If you believe you have been exposed to HIV and want help to judge your risk, would like advice about HIV testing, or have questions about the effectiveness of condoms or risks associated with specific sexual practices, this is the site for you.
On April 6, I had a brief oral sex encounter with a man who told me he was "negative" to his knowledge. I did not let him ejaculate in my mouth and I did not swallow any pre-*** to my knowledge.
On May 21st, I had a standard HIV/ELISA blood test done by Quest Diagnostics. I never asked them which "generation" they used. This was exactly 6 and a half weeks after the encounter. It returned a "non-reactive" (negative) result.
I want to believe that I am in the clear. But what do you all think?
I am a bit worried that the test they used might not have been very good.
What should I do? I am embarrassed to talk to the counselor about this because he always seems to talk down to me when I see him. I have been talked down to my whole life and I don't appreciate it. I am 25 yrs old and going through issues regarding my sexual identity.
If your only exposure was oral sex, and you tested negative at 6.5 weeks, and your partner told you he was HIV neg "to his knowledge", most people would take that negative test result to the bank. If oral sex is ever responsible for transmitting HIV, it is very rare.
However, as Teak said, if you are unable to accept anything less than 100% certainty, test again at 12-13 weeks. Don't worry about it in the meantime. You're ok.
You're probably right about this...I should be grateful I'm not one of those other people with a more serious risk who havent even gotten any result yet.
The thing that scares me the most is that everything is so contradictory!
Some say oral sex is "no--to--low risk" while others say "appreciable". Then there's the conflicting information about testing...
Some people say 6 and a half weeks Negative is great while others say "wait longer"...It's just nerve-racking!
I have very good oral hygeine and I didn't let him ejaculate in my mouth. I also tried to spit frequently so I could keep any pre-ejaculate out too...I also did NOT brush my teeth or have any beverage before this incident.
My friend wants me to have another test this week with her, which will put me at 8 weeks. I am debating it.
[Massachusetts Department of Public Health : Most people will test accurately for HIV after 6 weeks have passed since their last risk. In very rare cases where a person has a highly compromised immune system, such as those in which a person has recently undergone chemotherapy or an organ transplant, it may take 3-6 months for their body to develop enough antibodies to test positive. These are very extreme situations, however, and other more common conditions such as colds or the flu, diabetes, asthma, and many others, will not affect the body's development of HIV antibodies in that way. Those who suggest window periods longer than 6 weeks are trying to account for all those who may also have compromised immune systems. ]
Then I also found this:
This is from the CDC's (U.S. Center for Disease Control) pamphlet for HIV counselors called "Module 6 HIV testing", page 11:
- "A negative result usually means that the person is not infected with HIV. In rare instances, a person with a negative or inconclusive result may be in the "window period". This is the period of time between the onset of infection with HIV and the appearance of detectable antibodies to the virus. The window period lasts for 4 to 6 weeks but *occassionally* up to 3 months after HIV exposure. Persons at *high risk* who initally test negative should be retested at 3 months after exposure to confirm results."
Here's a link to that PDF file: http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/gap/pmtct/Trainer%20Manual/Adobe/Module_6TM.pdf
This means that the federal government seems to have two conflicting policies with regard to testing?
the info you found is pretty much what Dr h on this site says 90% pos at 4 weeks 6 weeks 99%, (only 2 people in history of this site has tested pos after 6 weeks, he says 3 mos max for very rare cases, claims a 6 to 8 week test conclusive, im in same boat you are neg at 61/2 weeks now at 8, not sure if will retest, probably, trying to get past it. Dr h says 1 in a million chance that was before neg test at 61/2 would probably say 1 in a billion now.good luck.
Those references are great ones. Thanks for posting those. That is interesting though about the CDC posting on their website that it could take as long as 6 months and they tell their trainers 3 months or less! WoW!
Remember, oral is no-to-very low risk. Personally, I'd be ok with your result, but thats me, and you're you!
Again, if you want 100% dead on certainty, you won't be comfortable with anything less than a 3 month test.
The 6 month time frame is only for severely immune-compromised people, like those undergoing chemotherapy or similar situations.
6-8 weeks is fine for your situation, 3 months for 100%, if you just have to have that. Other than that, get counseling if you can't overcome your worry.
Oral is really ok, no need to get freaked about it and worry about minute details. You'll take all the fun out of sex.
Yeah...If you read the CDC manual for counselors, it pretty much is SUGGESTING that 4--6 weeks is sufficient for a test. They say "high risk" people should re-test again at 3 months..."High risk" people -- I think they mean rape victims, IV drug users or health care workers who were exposed.
I could be wrong here? The Massachusetts Health Dept. says 6 weeks is definite. A nurse at the V.A. Medical Centre in Los Angeles where I live also told me 6 weeks. Yet, at the L.A. County Clinic, they say "6 MONTHS"...I don't get it....
You have to be careful as to who you believe. The first volunteer who took a rapid test for me at 6 weeks said this is not conclusive (I knew that of course) and i have to come back for 13 week test.
I asked him out of curiosity as to what delays seroconversion and this is what he said " In case of People who are very fit, the virus does not multiply fast enough and therefore they seroconvert late". That is the funniest thing i have ever heard.
The second volunteer who tested me at 60 days told me i don't need to come back because 2 months is more than enough for some one to turn opsitive with the latest testing methods.
Anyway, the point is you have take everything with a pinch of salt and make your own decision ultimately. First, read some reliable sources of information abouthow this virus gets transmitted.Then move on with life.
I'm going through the EXACT same thing that you are. I tested negative at eight weeks (back in November) after a very similar exposure with a sex worker (brief oral both ways, no fluids). The school doctor did the rapid "Orasure" and ordered further testing because it was negative, but she wasn't "one hundred percent sure." (She was arguing about it with the nurses... very unprofessional.)
I'm by nature obsessive, so imagine the intense week of mental suffering that followed (I went to a psychiatrist to ask for help, and was put in an awful mental ward until my results came back, where the doctor that saw me actually made fun of my angst with a diabolical smile on his face, like in that Jack Nicholson movie, telling me I wasn't going to be let out anytime soon... The whole health system here in the US is screwed...)
Since that rather unpleasant experience, I've decided to let the 8-week negative result be conclusive, at least until I leave the US and get tested somewhere where I don't feel at risk of being called "suicidal" for normal anxiety and being locked away.
None of this to scare you any further by the way, but just to tell you that you're not alone in your anxious suffering... :)
Your right about needing counseling...I don't know where this sudden anxiety and hypochondria came from, but it is definitely haunting me...My mom, the lady I love and support and who has supported me, is not doing so well health-wise. Out of my siblings, I'm the only one who takes care of her. I guess my fear is based on getting sick and not being able to take care of her.
To date, I havent had any "ARS symptoms" and I know that I would certainly manifest them if I was infected because I believe I have a good immune system and have always been able to fight a common cold easily.
I will test again on Friday -- the 8-week point. My fear now is that I don't want to become one of those "chronic testers" that everyone laughs at....After reading on here, Dr. H says an 8 weeks test should be the best I could get for someone in my situaton, short of the actual 3 month-er.
I have just tested negitive on the 6 week mark. After the test between 6 and 7 weeks I have been having symptoms such as score throat, tender glands under the jaw and arms, as well as nausea. Could this be ARS at this stage ?
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