HIV Test Kit and Epididymitis
Aug 9, 2007
Greetings! I am a soldier stationed in Iraq. Just over three months ago, I went to New Zealand for my mid-deployment vacation. I had unprotected sex with a local girl. I have no reason to believe that I have a STD (aside from being told that I have Epididymitis). Since I am deployed, STD testing is mostly unavailable, especially at the more remote bases. I am at one of those bases. I ordered some test kits from ATFirstDiagnostic.com and they came. I don't know how to tell how accurate or reliable any of those tests are, but I wanted to ease my anxiety for the possibility of having a STD/STI. I have taken three of the four HIV tests and they all came back negative. I am certain that I am doing the test properly as you only need to put a couple of drops of blood in the sample well as well as a drop of the solution that comes with the test. The thing is, nothing is making me feel better. No matter who I talk to or what I do or say, I am still very anxious. I have to wait until I return from deployment to get properly tested.
I have looked all over the internet and can find nothing conclusive in regards to these test kits. I suppose my question really just me asking for your opinion on the matter.
Also, I read that Epididymitis is mostly caused by Chlamydia and/or Gonorrhea in males my age. It is best described as a dull ache in my left testicle and is feels like it is connected up to the base of my abdomen on the left side. It feels like a pressure or something. Not painful, but uncomfortable. I noticed it a week or so ago. I was given Celebrex for it by the medic. I also read that it could be a Variocele or something like that. I have inspected the area many times and can find nothing unusual, but I really don't know what to look for. Would there be any pain when feel around down there? I can feel some shooting pain when I touch a specific area but it seems to be that way for both testicles, behind them at the base. The left side is more tender than the right, but I assume that any sort of rough play down there, even if slight, would cause that feeling. Other than that, I feel no abnormalities or pain.
What do you think doc? Please help give me some sort of peace of mind!! Do it for the troops!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Unfortunately I don't have any firsthand knowledge about First Diagnostic's products, as they are not FDA approved. That doesn't mean they are not accurate; it just means that either they haven't applied for FDA approval status or that they don't meet all the FDA regulations. To tell the truth, HIV-antibody-screening technology has advanced greatly over the past decade, making detection of anti-HIV antibodies simpler and more reliably consistent. I should also mention I've not heard anything negative about First Diagnostic's products. Often when a company is selling a bogus HIV product, we hear about it from AIDS service organizations, patients or other HIV specialists. We tend to spread the word that way so that these companies can be held accountable and patients won't get ripped off or given inaccurate results. So far, I've not heard anything either good or bad about First Diagnostic.
Next, your testicular discomfort could be epididymitis, but I have no way of diagnosing that condition over the Internet without the benefit of a physical exam. A varicocele is another possibility. It is an abnormal enlargement of the veins in the scrotum draining the testicles. A varicocele can cause some aching pain in the scrotum, but is usually harmless. I would suggest you stop trying to diagnose yourself and get a proper checkup, including a full STD screen, when you get back to a base with full medical facilities. Please note that the chances you did not contract HIV from this New Zealand wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am are astronomically in your favor. Also, hopefully I don't need to mention that all this stress and anxiety could have been easily avoided by using a thin piece of latex!
Thank you for your service to our country. Please note we are doing everything we can here at home to bring this disastrous war to an end as quickly as possible. Bush and Cheney's catastrophic bungling are becoming more apparent day by day. We hope to get you home soon.
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