June 06 - VERY brief protected vagial sex with So. American sex worker while on business. Never before, never again. Regret and grief is beyond words. however... I immediately fell ill right afterword with flu-like/cold-like symptoms on flight back to US. Been pretty much sick off and on since then - and worried.
Symptoms: dry mouth, folliculitis, pains in mouth/apthous ulcers, pain under right rib, odd skin burning (like dry skin, red - transient on arms and thighs), scalp pimples, lost some weight but gained it back, light diarreha, odd node pain in arms and groin ... massive anxiety.
First trip to ER (within days)- docs said I was probably fine, urine showed up clear and they said I probably had condom reaction (never wear them normally).
So, on to the tests:
@ 1 month: HIV 1 EIA, PCR, HSV I&II, HepPanel, Syph, Chlamid, Ghon, BLood word -- all negative/normal
@ 2,3 months: HIV 1&2 EIA, HSV I&II, Hep, Syph, several HIV rapids - all negative/normal
@ 4,5,6 month: HIV 1&2 EIA, HIV 1&2 PCR, Hep, Syph, CBC, Liver test, scans, etc -- all negative, normal
@ 7,8,9 month: HIV 1/0/2/ EIAs, several rapids, Hep, Syph, CBCs -- all negative/normal
@ == means I had these each of those months, not just at end of them ... Yes... like 70 tests in all. I know.. I know.
So here I sit at 10 months -- still freaking out that I am a outlier. I continue to have persistent (albeit mild) folliculitis in scalp, chest, legs -- and pain under right rib. All specialists, scans and tests (thousands of $$$) show nothing, negative, fine. I even saw a Psych for this.
My question is - can folliculitus (stated online as a "subtle" way early HIV can present as the immune system is slowly eroded -- i friggin hate how they word things like this) be a sign that HIV is fooling the tests and I still have it?
HELP --- can I put this behind me? The worry and symptoms are killing me already... ;-(
this is not good advice I am going to give to you, but I understand your situation and your fear and anxiety about not knowing. If you still plan on testing or you have a doctor who has done all these tests on you, you might want to consider doing a cd4/ cd8 count to make you feel better. If it comes out normal that could give you some more reassurance as to not being an outlier.
My arms burn too, you are not alone.
but I also wanted to say for the sake of everyone else, you are not HIV positive proven with 10 months of testing. If you were they would have to write an article on you, and then disect your immune system to better understand the disease because stuff like this doesn't happen. Hope this helps
Thanks to all... I have had several CBC with diff and other blood/liver/sed rate tests. I may ask for the CD4 - but it appears that will be overkill, as you state (and I know). 10 months of testing - nothing out of whack but a little high cholesterol (which i knew from 2 years ago - not related) - no dr. will even speculate anything but absolute ok-ness (and one of my docs is the BEST infectious/AIDS doc in the area - big time award winner, harvard, the works...) - all lead to what I know = negative. It's just the damn symptoms and the timing are unreal.
I sure wish they'd do more research on specifics about HIV symptoms and testing... the range of what "is consistent with HIV" is useless at best, terrifying and misleading at worst. For example - every site like this one (AidsMEd, Body, etc) EVERYONE is posting with these symptoms after exposure, yet basically NO ONE is testing positive (AMEN TO THAT)... but my point is that the symptom-approach is meaningless. Unless----some site gets WAY more specific with symptoms (I'm talking photos, temperature readings, skin cultures, SPECIFICS!) The leeway found in most CDC/WebMD/advice sites is possible more dangerous and contributing to HIV-paranoia than helpful.
Thanks again - I may test at a year to finish the set, as it were, but everyone is telling I'm ok. I need to tell myself.
Again, to reiterate - bacterial folliculitis is NOT an indicator of HIV (early or otherwise)?
No, Folliculitis is not a symptom of HIV. And since you tested negative outside of the CDC's window period. You have all the info you need. Address the guilt of having sex with a hooker, you ARE HIV negative. There is no need for any more testing, or any testing in the first place, you had a protected encounter.
There are NO specific symptoms of HIV, that's why it's not a way to diagnose it. And as far as the testing research goes, the 3 month window is set by the CDC and they are the most conservative ones out there. I see the window period changing as soon as everyone is using the most current tests, then you will probably see a 6 week window.
Again, your folliculits is not related. And yes you are well into the overkill range.
Stop worrying and enjoy your life. You can't get back wasted time worrying.
thats alot of testing, congratulations. i dont have to say anything that you dont already know. like symptoms mean nothing only testing at the appropriate time, and you have had way more than enough testing.
go foward dont look back. have a vacation
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