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Author Topic: A medical possibility?  (Read 7555 times)

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Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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A medical possibility?
« on: November 09, 2006, 09:26:36 PM »
I have been inquiring through several sites, trying desperately to find some conclusion to an ongoing concern I’ve had about possibly acquiring HIV.  I would appreciate any advice you may be able to offer.  I apologize for the length of my story, but I believe that it provides important details.

I am a 36 y.o. male heterosexual, 36.  In early March 2006, I had a one-time unprotected sexual encounter with a woman whom I met in a bar.  We engaged in both vaginal (10 min.) and oral sex (about 5).  About 3 days later, I began to feel very tired.  The day after that, I came down with some harsh exudative tonsillitis, along with a fairly high fever.  Went to the doctor who did a strep test – it was negative.  I was put on a 10 day course of antibiotics and prednisone.  While taking the medication, I had a couple evenings of night sweats, but felt better after a few days.  About four days of completing the medication, I came down with another round of exudative tonsillitis and fever (about the same severity as before).  This time I went to an ENT, who gave me a monospot test – negative.  He put me on another 10 day course of antibiotics (a stronger one) and prednisone.  Had a couple of night sweats, but not as severe as before.  A CBC the ENT ordered came back with a WBC of 17k, but a 6% lymphocyte count (about 1020-1050).  Again, I felt much better after a few days of meds.  Near the end of finishing the second round of meds (now three weeks post-incident), I had a day of pain behind my eyes with slight dizziness and nausea.  A few days later, I started seeing waves/floaters in my field of vision.  I went back to the ENT for follow-up to my tonsillitis and he then diagnosed me with nasal polyps.  At about this time (4 weeks post incident), I began to consider the possibility that what was going on was related to my unprotected encounter.  I had lost about 15lbs. (from 175) during the two rounds of tonsillitis too.  I was able to locate and contact the woman whom I had the encounter with.  We spoke several times over the course of the next two weeks and each time she assured me that she was not hiv positive.  My last call with her ended no to great – I expressed doubt in her veracity and she said “You’re so convinced I’m HIV positive.  I’ll tell you what – you keep testing and testing until it turns positive, but it won’t be from me.”

I had the nasal polyps removed about the middle of May.  At the end of May, I went to the eye doctor for my vision problems and was diagnosed with a vitreous detachment.  It was at this time (about 8 weeks post) that I began HIV testing.  Over the course of the past 7 ½ months, I have been:

•   Ora-quick Advance 1/2 rapid finger (blood) tested about nine times (at the 8, 12, 15, 18, 25,  27, 29, and 34 week mark) at a local HIV clinic – all non-reactive/negative
•   Orasure Oral swab HIV Antibody test at the week 25 mark – non-reactive/negative
•   Blood draw HIV ELISA test by my GP (Quest), private service (Labcorp), and local HIV clinic (at the 19, 23, and 25 week mark) – all non-reactive/negative
•   HIV/DNA by PCR test by a private company (Labcorp) at the 23 week mark – non-detected
•   CBC by GP and local HIV clinic.  Normal values.  However, my WBC count was most recently (August 30) down to 4300 with Lymphocytes at 36%

I also wanted to mention that over the course of the 7 ½ months that I’ve had some other “troubling” symptoms, such as: fatigue; what looks to be like minor folliculitis on my scalp (sorry for being so graphic, but when I pick at the bumps, I notice a very small hair in the pus, like the entire follicle comes out); sides of my neck are itchier than normal, especially after working out; skin in general is redder – when scratched, the red scratch lines take longer to go away; and an increase in small red spots that don’t go away.  Also, for about the last four weeks I’ve experienced a tingling/burning sensation on my tongue, waking up each morning with a pasty film on it, and have moments when my mouth is very dry – what spittle I can muster resembles a very white foam.  I admit that I have been very stressed out and anxious about this whole experience.  My GP put me on Lexapro – but that only bothers my stomach and makes my mouth even drier.  It didn’t seem to get my mind off things, so I stopped taking it.  I eat very healthy, but have about 1-2 drinks a night, and probably don’t drink the recommended amount of water each day.  I also work out about 2-3 times a week.

