HIV Prevention Community
Western Blot Indeterminate.... what to do?
About This Community:

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.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Western Blot Indeterminate.... what to do?

I'm worried about my status and considering getting a PCR test.

On the 19th of November I started to come down with a cold.  minor aches.  On the 20th and 21st I took dayquil to ward off what I thought was just a cold.  I had hung out with a friend on the 18th and 17th who had a cold that made him lose his voice.  So the exposure time was right for a cold at 24 to 36 hours.  On the 22 and 23rd I had a fever and some chills and decided to basically take a dayquil and sleep it off.  I did continue to eat normal food but was eating light.  I did have a few instances of waking up all sweaty and so I took a shower to deal with that.  I also had the thermostat on 81 and was under the covers, so that would definately make me sweat.  The fever cleared after a 2 days and became a sore throat.  The sore throat stressed me a bit and my cold sores (aka herpes simplex) became activated.  They happened to form on my tonsils which is particularly unpleasant.  on the 24th and 25th I was basically taking it easy and pretty worn out.  On the 25th I noticed a rash on my chest.  The 26th and 27th I was active and able to work but not 100%.  On the 29th I decided to go get a HIV and syphillus test after talking to some friends.  The counselor at the testing site suggested going to the clinic the next day and getting tested.

Now the interesting part.  They did a Oraquick test (elisa) and it came back HIV neg.  Previous Negative result August 29th.  The doctor seemed to think I was having seroconversion sickness.  He also thought I probably had syphillus.  I was given two shots of bicillin, bloodwork was drawn and a test for hiv, syphillis (syphilis), and hep was ordered.

Within 36 hours I felt great and my symptoms vanished.  Rash cleared up, etc.  I still had a cough that I still have (3 weeks later).  Also have a couple of swollen lymph nodes (literally 2).  Got another dose of bicillin on the 7th, no test results back yet.

Went in yesterday 14 Dec, and the test results were in.  Syphillis (syphilis) was positive, hep was immune (i had been vaccinated previously to hep b) and negative, and they said my western blot was indeterminate.  I had a reaction to one band.  I don't think they ran an ELISA blood test.  However, I'm not certain.  

The dr. yesterday wants me to wait 30 days and come back in for another test.  It will of course take 2 weeks to get the results.  I really don't want to stew on this for another 45 days.  I've also taken time to think through my risk factors and I can't find a smoking gun so to speak.  In the 14 days prior to my illness I was only with 3 partners.  2 of them were limited to oral sex and jacking off.  1 of them was risky, but I was the top.  That encounter was on the 6th.  Timing isn't quite right, but still is possible for an hiv exposure.

My problem is that I've been told that seroconversion illness is the worst, nastiest illness you've ever had.  I think I was sick, but it wasn't that bad.  I've had food poisoning and that was 10 times worse then this.  It's within the 14 day window to barely at the end of it, but I was under the impression that seroconversion illness happens almost immediately.

I also have read that past or present syphillis (syphilis) infection can mess up western blot results, resulting in an indeterminate.  I've had syphillis (syphilis) before, and I had it at the time the blood was drawn for the western blot.  In fact the western blot blood was drawn about an hour after I was given the bicillin.  I think I had a cold and syphillus, but not HIV.  Yes, I realize it's a bit of denial potentially.  But I can't find concrete support for an HIV infection.

I should have been sick a week earlier if it was HIV.  It should have been much more severe.  The research I've read suggests that a blood test at 21 days should show antibodies.  It didn't.  

I don't like being in limbo.  It's actually worse then being poz or neg.  I'm a bit annoyed that the dr didn't suggest a PCR test.  But I understand that the clinic has limited funds and needs to do the most with it and that they have a protocol they follow.  I still feel like I should have been given the option.  

If I am positive, I want to know asap so that I can get on with living with it.  Waiting 45 days to figure it out just bothers me.  I'm now at 45 days since the suspected exposure and 30 days from the illness.  Oh, and my titer score for the syphillus was 1 to 16 which the doctor said was pretty low.  That supports a infection at about 2 to 3 weeks and in my mind confirms where I caught it.

