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HCV HIV Co-infection? Help?
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HCV HIV Co-infection? Help?

Hi guys, I had protected sex with an escort about a year and half ago, I'm nervous cause I know there was some condom slippage. I'm not sure to what extent but it did happen. I remember a few weeks later I got pretty sick. Bad fever and maybe some cold symptoms. Then a few weeks after that I got sick again. Same thing, bad fever and cold symptoms. Throughout this year and a half I've been feeling hot almost all the time. I can't seem to stay cool. My body temp has raised a degree or two consistently. I hardly ever get the chills of a fever, but I'm thinking it is a fever that seems to never go away. I also get diarrhea I think easier, I especially notice it when I don't get a good nights sleep. Usually 3 episodes of going to the bathroom in the first couple hours after I wake up. Those are the for certain symptoms I noticed. I could have vague ones that possibly fit the symptoms of these two diseases.
I've done research online to try and figure out possible ways that the HIV window period can be thrown off. I've gotten almost no where in this debate: DOES A HCV HIV CO-INFECTION THROW OFF THE HIV WINDOW PERIOD???
It seemed most people agreed that if you did get both at the same time that the HCV window period would be extended because your immune system was being damaged by HIV.
The confusing part for me is the HIV window period. I've seen people and doctors saying that a decent amount of people do get co-infected. If this is the case, then when they say the window period for HIV is 3 months and very unusual and rare to be 6 months that is the case with most co-infections also because they do occur for a decent chunk of infections.
I've seen such conflicting reports about co-infection. I've read that about some healthcare workers who had extended window periods because of co-infection. One was said to be 5 months for HIV+, another 8-9 months for HIV+, and one was said to be even almost 12 months for HIV+ results.
This is scaring me I read a doctor from thebody.com website say that she recommends testing out to 12 months!
This is crazy, if a lot of people with HIV have HCV(and they can spread HCV easier), then is the window period extended? Or not? and where are all these articles about health care workers getting window periods of almost a year?
I've gotten an ELISA test at 8 months after exposure, finger prick rapid blood test at 13 months after exposure, and 2 Oraquick rapid mouth swab tests 17-18 months after exposure.
It worries me cause I got my very accurate test (ELISA test) with what could've been within my window period. Who knows and maybe cause the window period being extended means I have less antibodies that could be detected by these tests. So maybe the other 3 tests beyond the window period can't pick up HIV antibodies. It seems that this problem is going to get worse down the road, I just wish there was more research and continuity in the medical world about this.
Can anyone give me their opinion or give me some good articles about co-infection? maybe some confidence in my HIV tests? what's going on with my body...I'm losing my mind!
16 Comments Post a Comment
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173692_tn?1371540094
Define slippage.
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Avatar_m_tn
There is no evidence to suggest that HCV and HIV co-infection extends the window period for HIV testing or delays the body's production of HIV antibodies. The evidence seems to be that immunosupression by any cause - including HIV may occasionally cause false negative results with Hepatitis C antibody tests - but not the other way around.

A negative HIV test at 3 months post exposure is conclusive proof that you do not have HIV regardless of co-infection or any symptoms you are experiencing.

I have not heard of - with modern tests - a failure to diagnose HIV by 3 months in any circumstance. If you still remain concerned about delayed sero-conversion, then why not do a DUO test which tests for HIV antibody and P24 antigen. The test will pick up the P24 antigen independent of immune response and sero-conversion. This will prove that you are HIV negative as all your other tests show.

If you cannot move on from this then please make an appointment to see your doctor and discuss the best way forward to manage your anxiety.

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173692_tn?1371540094
DUO aren't the correct test to take.
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480448_tn?1397235344
Your problem is you're searching the internet too much, fueling your anxiety.  Theoretically, co-infection CAN slightly increase the time it takes to produce antibodies, but it will NOT increase the window period of three months.  That's STILL more than ample time to produce detectable antibodies.  YEARS ago, when tests weren't as sensitive, it would be realistic to assume that co-infection may cause a longer window period.  Your "research" is probably mostly centered around exmaples from a while ago...one story in particular that got a lot of attention was the nurse who was co-infected and didn't (supposedly) test positive for a while.  That's totally irrelevant in present day context, with the modern testing we have.

3 months is definitive and conclusive.  The ONLY kinds of people that may be recommended to test out to 6 months would be those who are severely immunocompromised.  That would be people with terminal, end-stage cancers, people on chemo, people taking anti-rejection meds after an organ transplant.  Those would be people whose immune systems were literally almost completely non-functional.  That's something people know without a doubt if they fit in that category, so it isn't a worry for you.  And you know what?  The tests these days are so sensitive, that even THOSE people, people with virtually NO immune system STILL test + within the 3 months.  That should tell you something.  Is THOSE people are testing + within the 3 month window period, a co-infection is a non issue.

