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Author Topic: Worried and Scared  (Read 1765 times)

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Offline NeedAdvice55

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Worried and Scared
« on: November 21, 2011, 08:57:28 PM »
Hello everyone,

I know the only way to find out if I'm HIV+ is to get a blood test, but I've been experiencing symptoms on and off for about 2 months now and so I'm very scared.  I've been to the Dr 3x and they haven't been much help and haven't provided much guidance.  Any advice, comfort or guidance you can provide would be much appreciated.

On 9/24, I had unprotected sex 2x with a female I met while on vacation.  We were in the pool and, long story short, she grabbed my penis and put it into her vagina.  After about a minute, I started to get worried and pulled out.  About 10 minutes later, I was back inside of her.  I started to get scared again after 1 or 2 minutes, pulled out and immediately left the pool area.  I was very drunk and regret that day very much.

On 9/25, I got home and went for a run that night.  During/after the run my body was burning, but overall I felt fine.

On 9/26, I felt chills in my legs/arms in the morning, but felt totally fine that evening.

On 9/27, I went out drinking (a lot) with coworkers and, on 9/28, began to feel chills from my inner thighs going down to my feet.  That evening, my legs would intermittently go from chills to burning.  I believe I even felt burning in my genital area.

I felt weak/sick for a few days, but then by 10/4 I was feeling all normal again.  On 10/7, I went out with a coworker, drank a lot and the next day I felt very weak, starting to feel chills in my inner thighs again and began to have blurred/tunnel vision.

From 10/7 until yesterday, I have at all times had some form of blurred/tunnel vision, chills in my legs and a weakness (i.e., difficulty waking up in the morning, more tired than usual after an 10-12 hour work day, less than 100% energy while doing cardio (strength when weightlifting seems unaffected)).  Recently I've noticed that my hands have been feeling numb as well.

These past 7 days, I drank about 4x, each time about 4 drinks.  Today, after lunch my legs and neck started to feel very hot.  A couple of hours later I began to feel very weak and now my arms and other parts of my body are burning as well.  I'm noticing that my visual symptoms have gotten worse as well.

As I'm sure you can tell from this post, I drink a lot.  I've noticed that my symptoms tend to get worse when I drink (even just 1) and are reduced when I don't (but they haven't at any time completely gone away).  The burning while doing cardio has been pretty consistent.  I haven't during any of this time had fever, rashes, thrush, etc.  As I mentioned above, I've been to the Dr 3x and the only tangible pieces of advice I've received are don't drink and get HIV tested in a few months.  Oh, I also reached out to the girl I had sex with.  Short version: she was tested after she broke up with her ex on 7/1 and was completely clean, but the reason she broke up with him is because she felt he wasn't faithful (very scary).

I have tons of questions, but I guess I'll start with this one: do these symptoms sound like they are HIV-related?  Should I see another Dr?  I'm so scared that I've been neglecting seeing the Doctor despite the continuation of my symptoms, but should I go back/see another one?

Sorry for the long post....

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Worried and Scared
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2011, 09:03:56 PM »
No. If one has ARS symptoms they come 2-4 weeks post exposure and last from 1-2 weeks. Symptoms or the lack of symptoms will never tell you your status.  Your 3 month post exposure test will be conclusive.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Worried and Scared
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 09:08:37 PM »
Let's keep this as simple as possible. First of all, there is nothing HIV specific about any of your symptoms. And in general neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you anything accurately about your HIV status. Only an HIV test can do that accurately.

Now, the average time to seroconversion is 22 days. All but the smallest number of those who are going to seroconvert will do so within 4-6 weeks after an exposure. So you can actually test now. If you test negative then the likelihood is that you will continue to test negative conclusively when you re-test at 3 months.

Meantime if your symptoms persist I suggest you discuss them with your doctor. Also, mixing excessive drinking with casual sex is never a good idea because as you can testify it clouds your ability to make good decisions.

If you have a drinking problem then I suggest you get help with that either professionally or with the many programs designed to deal with that. We cannot address that in this setting.

HIV is a fragile virus and it is significantly harder to transmit from female to male than the other way around. So that is in your favor. Good luck with your testing. And learn from this experience. You must always wear a condom for vaginal and anal intercourse. No exceptions. Those are the only confirmed risks for the sexual transmission of HIV. i
Andy Velez

Offline NeedAdvice55

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Re: Worried and Scared
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 10:35:59 PM »
Thank you Andy RapidRod for your responses.  When you say there is nothing HIV specific about my symptoms, does that mean they don't sound like symptoms of HIV?  Also, given that they started within 2 weeks of exposure and have continued outside of 6 weeks, does that mean they are less likely to be HIV related?  A few internet resources suggested that general fatigue/weakness is one of the most under-reported symptoms of HIV and that a person's alcohol habits impact that fatigue.  I know that self-diagnosing is not the answer and I understand the only way to conclusively find out is with a blood test.  I will certainly take your advice and get a preliminary test this week.  I also think it's time to figure out a solution to my drinking habits.

A couple of other questions I wanted ask are how does HIV infection impact a person's dating/relationship life?  Are there specific places or websites people use to get into relationships?  Sorry if I seem uninformed.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Worried and Scared
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 10:39:01 PM »
You have not tested positive so don't get the cart before the horse.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Worried and Scared
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 08:45:18 AM »

Neither the presence nor the absence of symptoms will ever tell you a single thing about your hiv status and for that reason, we do not discuss symptoms here. However, none of your symptoms sound remotely like primary hiv infection.

You are unlikely to end up positive over these two brief lapses of reason. There's no point in discussing what it's like to live with hiv with you because although you have had a risk and you do need to test, you're unlikely to have to deal with hiv.

Bite the bullet and go get tested. I'm expecting a negative result and so should you, but you absolutely need to test to know for sure. Don't bother with the "I'm too scared" excuse - it won't fly here.

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.

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.

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

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"...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

Offline NeedAdvice55

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  • Posts: 3
Re: Worried and Scared
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 06:39:49 PM »
Ann, thank you for your advice and the tough love.  I went to the doctor again today and he said that, while only a blood test after 3 months will tell for sure, it is highly unlikely that I have HIV.  He explained that the symptoms I have are more likely associated with stress/anxiety/depression.  He prescribed me some medication and the plan from here is to see how it works over the next week or so and then to get retested after 3 months.  It amazes me that the body is so powerful and able to manifest these symptoms since my mind apparently doesn't want to deal with the problems.  I will keep you all posted on my test results.  Thanks again.


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