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Syringe, tests, and lymph nodes
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Syringe, tests, and lymph nodes

27 y/o M
Exposure: Jan. 16, 2010 Tijuana, Mexico. Stabbed in the back with a syringe right before passing out from alchohol inside a place of prostitution. Protected vaginal intercourse with sex worker.

9 and a half days post exposure had blood tests done by Labcorp.
HIV-1 Antibody With Reflex to Nucleic Acid Testing
HCV RNA, PCR, Qualitative
Hep B Core Ab, IgM 
Gon/Chlamydia
All tests came out negative.

Lymphs in neck next to jaw are hard, swollen (confirmed by Nurse Practicioner), painless and appeared 36 hours post exposure. More neck nodes are getting noticeable as well. Have Diarreah (diarrhea) every day in the morning except when I take a Lysine pill, I just get loose stool. I've had headaches everyday since and I used to NEVER get headaches. As the weeks go by my Lymph nodes have stayed and one has even become visible. Had a couple rashes, one hurt with white pimples under my jaw, the other itched across my chest with red chicken pox looking dots. I've had more symptoms but I won't get into them unless you ask. Body temp has averaged 97.6. 1 time hit 98.7(I've already had mono 3 1/2 years ago and haven't been scratched by cats.)
(Day 7 post needle exposure I started taking non-pharmacutical antiviral stuff like 400 mg daily of Standardized Elderberry Bioactives Extract, as well as daily Garlic, and occasional Lysine pills.)
Questions:
1) As I'm approaching week 4 since my exposure and my lymphs only seem to be growing, do you feel it's urgent to retest asap or wait to week 8?
2) Would the elderberry extract antiviral supplements affect my original test results?
3) Would the test being "pooled" effect the results?
4) Would exercising help w/ my symptoms or should I go easy on the body right now?
5) Even though I tested early, wouldn't something show up if it was hiv since they drew the blood while I've been in the middle of all these symptoms?
6) If I was infected with Hep C and HIV at the same time, could that change the window period for those tests?



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300980_tn?1194933000
Before I address your question let me comment on your background information.  I note that you've posted multiple times since January on the HIV Prevention site mentioning your protected exposure.  Now you mention a needle stick ("stab").  What's going on?  

At any rate, there is virtually no risk to you of HIV from condom protected sex, even if your partner ha HIV which is unlikely.  Thus there really was no need for testing to start with.  That you have swollen lymph nodes or other symptoms is not related to HIV following an exposure of this sort.,  You should work with a health care professional to look for another reason.  As for your specific questions:

1.  See my comment above.,  Look for a reason other than HIV.  If you are sick and have swollen nodes a health care provider can help you sort this out.
2.  No
3.  No but why do you ask?  Testing at Lab Corp is not pooled.
4.  No idea.  
5.  Probably.  Of course that there was no HIV following a low risk exposure should not be surprising.
6.  No

EWH

4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
" I note that you've posted multiple times since January on the HIV Prevention site mentioning your protected exposure.  Now you mention a needle stick ("stab").  What's going on? "

To answer your question, I didn't want to accept what I allowed to happen to me so I minimized it's significance. Only later did I realize that by ignoring the most risky aspect of that night it still wasn't going to make my symptoms go away, and I certainly wasn't going to get the best help if I didn't swallow my denial and regrets and just be more straightforward about what I remembered. But I guess my credibility is lacking because of my "boy who cried wolf" questions earlier focusing more on the condom sex. To be clear though, I did mention the needle stick since post #1.

If you feel like answering one last question be my guest, either way, I do appreciate the time and I will ask nothing more on any forum regarding the risk of this exposure.

If playing SOLELY into my perceived delusions of a needle stick, given that I took the test at exactly 9.5 days post exposure (and I understand that this test is not conclusive) would you say that the negative result is a strong indicator of my status or is the window at this point still too early to feel confident in any way regarding that result?


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300980_tn?1194933000
9.5 days is really too early to have confidence in an HIV test result of any sort.  On the other hand, it is now 4 weeks since your exposure.  A test at this time would detect over 90% of infections acquired 4 weeks ago.  If the symptoms you have described were due to HIV, the test would almost certainly be positive.  EWH
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Avatar_m_tn
An hiv antibodies test at 35 days came back negative, white blood cell test came back normal, and a syphilis test came back negative. (so I guess I can take this to mean I now have less then a 10% possibility of it showing up on the next test)

The doctor that I saw at ucsd admitted she had no clinical expertise in hiv but recommended that I should get at least one more test at 3 months and also said to consider even taking one at 6 months.

She confirmed the chains of neck lymphs were definitely enlarged but said they weren't the biggest she'd ever seen. Also, both my headache and lymphs still persist everyday and the intestinal disturbance shows up every morning and is only lessened with a daily probiotic.

Thanks again Dr.
Your last answer was the most helpful one I found in all of the hours of wasted life researching the internet. Unless you say otherwise, I will post the results of the 3 month test.
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