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Author Topic: Testing and Knowledge  (Read 2857 times)

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Offline kcali08

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  • Posts: 3
Testing and Knowledge
« on: June 29, 2009, 02:13:15 PM »
Hi all, I've found this site and the forums to be so helpful, sometimes a bit alarming, but in general very helpful.  Here's a quick Reader's Digest of my story, it's to make everyone think and to also illicit some ideas, thoughts, etc.

My bf had been very tired and also had been losing weight.  Because we weren't focusing on HIV, we thought it was related to some other events in his life, so didn't get too concerned.  But, then he went to have his mouth looked at by an Ear and Throat specialist.  It turned out that his fear that it was thrush was correct.  The doctor suggested an HIV test.  We had tested before we became involved over 7 years ago and the tests came back negative.  After that point, we had "played" with other couples and were not always safe.  I know, I know...!!!   ::)

He went to his regular doctor and they ordered a full lab test -- antibodies, viral load, cd4, etc.  It came back that he was positive and he had less than 100 cd4 cells.  We were in shock, nervous, scared,etc.

Of course for us the next step was for me to get tested.  I couldn't wait over the weekend for the results, so I went to free testing facility that gives you your results in 15 minutes.  Mine came back negative.  Now a new set of emotions, shock, disbelief, relief, and so on.

This soon changed when the full blood work was received by he doctor and it was clear that I was positive, although my viral load was relatively low (in the 70k range) and cd4 count was close to 400.

The first thing for us to do was to get my bf on meds and to stay healthy.  That was a year ago and I just started meds (my cd 4s were still in mid 300s) about 3 weeks ago.  I'm doing well and so far no adverse reaction to the medication, so I think I'm going to be okay overall.

My questions are, how can quick testing facilities be allowed to let someone think that they are in the clear?  I don't remember any discussion that I should continue to have safe sex (it should be required) and that this test could be incorrect.

I guess my thoughts are that as a man in his 40s, who's been out for 20 years and thought he was well educated on testing and the disease was not at all familiar with the issues.

I thought, erroneously that if I tested negative and had sex with a partner who was also negative that there were no risks (I know, other than if the partners were not monogamous).  But if that were the case in this situation, I tested negative and could have gone out and infected multiple partners before I got my "real" test results 2 days later!  If I didn't bother to return the doctor's call because I assumed that I was negative, what would have happened?

I realized that the education needs to be stepped up more and perhaps testing facilities should re-educate their staff, etc. 

I learned my lesson and I'd love to share it with others before they make mistakes that I could have or did!!

Thanks for listening....


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