In light of the information above, my questions are:

1.   What is the window period for a person with my noted risk and circumstances?
2.  Based on what happened in the few weeks after possible exposure, does it seem suggestive of ARS
3.   Are my initial (March 2006) and most recent CBCs (August 2006) suggestive that I experienced ARS?  My initial WBC was 17000 and lymphocyte % was 6%, but is more recently 4300 and 36% respectively.
4.   Would my drinking habits and lack of normal water intake, impact on the time it takes to seroconvert, if positive?  Would it extend the window period?
5.   Based on the current “troubling” symptoms, would you recommend additional testing?  If so, what?
6.   Would a T-cell count be helpful?
7.   In general, is there any other test I could take at this point that would be 100% conclusive (at 7 ½ months), and get me over my continuing doubts about my previous testing results.  A NAT or some other newer test I haven’t heard about?
7.   Am I out of the woods? – Can I forget all this?

I have been very healthy prior to this year.  I don’t want to be a burden on the local HIV resources and the folks who really need it if I truly don’t.  But all of this seems more than just coincidence, and I can only take than woman at her word – I don’t have any proof from her in writing.  I hope that you all can help me understand all of this and figure out what to do next.  Thank you for your time.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2006, 09:28:10 PM by NewAppreciationinPA »

Offline Ann

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2006, 09:46:53 PM »
Quote
1.   What is the window period for a person with my noted risk and circumstances?
2.  Based on what happened in the few weeks after possible exposure, does it seem suggestive of ARS
3.   Are my initial (March 2006) and most recent CBCs (August 2006) suggestive that I experienced ARS?  My initial WBC was 17000 and lymphocyte % was 6%, but is more recently 4300 and 36% respectively.
4.   Would my drinking habits and lack of normal water intake, impact on the time it takes to seroconvert, if positive?  Would it extend the window period?
5.   Based on the current “troubling” symptoms, would you recommend additional testing?  If so, what?
6.   Would a T-cell count be helpful?
7.   In general, is there any other test I could take at this point that would be 100% conclusive (at 7 ½ months), and get me over my continuing doubts about my previous testing results.  A NAT or some other newer test I haven’t heard about?
7.   Am I out of the woods? – Can I forget all this?

New,

1. The window period is three months.
2. No.
3. No.
4. No.
5. No further hiv testing, no.
6. No.
7. You can certainly forget about hiv in relation to this incident, you have more than conclusively tested hiv negative. You do not have hiv. Whatever is going on with you has nothing to do with hiv. Continue working with your doctor to get to the bottom of it.

If you cannot accept your negative hiv status, then please seek counseling. There is nothing we can do for you here, we only provide basic risk assessment and testing information here, not anxiety counseling.

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 NewAppreciationinPA

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2006, 07:45:07 AM »
Ann:

Thanks for your advice and information.  The main reasons I ciontinue to doubt my results were:
 - the ongoing "troubling" (more like nagging) symptoms; and
 - when I went to my local HIV clinic for a full CBC and blood draw Elisa in August 2006 (about 5 1/2 months post), a clinician I first met with there told me that it could take up to a year to detect it on a test.  But, later, a Dr. who works there tried to assure me that I was in the clear.  While I try hard to trust folks, the discrepancy in their opinions about my situation worried me, especially coming from an HIV clinic.  They are good people though, doing very needed work - I certainly dont thing they were giving me a run around by any means.

Having been skimming these boards for the last few months, I should have forseen where you were going to fall on your opinion.  I apprectiate it so much, believe me.

One last question, if you don't mind, have you ever heard of a person at 6 or 7 months, testing negative by rapid, then testing positive later? (forgive me if you've answered this before)

Again, I appreciate the time you took to read my question and reply.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2006, 07:51:46 AM »
You are HIV negative. Period. End of story.

The clinician who told you that you might need to test up to a  year has the wrong job and was dishing out hogwash to you.

You have reliably tested negative for HIV.

