Dr. Wohl, dog poop and commonly asked questions
Aug 18, 2013
Dr. Wohl. Seems like catchy titles get good responses. Also why do none contact and none risk always get answered first,, anyways thats another discussion for another day. This is my third time trying to reach someone,, anyways, I am a bit confused of all the information that is going around about the testing types, window periods, and seroconversion averages. The question that I have and probably would help a lot of people with similar confusion is that im a male and had protected vaginal sex but heavy vaginal fluid of someones unknown status about 10 months ago. All was fine and dandy till 2.5 months after. I experienced flu like symptoms and discharge and from which point I tested pos for chlamydia and treated, but neg for all others including hiv. From that point, it was as if my body was under attack starting from my legs which felt like I ran for miles, then pain migrated to the rest of my body. At this point I felt like the dr. missed something and went back a month later a tested for basic std which came back neg. The Dr. insists that it is anxiety and stress and I should have nothing to worry about. After that my neck began to have crazy pain which I felt like I was losing it (literally losing it) went to urgent care on a few occasions thinking I was. Its kind of funny because the Drs. There insisted on me to speak to a psychologist, but denied because how does stress and neck pain relate. from there went to the chiropractor and popped my neck, I feel much better but still have stiffness and cracking maybe due to stress and anxiety (maybe). besides that Ive had some skin changes on legs,butt, arms, and face and redness behind ears. at this point ive had some major fatigue, but no sore throat or night sweats. Ive read that prolonged stress and anxiety can also be due to this based on the replyies of other Drs on this forum, but then again every situation is unique. The next hiv test was at 4.5 months which at this point I thought It would be pos but I was shocked cause of all the symptoms I was experiencing, but it was neg and accepted it at first. After another month passed still feeling nauseated off and on and losing weight I kind of accepted the way I felt was my new normal, but still worried about hiv cause off all the reading ive been doing due to late sero caused by hep c. I can relate to other people that have an undiagnosed illness and not being able to do anything about it, sucks, it really does. At this point I started getting into natural medicines hoping to put my unease to rest but no luck. From there, I thought okay if im pos, im pos so I booked a full std screening which included hep abc at 8 months exposure thinking okay im pos for something and finally Ill get treatment, but got my results and again, neg. So that my story, quick and easy, but a literal living hell. Simply Ive had 3 antibody tests from 2.5 months and the last one out to 8 months all neg. Now to my questions, 1. if the window period is 3 months, is it 3 months based on the assumption of no symptoms or both. If that is the case why wait till 6 months, when 3 months is suffice with exposure? 2. Ive taken 3 hiv antibody test at 2.5, 4.5 and 8 months neg. is this considered conclusive even in the face of symptoms? 3. Do I need another type of test such as nat, rna, pcr to confirm neg or pos. after 8 months? 4. Would natural medicines affect ones window period? 5. If in fact I did go through ars 2.5 months after exposure would I have tested pos long ago, or do I need to keep testing out to one year. 6. Or as Dr. Bob would say, should I just relax and scream Whoo hoo Thank you for your response.
Response from Dr. Wohl
As you might imagine we get bombarded with questions. Many times I will not answer a question that has been asked multiple times before or that can be answered by checking the HIV 101 section.
Your questions include those we are often asked so I hope my replies will address your concerns and those others often have:
1. if the window period is 3 months, is it 3 months based on the assumption of no symptoms or both. If that is the case why wait till 6 months, when 3 months is suffice with exposure?
The window period is not strictly three months. The vast majority of people will seroconvert from HIV antibody negative to positive within 6 weeks of infection. When we talk of window periods the clock starts with infection. I have not seen someone with acute HIV infection have prolonged symptoms such as those you described. Like many who are worried but in actuality well, some of your symptoms are those experienced by folks who have had HIV a long time and have suffered a drop in their T cell counts. This is not you.
2. Ive taken 3 hiv antibody test at 2.5, 4.5 and 8 months neg. is this considered conclusive even in the face of symptoms?
That your tests are negative PLUS that you have on going symptoms points to HIV not being the issue.
3. Do I need another type of test such as nat, rna, pcr to confirm neg or pos. after 8 months?
Only if it will end your concerns regarding HIV. IF you get an antigen or viral load test and are able to accept the results, then in might be worth it to end this.
4. Would natural medicines affect ones window period?
5. If in fact I did go through ars 2.5 months after exposure would I have tested pos long ago, or do I need to keep testing out to one year.
You definitely do not need to test out to one year. You should either accept that you are HIV negative now, or if you can not, get the antigen or viral load test and when this comes back negative stop testing.
6. Or as Dr. Bob would say, should I just relax and scream Whoo hoo
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