I'm hoping for some support and ideas here.  Monday I'm going to go back and get a copy of my lab results so I can find out which band I tested positive for in the western blot.  I also want to know if the ELISA test was done and if it came back positive or negative.  Considering that I had a negative ora-quick (elisa) that would be particularly interesting.  I'm also considering have a PCR test done and the biggest factor there is getting the results quickly.  I think they can be done for $250 to $300 from what I've seen.  And I'm not worried about that cost at this moment.
Related Discussions
61 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
173692_tn?1371540094
Are you done jabbering? You said you were the top was it protected or not? HIV has no specific symptoms. Symptoms or the lack of is not indicative of HIV infection. You want the option of a PCR test then go some place that offers it. Why did they do a Western Blot if you didn't have a reactive result to your ELISA? That is the only time they do a Western Blot, is to confirm a positive result.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I do agree.
A WB test would not have been performed unless the ELISA was reactive.
I would agree with your MD, however, that a PCR should not be done.

Now, for the brief lecture....and believe me, I have had mine before.
(1)You NEED to be using condoms for all anal/vaginal sex that you are having outside a committed, monogomous relationship. And even in a committed, monogomous relationship, you shoud be aware of the other partner's status.
(2) You state that you "ONLY had 3 partners in the last 14 days".  That is a high-risk lifestyle.  You lack of contiuance to using condoms is going to have you infected with HIV...someday, ...if not sooner than later.
(3) Your pase approach to having syphils before somewhat frightens me.  You said that you have had syphilis before, and seem as though that it is no big deal.  Well, it is. No less the fact that you are haivng HSV lesions on your tonsils is another facet that is alarming.  You seem to be rather sexually active. Considering the past STI's and the mere fact that you are coming here today to ask us about a rather lengthy epsiode of your sexual health history demonstrates a sever need to be using protection ALL the time.
I do hope that you come out of this ok.
But please, unless your purposely looking to get HIV, you BEST be using condoms for sex. Putting on a condom only takes a few seconds dude!!
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I think I did mention that Chris.
Read my #3 reply.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I'm sorry, I didn't sign in here for the moral lecture.  All of which is correct.  It's not that I'm unconcerned with it, rather that syphillis (syphilis) is very easy to catch, and very easy to cure.  Therefore in the grand scheme of things it doesn't seem that important.  And no, I did not expose anyone to the HSV sores / ulcers.  Seeing as they have never been tested it's just a guess that they are HSV.  They are stress induced and they are a separate issue.  80% of the population has HSV according to what I've read.

The MD thought that symptoms were indicative of primary HIV infection despite a antibody negative Elisa.  I don't understand why a PCR wasn't run as it's nonsense to run a WB when there are not antibodies.  I know this now, but at the time I didn't know any better and thought a WB was the best possible test.

What I was hoping is that some of the people here might have more insight into the small population, statistically, that I'm in.  Indeterminate WB results are extremely unusual (.00004%) because it is typically used as a confirmatory test after a antibody positive Elisa.  The fact that the MD ordered a more advanced test isn't a surprise.  He genuinely thought it was a primary hiv infection.  I'm not convinced that I was that sick.  As for sickness, according to NYU's first call site (which I think is a reputable source), 80% of those infected with HIV experience what is called "seroconversion sickness."  Everyone I know that has had it said it is the absolute worst cold you have ever had in your life.  I'd like more information about that, but again can't seem to find it.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Well, let's get this straight...no pun intended.
I am gay, so you are preaching to the choir there bud.

1. As for HSV, it is not stress-induced, FYI, that is an old wise-tale.
2. having syphilis is not a walk-in-the-park. Having a concurrent STI while having sexual relations with someone significantly increases your risk for HIV, for starters. That includes HSV, gonnorhea (Gonorrhea), or chlamydia. And besides, HSV in the mouth is NOT a common occurence, it may eb an oral ulcer, not HSV.
3. 50-80% of persons are the stated risks for seroconversion, and it is not like a cold, more like the worst FLU you would ever have.
4. I think the lecture is IMPORTANT. As much as you may not know me, I am telling you this (and writing this) in the sincere hopes that you see that someone does care. (The fact that I am spending a colossal amount of time writing this info.)
5. The confusion to whether or not you received an ELISA test is still unclear. Your MD should not have ordered a WB unless an ELISA showed a preliminary +ve. Then the WB is followed....for primary purposes as well as expense. FYI
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
1. An indeterminate WB is not unusual early after infection.  In fact the WB is always indeterminate until full seroconversion takes place.
2. A "seroconversion sickness" varies from person to person.  Some people have it very bad, some have it mild and some don't get sick at all.  Your sickness was entirely consistent with the typical HIV ARS.
3. Syphilis increases the risk for HIV transmission by A LOT.

