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I think I have been infected with HIV. My symptoms include headaches, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal problems, leg pain, fatigue, heart problems (palpatations, pain, shortness of breath), and little brown specs on my tongue. This has been going on for about 2.5 years but I havent had the thrush, or the swollen lymph nodes, which I have read is real common in infected individuals. I also know that I have a leaky heart valve which makes my [self] diagnosis even harder. I am afraid to get tested because I work on a state project and am afraid of getting fired (although they will give me a different reason than HIV). I also belive I have hepatitus or something because I have yellow in my eyes and it seems as if my skin is kind of yellow to me. I would like to know could this possibly be something else and also about usually, how long does it take for the thrush, hairy tongue, and swollen lymph nodes to be present in an infected individual. Thanks
9 Responses
172023 tn?1334675884
Your reason for not getting tested is ridiculous.  You're afraid of getting fired, so you'll just go ahead and DIE?  

Did you have any high risk exposures, such as needle sharing, or unprotected anal sex with strangers?  

There are a lot of explainations for the symptoms you have, and unless you regularly engage in the behaviors described above, HIV is NOT LIKELY to be a reason.  No one can access your medical records.  If you get tested, no one sends a report to your employers.  There is no way for your employers to get your private medical records.

If you truly are paranoid about it, just go to an anonymous clinic.  Or go to the drugstore and pick up a Home Access HIV test.  Sometimes you have to ask for it, and other times it's on the shelf.  

But just to bury your head in the sand and wait to die b/c you don't want to be fired?  Do you understand how ridiculous that sounds?
97676 tn?1340408973
Your story is the most rediculous I have ever heard.  Scared to get tested because the fear of losing your job, come on.  We are all afraid to get tested, but we do it anyway to relieve our fears.  You need to get tested if you think you have HIV.  Why do you think you have it anyway?  Is it linked to any particular possible exposure?  None of your symptoms make me think you have it.  The only condition I think you might be suffering from is hypochondriasis.  See your physician, not because I think you have anything, because you are stressing over something you likely dont have.
Avatar universal
To the original poster:  Under no circumstance can you be fired for having HIV.   I think it is unlikely you have HIV but one thing I do know for certain is that your employer cannot fire for having any disease - PERIOD.  Employment termination for disease and/or disability is the binding agent in most successful lawsuits.

To all the others:  Do not be naive.  Your health records are not private. I work in the health care industry and can assure you that your medical records are very accessible to a wide range of people.  To doctors, health insurance examiners, and yes, sometimes even employers.  
For everyone who gets their health insurance through their employer, don't forget when you signed up for that health plan; you had to sign a lot of papers and waivers.   This is not true of every health plan but is more common today.  One piece of paper you signed was a waiver to your privacy in certain circumstances, and that your records could be shared under specific conditions.   You might want to go back and read the fine print of your employer-based policy, or just go to the web page of your insurance provider and look at the fine print concerning who has potential access to your "so-called" private records.  You might be surprised.
Avatar universal
Whoa.  You better be real careful about taking advise from anyone (claimed doctor, claimed nurse, claimed psychiatrist, anyone else) who tells you it's unlikely you have HIV.  They don't know squat about you other than what you've said here.  The things you have described could very well be HIV and Hep C, and even if they aren't - you have expressed a fear of having perhaps BOTH, and no one should ever tell you that you probably don't have it UNLESS it's a doctor after you have been tested.  If your eyes are yellow and your skin has a yellow tinge, you could be jaundiced. That could very well mean hepatitis.  The thrush and swollen lymph nodes could also mean HIV.  It's not uncommon at all for people to be infected with both HIV and Hep B/C.  You could also have something BESIDES HIV / Hep, but - if you are afraid you have it - you need to get tested.  

And yes - you can be fired - for any reason, and the fact is you won't have a leg to stand on if your employer does fire you.  Almost all states (with the exception of a few) can fire "at will", meaning they can fire you for NO reason or ANY reason they want to (and if they suspect you have HIV or Hepatitis and want to get rid of you as their employee, they will fire you very carefully.)  Firing of those with HIV, hepatitis, AIDS has happened to millions since the ADA was enacted.  It doesn't matter if you disclose to your employer or not.  If you want to be more protected on the job by the ADA, then you MUST disclose your status.  On some jobs, NOT disclosing can not only get you FIRED, it can possibly get you CHARGED if you put someone else in harms way because you DIDN'T disclose when you had a legal obligation TO disclose.  

