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Author Topic: weird systemic illness for past 2 months  (Read 1174 times)

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Offline worriedforamonth

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weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« on: August 14, 2021, 06:18:04 pm »
Hello.

First and foremost, I want to thank you guys for everything you have done with this forum. It's a great place for everyone, regardless of status, to come to when searching for answers.

I am at a point where I am 99.99% sure I have contracted the virus. I'll go over why I think so, and what that 0.01% of me is saying to maintain my sanity.

(I will be getting tested in 2 days, but would like some opinions for peace of mind)

Here's my *long* story:

- I am a straight 20 yo white male
- I had unprotected insertive vaginal sex with a girl of unknown status just over 3 months ago (twice in the span of 4 days) - Stupidest decision of my life looking back at it, didn't think twice about it until weird symptoms started up.

6 weeks post exposure: Burning urination and ejaculation
- Went to doc, tested for chlamydia, gonnorhea, and trich. Also did a urinalysis = ALL NEG

7 weeks post exposure: symptoms persisted
- Went back to doc, prescribed doxycycline for 10 days for what they thought could be prostatitis
- Started getting this weird burning feeling and spasms in the perineum area (I had just gotten a new bike and the seat didn't fit me very well, so I was. thinking it could be that)

8 weeks post exposure: Symptoms seemed to be getting better, maybe from antibiotics?
- Started to feel a slight irritation around anus, but doc said doxy can sometimes cause that
- Started to freak myself out and started googling symptoms (terrible idea, I know) and what pops up? HIV

9 weeks post exposure: Basically forgot about burning urination stuff
- started constantly checking anal area to make sure there wasn't a rash of sorts - there wasn't
- The only time I noticed the urinary symptoms was when I was sitting for prolonged periods of time (i.e. new bike not fitting me very well)

10 weeks post exposure: Started to notice and constantly check lymph nodes swelling under jaw
- Again, I was stupidly looking at HIV symptoms online, couldve been overreacting

11 weeks post exposure: Urinary symptoms and perineum irritation is back
- lymph nodes definitely swollen and tender behind jaw and under jaw

12 weeks post exposure: Sores on top of gum and anal irritiation
- Hadn't brushed my teeth in a few days because I was on a road trip, and then switched to a manual toothbrush when I did - this exact thing has happened before but freaked me out because I know it was a symptom
- One night I had to strain pretty hard to pass a stool, and I wiped and there was blood (anal area was pretty itchy again)
- also started noticing peripheral neuropathy in hands (couldve been anxiety/stress)

13 weeks post exposure: Body aches
- This started happening right after I got back from road trip, feeling pretty rundown
- Spasms in perineal area

This last week: Constipation and gas
- urinary symptoms still present
- Got really constipated for a span of 5 or so days
- Stomach rumbling a lot and passing a lot of gas
- Body got really sore really easy after doing simple tasks

Now (14 weeks post exposure): Fever, headache, chills, sore throat, cough, congestion
- Sore throat came on for 12 hours
- At night had a low grade fever (never got higher that 100.0F)
- Nasal congestion and cough followed the next day
- Constipation seems to be resolving
- Weird muscle spasms all over body

Where my head is at now:
- Basically convinced myself I have HIV off of these symptoms (I know, you can't diagnose off of symptoms), but 4 things in particular have kept me hopeful:
1. I've read countless articles and studies stating that the incubation period is usually only a month or so, which is when the flu-like illness strikes
2. All these weird symptoms came on gradually over the span of 6+ weeks, only until now getting flu-like symptoms
3. Burning urination isn't usually a symptom of primary HIV?
4. Haven't had a truncal rash or anything like it yet

Please offer some insight into those points above. This has completely derailed my life the past month and my stress and anxiety is at an all time high. Thanks!

(Again, I'm getting tested in a few days)







Offline worriedforamonth

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2021, 06:31:21 pm »
I guess I should specifically say I'm thinking it's weird because I've only seen that ARS symptoms come and go at the same time, instead of a slow, gradual onset. Like my lymph nodes swelled up a couple weeks ago, then they went down, and now they're back to a swollen state.

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2021, 06:41:27 pm »
Hiya,

Nothing you mentioned is HIV specific and some of it would have nothing to do with HIV regardless of your HIV status.

You had condomless intercourse, not sure why you have waited so long to test but understand you are getting tested in a few days. Test to find out your HIV status and go back to your local healthcare provider to treat the other issues.

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, every time, no exceptions. Consider talking to your health care provider about taking PrEP going forward as an additional layer of HIV protection.

Keep in mind that some sexual practices which may be described as ‘safe’ in terms of HIV transmission might still pose a risk for transmission of other STI's, so please do get fully tested regularly and at least yearly for all STI's including but not limited to HIV and test more frequently if unprotected intercourse occurs

Also, note that it is possible to have an STI and show no signs or symptoms and the only way of knowing is by testing.

