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Confused
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Confused

Hi Dr. HHH,

I am just rather confused on this testing process and was hoping you could help me out.. In the months of June/July I had a couple encounters of unprotected sex with a guy I knew, however, I don't know his HIV status.  I was tested at 10 weeks and it came back negative and will be going in for my 13 week test.. However the health educator advised me that my test was not conclusive until 6 months past exposure.  Is this correct? I am a total wreck now because I have been stressing out this whole time thinking I have HIV due to some symptoms.  And I know that symptoms don't mean anything.. I read the CDC guidelines and if I read them right they say that testing at 3+ months is 97% accurate.. Can you please help me get myself together, I am rather scared here. I am rather scared as you can tell..
Tags: negative
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As other have responded before me (below), your risk from the exposures you describe was zero or close to it.  You really didn't need HIV testin at all.  Given the results you have had to date, there is no chance you have HIV.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
32 Comments
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sweetgirl. I also had a great deal of anxiety, and I guess it's easier for me to give advice than follow my own, but the dr. I believe has said at many times that actually 6 weeks is pretty much the conclusive date for results. So based on that, I would believe that 3 months is definitive. You are fine. Smile. The doctor will also confirm it. good luck
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Avatar_n_tn
The doc says that 6 weeks is about 99% and by 8 weeks is close to 100%. And for someone to take longer than 3 months to show up on a test is virtually unheard of.
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I was just so confused reading the CDC guidelines and then being told 6 months.  There is noway I would make another 3 months of worrying like this if I do have to test at 6 months. All I think about day and night is thinking I have it.  I am such a saftey girl, and I don't know what I was thinking when we didn't use a condom.. I know better.. I a so sick to my stomach everyday about this.. and my 13 week is coming up here soon..
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Avatar_n_tn
sweetgirl, you are fine. don't worry about it, the dr. will confirm it. you already had a 3 month test and it was negative. I know it's hard not to think about it, I was the same when I went this past week to get everything done, and my dr. here told me the same thing as dr.H. there are few impossibilities out there. You having hiv is one of them. For me, my anxiety became a problem that i decided to seek professional help. Physically you are fine, but maybe you should speak to someone equipped to deal with such issues as anxiety. Again, relax. From a physical standpoint you have nothing to worry about.
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Thank you excel1234 ~ actually my 3 month/ 13 week test is next Tuesday or Wed I believe.. I am so hoping that it remains negative.. I have really been thinking about seeing a counselor about this aniexty problem.. it really is taking me over and it all is based on this HIV scare, and really I don't even know if he has it.. I am afraid to ask him, he has a girlfriend now.. You are a very sweet person, thank you for trying to help me out.
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150689_tn?1333993645
SSG, I would put the mortgage on your 3 month test coming back as neg. I was in exactly the same situation at the 3 month point. And mine came back NEG.