I strongly recommend you seek out professional help, to help you move on and put this behind you.  For one, unless at some point the head of your penis was not covered during the sex, you never had a risk to begin with, slippage or not.  You don't indicate when you tested for HIV (I assume you have).  If it was 3 months after your "exposure", then you definitively conclusively do NOT have HIV, end of story.  Time to get off this merry-go-round!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for responding, it helps.
Last night I felt like I was burning up after reading about Hep C. I took my temperature and it was 96.5? I was feeling hot and fatigued again and took my temp about an hour ago and it was 98.3. How can I feel really hot maybe even feverish with these 2 temp differences? I can understand 98.3, but 96.5? (Note: 96.5 is rare for me now as my body temp has raised, it used to be 96.0 maybe lower)
Teak: To define slippage: I mean I was so nervous being with the escort my dick went limp. It was a year and a half ago and I can't remember just how much of my penis was exposed. I can't remember but I think it was still on. It was so ******* stupid of me to stay in when I knew it wasn't staying hard but she kept yelling so I stayed longer than I wanted.
I'm sorry I worry so much, I probably wouldn't if it wasn't for my weird symptoms that have been happening for a long time now. I've had bad luck in the past with being misdiagnosed and underestimated in what is wrong with me, that's another reason I'm still worried.
Orion B: I would've gotten those tests had I known about them.
I actually went in today and got tested again. This time I made sure that they would do the best tests they had. I'm getting a Hep C blood draw test and a blood draw test for HIV (I think Western Blot maybe ELISA). Please pray for me, I need someone. I'm all alone.
Here's how I feel:
If negative: I'm never having an sort of relationship again and will try to be the best person I can be. Like saintly.
If positive: I don't want to go into detail. I would probably want revenge.
nursegirl: I understand what you are saying. Yes normally the body can produce detectable antibodies enough to be picked up, I agree with this. If you throw a curveball though and say someone did get HCV as well, it is definitely a possibility of delaying seroconversion. Some doctors say it does others say it doesn't but would anyone want to chance it? Hell no. Also even with detectable antibodies the tests can still fail.
Oraquick mouth swab failed 8 out of 96 times for HIV positive patients. My concern is: these 8 that failed, will the Oraquick test work if they redid the test on those 8 or would they fail again? Were most of the 8 still in the window period and that's why? There is so much fine print that could be included in topics like these but a lot of the times there hasn't been enough research on all the little details like this and it drives me crazy.
Finger prick test failed somewhere in between the mouth swab and an ELISA test. So maybe it fails say 2-7 out of 96.
ELISA I've heard it's 99% accurate. So maybe it fails 1-0.3 times out of 100.
So probability wise assuming I don't have HCV I should be well into the clear since I am past the window period.
8/96   I'll say from 2-7/96 and the Western Blot I took 1-.3/100 fail for HIV positive patients.
So here's the probability with the worse of the 2 numbers:
(8/96)x(8/96)x(7/96)x(1/100)=.000005
meaning the probability of an HIV positive person with detectable antibodies testing negative with these tests says that 5 in a million could have this happen. That's a pretty comforting number but god damn I took a risk and god damn these are scary symptoms and what really is the truth about HCV.
So here's with the tests being most accurate:
(8/96)x(8/96)x(2/96)x(.3/100)=.0000004
So 4 people out of 10 million could have this happen.

I was so eager to become a man that I didn't think about the risks cause I figured I'd wear a condom and be in and out of there. I wish I had a time machine or a fresh start, I'm sorry everybody I'm human and have never been more ashamed. Don't know if I can deal with living if the outcome is horrible. I'm expecting the worst but at the same time just want the results cause I think I know they will be negative. You guys know the stats of a lot of these tests, the window period the accuracy. If I somehow was positive I would be a medical mystery, I'd probably be noted: SO AND SO TOOK A YEAR AND HALF TO BECOME POSITIVE. That has probably NEVER happened. Why the **** should I be scared then? It would be more than 6 or 7 months after the longest recorded window period and that lady had HCV and was tested a long time ago so maybe not as accurate. I've taken 4 tests after the year benchmark. One prick test, 2 Oraquicks done correctly and one that I may have screwed up because I had to pour the test tube liquid from the bag to the tube. At the same time I think they will be positive so I really don't want the results. Why did I do this to myself?
I hope that the tests both turn out well. If they do, I can move on but slowly.

I'll try to let you guys know my results, if negative I will tell you guys. If positive i don't know if I'll be back here or not. And you guys might just see the impossible. Can I get some more support? Really need it. I've been feeling fatigues and overheated all day. I'm getting my results as early as tomorrow and late as Monday.
Thanks
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173692_tn?1371540094
You never had an exposure at no time was the head of your penis exposed and that is all that needs to remain covered to prevent HIV transmission.
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480448_tn?1397235344
You NEVER had an HIV risk, so while you are choosing to test, you don't need to.  When you do test, believe your results.  Do not "what if" yourself into thinking the test results couldn't possibly be accurate.  You have taken basic statistics about the functionality and accuracy of the tests and turned that into reasons to not trust your results.  That's 100% anxiety talking.