Whatever is going on with you has nothing to do with HIV. I suggest you stop practicing medicine on yourself and (mis)interpreting the cause(s) of your symptoms. See a doctor and have a thorough physical and see what comes up. Since this worry has been going on for sometime you might find it helpful to see a therapist as well and get some support with the emotional aspects of whatever is going on. What is for sure is that HIV is not involved other than in your head.

And when you have intercourse make sure you wear a latex condom everytime so that HIV doesn't become a question again in the future.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2006, 10:42:20 AM »
Andy:

Thanks for your input.  Like I noted before, I've been healthy as a horse, and this year seemed to go to crap.  The only difference was the unprotected exposure in March, and I don't have anything in writing to prove what the person was trying to assure me.  Had I not had the unprotected encounter, I wouldn't be fearing these things were related to HIV.

I was thinking about why "worried wells", like myself I admit, hang on to doubts about the window period.  Part of it goes to my understanding of basic studies.  The only way a study about 13 week window period could be done is if the person on the otherend was absolutely HIV positive, that the one time unprotected risky exposure was truly one time, and that the person continued to test through the window period.  I'm not sure if the CDC recommendations were based on any studies like that.  In other words, if I had been going out with that woman for eight months, and had sex 1-2 times a week, whose to say that I may not have been exposed with enough virus the first time we had sex?  Then waited three months after the last possible exposure.  That would mean a total of 11 months possible to seroconvert.  Could you or anyone else give me your thoughts on this?  Is it valid enough to make one worry? 

Again, I'm only suggesting one reason why those beyond the three or even six months would worry.  I trust you all here and I will definitely go with it.  Thank you all again.

Best wishes

Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2006, 06:23:27 PM »
Andy, Ann (or any other moderators):

I wanted to know whether anyone had a chance to consider the question I posed in my last post about a possible reason why worried wells may continue to doubt their negative results at the 3 or even six month window periods (like myself).

That the only way a study establishing a 13 week window period could be done is if the person on the other end was absolutely HIV positive, that the one time unprotected risky exposure was truly one time, and that the person who was worried about exposure continued to test regularly through the window period.  I'm not sure if the CDC recommendations (or any other entity) were based on any studies like that.  I recognize that such a study may be impossible as stated.  In other words, if I had been going out with that woman for eight months, and had sex 1-2 times a week, whose to say that I may not have been exposed with enough virus the first time we had sex?  But waited three until months after the last possible exposure to actually test.  That would mean a total of 11 months possible within which serconversion could have taken place -- there would be no way to pinpoint whether it took place within the first three or six months or after.  Could you or anyone else please give me your thoughts on this?  Is it valid enough to fuel the worriers' worries?

I regard you all highly and would appreciate any insight or feedback you have on this point.  I know you don't have time to be on this forum 24-7.

Thank you and take care.

Offline Ann

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2006, 06:52:22 PM »
New,

You can rest assured that a person such as the one in your scenario above would not have been included in any study into the window period for hiv. Anyone included in a study would have to meet exacting criteria to ensure the window period was being tested properly.

As to why some people cannot accept their negative hiv status, that is not really a subject for this forum, although it most often involves feelings of guilt and the expectations of punishment. Hiv is not a punishment. It's a virus.

If you cannot bring yourself to accept your negative hiv status, then perhaps it's time you sought some counseling to discover why.

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 NewAppreciationinPA

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  • Posts: 13
Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2006, 08:49:14 PM »
Ann:

Thanks for the information, and again for your time.  I'll keep it close.

New




Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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Now 10 Months Out...symptoms continue
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2007, 08:57:59 PM »
Hello all.

I tried to take your advice and guidance and walk away with the information you gave me regarding my 8 month status.  However...

Through the last two months (9 and 10), I've continued to have symptoms that to me suggest some kind of immunity problem.  In late Dec., I had a solid week of mucus in my stools - sometimes that was the only thing that came out.  Ongoing dry mouth unabated.  Still fatigued.  Dry skin and sensitive.  More sore after working out.  And just this week I was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection - discharge and severe burning while urinating w/low back pain.  The doctor stated "its unusual for males to get UTIs."  Great.  I've been sick and have taken sick days more this year than the last 10 combined - no kidding.  Each time I feel like HIV is a possible cause because of my one time unprotected with a female of unknown status (see my 8 month post).