So, in summary, I think you should take this seriously and get tested at the proper time - 3 months is the official guideline.  Whether you take PCR or not is irrelevant.  If you do come out of this HIV-negative in the end, I suggest you make some lifestyle changes, because if you don't you it is only a matter of time until you get HIV.  Good luck with the tests.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Well-written Joe.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
1.2>  Maybe they are oral ulcers.  I had a dentist look at them once and several MD's.  They all said they were stress induced and to watch my diet and stress levels.  That seems to have worked and typically only two or three things will produce an episode.  Being sick (cold/flu), financial problems, and severe relationship problems.  I had a cold (or whatever), and had some looming financial headaches which have since resolved themselves.  They were responsive to a prescription.  I forget the name of the drug, although it was expensive.

3: I don't think I was that sick, but I found some more info that details what the ARS/seroconversion illness entails and some of the symptoms are similar.  An article from American Family Physician, August 1999 entitled "how to recognize and treat Acute HIV Syndrome" gives frequency statistics on the symptoms and how often they occur and gives details on what they are like.  It's an informative article.

The NYU site I mentioned earlier is from NYU Medical Center's HIVInfoSource.

4. Acknoweldged, and appreciated.

5. I've made a habit of going to see the same HIV Testing counselor each time I needed to get tested.  As a result a friendship of sorts has developed.  An ELISA test was done, Oraquick.  It was negative.  However, The MD wanted to do a blood test because he thought it looked like primary HIV infection.  He also initiated treatment for syphillis (syphilis).  My counselor and I discussed it for several minutes.  I was content to wait 30 days and retest.  He urged me to go ahead and do the more advanced test to see if I was positive.  I didn't know anything about PCR or WB or Elisa testing at the time other then it would tell me if I had antibodies to HIV and that the western blot was a more expensive and more accurate test.  You are correct in that a + Elisa result is normally requird for a WB to be done.  The other condition that warrants a WB is a MD who thinks it is acute HIV.  I had the second condition.

What is frustrating for me is that I was basically told that I had an indeterminate WB and that I should wait 30 days to retest.  I wasn't presented the option for a PCR test which, depending on what you read is accurate between 7 and 28 days from exposure.  More daming, in my opinion is that the WB and Elisa test are "sharp stick" type tests where they are searching for antibodies to proteins (the virus itself or components of the virus depending on the test).  Whereas the PCR test is a high sensitivity, high accuracy test searching for DNA of the virus.  PCR is said to be capable of detecting 50 copies per ML of blood.  The PCR has a gold standard and WB and ELISA do not.  PCR is what is used for health practicioners and researchers who fear they may have been exposed.

I'm at peach with being poz if it comes to that.  I'm also hoping I'm still neg, although I doubt it to be perfectly honest.  I dislike being in the purgatory of ignorance.  Having an indeterminate result and being told "we don't know."  The more I read, the more important I realize that the first few months are in an HIV infection.  It appears to be critically important to know the viral load, and if the load is high or the cd4 count low it is important to have the virus genotyped for resistances.  Each test takes a week or two and that means that if I really got unlucky and got a nasty strain of the virus it could wreak havoc on my system until mid Feb by the time we got all the test results back after a poz test result in mid to late Jan.  If I'm poz it seems that knowing it in December and being able to get the necessary testing done a month earlier makes alot of sense.

to Others: Any experience with PCR?  Am I correct on it's accuracy?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Again, PCR testing is not used as a diagnostic tool to decipher someone's HIV status. PCR, from what I UNDERSTAND, is used to measure someone's viral load, NOT STATUS.

If you are not at all that concerned about being HIV+, then why not wait the MD's "30 days"?
Does it really matter?