Kind regards

Jim

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Offline Jim Allen

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2021, 06:44:14 pm »
The only other insight I can give you after cycling daily for 30 years (I stopped a few years back) is to invest in a better bike or at least a better bike seat.
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Offline worriedforamonth

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2021, 09:32:54 pm »
Thanks for the quick reply and insight. Am I correct to think that the gradual progression of symptoms in my case is a bit different than the classical ARS timeline? Like symptoms coming on all at once and then disappearing together?

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2021, 10:30:46 am »
The vast majority of people have no initial symptoms or are non-noticeable, with the remaining mostly having just mild unspecific flu-like issues.

I read the list you posted already and already commented on it, nothing you mentioned is HIV specific and some of it would have nothing to do with HIV regardless of your HIV status.

See your local healthcare provider and treat any remaining issues.
As for HIV, test to find out your HIV status.


« Last Edit: August 15, 2021, 12:24:56 pm by Jim Allen »
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Offline worriedforamonth

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2021, 01:42:56 pm »
Got tested yesterday using a 4th generation Ag/Ab with reflex. Result was non reactive.

I'm currently pretty sick. So I just want to ask that, if I were to be going through seroconversion right now, would this test that I took still detect HIV, or would I have to wait til after I was done being sick?

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2021, 01:58:58 pm »
Hiya,

The result you have is conclusively negative, meaning you did not acquire HIV from the concerned condomless intercourse 14/15 weeks ago.

Regarding your symptoms, most of what you posted would never have anything to do with initial HIV and the rest is not HIV specific, I already mentioned this.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 02:04:17 pm by Jim Allen »
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Offline Jim Allen

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2021, 02:05:01 pm »
Quote
I read the list you posted already and already commented on it, nothing you mentioned is HIV specific and some of it would have nothing to do with HIV regardless of your HIV status.

See your local healthcare provider and treat any remaining issues.
HIV 101 - Everything you need to know
HIV 101
Read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
Read about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
HIV TasP
You can read about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
Read about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline worriedforamonth

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2021, 02:56:54 pm »
Hi again. I'm sorry but my anxiety is crushing me right now.

At the time of the 4th gen test, I was having ARS-like symptoms. I am reading all over the internet contradictory info about how a 3 month test is conclusive, but other places saying people can seroconvert after 3 months. I was hoping this test was going to put my anxiety to rest, but it has creeped back in. I just want my life back.


So, my questions are as follows:

1. Say I were to be going through ARS at the time of the 4th gen test. Even if I hadn't developed antibodies yet, wouldn't the p24 antigen aspect be detected?

2. Is it true that only people with underlying health conditions/immunocompromised people take longer than 3 months to seroconvert?

Testing history:

4th gen - 14 weeks post-exposure = NEG
Rapid finger prick 16 weeks post-exposure = NEG

Thank you so much for helping out.

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2021, 03:07:40 pm »
Hiya,

Already answered that unless you have had ongoing exposures not mentioned here you have conclusively tested negative.

The most common initial symptom is none or nothing noticeable at least and regardless of symptoms or not antibodies would develop and you would have tested reactive already.

Stop reading very outdated information online and move on with your life. If you can't I would recommend you consider talking to a qualified mental health therapist to help you.

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). If you continue to post excessively after one Time Out, you may be given a second Time Out which will last eight weeks. There is no third Time Out - it is a permanent ban. The purpose of a Time Out is to encourage you to seek the face-to-face help we cannot provide on this forum.



« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 03:11:14 pm by Jim Allen »
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You can read about HIV prevention here:
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Offline worriedforamonth

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2021, 04:30:55 pm »
Ok thanks Jim! That makes me feel better. So in terms of the "outdated info" on the internet, would it be more accurate to say that the upper limit of current HIV 4th gen testing is maximum 3 months post-exposure, with the exception of individuals that have underlying health conditions?

*I'm in a virology class this semester and have a long research project to work on and I think I'm gonna do HIV after this, so I'm really trying to get a good understanding of the grey areas around this subject. Is there any source/direction you could point me in for reliable research?

Thank you so much, again, for everything you do for this community and forum

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: weird systemic illness for past 2 months
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2021, 04:48:23 pm »
Not it would not and I've already answered your testing concerns and I am not a librarian.

28-day ban.

Quote
*I'm in a virology class this semester and have a long research project to work on and I think I'm gonna do HIV after this

Maybe you should reconsider given your unresolved issues e.g irrational fears? (No answer needed)

Jim




Generation 3 & 4

http://i-base.info/guides/testing/test-accuracy-results-and-further-testing

http://i-base.info/guides/testing/appendix-1-different-types-of-hiv-test

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/testing/clinical/index.html
2018
CDC recently published research findings that estimate the window period for 20 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved HIV tests. The study showed that laboratory testing using antigen/antibody tests detects HIV infection sooner than other available tests that detect only antibodies. If a person gets a laboratory-based antigen/antibody test on blood plasma less than 45 days after a possible HIV exposure and the result is negative, follow-up testing can begin 45 days after the possible HIV exposure. For all other tests, CDC recommends testing again at least 90 days after exposure to be sure that a negative test result is accurate.