Here's my deal.  My symptoms are real - not in my head.  And there are folks whose stories suggest that 3 or 6 months - not even a year - is enough for me to feel confident with the results I've received so far.  Reading some of the personal stories on just the first couple of pages on the poz pages tell me something very different that the clinic,testing materials, and some of the folks here try to assure me with.  There are folks that are shocked, or only had oral, or after a 3 or 6 month negative thought every thing was hunky dorey.  So, I really should treat my one time unprotected vaginal sex episode with a person of unknown status as person of positive status in terms of risk, even though she told me over the phone she was negative - because I don't have anything in writing, right?  I dont want to feel this way, or obsess over it.  Its just that something is not making sense here.

At this point, what can I do?  What HIV test can I take at this point that would be utterly 110% conclusive?? I'm not sure its antibody testing, because again of what I've taken from personal stories.  Then again, maybe I need that neural neutralizer thingee from Men in Black or a lobotomy to forget the wholedamn thing.  Please, I hope you can see and understand the difficulty I'm having, again with the conflict between science and test information vs. personal stories.  Please help me process this.  Your time and any further advice is greatly appreciated.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2007, 09:15:49 PM »
What you need now is to seek out a mental health professional to see why you are having these worries when you are  conclusively negative. For your other symptoms, see a doctor. HIV is not the cause.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2007, 07:09:45 AM »
As Rod has told you, HIV is not your problem. No matter what your mind tells you to the contrary. You have reliably tested negative. Period. End of story.

Further HIV testing is not needed.

If you are having symptoms that are troubling you that's something to discuss with your doctor. And again as Rod suggested, see a therapist or other such professional to talk about the emotional aspects of what's going on.

This is NOT an HIV situation. Period. 
Andy Velez

Offline ACinKC

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Re: Now 10 Months Out...symptoms continue
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2007, 10:11:06 AM »
Please, I hope you can see and understand the difficulty I'm having, again with the conflict between science and test information vs. personal stories.  Please help me process this.  Your time and any further advice is greatly appreciated.

Science vs. Personal Stories?  Do you believe everyone and everything you read?  I personally would trust science as they are trained professionals, not just Joe Schmo who you dont know what he does, or anything!

YOURE NEGATIVE!  Trust the science!  We do.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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Now over a year, but new information has me very worried
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2007, 12:03:50 PM »
Folks:

You have helped me in the past with my situation, but recent labwork has me very frightened.  I'm only starting a new topic because the warning said it was over 60 days since my last post.

You may recall my possible exposure situation:  20 minutes of unprotected oral and vaginal sex in March 2006 with a female whose status I'm not sure of.  She told me over the phone that she is not HIV+, but I did not ask her for paper results.

Since that time I had the following diagnosed ailments:  2 rounds of tonsilitus within 3 weeks of the event; vitreous detachments in both eyes about 8 weeks after, follicultis, low back pain, ongoing fatigue and dry mouth, achey joints, a UTI in Jan 07, and two apthous ulcers about 2 weeks ago.

Over that same time period I've had the following tests:  about 10 Orasure Rapid HIV 1/2 tests; one HIV-1 DNA PCR @ 16 weeks; two HIV-1 RNA PCRs @ 6 months (<400 sensitive) and one year (<50 sensitive).  I have also have a few oral fluid and direct blood draw EIAs.  All came back negative or non-detected.  I also gave blood on two occasions after six months (thinking that I was in the clear).  No notice of any problems there.

The January 07 UTI and the mouth ulcers got me worried, so I asked for a CD4 count, thinking that would resolve it all, to see that I was healthy.  Last week I got the results:  CD4 count 414; CD4 % 37; and total lymph count of 1100.  HOW CAN THIS BE??  Websites, including this one say that a normal CD4 count should be well above 500 and that some advocate starting HAART treatment at <350.  I'm only 64 away from that!

