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Author Topic: Am I positive or just crazy???  (Read 2272 times)

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Offline TrueSymptoms

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Am I positive or just crazy???
« on: May 11, 2012, 11:42:16 PM »
I am new to this, and I want to start by thanking everyone who comments, replies, and offers advice. I never thought I would have to post my fears and concerns online, but because of a weekend of stupidity on my part, here I am!

In January, I had unprotected sex with my new "boyfriend". It was our first time becoming intimate, and against my better judgement, I didn't force him to use a condom. It was not a one time event, as we continued having unprotected sex several times THAT weekend. 2 weeks later, my new, trusting boyfriend left and went on his marry way, leaving me with many unanswered questions. Now, the bad thing is that I am a well educated/infomed single mother and have been a healthcare provider for 10 years. I KNEW better and should have been responsible!

8 weeks after the event, I became extremely fatigued. So much that it was noticeable to my family and friends. At 10 weeks, I developed flu-like symptoms. Within 2 weeks, one by one, I developed almost every acute HIV symptoms: Headache, sore throat, ulcer on tongue, very dry mouth, light sensitivity, aching joints/muscles, significantly swollen lymph node on right side of neck that remains swollen to this day (18 weeks after event), night sweats (which I'm still having), and diarrhea (rare for me b/c I suffer with chronic constipation). I never had an elevated temp., but I have night sweats. And trust me, I took my temp every time I woke up with a sweat.

At 10 weeks and 5 days, my GYN performed a HIV antibody test that came back negative. At 11 weeks and 5 days, a general practitioner performed a HIV antibody test that came back negative. He didn't know about the test one week prior to his. Both tests were done during the time of my acute symptoms, so of course I was concerned that my body had not had time to produce enough antibodies to test positive.

I then went to my internal med doctor and he ran many test. By the time I got in with him, it was week 13. At this point I continued to have achy joints, fatigue, headaches, and jaw pain. Lymph node remained swollen. And my hair had started falling out in large amounts. It was terrible.

Week 16, I followed up with him and he did another HIV antibody test. It came back negative. However, my hairloss is so profound now that I had to go to another specialist for that. I'm scheduled to go see a specialist for lymph node and a rheumatologist for other symptoms. I still have headaches, night sweats, aches, and fatigue. My doctor wants to do another HIV test at the 6 month mark, just to make sure.

My questions is should I accept the negative at 16 weeks and move on, or should I be concerned that I'm a late seroconverter, being my symptoms didn't start until 10 weeks? Am I going crazy? I'm just a wreck at this point. Literally, I am not going to have any hair left in 2 months! I have all the symptoms (although I know, symptoms aren't diagnostic). Please advise.....

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Am I positive or just crazy???
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 11:54:05 PM »
You tested conclusive negative, you don't have HIV.

Offline TrueSymptoms

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Re: Am I positive or just crazy???
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2012, 12:51:50 AM »
Thanks RapidRod. The lingering symptoms are just worrying me to death. I do trust medical science, but CDC even recommends a 6 month test. Why would they recommend a 6 month test, as well as my doctor, if 3 months is conclusive? I'm certainly not arguing with your answer, just curious. 

Offline Ann

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Re: Am I positive or just crazy???
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2012, 06:43:04 AM »

I removed the (incorrect) response you left in someone else's thread. As you noted, you are not permitted to respond to questions here. Please don't do it again, thanks.

Even if by some odd quirk the symptoms you experienced were caused by seroconversion, you tested six weeks after their onset and you would have tested positive by then if you had hiv. You don't have hiv.

The symptoms that some - not all - people experience are not due to the virus itself. They are due to the process the body goes through while producing antibodies. The body produces several chemicals and whatnot during this time and one of them is interferon. Interferon is notorious for causing flu-like symptoms.

This is why if you had hiv, you definitely would have tested positive by the time you tested at sixteen weeks, regardless of the late-onset of your symptoms.

The vast majority of people who have actually been infected will seroconvert and test positive by six weeks, with the average time to seroconversion being only 22 days. A six week or more negative must be confirmed at the three month point, but is highly unlikely to change.

Not everyone has symptoms, but when the symptoms are being caused by hiv seroconversion, that person will normally test positive within a week (or two at the most) following the onset of symptoms. You tested negative six weeks after the onset. You do not have hiv.

Something else is causing your symptoms - and I wish you good luck in finding out what that may be. You have conclusively ruled hiv out as a possible cause, so keep working with your doctor(s) to find out what's going on. Whatever that is, it is NOT hiv.

By the way, stop beating yourself up over the mad weekend sex fling. We all make mistakes and sometimes what seems like a good idea in the heat of the moment looks like sheer insanity in calmer times. We've all been there - it's just part of the human experience. Please just learn from this, forgive yourself, and move on. Again, good luck finding out what is actually going on. It sounds rough, but it isn't hiv.


PS - I forgot to address the claims you mentioned about the window period. The CDC drives me batty in this regard. Their information is normally spot-on, but when it comes to hiv, for some reason they allow their info to be lead by hysteria and CYA (cover your ass) syndrome. The window period has been three months for years now. I fully expect it to be dropped to six weeks sometime in the near-ish future.

The only time a person might need to test out to six months is if they have been on chemotherapy for cancer, anti-rejection meds following organ transplant, or have been injecting street drugs every single day for years.

Even these people will normally test positive by six weeks and certainly by three months. It's just being prudent to test people with severely damaged or compromised immune systems out to six months.

I trust you do not fall into any of these three categories anyway - you most likely would have mentioned it. If your immune system was damaged or compromised to the extent that it was slow in producing antibodies, you would have been ill and suffering long before your crazy weekend.

Relax. You don't have hiv.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 06:57:45 AM by Ann »
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Offline TrueSymptoms

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Re: Am I positive or just crazy???
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2012, 02:45:57 PM »

Thank you so much for your informative response. Your response alone may help my hair stop falling out. I had convinced myself I was HIV positive, like many do. Guilt + the symptoms = complete mental self destruction! Lol. I can't tell you how many times I would lay in the bed beside my child feeling guilty as hell that I had failed her as a role model. How could I teach her about safe sex when it was only a matter of time before it would be obvious that I don't practice what I preach. Geez, I guess we learn lessons at all ages in life. So yes, I'm letting the guilt and the idea that I have HIV go! I'm NOT hiv positive.

Hopefully the CDC will revise their timeline of a conclusive test. It causes so much anxiety and distress for those that utilize their information as a reference. I mean, thinking you have to wait an additional 3 months is enough alone to cause a mental breakdown. I think you're right on with the CYA theory. Which in turn is why my MD is suggesting I test at 6 months, following CDC guidelines to cover HIS ass. Ha!

Again, I can't tell you how much your response has helped me. Now I can focus on finding out what is causing me to be sick. Hoping for the best! Thank you!


PS- sorry about posting incorrect information on someone else's thread. I did try to delete it once I thought to myself how much damage I could do if I was wrong with my response (which apparently I was), and then read back over the guidelines to find I wasn't supposed to answer questions.


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