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Author Topic: What is my hiv exposure risk?  (Read 5767 times)

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Offline dj8

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What is my hiv exposure risk?
« on: November 28, 2006, 03:05:12 PM »
On August 16th I stupidly had sex with a lambskin condom twice witha girl of unknown status. She met me at my bank. We talked and she actually used my phone number from my bank account. Anyway we ended up getting together and had sex twice with lambskin condoms. She want me to use a condomand I asked her why and she said it was because she wasn't on the pill. In which case made me feel thta she practiced safe sex. She did call me a couple of days after our get together. Anyway one day after this experience I started feeling kind of like a hot flash. I woke up in the middle of the night and immediately panicked. I also felt very lethargic right away. Doctors have said this is not really possible for it to be caused by hiv. Then within two days I had white spots on my tongue. At the eight day mark I went to MAss General Hospital. There I consulted with both people in their HIV clinic and also a general practitioner. I was examined very throughly and described my symptoms everyone I talked to thought there was little likelihood that I had contracted HIV. I have never experienced a fever or any night swaets nor did I lose weight. I did have blood tests performed which all came back normal. The one I was most cocnercerned aout was the viral load test. This test also came back negative and was sensisitve to 400 copies. When I consulted with a Dr. about this result they assured me that it was most likely not HIV because if I was experiencing stmptoms at eight days that were HIV related than my viral load would have been very high. Next I had an Antibody test at the 25 day mark which also came back negative. During the last three months I have been examined by at least 10 doctors who have all said there is no noticeable swelling in my lymph nodes and I seem healthy. The symptoms I have experienced for the last three months are extreme fatigue, candida albicans, and pain in the lymoh nodes. There has never been any swelling in the lymph nodes and all doctors have said if ther body is fighting a devastaing disease they would be swollen. The pain comes and goes in the armpit area and also on my left sider under my ribs. I was recently given medicine for the candida albicans and it is working. What complicates everything is that I do have an extensive history of somaticizing symptoms. For example I have an anxiety disorder and I was sure I was having a heart attack but everything was fine. I have been drinking mountain dew to help with the lethargy and it has helped. I have not misseda day of work and I have had three separate sets of regular blood work which have all come back normal. At the eight mark my white blood cell count was also slightly elavated. I have researched endless hours and have foulnd it difficult to determine if I seem to have symptoms of hiv. I know that it would be atypical based on the symptoms. I started getting the symptoms within 24 hours after exposure and I am still experiencing them three months later with no break. I am very confused of course I will be getting tested again. But based on what I have explained here do these seem like symptoms associated with hiv or not. I also did not have any diahrea. At ther eight day mark I was also able to acquire prophylactic meds which I took for three weeks. These meds caused me more adverse symptoms then the other stuff. So based on all of this what conclusion in regards to what I have gone through can be put together? Any ideas? Thanks
« Last Edit: November 28, 2006, 03:13:56 PM by dj8 »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2006, 03:29:19 PM »
DJ, you're way in overdrive worrying unnecessarily about this incident.

Those lambskin condoms still gave you protection. Latex are definitely preferable.

I suggest you get tested to put your mind at ease. I do expect you will test negative.

HIV is not an easy virus to transmit. It's significantly more difficult to accomplish from female to male. Bearing that in mind in this single incident and that condoms were used, the risk was more theoretical than actual.

Your symptoms of course are not in any way HIV specific. In any case neither the presence or absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV specific test can give you that answer.

I think you're worrying needlessly, but since this concern has been going on for sometime, get tested and collect your negative result.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2006, 01:16:01 AM »
Andy, In response to you post. I was wondering what degree of protection lambskin condoms offer against hiv. I was also wondering what the validity of the tests I have already taken are. The viral load test at eight days and the antibody test at 25 days. I was also curious to understand what typical symptoms of ARC are? I have been taking medication to deal with candida albicans and it is going away I think ths was also causing a sore throat. I did take antibiotics at approximately the same time it started. Is it possible for thrush to be caused 2 days after exposure? And if so would it continue to last. I was informed that it xan be caused when your immune system is compromised. What actually causes this. Thanks for your insights and help. Also I do already have HPV does this significantly increase the potential of acquiring hiv?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2006, 04:38:02 AM »
So far you've wasted your time and money on testing. You didn't need a VL test and you took the antibody test to soon after possible exposure. Thrush is not specific to HIV. Anyone can get thrush.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 07:42:28 AM »
Well, it's always good to get a negative result on an HIV test, even if you've taken it early.