When was the last time you had a risk that substantiates for testing?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
What I am reading from your "original posting" is the "dipping".
That is the only substatiated risk.  When was it?
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
PCR is a fine test.  The problem with PCRs is that they are in fact not the "gold standard" test - a Western Blot is.  For example, it is not very uncommon for a PCR to give a falsely positive result.  Also, some people naturally have very low amount of virus and test negative on a PCR.  "Teak" here for one is undetectable by PCR - and he has AIDS.  He takes medication, but some people are undetectable in the absence of any medication.  So you can take that test, but it does have certain limitations.

I understand your anxiety and desire to get the results ASAP.  First of all - you don't need to wait 2 weeks for the ELISA results!  There are plenty of tests nowadays that give you an accurate result in 20-30 minutes!  You just need to find a clinic in your area that offers such a test, often it is free.  Second, since it has been 6 weeks since your last serious risk, you don't need to wait for that test, get it done on Monday!  It will be very accurate and you could relax a little.  I would still follow-up with a test at 3 months to be sure, but a test right now will be fairly reliable (the one you took 3 weeks ago is not).  I hope this answers your questions.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Yes it does.  
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
My understanding is that a PCR test is the most accurate way to detect new infections.  Yes it is called a viral load.  It can often be used to detect the virus before the immune response has begun and created detectable antibodies.

Yes, there are people on meds who are able to get the virus to become undetectable.  However, if I am infected then I should have very high levels of the virus in my system at 6 weeks.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Why do a PCR at this point?
95%+ of persons would test +ve by now.
Based on your original statement, you do not seem so overtly concerned with contracting HIV anyways.
6 more weeks will not kill ya.
or just test now...for a "general" idea.

But a word-to-the-wise....
If you do test negative,.you should modify some of your sexual activities.
A regular participant on this forum who is HIV+ would see your activities as irresponsible and reckless.

If you are seeking to become HIV+, you are doing a damn good job.  I just hope that you are going to get accustomed to living a HIV+ life, which endures sickness, countless paperwork regarding health forms (since the drugs can run over $80,0000/year) and that you are able to deal with it mentally.  Not to mention MANY other factors.

All I can say is....good luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
wow! the thought of being HIV+ is one thing..but the cost of the medicines....are you serious?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Would I have stated it had it not been realistic?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Not to mention Doctors visits every 3 months, fatigue, diarrea (diarrhea), constant headaches, the fact that 10-15% of medications become invaluable after a designated amount of time, ending up in the hospital due to other complications, not being able to cope with some everyday duties. Not to mention SOOOO many other health complications.

Think about it!
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
You are right, PCR is the best way to detect new infections.  By "new" it means the first month after infection.  In your case it has been longer, 6 weeks or so.  At this point PCR is no longer the best way, ELISA/WB is.  I would say don't wait, take one of the "rapid" tests tomorrow.  If it's negative you can relax and expect a negative on the follow-up.  If it's positive you know what to do.  By the way, you said above "I'm at peach with being poz" - I hope you have good health insurance to go with that attitude!    
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
When I said "i'm at peace with it" I simply mean that I'm not going to freak out, get depressed, or go crazy.  I do not want to be poz, I just realize that I engaged in some risky behavior, regret it, and can't undo it.  

You cannot change the past.  You can make the best of the present and the future.

I prefer to see the glass as half full, as it is all too easy to see it as half empty.  At this point the only thing I can do is get re-tested and find out for certain.  

I did go back to the clinic that did the test and spoke with a counselor.  That was a good step.  Based on what I've learned over the last few days I asked more detailed questions.

An ELISA test was not run.  Just a Western Blot.  A rapid elisa (Ora-quick) was done the same day and came back negative.  I've also been vaccinated against Hep B, and had syphillis (syphilis) at the time.   The bad news is that the band that was reactive was P24.  That is typically the first band to react during seroconversion.  The other bad news is that several of the symptoms I had match Primary HIV Infection pretty well.

So at this point I'm hoping it's negative, and mentally preparing for it be poz.

