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So you're afraid you've got HIV?
Dec 20, 2002

Please post this in the "Messages to the Worried Well" thread...

Take it from someone who knows... it's possible to have every single symptom and still not have HIV. In fact, Ill "see your concerns and raise you one" .... I not only had every symptom.... Diarrhea, Fatigue, Swollen glands in Neck, Armpits, Groin, Night sweats, Folliculitis, Minor rash on chest, mouth sore, painful watery eyes, and purple spots in mouth... but I had them for three full weeks.

And that's not all. Add to it that just 5 weeks prior (the perfect window period for Acute Syndrom to appear) I had been with a girl. And it wasn't just a girl. It was a sex worker, a prostitute. And not only was she a prostitute, but I had a cut. An open bleeding cut on my penis from trimming the hair down there. And not only did I have a cut, but she also forgot to tell me she was on her period... so that cut, despite the condom, got covered in her blood.

And not only that, but I tested negative for Mono. And I tested negative for Strep. In fact, I tested negative for basically everything that they know causes swollen glands for prolonged periods of time.... except HIV. Because I was afraid to get tested. The more "good news" I got back, the worse I would feel. I wanted to hear that I had mono because then I wouldn't have HIV. I almost wanted to hear that I had cancer because at least then it wouldn't be HIV.

Now who had reason to be concerned they have HIV ? Me. Has your experience been more risky than mine? I doubt it.

And guess what. I don't have it. How do I know? I got tested.

I've been down this road before. While its true that symptoms can mean HIV... its so very very true that it may not be HIV and you need to get the test done. I challenge you to find a more HIV sounding scenario than mine, and yet Im Negative for HIV. Take some deep breaths. Say some prayers. Get your life in order, stop doing what you should not be doing, and get the test done.

HIV testing is one of the few diagnostic tests the medical community actually doesn't make us feel guilty for wanting to have done. Take advantage of that.

Response from Dr. Holodniy

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