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Bucket list backlash.....battered and beaten ! or ?
Nov 19, 2010

I'm stubborn , I don't listen . But I also had/have symptoms that would not go away . So here's the reason for my conundrum : First let me say that I know you , unlike other forums will not edit or remove a posting because it might upset or worry other questioners , you're not afraid to face the truth head on not matter waht the outcome , so here comes my truth: I continued testing past your Whoo Hoooo, at 15wk Oraquik blood 1/2, 17wk Elisa blood 1/2 , 19wk Elisa blood & PCR RNA , 21wk Oraquik blood 1/2, 23wk Oraquik blood, 24wk -3dayElissa blood 1/2 , 26wk-4d PCR DNA all NEGATIVE . Herein is the "problem" coming and going painful neck and collar node ache/pain , some other aches and fatigue I suppose , but that can be from depression . I received a call yesterday from a counselor that a "partner" had tested positive and I should get tested , I explained i had tested and he just said see a doc and get evaluated, end of conversation . So now all those events after the encounter just stand up and shout HIV to me ! I made an appointment , next week ,with an HIV specialist to sort thriugh it all (Not to happy with the whole name based reporting most states have -kinda rude and just don't trust goverment to keep things quiet so I've been testing on my own ) Now I'm actually in a very Zen like place , just burnt out over it all . Am i gonna bust all the Whoo Hooo's you send out ? Christ you, NEJM, and Jwatch are the only Hiv answeres I trust , the rest of the on-line forum hosters are lay-persons wanna bees (sic) . How long do I have to keep on testing now ? With these symptoms and the history of events right after the encounter and now the counselor's call am I going to be "the" exception ??? BTW , thanks for not charging for questions from those seeking "medhelp" , class acts reveal themselves in their actions .

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You are absolutely correct: I do not edit (although I do enjoy sometimes pointing out funny spelling or grammatical errors), nor do I remove postings that might upset others. Why would I? This is an HIV/AIDS information Web site based on scientific fact, common sense and my over-a-quarter-of-a-century experience as an HIV physician specialist, not to mention my nearly two decades of experience as a virally enhanced person cohabitating with the virus!

Your situation is not all that complex and should not be so frustrating to you! If you had a potential HIV exposure and then tested HIV-antibody negative outside the window period, you are not HIV infected. It really is just that straightforward. So you tested HIV-antibody negative at three months and that should have been your WOO-HOO moment. Instead, for whatever reason, you decided to continue testing: 15 weeks, 17 weeks, 19 weeks, 21 weeks, 23 weeks, 24 weeks, 26 weeks with a variety of testing assays, including OraQuick, ELISA, quantitative HIV PCR RNA and qualitative HIV PCR DNA. All tests were negative or undetectable. This should come as no surprise, as your three-month definitive test was negative. At this point, it should be clear that whatever is/was causing your "symptoms," HIV is/was not the cause!

Next, you received a call from a counselor advising you that a "partner" had tested positive and you should get tested. If you have been having only safer sex and properly using latex condoms for all penetrative sex with all your partners, you would not have to worry about the counselor's call! If, on the other hand, you have placed yourself at risk for HIV by having unsafe sex or sharing intravenous needles, you'll need to wait out the window period (determined by the date of your last potential HIV exposure) and retest with an HIV-antibody test once again.

Symptoms are notoriously unreliable in predicting who is and is not HIV infected. Trust your lab results!

Whether your "in a very zen like place" or totally burned out, this is not rocket science. Stop worrying about being "the exception." There is nothing exceptional about your case or your situation. Simply follow the very direct HIV-diagnostic testing recommendations. It really is just that straightforward! Also, if you never place yourself at risk again, you'll never have these worries again either.

Good luck! I'm here if you need me -- and yes, at absolutely no charge! What a deal!!!

Dr. Bob



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