HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Tremendous amount of anxiety
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This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Tremendous amount of anxiety

Dear Dr. HHH, I had a recent exposure several weeks ago which I have been told by Dr. Hook and others on this forum that it was not a risk. I just can't seem to go on believing the fact about it not being a risk. I had a 3rd generation test taken at 35 days which was negative and I was thinking about having another test tomorrow which would be at 67 days. I wanted to know what your opinion was on this matter as far as accuracy of a test at 35 days and also what you think about the risk that I had. Again I have so much anxiety and guilt that I am having an extremely hard time moving past this. Your input would be very much appreciated. Thank you
Tags: Anxiety, strees
239123_tn?1267651214
I'm sorry to hear that your frankly irrational anxieties about a no-risk sexual exposure are continuing despite the extended conversation with Dr. Hook a few weeks ago, including his unequivocal reassurance.  You were not at risk and didn't need testing, at least not from a medical standpoint -- although of course we understand that testing is often a good idea for reassurance.  Your negative result at 5 weeks was almost conclusive proof you didn't catch HIV.  But since it isn't quite 100%, feel free to have another test.  Any antibody test done more than 8 weeks (56 days) after the last possible exposure is definitely conclusive; see the thread linked below for more discussion about time to conclusive results with various HIV tests, including the reasons that official recommendations still stress 3 month testing even though results are generally conclusive earlier than that.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/1704700

As for your continuing anxieties, I have nothing more to offer.  All we can do is provide the facts, figures, and our professional judgment about HIV transmission risks, test results, etc.  The rest is up to you.  As discussed with Dr. Hook, it seems that this is a case of transferrence -- i.e. guilt and shame over a sexual choice you regret being interpreted as HIV fear.  My guess is that you're going to still feel guilty and ashamed regardless of your future negative HIV test results.  If so, all I can do is suggest the obvious:  professional counseling.  However, this forum is not a substitute for that, so there won't be a prolonged discussion as on your other thread.  I won't have any further comments or advice.

Please note the MedHelp rule that permits a maximum of 2 questions every 6 months on each of the professionally moderated forums (see Terms and Conditions).  The purpose is to prevent domination of forums by repetative, anxiety-driven questions (much like yours!).

Regards--  HHH, MD
6 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Just one last comment Dr. If I may ask. How accurate was the five week test I took and also have you seen any five week test turn positive in future testing. This will be my last question and I would very much appreciate it if you could answer it. Thank you so much and God Bless
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239123_tn?1267651214
There are no precise data on test accuracy at 5 weeks or any other time.  Probably 95% or higher.  In any case, I have never had a patient (or even heard of any paitnet) with negative results at 5 weeks who turned out to actually have HIV.

That's all for this thread.  I'll have no further comments or advice.  Do your best to move on.
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Avatar_m_tn
Will do Dr., again thanks for your comments. I will take it to heart and do my best to put this in the past.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dr. HHH and Dr. Hook, I just had my 10 test done and as both of you said the test came back negative. Thank you for your advise and guidance, and my apologies for my insecurities and anxieties. Thanks again
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239123_tn?1267651214
Good luck to you.  
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