The only tests I have not had are HIV-2 PCR or cultures.  1)  What is your opinion of this?  Are there other HIV tests I should take?  2)  Is there anyone in particular I should see? (immunologist, certain HIV specialists, oncologist??)  3)  If not HIV, then what can be causing this?

I've considered that my body might just operate at a lower CD4 than most, but even that would be wierd.  My lymph counts over this time period have been:  1020 - March 06; 1330 - May 06; 1760 - August 06; and now 1100.  4)Does it seem that my lymph count in March 06 (1020), was suggestive of ARS or primary infection?  Even if I had the same CD4 % back then, it would have been 377.  I'm calling my primary to see what my counts previous to March 2006 may have been to see.

I'm very upset about this, even more so than when I first wrote you all.  I don't know what to do - I've seen many doctors for many things over the past year and it doesn't seem to be stopping.  Please help me.  I appreciate any further advice.  Yours.

Offline thunter34

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2007, 12:09:54 PM »
I think you need to settle.


Some people have natural CD4 counts that are higher or lower than the general range- regardless of HIV. 
AIDS isn't for sissies.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2007, 12:13:50 PM »
We can't diagnose your symptoms. See another doctor and hopefully get a better diagnosis and treatment.

What we can tell you is that based on the information you have given us HIV is not the issue. Period.

You might also consider seeing a therapist or other mental health professional to get some support with the emotional aspects of whatever is going on.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline Bucko

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2007, 01:22:52 PM »
Stress can do some absolutely horrifying things to the body. Believe me, I know from experience. I am NOT suggesting that this is "all stress" and certainly not "just stress", but I do want to remind you that the mind/body connection is very very real. Western medicine recognizes this and several techniques aimed at stress reduction (biofeedback and yoga, for instance) have proven beneficial properties in real physical ways.

I also want to respond to something that you've mentioned several times in this thread: UTIs. Back in the late 90s I had a terrible UTI and was treated in the ER for it. At the time I was in a securely monogamous relationship and any sexual activity was 100% protected. But also at that time, my partner was dealing with a back injury that eventually necessitated a Lumbar Fusion. He was in so much pain that we refrained from sex at that time, so I was essentially celibate and had been for well over six months. Male UTIs can and do happen in such circumstances, it happened to me. And no one at the ER seemed at all amazed. As i had over 1000 CD4 cells at the time, my immune system wasn't a factor, either.

Sometimes things happen, especially when your mind is telling your body that something "should" be wrong (no matter how subconsciously). I am not a health care professional and I am not diagnosing anything. But I do think that, after all your negative test results, you need to put HIV out of your pile of worries and work on changing the mindset that has led to such turmoil for you and your health.

Take care,
Brent
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

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Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2007, 08:26:32 PM »
Hi again.

Thanks for the replies.

So no one thinks my situation is unusual or bearing further study, testing??  I just don't understand it.  Please understand that I want to make sure that it is NOT HIV because of all the articles on the benefits of starting treatment early - before cd4 goes below 350. Like I said, I'm only 64 away from that!!  Even my Cd4/CD8 ratio at best now is .58.  Isn't that worrisome for HIV??  Any other opinions?

Thanks all again.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2007, 08:30:16 PM »
Seek out another doctor. This has nothing to do with HIV.

Offline Ann

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Re: Almost 8 months out, but can't seem to move on
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2007, 03:44:10 AM »
New,

The number you're so worried about is your absolute CD4 count. The absolute can fluctuate wildly - in totally healthy, hiv negative people - within the course of a single day.

However, your CD4% is VERY healthy. I'd give my right arm for a CD4% of 37, so stop worrying and enjoy your hiv negative status.

You do not have hiv. Whatever your problems are, they have nothing to do with hiv.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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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 NewAppreciationinPA

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A medical possibility?
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2007, 09:32:48 AM »
Is it possible for a person who is HIV positive to have negative antibody test results AND a non-detactable viral load a year from exposure?  I guess another way to put it is it possible for a person to have had an immune response to HIV, but in a way that the antibody response is too low for detection with typical tests (rapid, etc.), but still enough of a response to keep the viral load at undetectable levels a year after exposure without meds??

