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Author Topic: Risk assesment/real symptoms  (Read 3077 times)

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Offline uk84

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  • Posts: 3
Risk assesment/real symptoms
« on: July 30, 2009, 07:58:57 PM »
Hello all,

Thank you for providing such an informative and useful service. You are a credit to society. I was wondering if any of you could advise me. I have suffered from a number of health problems since I had unprotected sex. I will try and keep my story as short as possible. Can I put these HIV worries behind me now?

 Four years ago I had unprotected vaginal intercourse with a woman that I didn't, and still don't, know. Just over a week after the risky situation I got a very sore throat. I went and got a check up at GUM clinic, and i tested negative for chlamydia etc. Although I was given a tablet to take by nurse as I had informed her of swollen testicles the week previously, which had returned to normal by the time I went to the clinic. She told me to return in 3 months for an HIV test. In the following days I got severe night sweats and then proceeded to get painful oral thrush that was diagnosed and treated by my GP. I also got numerous ulcers and cold sores. I was sure, and still am in a way, that I had contracted HIV. MY GP also told me to take a test after 3 months.

I then suffered from many physical symptoms. Tingling in my hands and feet, and numerous floaters in vision which are still there today. Moreover, the sore throat was to return approximately 8 weeks after exposure and lasted for over two months. Throat was often very sore, made eating difficult. One of the most worrying symptoms was of reiters syndrome. My ankles were covered in red rashes and my right ankle became swollen, and still is four years later. Moreover, my knees get red and warm frequently which suggest reactive arthiritis. I took the HIV, Hepatitis, Syhphillis test at 3 months and they were all negative. Although due to many symptoms and my general feeling of ill health I still thought it was HIV the GUM clinic and my GP said it could not be. My GP tested me for anaemia, diabetes etc and they all came back negative. I am at a loss for how all of these symptoms and illnesses could occur suddenly after unprotected sex if it is not HIV.

Over the next 2-3 months my sore throat persisted and I began to get many boils and large spots on body and face. These subsided in a couple of months, and apart from the swollen ankle joint and recurring ulcers for the next three years my health was in general quite good. However, I had a couple of really bad sinus infections and for a period of a few months last year got recurring painful headaches. One thing that has persisted through miuch of the four years is persistent diaroeia and loose stools. If I have a proper firm stool these days it is a miracle. I have also frequently had painful swollen lymph nodes or lumps behind ears.

However, for the last 6 months my health has been very bad. I had a couple of nights where I have woken with violent chills, havent had anything like that before. I have consistently had large boils and spots again on my forehead, I used to have really good skin. What got me really worried however was I got oral thrush again a couple of months ago, still have it, and then a sudden onset of swollen gums and severe gingivitis. My oral thrush is on gums as well now and bleeds when I scrape it off. My dentist treated me and said my immune system must have been low.  Oral thrush and severe gingivitis are often signs of HIV progressing to aids. Moreover, I now have a rash on shoulder and a large blister type boil on neck. I am worried I am going to get very ill soon. Because of my awful health over last few months and reoccurence of thrush I went for another HIV test last week. It came back negative, as did Hepatitis etc. I have not had unprotected sex again in last four years and last time I had any sex, protected, was a year ago. Are there any rare strains, such as O, that might have been missed? Would tests in the UK pick these up? Since it has been four years and I am suffering from thrush etc could my body have stopped producing antibodies? I am worried I am going to end up very ill with no treatment 

Thanks very much for your help.

Offline HIVworker

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  • Posts: 918
  • HIV researcher
Re: UK guy needs some help
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2009, 08:19:25 PM »
OK, let me give it to you straight, one Brit to another.

You do NOT have HIV.

You repeated tests do prove that - and you are not the first to think that symptoms are somehow an indication of a HIV infection that is evading detection.

The truth of the matter is that you are worrying about the wrong thing or barking up the wrong tree. Do NOT waste your life thinking about a phantom HIV infection and do try and find out what is really wrong with you. You would not want to miss something because you were chasing a HIV infection that you clearly do not have. For HIV testing, you have had enough. You do not have HIV. Do you understand me?

The group O argument is always thrown up here as a way to explain symptoms in the presence of repeated HIV tests.....even though tests do pick it up and that subtype is pretty much restricted to Africa.

What I would like you to do is ask yourself why you think this is HIV, even though all the evidence supports the fact that it is not. What else is at play here? Why would it still be HIV even though your tests suggest it is not and you are relying on symptoms - which can NEVER, repeat NEVER, be relied upon to diagnose HIV infection. So why HIV? Why relate your ongoing symptoms to a sexual event of 4 years ago? It makes no sense. I will not pretend to know what is wrong with you, but as someone who works on HIV - and given your testing history - it's really not HIV. So go work with your GP to find out what it is....

NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline uk84

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: UK guy needs some help
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 10:44:45 AM »
Thanks HIVworker! I really apprecitate you taking the time to respond.

I guess it just won't go away due to the timing of symptoms. I was a healthy young guy until the unprotected sex, and then multiple symptoms, including severe thrush, started appearing. Moreover, last time my GP ran tests I tested negative on everything else too! I just want to find out what is making me feel so ill. Could I just be experiencing  such symptoms without any major underlying illness? Is it possible that because it is four years after exposure and I am experiencing advanced symptoms such as thrush and gingivitis that my immune system is so low and i have stopped producing antibodies?

Thanks again

Offline HIVworker

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  • Posts: 918
  • HIV researcher
Re: UK guy needs some help
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 11:01:03 AM »
I am not saying there isn't anything wrong with you, but its not HIV. People remain HIV positive through there life and still make antibodies to the virus. So you don't go from HIV positive to HIV negative if that is what you are thinking.

What you are doing is linking you not feeling well to an unprotected sex incident years ago, claiming, despite repeated testing, that you have got HIV. It doesn't work like that. I would talk to your GP about it more to find out what it is, but it won't be HIV.

« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 01:52:01 PM by HIVworker »
NB. Any advice about HIV is given in addition to your own medical advice and not intended to replace it. You should never make clinical decisions based on what anyone says on the internet but rather check with your ID doctor first. Discussions from the internet are just that - Discussions. They may give you food for thought, but they should not direct you to do anything but fuel discussion.

Offline uk84

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Risk assesment/real symptoms
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2012, 05:15:58 AM »
Dear all,

Thank you for the great service you provide on this site, you are a credit to society.

Almost a month ago I had an encounter with an African sex worker in the Middle East (high risk I know) - and in the last two weeks have started to suffer from real symptoms. She gave me protected oral but I fingered her vigorously with a very large wart on my finger, takes up almost half a knuckle - if you wonder why I have not gotten rid of the wart it is because I have tried treatments and doctors appointments for months and months with no success(and I was drunk). It was very vigorous fingering from behind so my finger with wart was very deep, not just stimualting clitoris etc - sorry for graphic detail.

Over the past week and a half I have suffered from constant pins and needles in left foot (there as soon as I wake up and remains all day) and frequent numbness and buring in hands and fingers - enough to wake me up in night. I know fingering is not a risk normally, but with the large wart I fear I have become infected.

I was on this forum a few years ago after having unprotected sex - and had a multitude of symptoms - which have since been attributed to reactive arthiritis. But in hindsight looking at that exposure, the symptoms didn't quite match the required timelines etc for ARS - but this time the symptoms began just over 2 weeks after possibile exposure - and are very real - sharp pins and needles and burning - I don't know if a flair up in arthiritis could explain it or not but due to the timing of symptoms I am certains something is up. It is in feet and hands so don't think it is a trapped nerve. I even had a weird circular rash on arm that disappeared after a couple of days.

As it is difficult to tested out here I will have to wait until I return to Europe - is it possible I can come out negative? I am very concerned.

Many thanks again.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Risk assesment/real symptoms
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2012, 06:33:50 AM »

I've merged your new thread into your original thread - where you should post all your additional thoughts or questions. It helps us to help you when you keep everything in one thread. It doesn't matter how long it has been since you last posted in your thread or if the subject matter is different.

If you need help finding your thread when you come here, click on the "Show own posts" link under your name in the left-hand column of any forum page.

Please also read through the Welcome Thread so you can familiarize yourself with our Forum Posting Guidelines. Thank you for your cooperation.

You haven't had a risk for hiv infection and your wart doesn't change that fact. You only need to test if it's part of a regular, routine sexual health check up.

BTW, People or places are not high or low or no risk, ACTIVITIES are high or low or no risk. You can have all the sex you want with whoever will have you, provided you are always using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse. It's not WHO you do, it's HOW you do it.

Here's what you need to know in order to avoid hiv infection:

You need to 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 for ALL sexually transmitted infections together.

To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex without a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

ALTHOUGH YOU DO NOT NEED TO TEST OVER FINGERING OR GETTING A BLOWJOB, 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, now is the time to start. 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. Some of the other STIs can be present with no obvious symptoms, so the only way to know for sure is to test.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv infection. It really is that simple!

Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  

"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts


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