A PCR is usually first done at 28 days, although because of its high sensitivity it can often yield an accurate result within 48-72 hours. 

As far as a standard HIV test is concerned, all but the smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after a risky incident. The CDC recommends 13 weeks for a conclusive test result.

If you haven't already done so, please read the lessons about Transmission and Testing on this site. You can find a link to them in the Welcome thread which begins this section.

Nothing you are reporting symptomatically is in any way HIV specific. But then neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms is ever the way to know anything accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV test done at the appropriate time can give you that answer.

Cheers,
Andy Velez

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2006, 07:44:44 AM »
Hi what do you think my exposure risk is. Also I do not what could be happening. I was and continue to feel light headed and weak. Is it possible for the pain on my left side to be an enlarged spleen so soon? What is the likelihood that if I was infected they would have shown up on the tests? The Dr. tols me that a viral load test should have come back very high considering I was experiencing symptoms? I also had a sore throat on and of for the last several months. It seems that now that the thrush is under control I haven't had a sore throat.  Considering it was I think a high risk exposure how much protection did the lambskin condom provide. Thanks for your help! I have alot of questions. Right now things don't add up

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2006, 07:51:20 AM »
Your symptoms are not indicative to HIV. See your doctor. Selfdiagnosis won't get you anywhere.

Offline Ann

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2006, 08:24:45 AM »
Dj,

All things considered, you're going to be just fine. While lambskin condoms aren't recommended for hiv prevention, they do afford some protection. Considering that hiv is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus and more so from a woman to a man anyway, the odds always were in your favour of testing negative even if no condom was used.

I do not expect your results to change, but as it has been over three months now, why not get your conclusive negative result so you can put this behind you.

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 dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk please help I am confused.
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2006, 12:26:55 PM »
Hi I was wondering if someone could specifically respond to my exposure risk and also if the symptoms I have been experiencing are not HIV related any idea what they could be related to considering they started right after the potential exposure. Also what would someone who is experiencing early onset symptoms be typically experiencing? Would you say the tests that I did have done have any validity? The viral load at eight days and the antibody at 25 days? Also if I am experiencing symptoms shouldn't something show up in the normal bloodwork? Thanks!

Offline HIVworker

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2006, 12:53:48 PM »
Your risk : Minimal

Your Symptoms : Started WAY too early for HIV. That timeline has NEVER been seen. It is a coincidence. Look up the definition of the word, it applies. This isn't HIV. Why are you asking people on a website what your symptoms are? Go talk to your doctor about them some more.

Rich
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2006, 05:01:36 PM »
I have seen at least ten doctors who all feel the same way that my risk is minimal. But I am trying to understand why I have experienced symptoms that appear to me to be related to hiv. For instance the light headed dizzy feeling like I have mono. This began two days after though and has lasted for over three months. My understanding is that this would be impossible. Yet it is hard for me to come up with another explanation. Unless there was another virus or disease that was transmitted that can cause this disease. Does anyone here now about the accuracy ofa viral load test 8 days after exposure or how I could find this information. Also does the antibody test at 25 days have any validity to it? I will be getting tested but I am trying to understand this and it is difficult. The only explanation  i could have is that I was exposed to some disease which has caused my symptoms. Some people have said that some people can come with symptoms within a few days? I haven't seen anything though which would suggest that it is posssible for the symptoms to last three months right off the bat. Up till now I have never had any pain in my lymph nodes under my arm pits and have never had thrush that I know of. Why?

Offline HIVworker

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2006, 05:07:51 PM »
[q]My understanding is that this would be impossible. Yet it is hard for me to come up with another explanation. Unless there was another virus or disease that was transmitted that can cause this disease.[/q]

Total rubbish. Is it not possible that you got another disease that manifested itself 2 days after your sexual incident? You can harbor a cold for a week prior to getting symptoms. Your attempt to link your symptoms to this event is like adding 2 and 2 and getting 22. Looks good only in your mind. I'd concentrate on the reason you worry so much (what in your life is causing you to worry about HIV) and not concentrate on this sexual incident and unrelated symptoms.

