I was recommended to post in this forum, after a recent post in the HIV Prevention Forum. I am going to copy my post from the prevention forum here, as it is a complete summary of my experiences related to my possible anxiety, and therefore could affect responses to my question. IT'S LONG, I APOLOGIZE!
I am Male, 20 years old, and gay. I have only had ONE sexual partner in my life, with whom I had sex < 20 times, though unprotected. This risky behavior took place about 5 years ago (I had just turned 16).
TIMELINE (To try to keep things *short*):
Early-July 2006: Last sexual Intercourse, relationship ended due to me learning my boyfriend cheated on my with 3 others from my highschool. I am pretty sure, the situation boils down to virgins screwing virgins (small town + being gay = shallow pool to fish from)... but I still worry about possible risks here.
Late-July 2006: Ex-boyfriend got tested for STDs. I contacted him, he informed me all tests were negative.
August 2006: Diagnosed w/ mono (blood work taken), was a rather mild case. I didn't even know I had it. Though I had a lot of mouth sores.
October 2008: Got a tattoo the night before a road trip, started feeling a cold directly after. My tattooist was actually a certified nurse that tattooed as a hobby. She was wearing scrubs actually! Haha.
October 2008-June 2009: I obsess over possibility of Hep C exposure (and HIV). Develop abdominal pains and frequent nausea, as well as irregular bowel patterns. Tested for Hep C with a Home Access kit. Results are negative.
August 2009: General blood work (CBC) and abdominal sonogram showed good liver function, normal blood cell counts and no gallstones. Back to square one.
August 2009-November 2009: Abdominal pains continue... I start to obsess over the possibility of HIV (either from intercourse 4 years ago, or the tattoo).
November 2009: Test for HIV with Home Access kit. Result is Negative.
October 2009-Present: Still facing nausea, RUQ pain and loose stools. New to the symptom-party since October has been a mild sore throat that comes and goes on a weekly basis.
I have become preoccupied with the risk I put myself at 5 years ago, and I wonder every day if there is something I am missing here. I have been informed that my ex has tested negative for HIV again about a year ago. Though I have not spoken to him directly, nor do I think I would believe anything he had to say. I have also been able to track down the HIV status of 2 of the 3 men he cheated on me with, they have both tested negative for HIV multiple times over the past couple of years. The status of the 3rd man is unknown. As I stated, I tested negative for both Hep C and HIV using Home Access Home Collection Kits. The Hep C test was about 6 months after possible exposure (tattoo), and the HIV test was over three years after possible exposure (unprotected intercourse), therefore both tests SHOULD BE CONCLUSIVE.
It is just so *convenient* that shortly after my first sexual encounter I developed mono, which has all the same symptoms/timeframe as HIV. What scares me most is that I had many mouth sores w/ my mono, which aren't officially associated with mono, but I have read are sometimes associated with HIV. I have googled the issue, and found that others do experience mouth sores during mono, and my doctor at the time said that mono could lead to mouth sores (though he didn't entertain the possibility of HIV, I was only 16 at the time).
FINALLY, my official question is:
Are the results from Home Access tests reliable and conclusive given my history that I have given? Or should I seek further testing? I chose Home Access tests because they were anonymous and FDA approved, and I couldn't deal with being tested by another person.
At this point, I am starting to believe that I am a major hypochondriac, and that all of my symptoms are a result of extreme stress (my doctor attributed my abdominal pains to stress, and my sore throat to changing weather/lack of water. I did not tell him of my phobias-- only of my symptoms, in hopes that he would diagnose me). Unfortunately, pretty much ALL of my current symptoms could be attributed to stress and fatigue (college student). I google symptoms daily, and frequently of anxiety over this issue. Sometimes I have good weeks where I am symptom-free and therefore do not think of it as much. Most other times, I am thinking about it on an hourly basis, and reading forums such as these for at least an hour or two a day-- usually MORE than this though.
Any answers and suggestions that you may have for any issues I have outlined above would be greatly appreciated!