Bentsen C Performance evaluation of the Bio-Rad Laboratories GS HIV Combo Ag/Ab EIA, a 4th generation HIV assay for the simultaneous detection of HIV p24 antigen and antibodies to HIV-1 (groups M and O) and HIV-2 in human serum or plasma. Journal of Clinical Virology, S57-S61, 2011

Nick S Sensitivities of CE-Marked HIV, HCV, and HBsAg Assays. Journal of Medical Virology, S59-S64, 2007

Eshelman S Detection of Individuals With Acute HIV-1 Infection Using the ARCHITECT HIV Ag/Ab Combo Assay. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 121-4, 2009

Speers D et al. Combination assay detecting both Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) p24 antigen and anti-HIV antibodies opens a second diagnostic window. J Clin Microbiol 43:5397-5399, 2005

Ly TD et al. Evaluation of the sensitivity and specificity of six HIV combined p24 antigen and antibody assays. J Virol Methods 122:185-94, 2004

2020 http://www.bhiva.org/ https://www.bhiva.org/file/5dfceab350819/HIV-Testing-Guidelines.pdf
Recommendations (Grade 1A)

• Clinic policies and patient information regarding the HIV test window period should be based on 99th percentile estimates; where a test is undertaken sooner than this time interval, window period data should be used to counsel patients as to the likelihood of a false-negative result.

• Fourth-generation laboratory tests reliably exclude HIV by 45 days post-exposure, and this should be the window period applied when utilising these tests.

• Third-generation laboratory tests reliably exclude HIV by 2 months post-exposure, and this should be the window period applied when utilising these tests.

• POCTs reliably exclude HIV by 90 days post-exposure, and this should be the window period applied when utilising these tests.

2015
Taylor, D., Durigon, M., Davis, H., Archibald, C., Konrad, B., Coombs, D., et al. (2015). Probability of a false-negative HIV antibody test result during the window period: a tool for pre- and post-test counselling. Int. J. STD AIDS 26, 215–224. doi: 10.1177/0956462414542987

Patients typically want accurate test results as soon as possible while clinicians prefer to wait until the probability of a false-negative is virtually nil. This review summarizes the median window periods for third-generation antibody and fourth-generation HIV tests and provides the probability of a false-negative result for various days post-exposure. Data were extracted from published seroconversion panels. The median (interquartile range) window period for third-generation tests was 22 days (19-25) and 18 days (16-24) for fourth-generation tests. The probability of a false-negative result is 0.01 at 80 days' post-exposure for third-generation tests and at 42 days for fourth-generation tests.

2015 WHO http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/179870/9789241508926_eng.pdf;jsessionid=1F192FECF734A0DE7E2520864984AE63?sequence=1
In many settings post-test counselling messages recommend that all people who have a
non-reactive (HIV-negative) test result should return for retesting to rule out acute
infection that is too early for the test to detect. However, retesting is needed only for HIV-negative individuals who report recent or ongoing risk of exposure. For most people who test HIV-negative, additional retesting to rule out being in the window period is not necessary and may waste resources.

2012
Rosenberg NE, Kamanga G, Phiri S, et al. Detection of acute HIV infection: a field evaluation of the determine(R) HIV-1/2 Ag/Ab combo test. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3318673/

Results. Of the participants 838 were HIV negative, 163 had established HIV infection, and 8 had acute HIV infection. For detecting acute HIV infection, the antigen portion had a sensitivity of 0.000 and a specificity of 0.983. For detecting established HIV infection, the antibody portion had a sensitivity of 0.994 and a specificity of 0.992.

2011
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222669/
Conclusions. Combo RT displayed excellent performance for detecting established HIV infection and poor performance for detecting acute HIV infection. In this setting, Combo RT is no more useful than current algorithms.
In total, 953 people underwent HIV testing. HIV antibody (Ab) prevalence was 1.8% (17/953). Four false positive rapid tests were identified: two antibody and two p24 antigen (Ag) reactions. Of participants diagnosed as HIV Ab positive, 2/17 (12%) were recent seroconverters based on clinical history and HIV antibody avidity test results. However, none of these were detected by the p24 antigen component of the rapid test kit. There were no other true positive p24 Ag tests.

Generation 1/2/3

Pilcher CD et al. Performance of Rapid Point-of-Care and Laboratory Tests for Acute and Established HIV Infection in San Francisco. PLOS ONE, 2013.

Branson BM State of the art for diagnosis of HIV infection. Clin Infect Dis 45:S221-225, 2007

Coombs RW Clinical laboratory diagnosis of HIV-1 and use of viral RNA to monitor infection. In Holmes KK (editor), Sexually Transmitted Diseases. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008

Maldarelli F Diagnosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection. In Mandell, Douglas and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases (sixth edition). Philadelphia: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2004

Parry JV et al. Towards error-free HIV diagnosis: guidelines on laboratory practice. Comm Dis Pub Health 6:334-350, 2003

3rd gen testing accuracy Perry KR et al. Improvement in the performance of HIV screening kits. Transfus Med 18:228-240, 2008

« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 04:52:30 pm by Jim Allen »
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