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Author Topic: Rapid Test showed positive  (Read 4887 times)

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Offline ShadesOfGrey80

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Rapid Test showed positive
« on: December 28, 2013, 08:27:48 PM »
It has been a year since my previous blood test so I thought I'd get my blood work done again at the local free HIV testing service yesterday. I always get quite anxious when I go in to get tested as I usually would have had some sort of cold like symptoms first. But lately I have been feeling quite well without any colds so I thought I'm likely to be ok.

It's strange. The moment when I noticed the concerned look on the volunteer's face and when he told me that the results were positive is so vividly clear in my mind. I was in shock and I think I still am. The volunteer has immediately arranged a social worker to speak to me and to meet me on New Year's Eve at the center for official blood work. I will then have to wait for a week until I get the full confirmation. According to the social worker I spoke to, if the blood works do confirm positive again, he will then take me to some of the key hospitals here that specializes in HIV treatment. I have read about of one of them online and they should have some HIV specialists there.

Although the volunteer told me that there is the slight chance that it could be wrong as he has had an incidence where the rapid test results were wrong, I told him that I don't want to give myself false hope. Instead, I choose to face the reality of this situation and find out as much as possible. After all, knowledge is power. I have been reading online as much as I can about life after HIV. Finding this website has been helpful as most websites are focused more on the medical part of this rather than a more holistic perspective which incorporates what to do with your family and friends and other things to think about.

Now I have some more things to think about:

1) who do I want to tell? I have so far told a close pharmacist friend of mine who I have known since high school. She was supportive and showed acceptance. However, I think I would like to reach into support groups for help before to my immediate friends as I'm just not ready to come out and say it yet. Especially I currently live in a densely populated city in Asia and I'm just not ready for everyone to know.

2) I have been considering moving back to Canada as I feel the stigma situation would be better and I can have better knowledge and support back home. Part of me feels more comfortable with western doctors back home as they are usually more open about the topic. However, I have looked up med costs and they seem like a lot. As I have been out of the country for almost 8 years I am not eligible for Pharmacare and I worry that 2 years of med bills paid at full price can hurt my finances as I wait  to get my residence status back. I have emailed my local and federal HIV/ AIDS org for information but I doubt I will hear back anytime soon. Does anyone have any information about the system in Canada?

The country I currently reside in Asia in my birth country. According to the social worker, I'm entitled to free meds and just a nominal fee for diagnosis each time I go for check up and pick up meds.

I think I'm just really scared and want someone in similar situations to talk to... About what to expect and make plans for the future. I'm in my early 30s, I don't smoke or drink and I exercise regularly. I know that puts me at an advantage but I'm still quite worried.

Offline Ann

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Re: Rapid Test showed positive
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2013, 09:02:08 AM »
Hi Grey, welcome to the forums.

It's not unrealistic to think you may have had a false positive result - we do see them here from time to time. Things like an underlying, and possibly not-yet-diagnose autoimmune disease can cause them, so can pregnancy, recent vaccines/illness, and sometimes they just happen.

While it's fine that you want to start educating yourself about hiv (never a bad thing), you need to stop putting the cart before the horse until your diagnosis has been confirmed. Again, false positive results can and do happen on the rapid tests (and even on the blood tests) and you cannot be considered hiv positive until you've had a positive Western Blot test result as well.

There is no reason to tell anyone else at this stage - wait for your confirmation. You'd feel pretty silly if you created drama about being positive when you weren't actually positive. If  you are positive, you've got plenty of time to decide who to tell.

Same thing about worrying about how to access treatment. As you've been testing regularly, if you are poz you've caught it early and you DO have time to consider all your options in a calm, rational manner. At this point all you can do is speculate.

I understand that waiting for confirmation is not going to be easy, but try to keep busy with other things in the meantime and the time will go faster than you might imagine.

I have to ask you to only post in this thread until you've had the further tests to determine your true hiv status. Thank you for your cooperation in this regard.

Hang in there until you get confirmation one way or another, and good luck.

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Offline ShadesOfGrey80

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Re: Rapid Test showed positive
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2013, 11:20:11 AM »
Thanks Ann for the information... Really appreciate any information or feedback. I'm keeping calm but freaking out inside from time to time during the day.

Will keep you guys posted once I get the results. I'm getting the blood work done tomorrow. Should be a week later in 2014. What a way to start a new year...

Offline ShadesOfGrey80

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Re: Rapid Test showed positive
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014, 09:20:00 AM »
Just got my report yesterday and I am now confirmed HIV+. I will meet will an ID doc next week and start my baseline tests and genotyping and even maybe check for TB and other possible STIs.

Fortunately, I have been preparing myself for the past couple of weeks for this day by reading multiple information from online and also talking to people on here. A big thank you to all of you out there who have shared with me.

Honestly, I must say I'm fairly well adjusted. I'm not depressed but I do find myself more likely to feel anxiety and panic about my "next step in life". I guess I will just have to deal with this a step at a time. I'm a little scared to start meds as I'm worried about adherence... I have never been good with taking drugs or supplements on time. Ugh. I have read that the drugs are good enough now that one can tolerate a 8 hr window... But my case worker tells me that it needs to be +/- 30 minutes window. Can anyone share their opinion on this?

Another thing, case worker suggested that my case could be an early infection case, as apparently they needed to do a PCR test to confirm my results as they couldn't confirm 100% with western blot... Anyone know anything about this?

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Rapid Test showed positive
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014, 09:25:47 AM »
What matters is the western blot ... it sounds like you are saying your diagnosis has not been confirmed with the WB test as yet ?

I could be reading you wrong ? . OH ... and welcome to the forum ! 
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Offline ShadesOfGrey80

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Re: Rapid Test showed positive
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 09:43:18 AM »
Well my case is 100% confirmed.

My case worker just told me that the labs has requested PCR testing after doing a western blot. He tells me that this test is generally used to determine the results for someone who is still in window period. Which is why he suspects that it is an early infection case.

Just looked it up online and PCR is actually quite expensive to perform because it amplifies the viral genetic material to a level that can be detected, which also requires many stages.

Offline darryaz

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Re: Rapid Test showed positive
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014, 10:06:41 AM »
But my case worker tells me that it needs to be +/- 30 minutes window. Can anyone share their opinion on this?

Your case worker is probably being very conservative because he/she is responsible for 50-100 clients.  Undoubtedly one or two of them are idiots who, if you give them an 8-hour window in which to take their meds, will end up only taking them every 8 days.

Don't worry too much about the scheduling.  Try taking your meds along with the same event each day (i.e. bedtime or lunch) whatever time that occurs.  And you'll be fine.


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