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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Ex_Male_Slut
Fanatic

Reged: 11/02/00
Posts: 57
PCR Tests & Risk Issues
      #11768 - 11/02/00 04:02 AM

Greetings to all,

This is my first post to the body, as many will realise.

Despite what my username suggests I have always aimed to let my conscience govern the way I treated others but unfortunately I have not been that good to myself.

I have always used condoms during sex in the past and have had some occasional breakages - only two occasions I can recall where this went unnoticed but these ladies were safe as I tested negative for all STD's inc HIV after the event.

My concern is that I have been a little careless with regards my own safety by performing oral on some women in the last year with-out knowing their full history - this I now know as blatant stupidity! I believed the lie often spread that Oral sex is safe irrespective of whether you're giving or receiving it. I've never had herpes sores or any such complications so I got a bit careless.

I have been in the situation where I was once encouraged to have vaginal sex with-out a condom but I refused and ended up walking out.

Any-way back to the present - I became concerned a few weeks after a recent interlude with a woman because I had a mild chest rash which lasted a week and disappeared. This was accompanied by fatigue and eventually by joint and muscle pains. Through this I have had nothing of any significance in the way of lymph node swelling. I remembered something I had read about Acute primary HIV infection and was immediately over-whelmed by fear.
It is of little consolation that there are many 'flu viruses going around causing muscle and joint pain - a number of people at work have taken time out for this reason.

Like many of you, I have studied up on all the symptoms and have watched time pass very slowly as I waited for key times to test. I tested as soon as I doubted my health condition and these STD tests were all negative (HIV, Hep B, Hep C, Syphillus, Gonorrhea etc) - this proved I had a history of being clean.

I tested again ~2 months after the 1st risk exposure (~40 days after my 2nd risk exposure) these STD tests were also all negative with the exception of glandular fever (Epstein Barr virus or Mononucleosis) this was a recurrence of an old glandular fever infection.

Thinking optimistically I could think it's just mono but thinking pessimistically I could say the mono has shown up because of a compromised immune system - could be just stress - don't know.

I am now approaching the 3rd month from my 1st risk exposure (I need to wait until December 10th to be > 3 months out from all risk exposure) and my confidence has ridden up and down with the state of my health. I feel more pragmatic about my situation now and I know that the very best thing I can do is continue to take the Elisa blood tests and find out my status. I need to know, I can't understand people who knowingly risk their health and others' and who don't want to know their status. I have done everything I can - the lady assured me she is "very very clean" - how can you tactfully ask some-one if she has any STD's. I have quizzed my Doctor about getting a PCR test done and she informed me that they can give false positives - I gather the DNA test is more accurate than the RNA test.

Anyway this post is not all doom & gloom, during my time of obsessing about this I have come to some conclusions about the window period.

I believe the CDC stance of insisting that confirmation be done at both 3 months and 6 months post risk, is simply to place you at a point on the sero-conversion probability curve where the risk is as close to zero as is realistically possible. Some people fear they have the same risk of sero-converting after 6 months as they do after 3 months - this is simply not true if you have a normal white cell (CD4) count.

For the mathematicians and statisticians out there, the probability of sero-converting after the average sero-conversion time of 25 days despite a negative ELISA test is:

0.5*exp(-[(t - Tav)/(2*Stdev)]^2)

= 0.5*exp(-[(t - 25)/28.74]^2)

These probabilities are based on effective day-counts after risk of infection:

@ 25 days P = 50%
@ 30 days (1 month) P = 48.51%
@ 60 days (2 months) P = 11.35%
@ 90 days (3 months) P = 0.3%
@ 120 days (4 months)P = 0.0009% (less than 1 in 100,000)
@ 150 days (5 months)P = 0.0000003% (less than 1 in 300 million)

@ 180 days (6 months)P = 11.7E-12% (less than 1 in 8.5 trillion)

If you do the math it's pretty clear that the 3 month test is highly accurate (typically 99.7%) if you have a normal immune system to begin with (no cancer or serious co-infections). I will personally be greatly relieved if I test negative at 3 months, I see no harm in testing at 6 months but I will have more peace of mind after the 3 month mark.

If tests on white blood cell counts indicate a compromised immune system (i.e. anti-bodies will be slowly produced) then 6 month testing becomes a high priority and the sero-conversion probability curve (guassian curve) I have discussed no longer applies.

I tested negative after what I thought were sero-conversion symptoms so I found re-assurance in this. Apparently muscle and joint aches are the evidence of a healthy immune system fighting a viral infection.

Having said all this I believe that there is hope regardless of the out-come - there is plenty of hope and support medical and otherwise as some brave and courageous people like Jackie_blue know. More power to ya.

At times I just have that un-easy feeling that I have done something that is irreversible but I know that if I find out early - I am well armed especially with the latest medical techniques.

One good thing is that I have suddenly found a prayer life and I have the support of some really good people at a local church. It also helps to be focussed on my work - who ever advised on keeping busy is so right - this does help!

I've looked at my life-style and I know I'm a sex addict - I will make permanent changes no matter what the out-come is.

God bless you all



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PVS
Guru

Reged: 09/19/00
Posts: 280
Re: PCR Tests & Risk Issues new
      #11773 - 11/02/00 10:16 AM

Super post! You shared some important information on your post and I'd like to thank you for that. Good luck and hope everything works out for you. == PVS



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Xander
Unregistered

Re: PCR Tests & Risk Issues new
      #11777 - 11/02/00 10:44 AM

>these STD tests were all negative (HIV, Hep B, Hep C, Syphillus, Gonorrhea etc) - this proved I had a
>history of being clean.

Just a terminology note here...the use of the word "clean" to mean hiv- is quite offensive. I can assure you
that most people with hiv bathe just as much as those who are hiv- and are just as clean.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: PCR Tests & Risk Issues new
      #11787 - 11/02/00 01:19 PM

Hi Xander, "clean" is just a figure of speech I have no intention of offending any-one who is HIV+, if you read the rest of my post you would realise this. I have in fact a lot of empathy for people who are HIV+ and have still to find out my own 3 month status.

I also feel that celebrating HIV- test results should be done with some consideration for HIV+ people on this list -
but then it's not for me to second guess their feelings about things.

Wish you well




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Jackie_Blue
Legend

Reged: 10/26/00
Posts: 2028
Post deleted by Jackie_Blue new
      #11792 - 11/02/00 03:37 PM



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Ex_Male_Slut@
Unregistered

Re: PCR Tests & Risk Issues new
      #11835 - 11/03/00 04:34 AM

Thanks PVS, your posts are encouraging to read



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Ex_Male_Slut@
Unregistered

Re: Celebrating! new
      #11836 - 11/03/00 04:37 AM

You're terrific Jackie_Blue, I think you provide a lot of hope for people on this list.

Hope all is well



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Xander
Unregistered

Re: PCR Tests & Risk Issues new
      #11857 - 11/03/00 12:20 PM

>Hi Xander, "clean" is just a figure of speech I have no intention of offending any-one who is HIV+, if you read the >rest of my post you would realise
>this. I have in fact a lot of empathy for people who are HIV+ and have still to find out my own 3 month status.

> I also feel that celebrating HIV- test results should be done with some consideration for HIV+ people on this list -
> but then it's not for me to second guess their feelings about things.

> Wish you well

Thanks...I don't think you have to worry about celebrating someone being hiv-; I think we all would celebrate that!

On the other hand, even though I understand you are using "clean" as a figure of speech for hiv-, it certainly
carries with it the implication that begine hiv+ is "unclean", and probably helps to fuel misconceptions about
the "danger" of contact with someone who is positive.



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