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Author Topic: Advice on Testing and Coping with the Results  (Read 2099 times)

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Offline sureitshiv

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Advice on Testing and Coping with the Results
« on: December 04, 2006, 02:34:14 PM »
Hi everyone.  I have been lurking for a couple of days and am in need of your advice, knowledge and support.  Here's my story, and I will try to keep it brief.

I had an unprotected sexual encounter with a man (i am woman) of unknown status back in 1997.  I have never been tested specifically for HIV. I mean I guess I was naive in thinking it was automatically done at physicals.  Now, I know that isn't the case.  About four months after the encounter with this guy, I developed a painless red stomach rash...went to the doctor and it was diagnosed as pytiriasis rosea. Throughout the last nine years, I have had your occasional (yearly or every other year) stomach virus and sore throats.  I also swore for a time I had this white film on the inside my cheeks when I woke up in the morning. But, I don't anymore. I have also experienced frequent herpes outbreaks since the encounter.  It isn't known for sure if had genital herpes before or after being with this guy.    But, the frequent outbreaks started around that first encounter with him, and I panicked and during that first episode autoinoculated myself (my hand).  A year after the encounter, I started developing pain and tingling with the outbreaks all over my body, and since then it comes and goes.  I just assumed this had to do with the outbreaks all this time. But, of course, lately I have been reading stuff over the Internet (which doesn't help the situation at all), and wondering if my all over body tingles and pains is early stage neuropathy.

For the last two years, I have since been married to a great man.  I love him dearly, and I am hoping he is negative and will stick by me even though I am positive.  I have talked to him about my fear of being positive, and he's been supportive, but not really "hearing" my dire concern if you know what I mean.  I guess he thinks I am being a bit over anxious.  For the last couple days, since I brought up getting tested to my husband, I haven't  been myself at all. I have been anxious, listless.  I haven't been able to eat much of anything. I have been having terrible stomach cramping, nausea, and chest palpitations. I mean I have literally convinced myself that I am positive. How can I have all these problems and not be?  I am just sorry I overlooked these "little hints" for so long.

My husband and I had a rocky marriage the first year, but things have since gotten better. Recently, we just suffered through an ectopic pregnancy which brought us both emotional pain and me much physical pain. This loss brought us closer together than we have been since we have known each other. It was the first time I was ever pregnant, and it gets stuck my tube. Now, I wonder if I will ever be able to have a child again.

I know I need to get tested, and will be doing that this week with my husband. I can't do this alone. And, it has to be sooner rather than later.  I am so sorry I waited this long.  Now, I know I don't want to die from this disease and want to fight it.  But, am of course petrified of the road ahead.

Here are my specific questions.  Where's the best place to test?  I mean it's been 9 years, and I probably am very immunocompromised at this point. And, would need to get care ASAP.  Should I just go directly to an AIDS specialist?  A testing site?  Private doctor?  I do have private insurance with my employer.  If I change jobs, would this be covered under my new insurance as a pre-existing condition? Could they deny me coverage? Or, make me wait to receive benefits?  I don't feel like I can wait. 

Thanks for your time, and I appreciate your support.

Offline Andy Velez

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  • Member
  • Posts: 31,889
Re: Advice on Testing and Coping with the Results
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2006, 03:07:11 PM »
OK, let's take first things first. It's very good that you're getting tested with your husband. Any couple that commit to a monogamous relationship and give up using condoms should begin by testing together to confirm their statuses.

All of your fears and symptoms notwithstanding, there is nothing about what you are reporting that is in any way HIV specific. So before we get into talking about insurance and other such matters, deal with the the testing first. 

Depending on where you live you can call your local Board of Health and find out where testing is available. Alternatively you can ask for a referral from your doctor. You maybe able to find a site which does the quick result test and get an answer within 20 minutes to an hour. The Board of Health should be able to tell you about that as well.

Avoid surfing the net for more (mis)information. It will only stir your anxiety up further and all to no good purpose.

Good luck with your test and keep us posted.

Andy Velez


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