HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Accuracy of home oraquick tests???
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Accuracy of home oraquick tests???

I am very scared that I have HIV. I am more scared that I may have given it to my gf. I had unprotected sex with another woman during a seperation and I started to feel ill about three weeks later. I started feeling cold to the point that I would shake. I also started having night sweats and I had red bumps that itched on my scrotum. I went to the doc for an  hiv test along with the other common stds at 3 or 4 weeks. Not sure what type but blood was used (negative). I later started to develope a rash that looked like red pimples on my ribs that also started to cover my upper back and a few on my thighs and arms. At about this time a started to get swollen lymph nodes under both arms that you could see (Several red sore bumps). The bumps went away after about a week and came back a week or two later. A slight sore throat that felt dry and my cheeks seem white along with sores in my mouth. They appear in different places every couple days. I have also been having extreme difficulty sleeping. Maybe 2-3 hours a night since I started feeling ill. I have tested at 70, 94, 103 days with the oraquick oral test and all come up negative. I would attribute these symptoms to anxiety but my girlfriend who knows nothing of my fear is having identical symptoms. Terrible insomnia along with headaches, the same type of rash, joint and back pain.
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

First, your exposure was probalby low risk.  Heterosexually transmitted HIV, especially from a single exposure, is extremely rare in the US, and your symptoms are not typical of a new HIV infeciton. But most important, as we have pointed out several times on this forum (probably 10 times a week, on average), the HIV tests are among the most accurate diagnostic tests ever developed, for any medical condition.  If enough time has passed since the last exposure -- 4-6 weeks, depending on the specific test or combination of tests -- the results always overrule symptoms and exposure history.  In other words, no matter how high the risk of catching HIV seemed to be at the time, and no matter how typical the symptoms, the test results rule.  That includes the home oral fluids test, especially the ones at 94 and 103 days.  Therefore, your test results prove with 100% certainty you don't have HIV.

As for your symptoms, I agree with your own judgment that some of them are typical for anxiety.  Some of them could be due to a garden variety virus of some sort, which might explain why your girlfriend has some of the same ones.  But for sure it isn't HIV.  No other STD would cause such symptoms either.

So don't worry about HIV or STDs.  See your doctor if the symptoms continue.  If you haven't been tested for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, you should do that -- they wouldn't cause these symptoms, but the risk of these STDs is a lot higher than HIV, and better safe than sorry. But don't have any more HIV tests.

So no worries.  See your doctor about your symptoms if you remain concerned.  You don't even need to mention your other sexual exposure; your symptoms have nothing to do with that event (except maybe for the anxiety part).

Best wishes--  HHH, MD
8 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Is 3 months enough time to pass the window period for a simple oral swab test? I have read that these test will produce a false negative for every twelve tests because they are not as sensitive as the blood. Both my health and that of my gf seems totally different from a few months ago.I plan to take another test this week (blood).
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Avatar_m_tn
I forgot to mention that my last 3 tests were the oraquick home tests.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Re-read my reply above.  I haven't changed my mind.  It would be a waste of money for you to be tested any more for HIV.
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Avatar_m_tn
Correction. My test dates were 40 days Blood test at the doc. 89,115,124 oral oraquick. last test at 4 months two days. i will be really dissappointed if I turn out pos after these tests.
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239123_tn?1267651214
It is IMPOSSIBLE that you will have a positive test result, assuming you haven't had another exposure in the past 3-4 weeks (for example, if your regular partner has HIV)  Assuming such a risk doesn't exist, it's really silly for you to waste your money on yet another test.  If you're so obsessed with the irrational, unscientific idea that you could still have HIV, what makes you think you'll trust this one more test?

This isn't very diplomatic language, I realize.  But I'm hoping to knock some sense and understanding into your resistant head.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks Doc. I know that chances are low after so many tests, but I am just afraid that they may not be accurate in the early stages. I also have trouble getting over the fact that my gf is now having symptoms identical to mine (nights sweats, nausea, insomnia, melanonychia striata, swollen lymph nodes (armpit) and sudden hot flashes. I will be getting a blood anitbody test this week. I am hoping it wil be a waste of money like you say.
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Avatar_m_tn
In all your years of experience with hiv is melanonychia striata in fact a known symptom or sign if being infected? Oh I tested negative again at 132 days. I just keep noticing changes is my gfs nais as well as mine plus the rash.
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