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Author Topic: False Positive Hope  (Read 798 times)

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Offline Positivelypoz

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False Positive Hope
« on: July 23, 2022, 10:44:41 pm »
Hello all first time visiting and first time posting here. I'm an uninsured US citizen male 40 years old and for the last 3 months have been residing tele-working out of the USA in a Latin American country. Almost since the day I got here I've been feeling ill. I had a runny noise horrible soar throat and cough and body aches night sweats.. I went to the pharmacy and got allergy pills and an antibiotic azithromycin Zpak basically which for the first time ever in my life I actually took the pill and an hour or so later I felt it crawl into my throat and zap my throat and the pain went away instantly. I was like wow that was cool and I felt better for about 2 weeks. Then I became ill again and I thought it was Covid similar symptoms which I've had 3 or 4 times now went to the pharmacy got a shot in the ass and then I felt better for about a week or so.. Then I became ill again and much more body aches joint pain and so I thought it was Dengue fever and same thing shot in the ass and then I thought it was the Gripe or common local flu fevers chills nightsweats as it is flu season here and then I had swollen lymph nodes which subsided into now a swollen liver tingly hands legs and feet and overall just a very tired lethargic malaise vicious cycle for 3 months. Now I can't work and my day consists of moving from my bed to the couch. I try to eat though I'm not very hungry and I try to shower daily to keep up good habits but I don't always as for the last month I haven't left the house other than two days ago to finally go see a doctor.. Reading symptoms online this could be anything from HIV to Mono EBV HEP,A,B,C RA Lupus Psoriasis Hodgkins Lymphoma Cancer Long Haul Covid LHC unpronounceable autoimmune disorders and then considering my location Malaria Dengue Yellow fevers Lymphatic Filariasis and all types of other water borne pathogens honestly the list of things is/was endless.

I really dislike going to the doctor especially in a foreign country not in my native language and that's why I put it off so long and usually all doctors have is bad news or inconclusive results but I was so tired of being pent up sick here and now running out of money I decided to go. The younger than me doctor checked me out blood pressure temperature poked around my abdomen did a basic blood screening and came back and said I had syphilis and HIV now this came as a bit of a surprise to me as I'm not always a good boy but I don't think I'm an overly bad one either. He went on to say that it looked like I had syphilis for a long time and wanted to know if I'd ever had any open sores or rashes and I said no and If I did I certainly would have noticed.. He wanted to know my plans as I am here as a tourist and I don't have insurance and if I was staying or leaving soon I said I really didn't know right at this moment as this was all kind of shocking but either way he explains I need another test to confirm HIV and it is fairly expensive about 350 dollars which at the moment I don't have anyway so it kind of sidelines that as another thing on my list of shit to do that I can't do.

I came home and at least for the first time in a month my mind was at ease and I was fine with the diagnosis. I know that it's not a death sentence its certainly manageable and serves me right I should have been more careful. I don't want to tell my family or friends and don't know that I ever will. I've honestly started to feel better I'm not sure if it's some sort of placebo effect or if the stress of uncertainty now removed has liberated something in my immune system that I just feel better not 100% but maybe 10% improved. I guess mainly I'm just venting because I don't really have anyone else to talk to here or anywhere for that matter.

I remember when the doctor told me I had HIV and that the test was 4th generation and a very good quality test that he also decided to check for syphilis because they were commonly found together. I hadn't heard that before so I started reading about it and one of the things I uncovered was that often a syphilis infection will trigger a false positive for HIV infection and I'm assuming vice versa? All I know is I need to go get this other test to confirm that I do or don't have HIV and I hope in a couple weeks I'll have the money to do that but what test should I get so that I Know no bullshit the PCR or NAT test?

[Post redacted by mod]
« Last Edit: July 25, 2022, 02:58:13 am by Jim Allen »

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: False Positive Hope
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2022, 03:15:45 am »
Hiya,

I'm sorry to hear you have been feeling unwell and hope you feel better soon.

Understand that you have had a reactive screening test and further testing is needed to exclude an HIV infection. These screening tests are great, however, cross antibody reaction to a number of other infections can occur, and it's not a diagnosis.

My advice is not to delay HIV testing after a reactive screening test; if you are indeed living with HIV, you want to confirm and start treatment as soon as possible to suppress the virus. Also, untreated things could go from bad to worse, including permanent damage or death.

A reactive antigen/antibody combination immunoassay result like yours normally would warrant follow-up testing with an HIV-1/HIV-2 antibody differentiation immunoassay, and if reactive to HIV 1, then NAT.  Although, in some nations, they are still using the western blot that used to be the gold standard to confirm HIV status.

Here's what you need to know to avoid HIV infection:
Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse correctly and consistently, with no exceptions. Consider talking to your healthcare provider about PrEP as an additional layer of protection against HIV

Keep in mind that some sexual practices described as safe in terms of acquiring HIV still pose a risk for other easier acquired STIs. So please do get tested at least yearly for STIs, including but not limited to HIV, and more frequently if condomless 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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« Last Edit: July 24, 2022, 07:39:43 am by Jim Allen »
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Offline Jim Allen

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Re: False Positive Hope
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2022, 03:04:44 am »
Your thread was redacted and moved here as the other section is for those living with HIV.  Please keep us posted in this thread, and ask any HIV-related questions that you might have.
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

 


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