The clinic didn't seem interested in doing a DNA PCR test.  It required a follow up appointment, 2 week wait, and $600.  I discussed the option of another testing provider and the counselor suggested waiting 30 days, or if it would put me at ease, using the other testing provider.  It was $239 to have an ELISA and DNA PCR done with results in 2 days.  If the ELISA returns positive they will automatically run the WB at no extra charge.  While there are some who would feel this is overkill, or impatience.... I think I am far enough past the exposure and illness that the results should be reliable.  The process was very easy.  A 5 minute call to setup the test, pay for it, and pick a site to draw blood.  They use Labcorp who has sites all over Houston.  It took 5 minutes once I got there and the technician/nurse who took the blood was able to tell me that I'd have the results on Wed for sure.  The testing provider thought it would be 2 to 5 days but couldn't say for certain.  I even asked her if they found something if it would take longer, and she said no, I'd have my results for sure on Wed.  So on Wed I'll call the testing provider and find out hopefully for sure what is going on.  We'll have at the least an ELISA result and a DNA PCR result to compare.  If they are both negative than I think it will be safe to conclude my status as negative.  If they are both positive, then we will have a ELISA/WB and DNA PCR both saying the same thing.  Either way I will know more on Wednesday.

Brian123 - You are correct, I do need to behave more responsibly.  NO I am not trying to catch anything, much less HIV.  Thank you for your concern.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
For those that wonder why HIV is still being spread, this thread is prime example.

Fever, Rash, Fatigue, pharyngitis, lack of apetitie, mouth ulcers, night sweats........  coupled with point of onset.


Text book


For those that would more in depth explanation of onset, symptoms & duration; check this link
http://www.retroconference.org/2001/posters/414.pdf
Blank
173692_tn?1371540094
Now explain what you just read. Did you not read down at the bottom? However, if these results are confirmed.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
No explanation needed. Of course the ultimate diagnostic tool for HIV is getting tested. But if there were no indicative/coralative symptoms, they would never be mentioned or investigated in hte first place.
Blank
173692_tn?1371540094
And how many people don't have symptoms? How many times have you read that symptoms or the lack of, are not indicative to HIV. HIV has no specific symptoms and the only way for one to know that their symptoms were related to ARS is by testing positive.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
yep, I never said the like wise either.
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
Best of luck to you, ntjock.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Actually the thread you referenced is interesting, but old.  The test data is truncated in 1995 due to the introduction of HAART.  In the notes they specifically mention excluding the effects of treatment and being only concerned with prediction the progression to AIDS (CD4 count < 200).  I think American Family Physician Magaine's 1999 article is a much better description and correlation (statistically) of seroconversion illness symptoms.  That article appears here: http://www.aafp.org/afp/990800ap/535.html

The duration numbers given are all significanly longer than my own personal experience.  I'm inclined to agree with you that getting tested is the only conclusive tool.  Depending on who's research you read the numbers aren't quite in synch for HIV.  Looking at NYU's First Call western blot progression example would have a WB returning positive by Day 23 (which is the day blood was drawn - based on the suspected exposure).  
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
Dude, don't be kidding yourself.  You had very high risk, textbook ARS and the Western result that doesn't look good.  There is at least a 50% chance your test will come back poz on wednesday.  I think you should try to be mentally prepared for that instead of convincing yourself otherwise.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
couldnt some/most of the symptoms be related to syphilis as well? Of course the P24 strand being activated does not bode well, but i was just wondering. Rash, fever, etc. are all signs of syphilis as well.
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
Of course, they could.  Nobody is trying to convince ntjock that he has HIV before his test result says so.  As I said, in my opinion the chance that he's poz is in the 50 percent range.  This is high, but it also means that there is a 50 percent chance that he is not poz.  Since in 24 hours he will know for sure, there is really no need to guess anymore, but in my opinion the wisest thing to do is to be emotionally ready for either outcome.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
so what normally happens is that antibodies show up first (pos on ELISA) then the western blot will show up postiive after? Say, if full seroconversion hasn't taken place yet.
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
Every ELISA test is different, made by different manufacturers, using different reagents.  People can test positive with one ELISA kit, then negative with another ELISA kit a week later.  Eventually all ELISA kits will be positive, by 6-8 weeks - this is when people should test.

