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Author Topic: A genuine case for worry. Needlestick injury  (Read 3382 times)

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Offline confused_n_worried

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A genuine case for worry. Needlestick injury
« on: January 01, 2007, 08:27:13 PM »

Roughly 5 years ago I stepped on a syringe at the beach. I was only 16 at the time and this would probably be up there with one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I decided to wait and 13 weeks and get tested. During this waiting period I came down with a cold, starting getting very fatigued (couldn't do anything but lie around) and all my glands (neck, armpit, groin, knees etc..) started swelling up and becoming painful. I felt like shit and was like this for at least 5 months after stepping on the syringe. The test came back all negative (doctor gave me the results over the phone). However I remained skeptical as to whether she actually ordered an HIV test because I remember distinctly that she wrote down "HIV antibodies" in the wrong area of the pathology sheet. A lot of doctors in Australia will not order an HIV test unless you really insist.

Anyway, over the next 5 years my fatigue persisted and has gradually become worse. I would regularly seek second opinions and would tell them my story. Usually they just order a Complete Blood Count (CBC) and send me off on my way saying it's stress related. I tried to ignore the problem but the fatigue is just so unbearable some days. I decided to read up on my results a bit and obtain copies of the pathology results. It seems like my white blood cell count has steadily declined over the past 5 years and this has me worried. It's on the lower end of the normal range.

So three months ago I finally decided to ignore my doctors advice and insisted on getting a proper HIV test done, one where I could actually see the results on paper. At this point I was 95% convinced I had HIV. The symptoms I'm experiencing could be caused by any number of things but it's the sequence in which its occurred that has me scared. The test came back NEGATIVE and on the sheet it read "HIV Antibody & Antigen = NEGATIVE".

From everything I read on here it would seem like I can trust these results. False negatives are very rare outside of the window period. The doctor assures me I am HIV negative and I believed him for awhile. My girlfriend and I even started having unprotected sex (she got a full STD check prior) and now I'm worried she's been infected because she's displaying some of the ARS symptoms not long after the first time we had unprotected sex (torso rash, sleepiness, headache, fever, no energy). She is also pregnant (blood test confirmed) which could definitely explain some of her symptoms but I'm still quite worried.

It wouldn't bother me too much if I ended up being HIV positive, but to give it to the person I love, even by accident would probably push me to suicide.

I'm sorry if this topic bothers those who actually have HIV but right now I need some reassurance. I wouldn't be worried if I didn't have any symptoms but my body feels like it's slowly shutting down. These days I have trouble with everything, even my memory is shot. I'm only 21 but have the energy of a 70yr old and my swollen glands still come back to haunt me.

I'm so scared and worried right now. The possibility of a false negative is too much of a burden to carry. What should I do? I feel so lost.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: A genuine case for worry. Needlestick injury
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2007, 08:40:19 PM »
At that length of time span, you can rely on the results. If the syringe was discarded in the sand you most likely didnít have  a risk to begin with, except for  tetanus.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2007, 08:56:05 PM by RapidRod »

Offline Ann

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Re: A genuine case for worry. Needlestick injury
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2007, 08:54:50 PM »

You were NOT at risk of hiv infection through stepping on a needle on the beach, however, hep C IS a possibility. Perhaps you should test for hep C.

You are conclusively hiv negative. Keep working with your doctor to find out what it really going on, because whatever it is, it isn't hiv.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2007, 08:55:00 AM by Ann »
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Offline confused_n_worried

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Re: A genuine case for worry. Needlestick injury
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2007, 11:33:01 PM »
Well there have actually been a few instances of HIV infection through discarded needles in Australia (of which I've seen on the news). Apparently the virus can live up to 3 days in a syringe.  At the time I was tested for Hep-C and tetanus and those came back fine as well. Thanks for the reassurance though, I appreciate your words. It has been most helpful!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: A genuine case for worry. Needlestick injury
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 12:00:10 PM »
confused, Australia has 1 documented case and it happened in a prison where a prison guard was injected with a syringe full of FRESH hiv infected blood. ONE CASE.. not several or a lot. Just ONE CASE.


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