Don't stress it it will be cool!
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Avatar_n_tn
I know exactly how you feel scaredsweetgirl. Let me tell you this. I never really paid attention to std's and hiv. I said to myself, i am straight, don't do drugs, don't sleep with hookers, use condoms at all times, yet all of sudden because of the mtv's and stupid websites, i started to go crazy and think i had it. By luck i fell on this site, which has a caring and reputable doctor answering questions in a clear and scientific manner. If you like, go through the archives and see what some people have written. It will give you a better idea on the real risks. Rob is also right. 10 weeks is plenty based on what I have read numerous times on this site. When it comes back negative, you will realize the anxiety was for nothing, but as I said, I suffer from anxiety so I know how it works, and know it plays tricks on the mind. You don't lose anything making an appointment and seeking a counselor. try it. It can help. Don't worry :)
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You guys are wonderful... so you really do think my test will stay negative.. oh god I hope so!!! I know it was a stupid thing to do and it will never happen again.. I feel like such a dork being so paranoid over this.. it has really consumed my life.. I have a hard time working and focusing on things..
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Avatar_f_tn
if you had a negative result at 10 weeks you are in the clear, you don't have hiv!! the only reason your health provider said that was to cover his own butt. apparently they don't want people testing at 4-10 weeks, and then running around declaring that they are hiv negative. It's still conclusive, but I think the 3 months is just a general guideline, but you are fine.  do you have contact with this guy anymore? is there any reason you suspect him to have put you at risk? even so, 10 weeks is plenty. you don't even need to test again, just stay safe and be wise in who you choose for a partner.
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Yes, I still talk with him as we were friends before all of this.. it just sort of happened a few times.. I will never again of unprotected sex.
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Avatar_n_tn
You say your test was negative, but your still experiencing *sympotms*.  Hun, if your *symptoms* were due to hiv, your test would have been positive.  You can't have symptoms of hiv and have a negative test.  Your 99.9999999999% hiv negative.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am just scared and have major aniexty over this.. I am so afraid that if my results come back negative on my 13 week that I am going to be a mess until 6 months because I keep hearing from my Dr's office to test out until then.
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Avatar_f_tn
if it were me, I would not test again. you don't have hiv
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Avatar_n_tn
scaredsweetgirl, change doctors. Some are not as competent as others. I promise you, everything will be fine. Unless your Dr is as competent as Dr.H in std knowledge, then listen to the latter. I know what you are going through. I go through it. It's funny, I am a normal guy who is rarely afraid, if ever, except when it comes down to my health, and then i turn into a 5 yr old and have serious anxiety. I know I can't change overnight, and I was resisting seeing someone. I have now started and am confident with time and the professional help, everything will be fine. The same applies to you. Talk to the guy, relay your fears to him. If he's a friend, he will understand. But more important, go see a psychologist/counselor very soon. Because even though everyone has told you, you are hiv negative, you will in the future come up with another scenario that will stress you out. It really is worth the money,and a lot take insurance or insurance pays a good chunk of the cost. Please believe me, you have nothing to fear. Now if only i could follow my own advice, :)
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Its so awful.. I go online and research and look at all these different symptoms and it seems like I have all of them.. these days I seem to have a white film or haze to my tongue.. In the past week I have my GP and to specialists tell me its fine, however, I still find myself looking at it ALL the time.. What if I am the rare one that gets diagnosed later... oh my I am so scared..
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Avatar_n_tn
You should talk to a therapist.  H.I.V. is a devestating disease, but very hard to contract.  Are u continuously having sex w/someone who has hiv?  Have you had sex w/bisexual or gay men?  Do you have sex w/i.v. drug users?  Do you use drugs?  Do you have sex w/monkeys?  (I'm kidding about that last part, just trying to lighten you up.)  Honestly, your 6 week test proves that you don't have it.  Do something for yourself, anything that makes you warm and fuzzy inside, to forget about hiv! Stop chasing a disease you dont have.  Honestly, if you find it hard to let of the fact that you don't have hiv, take your 6month test, and in the mean time, please look in to some therapy.
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Hi Sparkeler,  no to all of your questions.. your right I should seek some therapy.. I have no idea why I am letting this consume my life.. I never in my life have been so scared about something.. and its really starting to take a toll on me... I seem to have all these educated people on this disease tell me I am negative and that my test most likely won't change, but I am scared to death.. I am going to try and see a therapist soon..  Thank you to all for responding to my question today, I hope I get a response from the Doctor and maybe that will help settle my fear.
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Avatar_m_tn
I already can predict MD HHH's response.

He will state that your HIV counselor is indeed "behind the times" in regards to HIV and the testing procedure.

6 months is only valid for persons who have compromised immune systems.
As far as symptoms,..never go by them.

You are indeed negative for HIV.
Now....move on...and see a counselor for your irrational fear of HIV in which you are projecting fear and guilt.

Good Luck...and always....STAY SAFE.

B.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi -
I totally sympathize with your anxiety as I am going through a similiar situation at the moment. I got a negative after 10 weeks using the home access test. I thought I was home free, but after internet obsessing, I realize 13 weeks is the conclusive date. I am not sure why this is given that Home Access states it uses a 2nd generation Elisa and these are the same as future generations after the 6th week. On TheBody.com bulletin board it says that 10 weeks is conclusive if you use a 3rd or 4th generation Elisa test. I don't know what to think.
I made the horrible mistake of gettting really drunk at a business meeting in Hong Kong and my hosts took me to a very swanky kaoraoke club. I remember going back to my hotel with a very healthy attractive looking girl who worked there and insisting we use a condom. At that point things pretty much went black and I woke up with a broken condom (split down the middle). I am in a committed relationship and have never done something like this. It was a total moral judgement lapse. I have been dying with guilt and anxiety since this episode. I have had no fever or any other typical symptoms. Just a slight white film on my tongue ( i think it was alwyas like that), a couple of night sweats and a feeling like something is caught in my throat (it only comes about when I am obsessing).
Should I retest at 13 weeks at 6 months? When will I be able to feel safe? Pls help.
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Avatar_m_tn
Am I the only one here who reads the [Browse Archives] files from previous forum users?

Some people need to on here.

B.
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Avatar_n_tn
You are right. I was just wondering if anyone could advise if my case was high risk due to my partner likely being a sex worker. I know Dr. H recommends follow up testing for high risk episodes. I was wondering if this qualified as one. I have read all the archives, but remain anxious. I know this is my problem, but just looking for some honest insight. Sorry for the redundancy.
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Avatar_n_tn
he's said many times no acts of vaginal sex is "high risk"

High risk = msm or IDU or acts with someone "confirmed" to be HIV pos
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Hi eveyone, I know that this is the wrong place to ask a question but its just something that I REALLY REALLY have to get off my chest, I can't even sleep right thinking of this. I recently went to the east coast of Nicaragua on vacation and had unprotected vaginal sex with 2 girls. About 1 week later I developed flu-like symptoms which were a fever, runny nose, sore throat, loss of appetite, and fatigue which went on for only a week. I was very relieved to know that I did not have swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, weight loss, or headache which are signs of ARS that I read up on after being diagnosed with gohnnerrea and later treated. I really don't know if gohnnerea or chylamydia relates to any of these symptoms. Someone, ANYONE, please post your opinions on this situation. Here are some of the questions I would greatly appreciate answers too,

1) What are my chances of having an HIV infection?
2) Where my symptoms of gohnnerea normal?
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Low

and we all have your symptoms because they line up with anxiety.  I had all yours plus more.. I tested neg.  So will you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I always wondered why all of the information on the internet, and at health clinics are so different regarding the window period. why wouldn't all these places be updated? I would really like to know.
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Avatar_m_tn
Can you say law suit?