R
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline Ann

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2006, 05:40:51 PM »
Quote
Yet it is hard for me to come up with another explanation.

dj,

Maybe that's because you aren't a doctor. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of possible causes for your symptoms, including stress. Go see your doctor.

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 dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2006, 04:44:48 AM »
Ann, The reason I am seeking out help and advice is because I am in so much pain and by that I mean more emotional. I have struggled with it every day. I am trying hard to understand everything and believe me I want to be bekieve this is not hiv related. Some of the research I have done seems to be possible for hiv but the whole picture doesn't add up to being hiv. For example I have had a pain on my left side near where my spleen would be for over a month. I read that people who are hiv positive can have an enlarged spleen yet it probably would n't be likeky for this to happen to soon. I worry that the reason I didn't have a fever or chills is because my body wasn't able to identify the virus and wasn't fighting it. And also might be the reason that I am still experiencing symptoms Again I am not sure but I would appreciate some help insortinthrough all of this until I get my results. Thanks

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2006, 05:01:58 AM »
As you've been told see your Medical Doctor. Your symptoms can't be diagnosed over the internet.

Offline HIVworker

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2006, 10:04:42 AM »
Ann, The reason I am seeking out help and advice is because I am in so much pain and by that I mean more emotional. I have struggled with it every day. I am trying hard to understand everything and believe me I want to be bekieve this is not hiv related. Some of the research I have done seems to be possible for hiv but the whole picture doesn't add up to being hiv. For example I have had a pain on my left side near where my spleen would be for over a month. I read that people who are hiv positive can have an enlarged spleen yet it probably would n't be likeky for this to happen to soon. I worry that the reason I didn't have a fever or chills is because my body wasn't able to identify the virus and wasn't fighting it. And also might be the reason that I am still experiencing symptoms Again I am not sure but I would appreciate some help insortinthrough all of this until I get my results. Thanks

No offense, but NEVER become a doctor. That logic has more holes than swiss cheese! Stop self-diagnosing yourself as it clearly isn't working. I've not read as much nonsense since I posted that I wouldn't do anything if I had a blood draw from a naked nurse. I would do something, but worry about HIV wouldn't be one of them...

NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2006, 01:07:24 PM »
Hi today I feel weak an nauscious. Why is it specifically that evryone is sure my problems are not HIV related? I to would like to see things this way. Please let me know. Thanks

Offline HIVworker

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2006, 01:17:45 PM »
You had a minimal risk.

Also, your symptoms are consistent with anxiety. Something you demonstrate you have a lot of.
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2006, 01:29:51 PM »
If the girl  was pos something that is quite possible based on what she told meafter what would the odds be also factoring in there were two instances and that I had HPV. I have alsoer hope that is all  noticed that these on me have grown since the incident. I guess the main thing I am concerned with is that I have a weak immune system that is taking forever to suppress the initial symptoms. I do know that I have alot of anxiety and believe me I more than ever thais all it is yet I have these symptoms such as candida albicans and extreme fatigue and hot flashes which I have never had. These can all be cocnsitent with extreme anxiety

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2006, 04:15:05 AM »
I have been reading alot about symptoms people experience after a recent exposure. It appears that it is usually two weeks after an exposure. Also it appears the symptoms appear to stay consistent and then go away. Another thing which i read about was that one person who was was ecperiencing symptoms was given aviral load test which came back with 256,000 copies. I was given a viral load test at one week after experiencing symptoms and it came back negative. If it is extablished as typical to have a high viral load than it appears it would be very unlikely that my symptomswould have been caused by hiv. So many people that I have read about who test negative have similar symptoms that I experienced. There is something called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which can be initiated by a extremely stressful situation. I was wondering if alot of these people who are presenting with symptoms are acutally experiencing this. I think one of the main differences is that it appears when you experience symptoms of hiv in the early stage it hits you very hard and stays consistent until it goes away. CFS can also affect the immune system but it is more influenced by anxiety. Has it been established that viral loads tend to skyrocket within the first few daysvof exposure?

