I wanted to share my story with some of you who may have been in the same place I was the last few months, in hopes that my story will bring you some comfort and some peace of mind.
This is my story…
I was in a long term relationship for 5 years. We broke up, had some minor issues. I met a guy (I’m a girl) we hit it off and started dating. I had unprotected vaginal intercourse and he came inside me. High risk.
It turned out that the guy I thought I was in a relationship had a live in girlfriend and a one year old kid. Needless to say I broke it off.
April 25th was the last time we had sex and it was unprotected.
I got tested soon after for STI’s and everything came back ok.
One month after I decided to get an HIV test and Hep test done. This was a traumatic experience as the clinic called, when they said they would not unless something was wrong. Then the call came “Dr. wants to discuss your results with you… can you come in.”
The drive there was silent. It felt like I was waiting in the waiting room for what seemed for ever. Then my name was called, I entered the small room and waited yet again. When the Doctor entered and asked what he could do for me I explained that I got a call to discuss my blood work. He left the room and when he returned he said that they could not find my results… or my file for that matter. Eventually after 20 min or so the nurse finally found my file but only had the Hep results at first then returned with my HIV results. The Doctor said that they called so they could discuss my Hep results. I got the shot earlier that month so they wanted to let me know that it worked, I was immune to it. The HIV test turned out to be negative.
I was happy with this news.. well for a while that is.
A few weeks after that I noticed a swollen lymph node in my groin area, a few days after that I was diagnosed with a urinary track infection. Took medication for it, then got a yeast infection due to the medication I was on.
I started to surf the internet to see what a painless swollen lymph node could mean and wouldn’t you know it pointed to HIV! This scared the living daylights out of me.
About a week after I noticed the lymph node I developed diarrhea which lasted about 7 plus days. Again, looked on line and oh there it was DIARRHEA SYMPTOM OF HIV!!! So now I had the swollen lymph node, prolonged diarrhea and started to get muscle pains.
I also was convinced that I had oral thrush.
I was on line constantly, during work, after work and when I was not on line I was calling help lines regarding HIV. I couldn’t eat, sleep or function. Lost weight! – another symptom of HIV.
I decided to see a Psychologist because I knew that I was going to have to get tested again, sooner or later. Seeing a psychologist did help a bit, not that it took my mind off it but it helped me to get tested again. I did get tested waited 2 weeks for the results, turned out negative. However, these results were only at 10.5 weeks and therefore as stated on the many web sited that I visited were not conclusive.
So again, the cycle started all over again. I have all the signs, I have it. Started to think a lot about life and how it was about to change.
Today, I took another HIV test and got a negative result! NEGATIVE! It has been 4 months post exposure. Health professionals tell me that I am in the clear! I am HIV negative! No further testing is required.
For the past few months I have been living as though I was HIV positive. I was convinced that I had it. I was going on line to HIV dating sites, trying to prepare myself for what I was going to be told and trying to cope with my new life, but guess what, I was wrong! Symptoms do not equal HIV! An HIV test is the only way to know. I still have the swollen lymph node in my groin (confirmed by a doctor) and I think I have one in my neck (yet to be confirmed). Still have pains, but this could be due to all the anxiety and stress I have been under the past few months. But it is not due to HIV!
I do recommend that if you are ever, and I hope you never are, in my shoes, that you not look at symptoms, as they mean nothing. Get tested at the 12 week mark. You can go earlier if you like but chances are you are not going to feel ok about the results until you test negative after 12 weeks, because before the 12 weeks you will constantly be thinking about the what if’s.
For those of you who have tested negative at 10 weeks, this is a fantastic indicator of what your results will be after 12 weeks, so I encourage you to get tested, you are going to feel so much better.
I hope my story brings peace of mind to some. Always practice safe sex. It is just not worth the risk. My experience had taught me a great deal, I now look at life from a different angle. I now realize how precious life is. And I will do everything to ensure that I stay in it as long as I can.
Hang in there!
An HIV test is about 98% accurate at 10.5 weeks. I wouldn't even recommend further testing unless you know he had HIV.
And I can't give you odds on transmission. A lot goes into it - is he on meds, what is his viral count, his CD4 count, etc., IF he has it.