Normally, if the person is infected, when the ELISA is positive, the WB is at least indeterminate (meaning not all major bands are present).  This obviously does not apply to the Ag/Ab ELISAs, but those are not used in the US anyway, they are not approved by the FDA as of yet (at least they weren't a few months ago).  The Ag/Ab ELISA can be positive even before seroconversion has taken place.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
last question -- so 6-8 weeks is pretty definitive for testing now? Regardless of the ELISA kit?
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
Many places go by 6-8 weeks now, and in my opinion/experience 8 weeks is sufficient.  
CDC/FDA guidelines still recommend 3 months, so that is what many US doctors use.
Yes, by 8 weeks every ELISA kit gives a pos result, regardless of manufacturer, test generation, methodology etc.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I think you are 100% on target that I have a 50% chance of it coming back positive.  Hopefully if the clinician who took the blood was right my results will be back this afternoon.

Sorting the facts, in the anomoly camp (against it being HIV):
1) The Ora-Quick and WB, Syph, and Hep tests were done on what I suspect to be Day 23 after exposure.  According to NYU's firstcall site showing an example of typical seroconversion, P24 appears as soon as Day 2 and by Day 12 all major bands are starting to appear.  By day 22 it's a very obvious positive in this "typical" example.  http://www.hivinfosource.org/hivis/hivbasics/results/index.html

2) I really don't think I was that sick, and there are very sound, logical explanations for some of the things like night sweats.  In the couple of night sweat incidents it's sound to remember I had the thermostat on 81 and was under two thick blankets.  If that doesn't make you sweat nothing will.  My point here isn't to be in denial, just that in the anomoly camp we can explain this.

3) The ramp up to being sick and incubation period from exposure to a person with a cold matches perfectly.  In addition, I took dayquil, Nyquil, and Tylenol Cold which are all pretty much Tylenol, and a few other things that surpress fever.  The consensus with the MD and test counselor was that syphillis (syphilis) would have gone nuts in that situation.

4) Sadly, viral infections all look very similar.  So a cold, HIV, and a few other viruses are all going to elicit very similar responses from your body which will include damn near everything on the ARS list.  As has been said before, a test is the only way to find out.  Or if you wind up in the crack like me, several tests.

5) If we trace every single sexual contact and throw the conventional risk model out the window as far as oral sex, and jacking off..... The last sexual contact was 17 Nov which puts the test as being on Day 13.  In NYU's example there are multiple bands clearly present on Day 12.

6) Looking at WB itself, there is ample evidence to dictate that a WB should not be run as a diagnostic test and only as a confirmatory test to a postiive Elisa.  This is a major strike.  WB appears to fluctuate wildly on false positives and there are a varitey of low odds reasons.  One frequently mentioned cause of false positives is a current or prior syphillis (syphilis) infection.  

All of these are reasons to have hope for a negative result.

Jumping over the cliff on the other side (a  positive result):
1) The MD who made the initial suggestion that it might be HIV related is a recognized expert with alot of experience.  While it is possible for anyone to be wrong, this is clearly in the not good category.

2) P24 is statistically the first band to appear in a WB for someone who is seroconverting.

3) The symptoms match ARS, however, the duration may be questionable.

As we cannot change the past it is pointless to fume over it.  We must accept the present and can only change the future.  If my results come back positive than I will simply make the best of the situation.  I'm fortunate enough to have had many friends and co-workers who have had HIV and I'm well aware of the unpleasantries.  It's all too easy to see the glass half empty.  Frankly, things have never been better.  I remember when a diagnosis with HIV meant you had a 99% of being dead in 3 years.  Now the expectancy is 20+ years with proper lifestyle and health care.  One study on the inequalities of care by race and gender suggested a 35yo white male could expect to live 44 years if infected at age 35.  That's pretty damn optimistic.  I think the other thing to do when you confront the possibility of being diagnosed as HIV positive is to realize that it isn't good, but it certainly isn't the worst thing that can happen.  I think malignant cancer, paralysis, burns over 75% of your body, and a whole host of other things put you in a far worse situation.  My point isn't that HIV is  good, it's clearly not.  My point is that it could be worse and that others have it worse, so see the good in the situation and make the best of it.
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
I really hope that you will get a negative result today and will put this behind you.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
No dice today.  PCR results weren't back.

ConlictingAnswers.com ?  :)  The nurse/clinician (vampire?) who took the blood said it would be 2 days.  The site that I scheduled it through said 2 to 5 days.  The person I spoke to on the phone today said that it wasn't back yet, and to check back tomorrow morning and then again in the afternoon.  Said it had been 4 days on one test recently.