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2006, 07:39:04 AM »
Does anyone with HIV have pain on their left side area from their spleen being enlarged. I am experiencing pain in this area and wonder if it could be related or not?

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2006, 07:43:07 AM »
Also I have HPV I had it prior to potential exposure but since the ones that were there grew at a much increased rate and the amount went from two to six. Is it possible to get more aggressive forms of HPV or could it be HIV related?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2006, 07:44:21 AM »
I have had an enlarged speen and liver since 1985 and have never had pain with it.

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2006, 07:57:26 AM »
Rod how did they diagnose your enlarged spleen. could they feel it or bya CAT scan? Also how are you doing healthwise? I remeber reading that you were a long term non progressor right?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2006, 08:03:02 AM »
Palpate, sonogram and them an MRI.

Offline Ann

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2006, 09:58:26 AM »
dj,

Enough with all this speculation over symptoms. If your side hurts, see your doctor. If you think you may have CFS, see your doctor. If you are worried about your health at all, see your doctor. We do not diagnose symptoms here, we give risk assessments and testing advice. We've given you yours and there's not much more we can do for you here.

Your risk was minimal. I'm fully expecting you to test negative.

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 dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2006, 01:11:13 PM »
Thanks for all your inputs. I guess the odds that I am positive would be around 1000 to 1? Anyway I also guess you have alot of people present with symptoms similar to mine that end testing neagative I hope that is the case with me. Right now I have still been feeling light headed and dizzy and sometimes have pain on my left side and under my armpits. The fact that things come and go doesn't sound like HIV right? And also the fact that everything has stayed this way for over 3 months. It is not possible that it is just aking my immune system this long to knock the intial vrus load down? Do you know any other places where I can receive more information? Thanks for your help

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2006, 01:30:06 PM »
Has anyone ever heard of a male insertive partner using lambskin condoms get hiv from only two exposures. Is my likehihood of getting hiv greatly decreased through use of a lambskin condom rather than nothing at all?

Offline HIVworker

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #28 on: December 01, 2006, 01:54:31 PM »
Lambskin condoms afford some protection, but not as much as latex. The fact you used a lambskin condom means you were mostly protected.

I take issue with you 1:1000 chance estimate.

As being stabbed with a needle with infected blood gives about a 1:300 chance of getting HIV, you are saying you are only 3 times better off? Try 1:1,000,000 or significantly higher.
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2006, 03:35:24 PM »
I have looked for statistics on the efficacy of lambskin condoms agains HIV so far I have net been able to find much on it. All they say is they are not recommended. Which is safer unprotected sex and pulling out for ejaculation or ejaculating in a lamb skin condom?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2006, 04:28:06 PM »
Can I ask why you are posting on two different forums? You will receive the same answers from Dr. H.. As for your answer to your question. It's better to have a lambskin condom on then not to have one at all. For now on use Latex or Polypropylene.

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2006, 09:30:10 PM »
What I was hoping to determine was whether the viral load test of less than 400 copies at the 8 day mark while experiencing symptoms was a valid indicator that symptoms were not hiv related as the infectious disease specialist Dr. at MASS General told me. Also how reliable are these pcr tests? The test results sayViral Load (Z virus)-Final received 8/24/06 reported 8/31/06
less than 400 copies of RNA/ML of Plasma by RT PCR Does anyone know what all this means? Thanks. Also is the antibiody test at 23 days at all relaible. It would seem about 50% seroconvert by then?

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2006, 08:58:37 AM »
Does anyone have information on this or know where I could get it?

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2006, 09:00:04 AM »
That night the girl asked me to wear a condom. I then asked her why because your are not on the the pill and she said yes that is why? Do you think that is an indicator of anything. also originallly she said she didn't want to drink but then did drink around six wine coolers. Another words are there any signs that would have idndicated whether she was positive or not?

Offline dj8

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Re: What is my hiv exposure risk?
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2006, 10:51:15 AM »
Hi , I also did some research and found out that there is only approximately 22 cases of hiv reported in that county to the department of health. Are those statistics quite accurate? I guess that would also substantially lower my risk?

 


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