Wow....this is a never ending nightmare. I had my test at 37 days post exposure. I was a wreck, so the Doctor got the results back to me within an hour instead of the usual 1 week wait.
Thankfully everything came back Negative. I was over the moon..... nearly 6 weeks of sheer terror and panic, pretty much gone in an instant. Or so I thought......
About 3 days later, I have no idea why..... the idea that the test was a false positive entered my head. Even though I have read on many many site (including CDC) that 28 days is considered conclusive with an 4th Gen DUO test (what I had).
Everywhere I went, there seemed to be 'warning' signs..... TV documentaries about HIV and AIDS were on.....I'd NEVER seen a documentary on TV about that before.... now 2 in the same week??!! News articles popping up in facebook about HIV and STD's...... An advert on the side of a bus (albeit for a Burglar alarm system) saying "One night can change your life forever!"..... It was like the World was trying to tell me something. Start the nightmare worry cycle once again.....
I emailed the Doctor to confirm that the HIV test was OK and there was nothing to worry about. Only to get an email back from the Staff Nurse saying simple "You need to return in 6 weeks to repeat the blood tests"...
Major freak out moment. What was wrong with the tests? I was sure the Doctor told me everything was Negative and there was nothing to worry about. I could carry on as normal. Now this......why??
I was in such a state, I emailed the Doctor, the Staff Nurse and even phoned the GU clinic.
The Doctor was really kind and reassured me that there was nothing to worry about with HIV and that the test was covered as I was past 28 days. The repeat tests were for Syphilis and Hep B....they do this as a precaution only as there is an incubation period of 90 days for both. Apparently the Doctor told me this at the time, but I was in such a mess, I probably missed it. So all good...... it's just a follow up. HIV is covered.... and everything else was Negative, so that was a good indicator of my true status regarding everything else.
Then.... a few days after that, I went swimming in the sea. My shorts rubbed my penis and left a red mark. I KNEW this was just a rub and was caused by friction with my shorts, as it wasnt there before I went swimming. But my over active brain had other ideas...... no....this was Syphilis, I told myself......another panic attack.
More emails to the Doctor, who again was brilliant. She explained that Syphilis was unlikely in my case, but she had to follow BASHH guidelines, and they were to retest at 90 days. She told me that Syphilis would likely show 1st as a chancer sore at the point of contact. As I had no sores (now 7 weeks post exposure) and I had an initial Negative test, that it was a very good indicator that I was indeed Negative. She invited me back in for another Syphilis test (8 weeks) for no other reason than to help calm my nerves. So I went for the test on Friday.
Got results back this morning. They actually ran another HIV test with the Syphilis test.....Both Negative.....again. Staff Nurse told me that I could really start to relax over this now, but to still come back in 4 weeks for the 90 day follow up.
So 2 Negative HIV tests and 2 Negative Syphilis tests.
Still....I have 4 weeks til my 90 days tests...... No doubt my brain will decide that something else isn't right. Maybe both tests were wrong..... maybe I am the 0.00000001% that slips through the net. All ridiculous I know..... But for anyone else going through this HIV anxiety....you'll understand where I'm coming from.
I want to shake this feeling..... I want to forget about the 1 stupid mistake I made. I want to continue with my life and not have to worry anymore about this. Is it possible? I hope so.
If anyone reading this can relate and wants to talk, message me. It's a struggle.....and it's horrible to go through. It might be easier if you dont suffer through it alone.
I wish you all the very best.