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PCR Test enough?

Mar 8, 2012

Hi, I'm a 20 year old college student, I had sex with a girl who I know gets around. I wore a double condom (like an idiot; just found out that it's easier to rip when there are two) from what I saw it didn't break, but she wanted me to 'finish' so she took my condom off and put a new condom on (possibly a chance of transmission?) sorry to be crass but she 'jerked me off'. I was pretty nervous because I know this girl was high risk, I'm convincing myself that she's HIV positive. Anyways, that night I started sweating alot because of the mistake I did, and I've been sweating and stressing everyday I spend more than half of my day looking HIV related sites online (two and a half weeks now). I can barely sleep, I have these unthinkable nightmares of something hurting me. The fear and paranoia is ruining my life. Thirteen days after the possible contraction I got tested with a PCR test, I got the results yesterday and the doctor told me I was negative, and I had no STDs that were detected by the blood exams. I felt great and relieved that day. I know that PCR tests aren't FDA approved, but I couldn't wait three months or I'd stressed myself out for the antibody test. However, today I still feel light headed, I'm feeling little sudden jolts of pain in my right elbow (possibly for leaning on the table from searching HIV related sites all day) I keep checking if my lymph nodes are swollen, I know all the symptoms and I'm paranoid all day if I have them. I regret what I did, and I want to feel normal again. I don't think I can take the panic of getting another test for the 3 month or 6 month window. My questions are, could my stress be causing my sudden sweating when I think about being positive? Can stress and not eating cause me to be lightheaded and depressed? Can my muscles be sore from just sitting all day, (I usually work out everyday, but my muscles are feeling sore right now) I also crack my knuckles when I'm nervous so that could be a reason for the fingers. I don't know, should I be satisfied with my results and just lose all this worry and fear? If you suggest I should wait for the 3 month test, how can I reduce all these symptoms?. My head is everywhere that is negative, only worst case scenarios and I want it to stop. This stress is eating at me everyday please tell me your opinion on the whole situation? Also, I know this is a dumb question but do you believe from what you've read or seen that there will soon be a cure for HIV? I know it's not a guarantee that I have it but, I realize now the hell so many people must have living with the disease. Nobody deserves HIV, it's been 30 years and still no cure??? 33 plus million people don't deserve to die of AIDS, most of these people are so young and have loved ones that will see them die skinny and weak on a hospital bed. I don't know if this is paranoid of me but I've heard that many doctors are giving up on even looking for a cure because the retroviral therapy is raking in so much cash and people can live 'long enough'. Which would be absolute evil since most can't pay for that kind of treatment, and they're not cured they're just slowly dying from this little demon $&*%! of a virus. Sorry I went on a rant right there, but can you tell me the chances of me actually having the disease? Thanks.

Response from Mr. Cordova

Hi there:

First off, breathe! You are going to be fine. Yes, using two condoms can increase the likelihood that they may break. In this case, they did not, so you are A-OK! Using a condom for all acts of penetrative sex is the best way to protect yourself against HIV and most STD's.

Syphilis is skin-to-skin and you must wait 90 days to get an accurate test. In this case, you do not need to get tested for Syphilis at the 90 day mark, and can wait until your six month or annual full screening (which I recommend for everyone).

Stress can indeed cause a whole host of symptoms as can not eating. Having protected penetrative sex is not a big risk.

PCR DNA tests are not considered conclusive. You must get an antibody test at the 90 day mark if you want a conclusive result.

Bottom line: Your risk was low and I would not be concerned. You can do an antibody test at the 90 mark for your peace of mind. I am sure it will be negative.

In health,


HIV risk with Lancet
Does my risk increase the window period?

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