May 22, 2006
Hi there! After reading every post on this site I am still needing answers! I am a female who had protected sex with a condom with a male I was dating for the last 5 weeks of our relationship. Our last/final sexual encounter was 8 weeks ago. After our break up he informed me he has had sex with 15+ girls in the last few months. All protected he said which I do believe because he was never uprepared with me. However nothing is completely safe so now I am really concerned due to the volume of sexual partners he has had (he was tested a year ago and was negative)Understandably I freaked out and have been worried since. Aside from worrying about the times that the condom slipped or if fluid leaked out which I think it did at least once... I realize that the sex we had is considered safe. Although one time we did have oral unprotected sex. Backgroud aside - here are my questions... 1)I was tested at the beginning of this week which would have been 7 weeks and 3 days since the last encounter and it was negative with no detectable antibodies. I was told that as long as it had been 12 weeks since my last encounter the results were conculsive. It hadn't been that long but it was 12 weeks since our first sexual encounter so I am trying to calm myself down by rationalizing that it had been 12 weeks since our first encounter so if there were no detectable antibodies I should be ok. I will get tested again at 12 weeks but I want to know what you think as far as reliabilty and if I still need to be concerned. I need to sleep the next 4 weeks as I haven't for the last 8! 2)After our oral encounter, the very next morning I developed a severe sore throat for three days and mild flu symptoms. And I have had mild diarrhea (once a day) that started 2 weeks after our last encounter and have continued for the last 3 weeks. Do you think tension/stress is maybe causing this last symptom? I read the symptoms of hiv infection and of course I have had almost every one! They may have all been unrelated but the mind is an awful thing and of course it scares me into thinking I have to have it! So my question is if a person experiences symptoms would they have detectable antibodies or do the antibodies come later?And if they do how much later? I have been unable to find this answer anywhere! 3)Thank you for the work you do on here. I have learned so much on this site and I now have the knowledge so many are lacking. This experience has frightened me but at the same time created a strong desire to help people who are currently positive and the importance of getting tested. Thank you for you help.
Response from Dr. Frascino
If you really had read "every post on this site," you'd already have your answers! And you'd be 132-years-old.
Briefly, here are your answers:
1. HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not considered definitive. Your negative seven-week test is encouraging, but not conclusive. You still need that three-month test.
2. Symptoms, no matter what they are, do not equally HIV disease. Symptoms related to Acute Retroviral Syndrome do not occur "the very next morning." They take weeks to manifest themselves. Statements like "I read the symptoms of HIV infection and of course I have had almost every one" are very telling. Certainly anxiety can be the cause of most of your complaints. Stop trying to time the development of antibodies to your symptoms. You'll drive yourself even nuttier than you already are.
Good luck on your test. I very strongly suspect you are HIV negative.
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