HIV Transmission and Testing > Am I Infected?

African sex worker, NGU, test accuracy, HIV-2, late seroconversion

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mas1:
Hi everyone

My risk of infection was at the end of June this year while I was on holiday in the Canary Islands. I got wasted with friends at a bar and while walking back I was approached by a (street) sex worker. We went behind a building and she started giving me protected oral for about a minute. She put the condom on me, it was very dark so I couldn't tell if it was on properly but I remember that I wasn't fully erect. The mistake came next when I asked to do vaginal sex instead. I was so drunk that I can't remember exactly what happened but I know that it only lasted for a few minutes and that I was the one who stopped it, and I didn't ejaculate. I think the condom either broke or came off, but I just don't know, I wish I did. The only thing I can remember after that is anxiously asking her if she had any STDs and info on her background. She said she didn't have any STDs and that she always uses condoms. She was a South African illegal immigrant who had only been on the island for a few weeks. I think she said she was 21. I saw her a couple nights later and when I asked her if the condom broke or came off she said it didn't.

After 6 weeks I went to a GUM clinic and got tested for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis B, Syphilis and HIV. After the examination the doctor said my urethra was inflamed and that it was NSU (NGU) and probably Chlamydia. I was given a 7 day prescription of Doxycycline and told to come back in a week to collect my results. Waiting for the results was horrible. When I went back the nurse said all my tests came back negative and she arranged a 12 week test. At 12 weeks I went for my tests and I was told to ring for my results in a few days. They were negative for Syphilis and HIV. The nurse said that 12 weeks was enough time for the results to be accurate so I was relieved and happy for a week or two.

On to my concerns:


* At my first visit to the GUM clinic I asked the doctor how accurate a 6 week HIV test was, he said about 95%. He also said that 12 weeks was 99% accurate and that if I wanted to be 100% sure I should come back at the 6 month mark for another test.
* In case you are not familiar with the Canary Islands, they are just off the coast of West Africa, and are one of the main routes into Europe for African illegal immigrants. This means the sex worker had lived in or travelled through West African countries, where HIV-2 is endemic. The doctor and nurses didn't even consider the possibility of HIV-2 in my case, and the nurse on the phone with my results said she "thought" my test covered it. I've been reading that it takes longer for the body to produce antibodies to HIV-2 because it is far less virulent than HIV-1, and so a 12 week test is not accurate.
* I think I got semen on my toilet seat and then a female who lives in my house used the toilet shortly afterwards. She was sick with a flu-like illness a couple weeks later. I couldn't go on living if I infected another innocent person.
I won't go into the symptoms I had during the window period. I am so scared and don't know what to think or do. Should I go for another test?

RapidRod:
Latex can cause NGU. You didn't need protection to receive oral. You are incorrect on your thoughts of HIV1-HIV2. Yes, HIV2 less virulent than HIV-1, but only in the means of progressive illness. You will build up antibodies at the same time as you would with HIV-1. 12 weeks testing results would be conclusive for HIV1 or 2.

Ann:
mas,

If you were tested in a GUM clinic in the UK, you were tested for both hiv 1 & 2. The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks. Your three month test is conclusive and you do not need further testing.

Hiv CANNOT be transmitted via toilet seats. Even if you had been hiv positive (which you aren't), there is no way someone could become infected from your semen on a toilet seat. No way, no how.

Please read through the Welcome Thread, including the Transmission Lesson as well as the condom and lube links in my signature line.

Please learn from this experience and make sure you are aware enough of your surroundings to know what's going on with your penis where condoms are concerned. You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL STIs together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with a sexually transmitted infection. Sex with a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Use condoms correctly and consistently and you will continue to avoid hiv infection.

Ann

mas1:
Hi guys thanks for replying.

RapidRod, do you mean I could have got NGU from the condom? I kinda went to the clinic thinking there was a possibility that I had unprotected sex, but I was confident that I probably didn't. I didn't even have any urethritis-like symptoms which is why I was so surprised when the doc told me about it.

I know this is an HIV forum but can anyone tell me if the accuracy of my Chlamydia and Gonorrhea tests would be affected by me showering and urinating only 1 hour before the examination/tests? I think you are supposed to not urinate for a few hours before the tests, but they didn't tell me about that until I arrived at the clinic. Maybe my tests were not accurate, and it was an STI that was the cause of my NGU? I also drank a lot of water before I left my house so that I would need to go at the clinic, would this affect the tests?

Ann, I called some numbers asking them about my tests and you were right, according to them all UK GUM clinics have been testing for HIV-2 for a while now. I'm still really worried about the window period for it though. Is there any evidence that both types share the same window period? Most HIV-2+ people are from poorer countries so I suspect the drug companies don't care about researching it (sorry if that sounds bad).

Ann:
mas,

The window period is the same for both types of hiv. I knew about both being tested for in the UK because I am also in the UK. Stop worrying about hiv 2 - it's even more difficult to transmit than hiv-1.

You'd have to ask at the clinic about the pee factor. If it made a huge difference, I'm sure they'd make a bigger deal of it and it doesn't sound like they did.

Check out this info on NGUs. (aka NSU -pretty much the same thing - the difference is NGU also rules out chlamydia.)

Ann


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