Guess it's just one of those things.... let go what you cannot control.  So I'll wait til tomorrow and see if the results are back.  

The only bummer is that they won't give me the ELISA results until they get the PCR results back.  Something about the lab only releasing both tests together.  I think they are just being conservative.  They apparently can see that the ELISA results are there, but not touchable until the PCR is done.  Doesn't make alot of sense to me, but maybe that is why they were $40 cheaper than their nearest competitor.  I still think $240 for PCR and ELISA testing is cheap.
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
Didn't I tell you to take an Oraquick 4 days ago?  Yes, I did.  See, now you have to wait, that's not fun.....
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Well the results came back yesterday.  The PCR was the slowdown, but I still think it was worth it.  All three tests (elisa, WB, PCR) wound up being run.  All three came back positive.  :(

I'm still glad I did the earlier retesting, and I'd recommend it to anyone in my situation.  If I'd waited and done what the clinic suggested it would have been 25 Jan before I found out.  

My friends have been very supportive and good to talk to about this.  Now my focus shifts to making the best of the situation.  While it's tempting to be down, depressed, or even angry, I don't think that's productive.  In fact I don't think any good comes out of it.  I prefer to see the glass as half-full, and I think it could be alot worse.  For one, there are worse diseases to have.  For another, we have it really lucky in the US.  In some countries there is no access to medicine or healthcare (think Africa).  

I cannot change the past, I can only infuence today, and the future.... meaning that we can learn from the past, but we shouldn't obsess about it.  Obsess about the future and making it better for yourself and others.
Blank
219662_tn?1223862160
I'm truly sorry to hear that, man.  But it's good that you are handling the news well.

The thing to do now is to find a good HIV specialist and keep track of your CD4 and VL numbers.  You don't need to start any meds until your CD4 numbers drop to below 350 - but that choice is up to you and your doctor.  

I wish you all the best
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I'm truly sorry to hear about your results, however I'm very happy you're taking it as well as you are. You are truly strong willed and I believe you'll be just fine :)

Best of luck to you in the future and stay healthy
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi, I've been reading this thread and I was really hoping that you would end up negative. I'm really sorry to hear that that was not the case, however, I'm glad of the outlook that you decided to take on your results. Having a positive outlook  is always the best way to handle any situation in my opinion. Like you said, there are much worse diseases out there that could kill you much faster than HIV and much more diminish your quality of life in the process. Stay strong and the best of luck to you.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Your are impressing me deeply NTJOCK, with your take on the outcome of your status everything you said is very true and i wish only the best  to you. Excercise, eat healthy and find yourself a good specialist. Thank you for sharing this with us as well, enjoy your holidays NTJOCK.

C H A P E A U
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
But…I do not understand, man…. People talking yesterday about you were so sad..but I do not understand one thing. So your symptoms were at the end of nov. but when was it your exposure , because you’ve had so many negative tests till now….i do not undersand at all…..were you in the 3 months window? I am very sorry and hope you can enjoy your holidays….
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
he tested pos less than 8 weeks after his exposure. He probably wouldve tested positive at 6 weeks had he taken a test then.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I think the moral about my testing experience is that it takes time to seroconvert.  Each person converts a little differently.  I'm glad that I retested when I did instead of waiting the 30 days.  

If you have an experience that makes you concerned, you need to wait at least 90 days beyond that exposure before a test can tell you reliably if you caught HIV.  In otherwords, if on 1 Dec you have bareback sex, you won't be able to reliably determine if you stayed HIV negative until 1 Mar.  If you test on 1 Jan, it will give you an idea, but it may not show yet.  In my case I had a negative test on Day 23 and then on approximately day 42 it came back positive.  I was lucky in that they did a western blot on day 23.  Had they not done that I might have thought I was negative and gone right on with my life.  Instead I had an indeterminate test which made me retest alot sooner.

I appreciate all the words of support and encouragement.  No matter where you are or who you are you absolutely have to look for the best in your situation.  Anger, Bitterness, and Depression are all natural reactions, but I don't see where they improve my status, so I've decided to skip that.  I never liked being angry at myself anyhow.  At the end of the day the only person you can be angry at for engaging in risky behavior is yourself.  

