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going suicidal ... hiv or my mind
Apr 25, 2003

first off, want to start by saying that you're a true gift to the paranoid community ... thank you very much for your kind words that i am sure that everyone finds confort on them ...

Sometime in late december I met this married lady at a christmas party that our company holds ... we starting dating and on January 4th we ended up having unprotected oral and vaginal sex ... the reason I did was because she had shown me a test she had taken late november ... about six weeks after this incident i developed somethin like the flu ... had nausea ... painful lymph nodes ... diarrhoea ... pain on my joints ... had a rash on each of my feet ... slight fever ... maliase and have never felt worst ... dizziness ... well like everyone else the first thing that came to mind was HIV ... well the thing that scares me is that she had been experiencing similar symthoms around that time ... well I started reading this website and started going crazy ... got the point where i couldn't sleep ... had to take days off from work cause I couldn't concentrate ... like 10 weeks after this possible exposure i went to get tested ... really paranoid so i couldn't wait but to go get tested ... came back negative ... a week after(week 11) that i had her go get tested ... she came back negative ... well like at around week 13 I started to come down with something like a flu again ... this time i have a dry cough ... shortness of breath ... diarrhoea ... some white growth is appearing on my tonque ... all the way to the back of my throat there is some white stuff ... have bad sore throat ... have a slight fever at night time ... headache ...well to make things worst she confessed to me that she had unprotected sex like 3 months before she met me ... she doesn't beilive her husband is cheating but you might never know ... well i got so scared that i had to go do myself a Rapid HIV Test(week 14) ... it came back negative at week 14...well right now i am off work and under some heavy anti-depressants cause i can't think anything else but that I am hiv positive ... I cannot think and cannot concentrate ... started hating myself and had even considered suicide ... still do sometimes and cannot do anything else but just think that i have this horrible disease ... will start counseling sometime this week and hopefully that will help ... Yesterday(week 14) I went to the nearest clinic to have all std's done ... MY QUESTION : 1.) Does my symthoms sound like ARS? The std counselor saw my tongue and said that the white growth is not thrush and that i should have my pcp do a throath culture 2.)Hiv test(elisa) at week 10 negative ... her's at week 11 negative ... Rapid HIV test at week 14 ... can it be assumed that my initial symthoms at week 6 were not hiv related cause all my test upto this point are negative ??? 3.) did i probably contract some other bateria/virus through oral sex 4.) where do i stand if my complete std tests that i did yesterday come back negative ... the test yesterday includes herpes, clamidia , syphillis, hiv , hepatitis , gonorrhea ... also they took sample from my throat to test for herpes and gonorrhea on my throat ... 5.) What is the actual window period for hiv ... it's so confusing cause one coulselor would say 3weeks to 3 months and the other would say 6 months ... can you please clarify this for me doc... Please help me that i am running close to becoming into a state of depression ... all i want to do is sleep when i can to forget everything ... PLEASE DOCTOR ROB PLEASE ANSWER ... I AM SURE THAT YOUR KIND WORDS WILL CONSOLE ME ... PLEASE ANSWER ... THANK YOU AND SORRY FOR POSTING ON THIS SECTION ... WHY DON'T YOU CONSIDER A SECTION ON THE HIV SECTION ... KEEP UP THE HARD AND WISHING YOU THE BEST OF HEALTH ... A FAN OF YOURS ... I DO CONSIDER MYSELF HYPOCONDRIAC AND HAVE BEEN READING YOUR COMMENTS YEARS AGO ... THANK YOU DOCTOR ROB ...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

First off, please submit questions like this to me at the Safe Sex Forum, if you would like a response. The vast majority of these types of questions posted in this forum will not be answered, as this forum is reserved for folks confirmed to be HIV-positive.

Second, Im a "gift to the paranoid community?" Hmmm kind of makes me sound like a tablet of Valium.

This married lady you met just happened to be carrying around her negative HIV test results with her? That seems a bit odd. Where does she keep something like that? Filed in her wallet between her bank ATM card and her appointment card for her next bikini wax at the salon? Im sure youve learned your lesson by now, but "condom" sense should apply to these types of situations, OK?

So 6 weeks after the unprotected nookie, you both get some very non-specific symptoms, like the flu. "like everyone else the virus this first thing that came to mind was HIV?" Why is that??? If you have flu-like symptoms, shouldnt the first thing to come to mind be the flu? Seems logical to me. If you lived out West and heard a bunch of animals galloping toward you, would you think, "hoofs galloping goodness gracious it must be a herd of zebras!" Or would you more logically conclude it was horses? So here you should use "common sense" (as opposed to the other situation where "condom" sense would apply).

OK, so you get a test at 10 weeks (2 weeks short of the recommended 12-week cutoff), and its negative. You then send your married girlfriend in for another test (11 weeks post-nookie), and its negative as well. At week 13, your symptoms kick up again, and married girlfriend lets you know she had unprotected sex with someone else 3 months before you (no big surprise there). You then have a 14-week test, and it, too, is negative. So far this is all making perfect sense. Even the part about your being on "heavy antidepressants because you cant think of anything else but that you are HIV-positive." Thats because thats your problem depression, guilt, anxiety not HIV. The tests conclusively prove neither you nor your gal pal has HIV. Im delighted youll be starting counseling next week. Consider starting sooner if those suicidal thoughts are still present.

To answer your specific questions:

1. Your symptoms sound like the flu. I agree it would be unlikely your tongue symptoms are thrush. If symptoms persist, show it to your PCP; hell know what to do. 2. Yes, all your tests indicate you are not HIV-positive, and consequently your symptoms cannot be related to HIV disease. 3. Only STD screening will let you know if you contracted an STD. I would tend to doubt it. Again, your PCP can check this out quite easily. 4. If your STD screen come back negative, you dont have a STD. Its really that simple. Same thing for HIV. If your HIV tests are negative, you dont have HIV. 5. The HIV test is accurate at 3 months.

Finally, I concur with you about your hypochondriacal nature. Thats the problem you need to work on with your therapist irrational fear of nonexistent illnesses, particularly HIV!

Good luck. Feel better.

Dr. Bob


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