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Sex, Lies, and Anxiety
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Sex, Lies, and Anxiety

I'm such an emotional wreck, for the past two months have been some kind of hell for me.  But I suppose I will have to take it from the top. On May 9th, 2009 I was enjoying the last day of my vacation in Trinidad, when that night I had a little too much to drink and wound up having unprotected sex with a "rasta" fellow I had befriended while over there . There were two sexual encounters that same night, both unprotected and I'd be lying if I say I thought of the consequences immediately after. It took me all the way up until November, after watching a special on HIV and other STDS to grow alarmed and want to get testing done. That had been my last sexual encounter. So November 12 I went for a papsmear, November 21 took a rapid HIV test at Planed Parenthood. It was negative, but my relief was short lived.

On November 30th I called the guy whom I had been with last in Trinidad.  I immediately questioned his sexual health, asking him did he have HIV or any other STDs, to which he casually replied, "I don't know, its been some time since I got testing. You should go" My heart dropped, and when I told him I had already gone and got an HIV test, and that it was negative.... he said he didn't believe I went. I began to cry, which made him angry. "Well if you went and it was negative, why cry? It's been 6 months, if you were positive it woulda shown" , which is when I said I hope so, as I had been reading different things. But I told him,  that is besides the point. How do you not know if you have HIV? And if you didn't know, why didn't you put a condom on?  He blew up at me, saying "Do you think I would sleep with you knowing I had it? I don't think I do, but I can't say I don't because I have had multiple partners "

I hung up on him and became more anxious than I ever have in my life. I was already hardly eating, but after that conversation I lost my appetite altogether. Thanksgiving was horrible. I ate, but barely. Also my diarrhea got worse, I was extremely fatigued but yet couldn't sleep. I was reading that those are HIV symptoms, so even after my 6 months negative test, I had doubt and decided to get tested again. Dec.1st, I went to a random clinic and got another rapid test. It was negative, but the tester suggested I go have blood work testing for all STDs at s lab. So the same day I went to Quest, had my blood drawn to screen for HIV (again ), Hep C, HEP B, HSV1&2.

The wait on those results caused me to be even more anxious. Anxiety attacks. On Dec. 8th, I obtained the results from my doctor. "Negative for STDs that can kill you, but you have a 'little bit of Herpes "

That broke me, confused me, I never had any signs nor symptoms. She weighed me. 129. When I went to Planned Parenthood on November 12 I was 140. 11 lbs gone  in less than a month? No way. Plus she told me my vitamin D was extremely low, like crazy low. I was horrified thinking perhaps that the herpes and vitamin D defiency could be intefering with my HIV testing. She told me negative results at 7 months were as good as gold, but to eliminate all doubt of hiv, to go for more extensive test that screen for the virus itself. HIV by PCR-RNA, and I did so. Results came back the 10th, and were negative.

Somehow I am still depressed and anxious. I keep thinking what if, my body is still going crazy. While I am not as anxious as I was, and eating more I still have not been digesting properly, I itch all over at nights despite bath after bath, my muscles ache. I still feel like I have HIV, like the labs perhaps mixed up the herpes and hiv results. I feel horrible, I don't go out, I sleep all day. Yesterday, the guy from Trinidad texted me saying I caused problems between him and his girl.  I told him he caused problems for me by giving me herpes. His sister  then calls me saying I'm playing games, because first I was talking about HIV and never mentioned Herpes, I told her I tested negative for HIV and positive for Herpes, that he was the last person I was with, and he should get tested and stop trying to base his status on me.  He claims he used rubbers, but they popped and he kept going, but I honestly don't remember any. The point here is I am still afraid I have HIV, even after four negative tests at 7 months post exposure. I'm afraid ill test again in a month and finally show up positive, or that one of my testers may have injected me with a used HIV needle. Its terrible, Im losing my mind. Advise. ..please help I am 19 years old and lost, with no one to talk or turn to
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Avatar_m_tn
YOU DONT HAVE HIV
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480448_tn?1403547723
You need to relax.  YOU ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY DO NOT HAVE HIV!!!!!  Period!  If you did, your test would have been positive a LONG time ago.  No medications or conditions interfere with HIV testing...you do not have it, period.

Also, you need to leave the guy in Trinidad alone.  Do not contact him anymore, and if he contacts you, ignore it.  You are just as responsible for this situation as he is.  You stated you wondered why he didnt use a condom...well, it works both ways, unfortunately....you didn't insist that he wore one either.

