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Avatar universal

5 Weeks After Risky Sexual Encounter

I am female and 5 weeks ago did something, with great regret, out of the ordinary and had an unprotected, rough sexual encounter with someone I had just met, though he did not ejaculate inside of me.  I spoke with the individual, who told me that I had not had anything to worry about and he was clean.  He said, based on his profession, his employer supposedly gives him tests every so often.  Though, naturally, I simply cannot count on his word as I do not know his history and what he does outside of work.  Obviously everyone is susceptible, regardless of their profession.  

So far, thank goodness, all of my STD tests have come back negative.  My greatest concern, though, are my HIV tests.  I have had 5 Negative tests so far and am due for another 2 tomorrow.  My first tests were at the 10 day mark, it was a Rapid Test (though I know these aren't accurate so early) as well as a certain "Viral Load" test which the Antiviral Research Department at the hospital had guaranteed me to be accurate within 7 days of potential exposure.  Fortunately, both came back Negative.  Though, this has not helped to calm my anxieties.  I am unsure of the exact Viral Load test they had done and even though they had guaranteed me that it was 100% accurate at my 10 day mark, I have read on certain sites that some of them have the possibility of resulting in false-negatives until up to 2-3 weeks after exposure.  Not sure if theirs is "better" than others, or what.  

I have become obsessed with it and have almost convinced myself that I do, in fact, have it.  Since last week, (4 weeks post-exposure), I have been sort of ill, some vomiting, abdominal/pelvic pain, diarrhea, unable to eat, though I have been stressed out of my mind to near nervous breakdown, unable to sleep more than a few hours a night, and have been smoking over double the amount than I normally do, so that may very well have been the cause.  My temperature seems to fluctuates from my normal 97.9, though it has not gone over 99.0.  On Sunday, (33 days after exposure) I picked up an OraQuick test, which came out negative, as well.  I know those aren't completely accurate until the 3 month mark, though.  

I ended up going to the ER last night after getting faint and falling over (possibly from stress and having only a few bites of food to eat, per day, for the past week).  I told them about the unprotected sexual encounter I had and all of my symptoms I have been having over the past week, and they agreed to run a full blood panel as well as STD tests.  My blood panel was perfect, (surprisingly, after having not eaten or slept for a week) and my blood STD tests were Negative.  I forgot to ask what specific test they had used, though, which is driving me absolutely insane.  They gave me some anti-nausea medication, which made me release a great deal of gas (sorry for TMI), which I assume was attributing to my vomiting and abdominal pain.  I felt nearly 100% better after leaving the hospital and am feeling even more better today, no more symptoms, am able to sleep & eat, etc.  Though, the weirdest thing is that my hands and feet keep sweating.

I am going back to the same place that offered the 7-day Viral Load test tomorrow and will have another Rapid Test prior to that.  I am hoping that at 36 days post-exposure (5 weeks, 1 day), it should be more than accurate and I will be able get the results in 2 weeks, or they will notify me within 1 week if it is *knock on wood* positive.

My question is, are all of these negatives a good sign?  I know it was a little over a month after exposure, and some organizations recommend at least 3-6 months, though should I have been more than confident in my initial Viral Load test result?  Thanks!
12 Responses
Avatar universal
You can obtain your conclusive test result 3 months post exposure. You need to post any STD questions you have in the STD Forum.
Avatar universal
I understand that it can take up to 3 months for the anti-body test to have conclusive results, though I know the time frames can vary anywhere from 1-3 weeks when it comes to Viral Load tests, depending on what type it is.  
Avatar universal
Viral Load tests don't screen for HIV.
Avatar universal
Abbott RealTime
HIV-122
HIV-1 Patient Monitoring: Quantitation of HIV-1 RNA in plasma of HIV-1 infected individuals.

Amplicor HIV-1 Monitor Test23
HIV-1 Patient Monitoring: Quantitation of HIV-1 RNA in plasma of HIV-1 infected individuals.

COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 Test24
HIV-1 Patient Monitoring: Quantitation of HIV-1 RNA in plasma of HIV-1 infected individuals.

Versant HIV-1 RNA 3.0 (bDNA)25
HIV-1 Patient Monitoring: Quantification of HIV-1 RNA in plasma of HIV-1 infected individuals
Avatar universal
Thanks!  Okay, now I'm even more anxious and very confused by what they had told me.  This is what they stated:

"A standard HIV test detects antibodies that the person’s immune system makes to fight HIV after infection and it could take up to six weeks or more for antibodies to develop. On the other hand, The Early Test detects the HIV virus, not the antibodies. The Early Test can detect HIV infection as early as one week after exposure."

They assured me that the type of testing they did was highly accurate.  How could they insure that it is accurate HIV testing if it is, in fact, not.  Wouldn't that be a huge liability risk?

Avatar universal
"Two kinds of HIV tests can be done: an HIV antibody test and an HIV viral load test.

HIV antibody test. This test looks for "antibodies" - cells in your body that fight infection. But, there is a gap between the time you are infected with HIV and the time that antibodies can be found by an HIV antibody test. This is called the "window period." Most people develop antibodies within a month of being infected with HIV. Almost everyone develops HIV antibodies within three months.

HIV viral load test. This test measures any HIV in your body. It can find HIV even before antibodies develop. So, an HIV viral load test is a more accurate test if you have been infected in the past month."
Avatar universal
I'd also like to add that I most definitely plant to take the Antibody test at 3 months, just wondering if chances are leaning more towards my favor in regards to all of this, with all the negative results! :)
Avatar universal
I'm monitored every 3 months and my results states undetected. I've been positive for 29 years. Get your conclusive negative test 3 months post exposure.
Avatar universal
A negative result with this test does not mean that you are definitely not infected with HIV, particularly when exposure may have been within the previous 3 months.

Oraquick Rapid test.
Avatar universal
I assume you've been taking medication, though?
Avatar universal
I apologize, I may have used the wrong term when I stated "Viral Load" test.  I believe what it was is a DNA HIV Test, or something of that sort.
Avatar universal
PCR-DNA Tests
Neither the Abbott RealTime nor the Roche COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HIV-1 assay is intended to be used as a donor screening test for HIV-1 or as a diagnostic test to confirm the presence of HIV-1 infection.
Richard Klein
HIV/AIDS Program Director
FDA Office of Special Health Issues
Food and Drug Administration
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