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Author Topic: False sense of security?  (Read 2016 times)

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Offline Howard

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False sense of security?
« on: October 26, 2012, 08:36:45 AM »
Hello, please help me:

In March 2012, I had sexual intercourse with an anonymous encounter.  He penetrated me anally, wearing a condom.  But the condom broke and I did not notice until well after he had come inside me.

In a state of shock, I went to GU clinic and they put me on Truvada and Kaletra for 28 days which I took religiously.

A few weeks after finishing PEP, I developed swollen glands in my neck and jaw that became very painful.  I woke at night sweating.  I was terrified this was Seroconversion illness.

I had to wait another few months and I finally took my HIV test (fingerprick test) in July this year.  This was nearly 3 months after my last dose of PEP (I think it was about 3 days short of being 3 months).

The fingerprick test came back negative.  The nurse said he would routinely send the blood away for screening of other STIs.  When I phoned back, they said they had screened the blood again for HIV using a different test, and that it was again a negative result.

I finally moved on from what was a very traumatic and worrying event, trying to believe that I was HIV negative and that all the unexplained illnesses during that time were due to anxiety.

But I've since read elsewhere that some people - because of immune diseases - can seroconvert right up to 6 months - and that in the meantime this would present a false negative.  This can, says the article, happen if you take PEP, too.

I don't have any auto-immune diseases, but I did take PEP for 28 days.

Please could you tell me if I now need to test at 6 months (which would mean taking a test right now)?

Was my 3-month post-PEP (4 months after the exposure) conclusive when it came back negative or is it now unreliable?

thank you very much in advance!

« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 08:39:35 AM by Howard »

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: False sense of security?
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2012, 08:40:58 AM »
Howard, I think you are worrying needlessly. If I am reading the timeline correctly of how things went down, you took the HIV test at about 28 days AFTER the completion of PEP. If that is so then the negative result was reliable.

Please clarify if I am mis-reading something here. 

Andy Velez

Offline Howard

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Re: False sense of security?
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 08:45:11 AM »
Hi Andy, thanks very much for your quick reply.

To clarify things, I took the HIV test three months after the last dose of PEP: the exposure with the broken condom happened on Tues 13 March 2012, so I finished PEP on 9 April (approximately), and then I took my HIV test on Fri 13 July, and it came back negative on 13 July.

Given the time I waited, is this result conclusive or should I take another test now (well over 6 months after the date of the broken condom incident) to rule out late seroconversion?

thanks x

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
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Re: False sense of security?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 09:25:26 AM »

You are conclusively hiv negative and do not need further testing at this point.

The information in whatever article you read that talked about six month testing is woefully out of date. The window period has been three months for years now, although some websites and doctors are ignorant of this fact.

You do not have hiv.

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 Howard

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Re: False sense of security?
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 09:30:30 AM »
Thanks for both your help Ann and Andy.  All the best to you for the future x

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: False sense of security?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 12:59:10 PM »
You're welcome. Good luck to you and on with your life now.
Andy Velez


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