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Author Topic: I would love the advice of someone who has seroconverted!  (Read 2661 times)

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Offline jah770

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Hey all,
     I had a very risky encounter on 3/2 when I engaged in unprotected receptive and insertive anal sex with someone when I was very drunk. It was a one night stand. Afterwards, I asked him if he had been tested for HIV, and he assured me he had tested negative six months prior. Initially I felt relieved, but then he kept sending me annoying/creepy text messages, so I began to panic that he was of bad character and was lying.
    As a result, I began to become extremely anxious. I stopped eating, got terrible abdominal pains, lost weight, and eventually broke down emotionally. I was so convinced that I had HIV that I even came out to my parents for the first time. They are extremely supportive, but it was still very difficult for me because this was not the way I had imagined coming out to them.
    About 3 weeks after the incident, I got a cold (bad sore throat, no fever) that went away after a few days with some antibiotics (the doctor knew I didn't have strep, but prescribed them anyways since my throat was really red). I had a pro-viral DNA by PCR done at 23 and 31 days, and OraQuick Advance tests at 6, 9,12, and 13 weeks. Everything has been negative.
   I'm still super worried though because I have a very palpable lymph node on the right side of my groin and a smaller (yet palpable) under the left side of my jaw towards the back. I noticed these at around week 6. I'm not sure if they have always been present or not. They don't hurt at all, and they are not visible to an outsider. To feel them I have to use one or two points of my fingers.
   I saw a case on the internet in which a guy in 2002 reported that it took him 113 days to finally show up on an antibody test. I thought that that type of late-detected seroconversion only happened in the 80's!

This is my biggest question: What was generalized adenopathy (big lymph nodes) like for those who have seroconverted? Would it be more widespread than a couple (like mine) and would they be visibly swollen? Please help!


Offline Andy Velez

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Re: I would love the advice of someone who has seroconverted!
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 01:53:10 PM »
The bottom line in your concern is that you have reliably tested negative at 13 weeks. So no matter  how your mind is telling you anything to the contrary because of swollen lymph nodes, you ARE HIV negative.

Swollen lymph nodes are not in anyway an HIV specific occurence. They happen for diverse reasons. You need to discuss them with your doctor. And meanwhile, keep your hands off of them because I can tell for sure that squeezing, probing, pressing and otherwise bothering them can make a problem where none exists.

You do need to learn something from this experience. Mixing casual, impulsive sex with excessive drinking is very dangerous. You have scooted by safely now from extremely unsafe sex. You can have as much intercourse as you like with as many partners as you care to and regardless of their HIV status. BUT, and this is the big point, whoever is the insertive partner must ALWAYS WITHOUT EXCEPTION be wearing a condom. No exceptions.

You're good to go this time. HIV is not your issue, thank goodness. And keep it that way by practicing safer sex.

Whatever is going on with you physically has nothing to do with HIV.

Andy Velez

Offline jah770

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Re: I would love the advice of someone who has seroconverted!
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 02:02:19 PM »
Thank you for your kind reassurance. I think that you are HIV+ (by reading from some posts), and therefore your advice is definitely of extreme value. The only question I have then is how come some people in the Recently Tested + forum say that they took so long to seroconvert? Do they just mean that they didn't test again until much later?

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: I would love the advice of someone who has seroconverted!
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 02:08:02 PM »
I can't interpret what others may have said in this immediate setting. What I can tell you with certainty is the average time to seroconversion is 22 days after an exposure. All but the very smallest number will seroconvert within 4-6 weeks after an exposure. By 13 weeks that very small group of others will seroconvert.

The only exceptions to that are IV drug users, someone who's had treatment for cancer like chemo, a transplant patient or someone with a severely compromised immune system from what I have mentioned here. You don't fall into any of those categories as far as I know. Stop right now in looking for more things to make you doubt your negative result. You have made it through ok. Celebrate that and make sure you don't put yourself at risk like this again. 
Andy Velez


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