The government does not care about your anxiety levels or how fearful about your expectations of getting a HIV+ test.  Instead, they want to cover their a**es.  They still stick to a 6 month window period because there is always that very very few individuals (and NOTE HOW I STRESS "VERY" IN THE PREVIOUS LINE.... WORRIED WELLS OUT THERE) who serocovert beyond the 6 weeks and the 3 months.  The CDC, a federal government agency and their lobbyists/financial supporters are leagalists and polticially-minded.

Forget the fact that human-beings are involved....they (CDC and similar agencies, MD's etc,..who promote 6 months for testing) are only covering their behinds for legal reasons.

Knowing and reading MD HHH's experience/qualifications (which some people on here should), I feel comfortable knowing that he tells it how it is.  His wealth of knowledge, experience, and research should tell you this.  Too many people come on here with fear and guilt after an initial "guilty" experience, get concerned that the advice provided to them is inaccurate nor up-to-date, and look at some extraneous, unnaproved, un-endorsed website(s) that are not ran by professionals. They then come back on here to blast a MD who has had experience in the field of STD's for over 30 years and whose research, publishings and up-to-date knowledge does not provide them with the sense of security they wanted.  Some, and I state "some" individuals need to re-evaluate again why they even posted to begin with on this forum. Such is life I guess.....and the human brain.

Brian
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Avatar_n_tn
The same thing happened to my husband in Singapore but he was in a bar with a colleague he became separated from. He came home two weeks later and told me what he had done (he couldn't tell me on the phone) and couldn't understand how he could had been so stupid - but when he began to describe what had happened I thought something wasn't right.  He described a feeling being disinhibited - nothing mattered, not even using a condom or a broken condom, profuse sweating (raining sweat for 2-3 minutes - the only positive abnormal physical symptom), out of body experience as though he were two people, complete compliance,a 3 day hangover and nausea the following day.  His memory is very hazy, with no dialogue and 'stop motion picture' intermittant memory. It was reciprical sex that was difficult to conclude and would have probably been impossible without 'some help'. Of course we will never truely know, but what I do know is that he knows nothing about the use of drugs and couldn't have made it up.  Neither has he grabbed this as a life line to save our marriage (as I hope others won't), it has taken a lot of thinking about to consider he might have had something put in his drink and as always there was a lot of drink involved and jet lag. Only he knows what he would or not would not have done that night, but these girls have a living to make.  He did get an Std, we were scared to death for 7 months before he plucked up courage to get an HIV test - thankfully it was negative. It will take years to recover from this, there's always a nagging doubt with you every minute of the day, it never goes away and I'm only his wife.
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Avatar_n_tn
i had the same worries as you lot are mentionning. thankfully i tested negative. i had my results yesterday and i can't tell you how relieved i am, i feel like i can start looking forward to things again, maybe more so than before. believe me its worth the wait.
trust the doctor on your chances to contract hiv from single exposures, be it with a person you know or a sex worker. its low. also trust his opinions on testing windows. of course health providers want to cover their asses, who would blame them ?
do NOT trust symptoms or anything you read on the internet. these things are here because you can't afford to provide info on hiv saying "this is whats possible, but this is what your risks really are". the aim is precisely to make sure people take the risk seriously. for years, peoples perception was that only gay men could contract hiv, and look at the result. what you read online is scary for a reason.
also bear in mind that guilt over exposure probably creates most of the stress and worry you're experiencing. i know it did for me. because the implications are enormous, for yourself and your surroundings, and no one can accept easily that they could have altered their life so dramatically for just a moment of pleasure. its only natural.
but for a single exposure through vaginal sex, even with a person with hiv, the chances are very low. thats all you need to consider.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone... I have my 13 week conclusive test today... I know that you have said that my test at 10 weeks was good, but I am going to follow the guidelines given to me.. however, if this one stays negative do I infact have to take another one at 6 months? I am really scared that this one is going to turn positive.. I have the most gut wrenching feeling it is..
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Question.. When I was tested for STD's in early August I found out that I had Hepatitis B, I had cleared the infection and now only had the antibodys.. Can that make the antibodys of HIV slower in developing..
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Avatar_m_tn
No. No immunization or illness is known to prevent the formation of anitbodies related to HIV infection. The only known causes of delayed seroconversion are of persons who have recently had a transfusion, or drug-induced medication related to chemotherapy.
People in late stages of AIDS are also known persons to no longer create antibodies for HIV.  You clearly do not fit these categories.  Get a grip...move on.

B.
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