HIV Prevention and Testing > Am I Infected?

A few words for the people here

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ExWorriedWell:
Hey guys,

I've never actually posted here before, although I’ve been reading pretty much most days for the past 6 months.  I never actually felt the need to post anything during that time because I didn’t feel like I had anything new or unique to ask that hadn’t already been addressed in other posts.

If you’re not interested in my background, skip to the bottom.  If you are read on…

My exposure was last year throughout a 6 month relationship with a partner who at the time, didn’t know he was positive.  We were mostly safe for the whole time.  I say mostly safe, because there were things we did, while not considered unsafe sex, could have led to infection that we wouldn’t have done had we known.  At the end of the relationship, we found out that he was positive.  I can remember the moment he told me like it was yesterday… my whole world changed in a split second.  That week I had an antibody test done as a baseline which was non-reactive.

Over the next few weeks I was trying to cope with my own fear at the same time as supporting him as much as I could.  It was difficult.  Then came the internet research!  At that time, I didn’t even know what HIV stood for.  I spent hours each day, literally 2-3+ hours every single evening after work learning how the virus works, reading research studies, researching how anti-retroviral medication work, trying to find out how far off a cure is.  I wanted to know everything!

At 5.5 weeks, against the recommendation of my doctor, I had another EIA which was non-reactive and a qualitative DNA test by PCR which came back not detected.  This made me feel much better.  I kept reading online and slowly went from feeling like I would stay negative to convincing myself I was positive.

At 15 weeks I had another EIA, which again came back non-reactive.  At this point I was starting to feel much more confident.  After all, almost all (97% according to the CDC) will test positive at that point, and that along with the PCR was really making me feel better.  Between 3 and 6 months I kept reading, trying to find cases of people who seroconverted later than 3 months with no explanation.  I found a couple of cases, but none of them could be verified.

Today is 6 months and a few days, and I just returned back from the doctors office 4 hours go with my final EIA result – non reactive.  I have abstained for whole the 6 months.

Anyway, the reason for me posting all this is that I really just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to all the experts and regular posters here.  Ann, Jonathon, Rod, Andy, Baily, HIV Worker and all the others.  Even though you didn’t know it, you guys helped me through what I think has been the most difficult 6 months of my life (maybe I'd had it easy before!).  I would say that for every person you help by posting replies to, there are 50 more people also being helped by just reading them, and I always knew that the ‘living with’ forum was there if I needed it.  There is so much conflicting information out there on the internet, and even my doctor was giving me some outdated information at first, it was great to have access to the knowledge available on this forum.

Good luck guys, and stay healthy.

DingoBoi:
please don't mention my name here.  I choose not to venture into the fears forums any longer because of trolls and insipid people.  Summon me and you summon my wrath.

i am not a nice person in this forum when dealing with certain individuals.  It is sad though that you didn't learn much in your 6 month tenure here about testing, nor that any test is conclusive after 3 months.... probably over a no risk incident.

and on that note... i bid you adieu





Ann:
Ex,

Well, Dingo said what I would have said, only I would have been a little more gentle with you. I too wonder why you didn't accept your fifteen week result as conclusive. As you yourself found out, people just don't go on to seroconvert after the three month mark - in fact it is very rare for someone to seroconvert after six weeks have passed.

But anyway, I'm glad you found the forum to be a help during your (needlessly extended) window period.

I hope that in your time reading the forum, you have also learned that you MUST 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 negative BEFORE the condoms come off.

And of course, anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs. If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, please consider your recent testing as the beginning of a healthy habit. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

I also hope you have read through the links found in the Welcome Thread, as well as the condom and lube links in my signature line, so you can be using those condoms with confidence. Use condoms and avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!

If you've learned how to protect yourself from hiv, then we will have done our job. It's knowing that there are people who read and learn but never post that keeps me posting in this forum. So thank you for letting us know, and thank you for your kind words.

Ann

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