Based on your above response, I can tell you you are spending WAY too much time "reasearching" this.  You are effectively fueling your anxiety by doing so.

The very best thing you could do is the SHUT OFF your computer and don't spend another second reading or searching about HIV, HCV, testing, or anything else that is related, and seek some professional help.  You are "what iffing" yourself into a frenzy....sadly, over a no risk situation to begin with.  YOU DO NOT HAVE HIV.

Take a simple antibody test and accept the results...after a year and a half, there is simply NO way that you could be positive and have a negative HIV result.  It's impossible.  You are taking information from the internet and twisting it to conform to your anxious deductions.  If this was as realistic of an issue as you have made it (delayed seroconversion and inaccurate testing)...there would be all kinds of people reporting issues, and there simply isn't.  HIV testing couldn't be more straightforward.  The rationale behind the testing is so simple...if you're infected, the test detects the antibodies that your body will produce...if you're not, they won't be there and nothing will be detected.  It's really as simple as that.  Honestly, you'd be smarter to worry about being hit by a meteor, at the same time you win the powerball.

Again, remember, from what you've said, you would have never been exposed to HIV to begin with.  Please get yourself some help.  There's nothing more we can add.  Feel free to report your negative result on this thread when you get it, but otherwise, there is just nothing more we can say.  This is a very busy forum and we try to get to everyone's questions as quickly as we can, which is why we cannot spend an endless amount of time repeating ourselves to reassure people.  Consider yourself reassured.

You can always pay the fee and post in the expert forum, where one of the doctors who have specialized in treating HIV for decades can offer you more reassurance:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/HIV---Prevention/show/117

Maybe an explanation from one of them will finally put your mind at ease, although from reading your posts, I suspect that your anxiety really has its hooks into you...which is why you really should seek some help.

Good luck.
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Avatar_m_tn
Had extremely risky event then I had classic ARS symptoms, now have a sore throat, had a fever or been feeling hot for months or more, always tired, swollen neck lymph nodes, had two weird skin infections, I've lost a little weight, loss of appetite, diarrhea especially after not sleeping well, had some trouble stopping some bleeding, trouble sleeping. With all these signs how in the **** have I tested negative 5 times? I know the tests weren't the most accurate of ones but still should be able to pick this up. I didn't get my results back today. I just know I'm ******!!! How is this possible? Negative Western Blot 8-9.5 months after exposure, Negative finger prick 13-15 months after, then 3 Negative mouth swab tests 17-20 Months after exposure.... I just know I have it, I'm homicidal and want revenge, how could you not tell someone you have HIV and then sleep with them?
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173692_tn?1371540094
* Anyone who continues to post excessively, questioning a conclusively negative result or no-risk situation, will be subject to action by MedHelp. Conclusively negative results or a no-risk situation will be based upon the criteria established by MedHelp’s doctors. Action will be taken as follows:
    * After excessive posting, a warning will be issued by MedHelp
    * Continuing to post regarding the negative result / no risk situation will result in a 3 day suspension
    * Continuing to post upon your return will result in a permanent ban.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sorry to get everyone all angry with me. I panicked and am panicking because I'm not feeling like myself. The results came back about a week ago and they both were negative. I'm going to maybe go in to the doctor again and tell them my story and symptoms. Hopefully they will have leads to what may be causing these body changes. Thanks guys and I'll try to keep you informed.
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Avatar_m_tn
You dont need to go to the doctor, you didnt have an exposure.
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173692_tn?1371540094
We don't need you to come back an inform.
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Avatar_m_tn
About 3 weeks ago I had an ELISA test for HIV and HCV. Negative. Was not feeling good and went in again for a HIV DNA PCR test about a week ago.

I just got my HIV DNA PCR test results back. I'm negative all across the board. Thank you to all the HIV veterans who told me I was a crazy person, you were right. I'm going to counseling to help me get over this and other things. I'm having a physical exam in a week and also going to ask if all these symptoms were just stress or maybe mono or something. I'm also starting to live a healthier lifestyle. Hopefully from these changes I won't have anymore physical symptoms. After dealing with this for over a year and a half I pray for anyone dealing with this or HIV. This was such a horrible experience; with the help of time and changes I hope to have a good comeback story. Thanks everyone and good luck.
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6397967_tn?1380939450
is there any hiv species can't detected by antibody test?what can do for a person who wb results are p24 indetrminate and non-react other tests at 5 months.and what will be underlyin cause of p24 WBi?
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173692_tn?1371540094
NO.
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173692_tn?1371540094
Western Blot tests are not given for negative results.
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