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Author Topic: Worried sick. :(( My Story  (Read 3151 times)

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Offline 789ORL

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Worried sick. :(( My Story
« on: May 10, 2014, 02:42:13 AM »
First, of all I'd like to thank all of the moderators here for all they do here.

I'm pretty much worried sick, and have been for 2 weeks.

I'm a gay 21 year-old male. Between early February and mid-March I visited a couple of gay bath houses while I was away. Twice in Miami, and once in Orlando. The first two times in Miami, I engaged in nothing more than petting and mutual masturbation. During the third visit in March, I was somewhat less inhibited and I made the mistake of going too far. I tried poppers for the first time, and I just wasn't thinking clearly at all. I engaged in mutual masturbation but refused oral sex to multiple men as I thought it was too risky at the moment.

I got a little comfortable with one of the guys and went back to his room, and after mutual masturbation, when I wasn't really thinking too much, one thing lead to another and we engaged in protected penetrative anal sex where I was receiving. I remember very clearly that he used a condom. I even remember that it being a blue condom. It didn't last very long as the whole time I was extremely uncomfortable with the whole situation. It couldn't have been more than a minute that went by before I stopped and left, immediately feeling regretful about the entire situation for a plethora of reasons. Worst mistake!!!

I've read several of the posts on this forum and realize that none of the activities I engaged in are considered high risk exposures since it was only mutual masturbation and very brief protected anal sex in which he did not ejaculate. What worries me the most is what came after I left.

Exactly two weeks later I got really sick, and thought it was just a virus that was going around town. One of the people I work with complained about being sick a few days before me, and I was told that another person I work with also got sick later on, so I assumed it was a common flu.

It started with a sore throat. The next day I had a HUGE headache all day. So bad, that I couldn't get out of bed. Then, I got a fever and extreme body pain for a few days. I couldn't even get out of bed. It lasted for about 5 days and went away after taking lots of pain killers for those 5 days.

Another two weeks went by during which I didn't really feel much like myself. I started to develop early signs of depression, and all of a sudden I started to worry. Every time I watched TV and the topic of HIV came up, I felt uneasy. Even the oraquick commercials felt like they were speaking to me. I became very weary of the whole thing. 2 Weeks after I got sick, during which I was still feeling somewhat fatigued (which I know can be caused by stress and anxiety), I decided to look up the symptoms of HIV, and became even more concerned when the symptoms I found about ARS, matched the symptoms I experienced two weeks prior.

Immediately I felt like my world collapsed. I couldn't eat, drink, think, or sleep that night. The next morning, I bought an Oraquick 20-minute home test from a local drug store and took it right away. The test said said it was negative, but I was still uneasy due to the fact that it was only the 4th week, and it is recommended to take the test at 6 weeks.

It's been 2 weeks since then, and I've gone through it all since then. I've developed severe anxiety about the whole thing. I can't function at all. I'm not the same person anymore. I had been lapsing in and out of mild depression for a few months anyway, but now with this concern it's gotten severe to where I've had suicidal thoughts. I've just had this feeling of doom in my stomach that I can't shake, and I'm too afraid to even go to a testing lab for fear of the results. :(((

The worst part of all is that I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a couple of years now, and we've been intimate since the incident. (Only oral and mutual masturbation), and it happened before I started worrying about all of this. Now, any time that he even mentions that he's tired, or that he has a sore throat or any other mild complaint, I freak out an automatically assume the worst. I already feel so much guilt about what happened, but I could never live with myself if he was affected because of my terrible action.

Every day has been a nightmare since. I keep feeling scared that somehow I got infected. It just feels like a giant punishment.

Offline Ann

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 05:16:16 AM »

You didn't have a risk with the guy from the bathhouse. Nor did you have a risk while at the bathhouse. Provided you have NOT had unprotected anal intercourse with anyone, boyfriend included, less than three months prior to your in-home Oraquick test, then you are conclusively hiv negative.

You did the right thing and used a condom for anal intercourse. Condoms have been proven to prevent hiv infection. There have been three long-term studies of couples where one is positive and one is negative. In the couples who used condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, but no barrier for oral activities, not one of the negative partners became infected with hiv. Not one.

The flu is a viral infection and the symptoms of viral infections are all pretty similar, which is why the illness that (only) some people get when recently infected with hiv is referred to as "flu-like". Neither symptoms nor even the LACK of symptoms will ever tell you a single thing about your hiv status. ONLY testing at the appropriate time will.

For future reference, you need to know that the testing window period for a conclusive negative result is three months, particularly when using the in-home Oraquick test. While a six week negative is unlikely to change, the in-home tests aren't quite as sensitive as the ones used in testing centers and so they can't really be trusted at six weeks, but you CAN trust them at three months.

You and your boyfriend should only be having unprotected anal intercourse if you have BOTH tested hiv negative together and only if you are mutually monogamous.

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. 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

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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 789ORL

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2014, 02:33:07 AM »

Thank you so, so much for your response.

For the past 4 years, I have been completely monogamous with my boyfriend, except for the bathhouse incident, and I am honestly completely sure that he is completely monogamous with me. It's not at all in his character to be anything but monogamous. That bathhouse incident was the only intercourse I've had since that day, because I've been too nervous to have intercourse with my boyfriend even though it was protected.

When I'm thinking rationally, I realize that the facts suggest that I haven't had a risk of infection, but with all of the symptoms and things I've been feeling and with the timelines and all matching what usually happens or can happen during ARS, it just makes me worried that somehow, some way I could have gotten something at that bathhouse. :/ I realize it may not be rational thinking, but I'm still scared shitless half the time. The rest of the time, I can be rational and realize I shouldn't have it because there was no real risk of exposure, but I'm still too scared to go to a clinic to get tested. Still not sleeping right, and experiencing mild night sweats 6 weeks later. :/ I want to believe that all of these things are caused by anxiety and the the feelings of guilt and not an infection. :((((

thanks again!