I would encourage anyone who has recently converted to find some heroes.  My heroes are my friends who have lived so long with the disease.  I know more people than I can count who have lived 10 years with HIV.  I know quite a few people who have had it 20 years.  They are my heroes because they are proof that if you get adequate healthcare, take care of yourself, and live with a positive attitude and outlook that you can have a fullfilling and enjoyable life.

Our local HIV clinic, Legacy (formerly Montrose Clinic) has a class called NextStep that helps people adjust to life with HIV.  That's my next step and tomorrow I'll be arranging to be in that class.  My other next step is to figure out what to do about healthcare.  I'm unlucky enough to be uninsured.  No matter, any insurance company would drop kick you once they find out you have HIV anyway.  I had always thought insurance was expensive, it's not.  Policies abound at $150/mo for the healthy.  The good news in my situation is Texas has a High Risk Insurance pool that guarantees insurance to anyone who pays the premium and is uninsurable elsewhere.  I'm lucky enough to be able to afford that option, so I have to check and see if that is a route that is worth pursuing for me.  Mind you it's not easily affordable, but I can pay for it.    

All any of us can really do is strive to live our lives in the best possible way, being honest with ourselves and others.  


As for the Holidays, I'm enjoying them just like I otherwise would have.  With one exception.  I'm very acutely aware of how wonderful and supportive my friends are.  I can't ask for anything more than supportive and caring friends.

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Merry Christamas
  
Blank
170597_tn?1204056355
I am puzzled, what was ur exposure? Gay or straight? I am scared as hell, I had sore throat for five days and sinus headches which came and go for two days. Then it came again a week later and gone again. I am straight, I had protected sex and unprotected oral. I am scared to get tested though after reading your post.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
he says what his exposure was at the very top. read and read again.
Blank
170597_tn?1204056355
yea I read that, but sorry, what is the meaning of at the very top?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I'm syaing he says what his exposure in his original post (at the very top of the page)
Blank
170597_tn?1204056355
Yea, but he only describes symptoms but not the detail of the exposure. Was it protected/unprotected? Was he gay/straight? That's what I wanted to know. It says he was at top. That's it. Can't Understand how he got it though.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn

"In the 14 days prior to my illness I was only with 3 partners.  2 of them were limited to oral sex and jacking off.  1 of them was RISKY, but I was the TOP.  That encounter was on the 6th.  Timing isn't quite right, but still is possible for an hiv exposure."



he is Gay! he was the TOP!!!! he said that was his real risk!!!!!!!! So i am assuming it was unprotected, due to him saying he can't change his mistakes from the past.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
NTJOCK was having sex with another man, i've learned that being the top means being the one to insert as opposed to the one who recieves the penis during anal intercouse. This how NTJOCK contracted hiv as it was unprotected as extreme has basically stated to you, i hope this clears things up for you Naseeb.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
So NTJOCK had another post where he states he engaged in dipping?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Exposure was on Nov 6th-(anal intercourse).
Symptoms: fever / rash / fatigue / laringitis / loss of appetite / mouth ulcer / night sweats / cough / persistantly swollen lymph nodes / minor aches / chills / sore throat.
Probably tested positive @ the 6 week mark.
Is this basically correct?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
look at his first post. it clearly states

"In the 14 days prior to my illness I was only with 3 partners.  2 of them were limited to oral sex and jacking off.  1 of them was RISKY, but I was the TOP.  That encounter was on the 6th.  Timing isn't quite right, but still is possible for an hiv exposure."

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
So which exposure do you believe caused Ntjock to contrcted hiv from then Extremestress? If the timing was not right for the highest risk exposure (unprotected anal intercourse -or- dipping) then that means you believe he contracted hiv during the oral sex he engaged in?
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
anal intercourse. it was quite right. it says 14 days prior to my illness.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
anal intercourse. it was quite right. it says 14 days prior to my illness.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
anal intercourse. it was quite right. it says 14 days prior to my illness.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Your answers lack elaboration Extremestress.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
HIV Prevention Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top HIV Answerers
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Teak
OH
366749_tn?1370585676
Blank
diver58
Karachi, Pakistan
580755_tn?1357673215
Blank
Vance2335
Buffalo, NY
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
hangon51
Toronto, ON
186166_tn?1385262982
Blank
LIZZIE LOU
Auburn, AL