Consider this a hard lesson, but it has taught you the importance of condom use.  You were lucky and dodged the HIV bullet, but continuing to have unprotected sex (especially with partners you barely know) will increase your odds of getting it someday.  You have been diagnosed with Herpes, wihich is unfortunate, but most definitely, not the end of the world.  Follow up with your doctor for that and just keep in mind that you now have a responsibility to any future partners to disclose your diagnosis, and always insist on protection...as even if you are not having a lesion outbreak, it is still possible to spread Herpes to others.

If you cannot still move on and start accepting that you do NOT have HIV, then it is time to get some professional help.  You are experiencing HIV anxiety...which is where a person cannot accept that they are negative, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (including conclusively NEG test results).

I'll say it again...you don't have HIV...no way, no how.  Time to put this behind you...and I mean the whole experience.  INCLUDING the guy in Trinidad.  Break all ties, and leave him in your past, where he belongs.
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1122973_tn?1269735728
This is a very detailed and helpful response, as it addresses all my concerns. I won't deny I am still stressing over it, as my body has been acting up on me,  in more ways than one not to mention I'm so used to being part of the "small majority ". To elaborate, most women have their menstrual for a week right? Mine lasts only barely 3. Most people with Hsv2 have an outbreak 2 weeks after exposure, and recurring outbreaks thereafer correct? Its been 6 months and I've had not one outbreak, not that I'm asking for one...but the principal here is that I am used to not falling into statistics. Most people test positive in 3-6 months, but I don't usually belong to the "most " group in any other category...thus my concern that this is the same thing. I don't know, I'm a wreck. I probably sound likely an idiot, but I have begun therapy so..I hope I can come to pass this. Thank you.
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1122973_tn?1269735728
Barely 3 days (menstrual )*
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480448_tn?1403547723
"Most people test positive in 3-6 months, but I don't usually belong to the "most " group in any other category...thus my concern that this is the same thing. "

The vast majority of the population will test POS for HIV very rapidly, usually within mere weeks of the exposure.  With the advancement of testing sensitivities, it hardly EVER takes more than 6-8 weeks for a person newly infected to test POS on a test.  Those are the facts.   Your idea that you somehow aren't used to being "the norm" hold no water against the facts. It's irrational, paranoid thinking.   If you were infected, your body would produce antibodies, which would be detectable on an HIV test.  Nothing affects the production of those antibodies....nothing.  I know that you have yourself convinced that somehow you are infected but simply not testing POS...that isn't going to happen.  Also, the idea of "delayed seroconversion" is an urban myth...doesn't happen.  The ONLY people that would perhaps take a LITTLE bit longer to produce antibodies are people with literally NO immune system (aka "immunocompromised").

Those people are the ones who are receiving aggressive chemo, who have terminal, advanced cancers, or who are taking anti-rejections meds after an organ transplant.  They are an EXTREMELY minute portion of the population...and these people are advised to test out to 6 months post exposure, just to give the antibodies enough time to be produced and detected.  Interestingly enough, even THIS group of people still test POS within the 3 month window period over 99% of the time.  Therefore, if a person without these conditions have tested NEG at 3 months, then their results are 100% conclusive.  If a person with severe immunosuppression test NEG at 6 months post an exposure, they are definitively negative.

YOU are NOT immunosuppressed and still tested out to 6 months.  Your test at 3 months was good enough, but being that you have a NEG result even PAST the recommended window period...you should not have a doubt in your mind.

Any "symptom" you have is either anxiety related, or totally related to something else, not HIV.  You can google ANY combination of symptoms at any time, and almost every time, HIV will pop up.  The same symptoms can be caused by a million other, common, garden-variety bacterial or viral infections.  This is why symptoms can NEVER EVER be considered when gauging an HIV risk.  As for your cycle abnormalities, and other problems, you need to simply stay under the care of your doctor.  That includes care for the Herpes.  Again, those issues have nothing to do with HIV.

Getting yourself into therapy was the best move.  This has gone beyond an HIV concern...and morphed into an anxiety issue/phobia of sorts.  You need to work through that in order to put this behind you...or your irrational fears will just grow into something that will be hard to control...with your fearing HIV around every corner.  Truth is...and the facts are...HIV is NOT an easy disease to get.  Quite difficult actually.  You don't have it.  Now, stick with therapy so you can finally move on!!

Best of luck.
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