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2014, 07:29:12 AM »
Its not ARS making you sick so go see a doctor and find out why you are ill . It may help if you forgive yourself for making a mistake ... I have seen it many times on this forum how phantom ARS symptoms disappear overnight after forgiving oneself . 

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Offline 789ORL

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2014, 04:01:31 PM »
Hey Jeff, thanks as well for the reply.

I was starting to feel much better knowing that theoretically it's extremely unlikely that I could have contracted the virus as a result of protected receptive intercourse, and I even went to a mental health counselor to address my anxiety in regards to the virus, but I ended up back in the forums and I see people citing all these sources that say it's possible to contract the virus even with protection. Now the other thing that scares me is that now my boyfriend has a dry cough and sore throat, which is alarming even though we've only engaged in oral sex since I started having the scare. I'm driving myself crazy all over again, and I'm too afraid to go test again. What do I do???

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2014, 04:36:37 PM »
Feelings aren't facts. There is nothing factually in your story nor any basis in HIV science for us to seriously consider HIV is involved in your "symptoms." Like so many straying partners you seem to be way loaded with guilt.

Cut it out. It's bad for your health. You don't have an HIV problem. Period. Stop with the drama. See a therapist if you need help in letting go of this unwarranted concern.
Andy Velez

Offline 789ORL

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2014, 10:58:12 PM »
Thank you for responding, Andy.

What about having used poppers for the first time during that incident? I just read that the use of poppers is supposed to increase risk of contracting the virus. I know there is little risk of contracting the virus during protected sex specially because I don't even think he ejaculated, as it lasted about a minute or less but should I worry that I took a sniff of poppers right before it happened?

Offline Joe K

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2014, 11:13:10 PM »
Seriously, which part of you had no risk, do you not understand.  All that matters is what you do with someone and poppers won't change any risk of infection.  Please try and get a grip and move on from this episode.  My guess is your guilt is pretty heavy and that may explain your symptoms and your fears of every symptom your partner gets.

You did not have a risk.  You used condoms, just like you are supposed to do.


Offline 789ORL

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Re: Worried sick. :(( My Story
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2014, 12:11:53 AM »
Hello, Poz community.

Really wanted to come back to give a quick update.

Short Version: I tested for HIV, and it came back non-reactive. I do not have HIV.  :D :D :D

Long Version:
For those of you who are "worried well" about HIV (look it up) and want to read the whole story, (I know that during my months of worrying and HIV anxiety I wanted to read everything), here it is.

So, after the reassurance i got from the moderators here are Poz, and the doctors at MedHelp, (and every possible forum out there) I felt much more confident that I was indeed not infected with the HIV virus. (Last month I couldn't even bear to type "HIV" caused it scared the hell out of me). So it took a week or so for me to finally START to feel like myself again. I let my boyfriend back into my life as the depression started to slowly fade. One thing lead to another and one day we had penetrative sex which started off with protection and in the heat of the moment he ended off taking his condom off, and was in me for a few seconds before he came (not inside me). I didn't object to it because after everything I was sure that I didn't have the virus. It wasn't til the next day that I got nervous all over again about the unprotected sex, because I had not retested for what I had already been told a million times was not an exposure but was still anxious about. This is the only time he and I had sex since the incident that made me develop this HIV anxiety occurred. So, now the anxiety wasn't just about my own health, but about his health. As you can see, I was still carrying some of this anxiety around. Well, the next day I didn't give myself a choice. I did it not just for me, but for his protection. If I found out that I was infected, I would at least be able to tell him immediately and get him some PEP to protect him before it was too late. So, I went to the clinic, they did a CLEARVIEW blood test (this is at week 9) and it was NEGATIVE so I could finally clear myself of doubts.

Moral of the story:

HIV Anxiety, as you can tell from this and the many other forums as well as from the wealth of web content about HIV Anxiety, is extremely common. These guys here on this forum really do know their stuff. It is common, when experiencing HIV anxiety to fear that you are "the exception" to the rules.
Testing is a personal option, but no matter what kind of sex you're having, in my opinion testing is the responsible thing to do. Any type of sex carries some sort of risk, be it HIV or not. In doubt? Test. Not in doubt? Still test. For any STI and even just to make sure all your health is where it should be. It's the responsible thing to do for yourself.

Another thing is that, if you're here, more than likely you've done something sexually that makes you feel a lack of ease (unless you're one of the people scared of contracting HIV cus someone spit in your eye or cus you touched someone's earwax and you remembered you had pricked your finger a week before).
Point is, sex should be fun, and it is when you're being responsible with yourself and your partner, and you won't have things to worry about. If you're about to engage in sex that you feel wrong about and will cause you to feel guilt, regret and anxiety, (like the many cases of cheating spouses and/or sexual workers that you see here) don't do it. The hour of pleasure is by far not worth the months of anxiety and all the things that come with it. The only person you can count on to keep you safe, is YOU! Love yourself, and protect yourself for your sake and the sake of the people around you that love you. Be responsible and protect yourself, and the partners you engage with.

And for those of you who experience this shit HIV Anxiety for months, and later find out that you are HIV negative, remember it took months to get you to that #no sleep #can't eat #feeling of doom #regretful #depressive  #self loathing #etc state, and it will likely take you just a long to bounce back. There's probably a lesson to be learned, so learn it, and move forward.  Love and protect yourself and those around you. Don't make the same mistakes twice and live life well, cus you only have one life to live. :)


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