In addition to the regular folks, I'd also like to hear from someone who might have some medical knowledge about immune response.  thanks.

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2007, 10:00:25 AM »
New,

Please keep all your additional comments, thoughts and questions in your original thread. This helps us to follow your story and provide you with the most accurate advice.

Given that you've been with us for some time you should be familiar with our posting guidelines.

MtD

Offline Ann

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2007, 10:35:30 AM »
New,

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 do not have hiv. We've told you this a few times now.

If you've bothered to read the Welcome Thread like you're supposed to, you will 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.

Please consider yourself warned.

You do not have hiv. There is nothing more we can do for you here.

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 NewAppreciationinPA

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2007, 11:45:06 AM »
Ann and Matty:

I apologize for the error.  I'm just trying to obtain as much input and information I can, while trying to consider what else might be causing these things.  Its hard sometimes to rectify in my mind of what your saying regarding testing and timeframes and conclusivity, and yet the obvious ambiguity regarding HIV symptoms (that they can vary wildly) and what HIV does to each individual person and how bodies handle it differently (which also varies wildly), and how some people find out right away and how others don't for much longer past the window and it seems like a total surprise to them.  I think that's what causes most if not all of the doubts that many of us bring here.  I'm over feeling guilty about the possible exposure.  I just want to make sure that I'm ok from here on out.

Offline Ann

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2007, 02:39:55 PM »
Quote
I'm over feeling guilty about the possible exposure.  I just want to make sure that I'm ok from here on out.

New,

It's your guilt that brings you here. Hiv is not a punishment so stop thinking you have it because you are "guilty".

Keep using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse and you WILL be ok from here on out as far as hiv is concerned.

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 Bucko

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #24 on: June 18, 2007, 02:44:24 PM »
Is it possible for a person who is HIV positive to have negative antibody test results AND a non-detactable viral load a year from exposure?  I guess another way to put it is it possible for a person to have had an immune response to HIV, but in a way that the antibody response is too low for detection with typical tests (rapid, etc.), but still enough of a response to keep the viral load at undetectable levels a year after exposure without meds??

In addition to the regular folks, I'd also like to hear from someone who might have some medical knowledge about immune response.  thanks.

New-

Again, I'm not a medical professional but the answer to your query above is really simple:

No!

HIV is not the answer to the questions you have.

Good luck-
Brent
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2007, 09:10:15 AM »

I wrote awhile back outlining a one-time risky exposure in March 2006(unprotected vaginal sex) with a female of unknown status.  I contacted her and she told me she did not have HIV, but I doubted her veracity.  So, I tested at all the various recommended times, then some in between and way beyond the window (many rapids, several blood draw Elisas, and a couple of PCRs - out to 17 months).  All tests came back negative/non reactive/undetectable.

In June of this year, one of the physicians I was working with ordered a CD4 test at my urging because I thought that would give me the peace of mind I needed.  Well it didn't.  It came back 414 (37%) in May 2007, which is below normal, and much lower than numbers reported by many HIV+ folks who have written here.

I've had the CD4 retaken at the following time, with the following results:
6/2007 - 431 (36%)
8/2007 - 441 (42%)

I also had a full lymphocyte panel taken 11/2007, with the following results:
absolute lymphocytes - 1246
absolute CD3 - 722 (low), 58%
absolute CD4 - 410 (low), 32%
%CD16+CD56 - 32% (high)
absolute CD19+ - 92 (low)

By the way, during the same timeframe, my absolute lymphs have bounced between 1052-1246.

I have been to an HIV clinic that feels I'm ok, and an immunologist who thinks I'm ok too, but neither can explain the "lymphocyte abnormality" that I seem to have.  He is referring me to a Hemotologist to see if they can figure something out.  I was sick for about a month this past OCT with a sinus infection/chest coughing, and finally needing antibiotics.  I'm now sick again (for past two days) with fever and sinus congestion, but probably got it from my kids.

