I posted on 4/17/08 with a detailed description of my experience. The responses I've received have made me hopeful that my test results were believable, especially with respect to the kind of risk to which I was exposed.
My test results were:
Negative at 9.0 weeks post-exposure via Bayer Centaur HIV 1/O/2
Negative at 12.7 weeks post-exposure via Oraquick Advance Rapid HIV 1/2
The concern I'm having is that 4 days after my 9-week test, I came down with what I thought was a sinus infection (lots of pressure around the eyes, top and back of the head - somewhat different than previous sinus infections I've had) so my doctor prescribed me Zithromax over the phone. What I forgot to mention, and didn't think was important, was that I also started on Nasonex corticosteroid nasal spray at the same time and took 2 sprays in each nostril each day up to the time of my Oraquick test.
So I've been on corticosteroid nasal spray for roughly a month and have unfortunately read that such medication can inhibit immune response and potentially make antibodies to HIV undetectable via the aforementioned tests. Is this possible?
Given my entire situation, can I rely on my 13-week results? To be honest, I'm still worried because of what I've read regarding corticosteroids and because my throat, head, and knuckles still bother me.
A review of a few existing threads would have saved you $15.00. It has been stated innumerable times on this forum that no medicine alters HIV test results. There are often-stated beliefs about potent chemotherapy or immunosuppressive drugs, but those would require giant doses for a long time; and even this situation is theoretical, with few if any reports of it actually happening. Nasal steroids have no effect. You can rely on your results, as you were told repeatedly on the community forum. You don't have HIV.
I've read that descriptions of symptoms aren't worth much, but a few other things I forgot to mention in my list of symptoms on 4/17/08 were: 1) I had, a week after my 9-week test, a light red area the size of a baseball under my left pectoral containing three small red papules 2) I've had some minor peeling of skin in a circular shape on my palms. 3) Not only do my knuckles feel sore, but my wrists do as well. Sorry to go on. I know I'm pathetic.
Thanks for your reply, Dr. Handsfield. You don't know how happy I am to hear that and grateful for the service you provide on this website. I felt like this added nuance of my situation might somehow make it different than others', but I'm glad it doesn't. Best wishes!
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