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Richard, pls! Shed some light in here... Desperate!
Jan 16, 2012

Hello Richard, Thank you for picking up the forum and continue the great initiative. There are so many lost people out there who need support advice and a friend. You are doing fantastic job! So, now is for my question. Last year (2010) i had a relationship with a guy (i am a female) which included unprotected sex....shame on me! Our last date was at the beginning of November 2010, and i started my period during sex. I had some flu symptoms without fever in December and noticed enlarged lymph nodes in armpits and neck (about 1 cm) somewhere in January. I had prolong period of night sweats december-January. I did Ab test through Quest Diagnostic in the mid March (3 months) and it came negative. I forgot about all this and moved on. Then in May i developed diarrhea that would not go for a weeks (still have it here and there). Night sweats again. Troubles with breathing (like my inhales are not deep enough). I went to the doctor and did a blood test which came absolutely normal including very low level of each of the liver enzymes and other liver probes. Just RBC and Hb were on the low level of norm (sign of hIV as well?).... The doctor also checked my lungs and their functioning and it obviously was all OK. I was still having enlarged lymph nodes though and diarrhea. I took another HIV Ab test (Quest diagnostic again) - negative! Now its 6 months after last encounter. The symptoms continued and went further including hair loss, very dry skin, muscle pain, some joint pain too and occasional night sweats and finally some white patch on my tongue that i self diagnosed as a OHL. I have never seen that before but the pictures over internet were quite clear... i had it for 3 months, not getting bigger not smaller... for the last 10 days is gone but i know it will come back. In september, 10.5 months, i took another test (LabCorp - Ab) - negative! The symptoms won't stop. I went to the doctor (family practice), got some Celexa and Zanax. i am taking it 2.5 months already and i am better now. But i am still sure that I do have HIV. I don't know my HCV status, i never checked it ignoring the risk ( i was menstruating during last intercourse). The only indication of liver status is the blood test in June (8-10 months after possible exposure). It was normal and my doc is sure that i am not infected with either of the viruses. I know that 2 cases were published, both too long ago about coinfection and delayed immune response. I guess i want to know how deep the research is in this field? How many cases of delayed seroconversion were found so far, especially lately? Would this coinfection possibly delay seroconversion beyond 10.5 months. And finally... how many cases are known (to you or others around) that would seroconvert later. It says tests are 99.5 accurate. Those 0.5% still huge risk for this big country. I guess, bottom line I am looking for the answer if for any reason i still can be positive and just not revealed yet?

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

I agree with your doctor, I do not think you acquired HIV or HCV from this incident. Your three month test would be considered conclusive. I am not sure about the number of cases that are connected to co-infection of HIV and HCV and the delayed testing window. However, this would only be applicable if you were experiencing acute symptoms of HCV infection, which you were not. In addition, if anyone was at a bigger risk for HCV infection, it would have been your partner because he was exposed to your blood. If your symptoms continue, then you should continue to work with your doctor, to rule out other possible causes. I am glad to hear that you the Celexa and Zanax are helping.

Bottom line: You are certainly negative from both HIV and HCV from this encounter. If you continue to be plagued by thoughts of being infected with HIV or HCV, it might be helpful to work with a counselor or therapist. They can help you work through repetitive thoughts like these. I hope this helps.

In health,

Richard



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