am freaking out right now. Everyone has been been so helpful so far and I am embarassed to come back here for any input...but I don't know what else to turn to...I have been to my GP way too often and for way too many things to believe that I am not infected. I accept the fact that I am not infected with any subtype rare or not, but my fear comes from the fact that while immensely remote, the possibility that I am infected with an unknown strain. My question is this would an unknown strain come up as indeterminate on a WB or could it come up negative. The reason I ask is that aren't some of the proteins (some) common to variants of HIV? I have tested and tested, continually negative and the woman I was with got tested at ten weeks on both ELISA and WB and called it quits from there. Would the WB detect some antibodies even if it was an unknown strain? HELP please put an end to this madness..
By the way I just went to the ENT and was diagnosed with a lab culture with chronic thrush. Which fuels more fear within me.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: still worried
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2006, 09:08:01 PM »
You're correct you do need mental health intervention. You are HIV negative and there is nothing else to discuss about it in this forum. We can no longer be of any help to you. You need to seek a one on one conversation with a mental health specialist.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: still worried
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2006, 09:12:07 PM »
I am sorry that you are unable to accept your HIV negative status. I sincerely wish you peace, and submit that you will not find it on aidsmeds.com.

"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 teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2006, 12:10:25 AM »
Thanks Rapid and jk...I called to get tested by PCR from a testing complany and they gave me essentially the same rundown that everyone here has tried to get me to believe. The woman said "if you think that you are infected with an unknown strain, how will our test help you out?" She basically said that if you want to waste a few hundred dollars that she would be glad to run the test, but in the end she talked me out of it. I just wish the physical stuff would end and give me a break so that I can try to put this to rest...

Offline teach73

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Re: still worried
« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2006, 08:24:37 PM »
Okay...I am officially done. I did a (call me crazy) self-talk and put HIV worries to bed. I have no choice at this point but to believe what everyone has taken their time to explain to me. I am done going to the doc and bothering him about HIV concerns. For the first time since the exposure...I spoke out loud my negative results and repeated them like a mantra. Hopefully, if I start to believe that I am negative, then the symptoms and thrush will start to resolve themselves over what I am imagining quite a long time. Just wanted to say thanks to Andy, HIVworker,  Rapid, Jk, and Ann for taking their time out over the past year and explaining to me that the test is a FACT:NEGATIVE. Thanks again...Bye  ;)

Offline teach73

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A New Strain?
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2006, 08:13:15 PM »
Hi again everyone...I am a bit scared here because I cannot get past this fear that an undetected form of HIV exists and that I have it. I have already gone through my symptoms that won't go away-and I was good for awhile, completely out of my mind for a few months, that is the thoughts of HIV. I have been on anti-depressant for a few months now and it doesn't really do much, but I have tried to forget about it on my own. My problem is that I have been swabbed for thrush once again and again it is there! That is four times since March. I cannot stand it anymore! It really burns when I eat peppery foods and vinegary things. Plus to make matters worse, I have been getting these numb parts of my body at the exact same time of day everyday! A bit unnerving to say the least. Can someone explain why it is impossible for a new strain to go on undetected in the US? All this and more has been going on for way to long ever since my exposure to that woman back in September of 2004. And here I am with a count of 863 CD4 cells at 44% and a low but never inverted CD4/CD8 ratio. Is that even possible? 26 years ago people who probably felt very sick were probably told that it was in their mind too,so why can't it happen again? I even did a WB after two years and it was non-reactive on all bands. If I had HIV wouldn't my CD4 reflect it in some way shape or form?

Offline Ann

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Re: A New Strain?
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2006, 08:18:55 PM »
teach,

I've merged your new thread into your original thread - where you should post all your additional thoughts or questions. It helps us to help you when you keep all your additional thoughts or questions in one thread.

If you need help finding your thread when you come here, click on the "Show own posts" link under your name in the left-hand column of any forum page.

Please also read through the Welcome Thread so you can familiarize yourself with our Forum Posting Guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.

You are hiv negative and there is nothing more we can do for you here. Your CD4 counts are completely normal. Whatever is going on with you has nothing to do with hiv. Work with your doctor to find out the cause - there are other illnesses besides hiv.

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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