My questions are:

1.  Is it out of the realm of possibility that there is a new strain of HIV out there (HIV-III??) that can't be picked up by current tests, something that could be causing these low lymph #?

2.  In speaking with HIV- and HIV+ alike, have you ever seen a case like mine?  If so, what are possible causes other than HIV??  Blood disorder/immune disorder?

3.  Should my case be referred to the CDC?

4.  Do I need to stop considering HIV as a possibility?  I many ways, I have.  I've resumed donating blood and have been having sex with my wife on a regular basis.  But this CD4 thing has me constantly worried.

5.  Will having lower than normal CD4 numbers mean a lower life expetancy?  In other words, do lymphs lower naturally as you age, and if so, will me having these low numbers at 37 years old now mean I wont be able to fight things off as well as other folks as I get older??

As always, I value your opinions and advice.  Just trying to figure out what to do next, based on most reliable information.  Thank you for your time and attention.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2007, 09:14:12 AM »
This isn't a medical forum, it's an HIV forum which you don't have. Seek your answers from your doctor.

Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2007, 09:40:47 AM »
Rod:

But I did ask some HIV-related questions.  I don't expect folks to have iron-clad answers to my specific questions.  But, I was just hoping that along the way, someone may have had or has a situation similar to mine, or knows someone that did, who could share their experience/information.  I appreciate your reply, and I know you don't want people here wasting your and others time.  But I thought my situation warranted a little discussion, if folks are willing to.  Thanks.


Offline RapidRod

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2007, 09:47:29 AM »
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.

Offline NewAppreciationinPA

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When is "clinical suspicion for HIV?" really that? Problems continue
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2008, 12:06:34 PM »
I'm still having a lot of issues two years plus (March 2006) from an unprotected exposure with a female of unknown status. Some of the issues include: recently diagnosed gastritis, apthous ulcers (one currently, for last two weeks), what look like small zits on scalp (folliculitis? I shave my head), mild low back pain, and coating on tongue. I had surgery in March of this year to correct urethral narrowing, but now have ED and require daily Cialis (nerve damage not healing??). This in addition to the diagnosed Sinusitis and vitreous detachments in both eyes (May 2006).

Though I've had many negative/undetected results from antibody (blood draw and Oraquick HIV 1/2 finger prick) and viral load testing as my previous posts note, I remain with abnormally low CD4 counts (ranging from 441 to 410, between June 2007 and November 2007). I started seeing an immunologist in November 2007 to see what else might be causing it, but he does not know. Hes having me do another CD4 panel in November of this year (to see if it has changed over a year).

I'm only 38. None of the stuff I described above happened until after the March 2006 exposure. But on some sites and in some literature, you hear of folks who were diagnosed HIV after ongoing clinical suspicion led to further testing.  So, my questions.

1. I've read that HIV causes problems in areas of mucosal tissue, so the Gastritis, Sinusitius, urethral problems, mouth ulcers, and eye problems noted above make me wonder is/should what I've described raise "clinical suspicion for HIV" (especially with the established abnormal low cd4)??

2. Is it possible for a person with HIV to be antibody negative AND undetectable 18 months past exposure (as described in my previous posts)?

3. Can HIV lie in sort of a resting state and fool folks and tests until some time that it becomes reactivated/more active and then generates a response?? Or is it possible that the virus can mutate into a variant that may have generated a response, and related viral load but was not picked up by current testing?

I appreciate your advice.

Offline atlq

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2008, 12:18:23 PM »
You have been told repeatedly that were were not infected from this incident.  The symptoms you describe have multiple causes, totally unrelated to HIV.

If these symptoms concern you, see a doctor.
“Keep up the good work....   And God bless you.”
  --  Sarah Palin, to members of the Alaskan Independence Party, 2008

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: A medical possibility?
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2008, 12:59:08 PM »
You have been told repeatedly that HIV is not your issue. Yet you ignore those comments and continue to return here with the same kind of unfounded fears as far as HIV is concerned. You were warned previously so now I am giving you a 28 day time out.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2008, 01:30:46 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

 


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