Also, if you believe you are jaundiced (yellow), you should consider that you might infect someone else with hepatitis if this is the reason you are yellow (depending on the kind of hep you have.)  A, B, and C are spread differently - from unsanitary conditions, feces, or blood.  

This isn't a cold you think you have, it's possibly HIV and some type of hepatitis (possibly B or C - could be both.)  There is treatment for both (for dually infected), and it's for sure if you have these two conditions together (HIV and /or Hep) you are going to go down hill pretty quick if you ignore it and don't get under the care of an infectious disease doctor.  I've got several friends who are dually infected and have responded very well to the medications and are living today because of it.

Everyone is afraid to get tested. Would you rather die?

The privacy of your medical records (or lack of) is an absolute trivial matter if you are sitting there with HIV or Hep C.  TRIVIAL.  It is NOT the end of the world for your employment or your life if you have either of these conditions and can be treated, but if you are positive and ignore it, it could be the end of all of it.  Forget about the fine print on all that **** you signed when you went to work -- get tested - PERIOD.  
Avatar universal
Hi there.  I didn
172023 tn?1334675884
No one said the original poster couldn't have HIV.  We said it was unlikely to be the reason, unless the person had a high risk exposure.  I'll stand by that. HIV is an uncommon disease, so unless the person had a high risk exposure, it IS unlikely to be the cause. The OP has not come back to reveal if there were any high risk exposures.

As for the medical record issue, no, your insurance company isn't sitting around waiting for people with HIV diagnoses, to gleefully track down your employer and direct supervisor, simply to divulge your confidential medical records.  A "report" is not sent to your employer every time you go to the doctor, revealing intimate details of your possible diagnoses and treatment.  There is no fine print you sign that authorizes any and every visit to the doctor or hospital to be faxed or sent to your employer for the purpose of tracking your personal life.  

For Gods sake, I can't even call up and get my husbands blood sugar testing info from his doctors office without his permission.  My husband has also had HepC, and is a position where certainly wouldn't be good for his employer to know.  So far, it's only been 10 or 11 years, but somehow the insurance company hasn't contacted his employer to spill the beans despite years of expensive treatment and testing.  Come off it.  No one is sitting there, looking for "bad" diagnoses, to pounce on the info and break the law by trackng down your employer to let the cat out of the bag.

If the OP has high risk activities, of course he/she should be tested rather than wait around to die.  Don't fear repercussions from your employer simply over testing.  If you can't get over that fear, there are plenty of anonymous ways to get tested.  

Lets all get along and play nice, now.

Avatar universal
Hi Peekawho.  Sorry if I came across edgy or pushy.  I'm just strongly opposed to anyone brushing the importance of testing off.  If a poster comes here stating they fear they have either HIV or Hep C, they need to learn their status - period.  They need to learn about treatment;  they need to know delaying diagnosis and treatment can be deadly.  If they are negative, then no worries.  If they are positive, some will then have a whole different set of rules to play by when it comes to protecting their rights, employment, insurance, etc. It can get very complicated for anyone diagnosed.

In cases of FMLA (if an employer requests time off due to illness),  notes do have to be submitted to the employer from the treating doctor with a stated diagnosis and estimated time of absence from work due to that diagnosis.  The employee
172023 tn?1334675884
Where did I say not to get tested?  I distinctly remember saying it was ridiculous NOT to get tested.  IF there was no HIGH RISK activity, HIV would be a very uncommon source of his symptoms, 4 million people or not.  I notice he never came back to elaborate.  

(We weren't even talking about FMLA here.  The OP was worried that he could be fired for being tested.)  When my husband had to have FMLA, he did not have to state the nature of his illness.  Just had to have documentation from his doctor that he had a medical condition necessitating the time off work.  

I loved the "claimed nurse" remark.  I wish I wasn't a nurse!  I wouldn't have to work tonight!  

No offense taken, though.  Have a great day.  Since the OP never came back, I'm assuming he lost interest.  

Avatar universal
I had protected sex about 3 months ago. Kissed with closed mouth afterwards I felt sick, thought it was nerves from being scared. Had been to dentist a few days before there was no teeth pulled though, but whiten system done. Two weeks later got a bacterial infection went to doc put on the medicine metronidazole got it cleared but it came back because I didn't finish it. Got put bac on the medicine and its cleared again, but now new things are happening. I've had burning sensation in my  mouth and lips, teeth and gum ache, and tongue has turned yellow. Do this mean I am hiv postive? Some neck pain and anxiety of course from worring.Shows triedness and sick look in eyes.
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