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Remember me...the basket case????
Oct 24, 2008

Hello,

I hope all has been well with you. I have not talked to you in a awhile!! I have a concern, and I am hoping you will be able to answer me honestly. You helped me through my 3 month window period of testing, and it help tremendously. I tested negative out to 13 weeks, and you gave me permission to pop the cork and celebrate! I did for a little bit, but I am concerned about the fact that there are other places out there that reccommend testing out to 6 month. Most say 3 months is conclusive, but why is it that some say 6? I still can not seem to shke this feeling, and the symptoms that I have I'm sure are un-related...considering it would be way to long for conversion period, and way too early for any other symptoms...correct?? Do you see what I am doing?? I'm making myself crazy!! After I popped the corked, whoo-hooed, sent a nice donation, and switched my party to a democrat....I am still very worried. Please answer my question..I know you are extremely busy, so I won't be offended if its short and sweet.

Thanks a million!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Basket Case,

Welcome back to the forum. Sorry to hear you've slipped from WOO-HOOing back to worrying! I absolutely agree you are indeed "making (yourself) crazy!" Your problem is psychological, not virologic. In other words, you have "fear of HIV" rather than "HIV" itself.

Most HIV experts agree that a three-month negative HIV test is definitive, unless there are extenuating circumstances (which you did not have!). Older guidelines did recommend six months as the window period. However, we now have much more experience with and knowledge of HIV's natural history and the body's immune response to infection with the virus. That increased knowledge coupled with significant improvements in HIV-testing technology has allowed us to effectively shorten the original six-month recommendation to three months in most instances. You can read all about this in the archives. We have an entire chapter devoted to HIV testing. If, despite my reassurances, you remain "crazed," get a six-month follow-up test. It's not warranted medically and I have no doubt the results will once again be negative. However, if it helps keep you out of the insane asylum, then it will be worth the effort. I'll reprint your original posts below for our readers.

Be well. I sincerely hope you'll ditch the worry and resume the WOO-HOOing very soon.

Dr. Bob

I am a basket case!! Jun 3, 2008

I have not been able to tell anyone how much I am stressing over this, because when I do...they all think I am nuts. I made a horrible mistake, and had a night of unprotected vaginal sex. I am a female, and there was not ejaculation. I know this does not matter too much, because it was still sex. I have been so worked up over this..I have been admitted to the hospital twice. I have been very ill for the past 7 or 8 weeks, and everything but the nausea has subsided. I dealt with extreme fatigue, nausea, shaking, tremors, and loss of sleep. The worst symptom was a very starnge reguritatin that started in the stomach, and actaully came through the thoat. Weirdest sensation in the world, and very strange. That started about one week after this incident, and just this week..disapeared. Even when I mention my concerns at the hospital, they seemed to blow me off. With the suspicion of a bacterial infection, they gave me almost 28 days of oral antibiotics, and when I was in the hospital, they gave me some iv antibiotics. After that, they diagnosed me with anxiety, and sent me home. Well the 5 week mark hit, and I just could not take it anymore. I testes negative at 5.5 weeks with an elisa blood test. My doctors tell me that is enough, but I'm not so sure. Especially being on all of those antibiotics. Would that delay the time of antibodies showing up? Please give me your opinions about this, and I do know that I still need another test in a few weeks. Thank you for your time, and I fully intend on making a donation. Thanks again.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

A "very starnge reguritatin"??? Hmm . . . what the hell is that? Sounds painful.

Regarding your question about antibiotics, no, even 28 days of oral antibiotics plus some intravenous antibiotics would not affect your ability to make anti-HIV antibodies, the length of the window period or the accuracy of your HIV tests. That said, a negative 5.5-week HIV test is encouraging, but not conclusive. You'll need to wait until the three-month mark for a definitive result. In the meantime getting treatment for your anxiety (anti-anxiety medications and/or therapy) could be extremely beneficial.

Don't be too hard on yourself! We're all human. That means we all make mistakes. (Yes, even yours truly!) The important thing is to learn from our indiscretions, OK?

Thanks for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that your definitive three-month HIV test remains negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Basket Case Returns Jun 10, 2008

Hello again, Thank you so much for answering my previous question. The fact that you said all of the antibiotics I was on would not delay detectable antibodies was very encouraging. I know that the 5.5 week is a good indicator, but not conclusive. This being said, I still have 3 more weeks till the 12th month mark. I had to have my doctor do the test again. This time was 9.5 weeks, and this too has come back negative. I thought that I would start to woo-hoo after that, but that has not seemed to happen. I think I will take your advice, and maybe seek some professional help. I have never had anxiety, or ever been so worried before. Thank you for that advice. I think that you do a wonderful thing, and I hope every donation helps somebody out tremendously. Thanks again..just for listening.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Basket Case,

The reason you have not started to WOO-HOO yet is because you clearly understand that HIV-antibody tests taken prior to the three-month mark are not conclusive. Hence, despite your negative 9.5-week test, you remain worried. That's understandable. If your worries and anxiety don't lift completely after your definitive three-month test, then counseling may be warranted. Certainly the negative 9.5-week test is extremely, extremely encouraging, but I would advise you not to pop the cork on the celebratory bottle of champagne just yet. Hang in there. I'm quite hopeful you'll be climbing out of that basket and drinking champagne very soon, OK?

Thanks again for your donation! Extra good-luck karma sent!

Dr. Bob

Basket case is Back!! Jun 29, 2008

Dr. Bob, First, I want to tell you that you do a wonderful thing on this site, and that is why I was very happy to make a donation. I wanted to come back here and let you know that after my 3 previous tests that I had done out to almost 10 weeks, I had my final test done last night. This test was done at 13 weeks, it was a rapid test, and it came back NEGATIVE! I was highly disapointed when you told me that I could not "pop the cork" on the bottle yet, and woo-hoo after my 10 week test, but I realize it was not conclusive at that time. Now....it has ben 13 weeks, another negative test, and I want to know if I can let this go now?? Your expert advice is appreciated!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

POP! Pour, sip, enjoy and celebrate, in that order. But first yell WOO-HOO! OK? Congratulations! And thank you for your donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. It's very much appreciated. WOO-HOO!

Dr. Bob



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