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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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chancey guy
Unregistered

Scared and in a deep depression...
      #1456 - 04/02/00 09:12 PM

Well, first off, I have been reading these posts here for a few days now. I have been frantically looking for any type of info that would ease my mind on the subject of HIV infection. I know that I am scared of the possibility, and have subjected myself to an emotional depression for the past 4 months. I had a risky encounter 4 months ago (I had sex with 2 women in one night, their status is unknown but I did use a condom both times), and have fretted over the incident ever since the following day forward. I was unknowingly tested exactly 2 months later, and that was negative. I read those results just a few weeks ago, and I was excited about that, until I read that it can lie dormant for up to 6 months. Now I am getting ready to take a home exam, but am so scared. I haven't had any of the typical symptoms (Do you always have symptoms?) except for swollen lymph nodes in ny neck area. I don't exactly remember when those appeared, but they are consistently large. I have 2 underneath my jaw line, 2 right below my hairline on the back of my neck, and 2 lumps (the doc I saw awhile ago said those weren't lymp nodes) on the sides of my lower neck. I always feel healthy other than when I tire myself out worrying about this condition. I'm very, very depressed thinking about all of this. I don't know what to do. Everything in my life is clicking right now, but if I have this disease, I will be afraid to face my family and friends. How could I have been so stupid? Could any of you elaborate on my symptoms? I really need some emotional support right now, as I have not told another soul, and am driving myself nuts thinking about this every day. Help!




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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Scared and in a deep depression... new
      #1457 - 04/02/00 09:12 PM

Let me first say that I am currently going through the same thing that you're going through. And my possible exposure was similar to yours (I had protected sex with a woman one year ago who could have been infected). I experienced several of the classic HIV symptoms, including flu like symptoms, night sweats, tingling and numbing of my extremities, nausea, and a recent case of oral thrush. I've had four tests thus far at 15, 45, 90, and 180 days and all have been negative. I felt relieved and excited after each test, but that feeling would only last a couple of days and then I would start thinking about being infected again. I just went for a 13 month test because most literature states that the incubation period can last up to a year or more. I get my results in one week and I'm scared to death. Part of me doesn't even want to see the results because I don't know what I would do if they're positive. I have been driving myself crazy thinking about this every day and have been in and out of a deep depression for the past year. The few people that I have told this to keep telling me that it's all in my head. But the realty is that the symptoms are real, and I'm scared to death!

My advice to you is to get tested because it is the only way that you can be sure that you're not HIV positive. I would also advise going to talk to someone about this. Sometimes talking about it helps. Good Luck.





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chancey guy
Unregistered

Re: Scared and in a deep depression... new
      #1458 - 04/02/00 09:13 PM

Well, thanks for the advice. I am going to get tested again, I'm just waiting for the home kit to arrive. I don't know what I would do if I tested positive either. All I can think if right now is ending my life. I just can't imagine not being able to live up to all of my expectations, and those of my family. I have won a scholarship, and am getting ready to start school in August. If my family knew that I had HIV, it would crush them, as it is doing to me. I know that there is life beyond this, but I could never know the success that comes from a career or the love that accompanies having a family of your own. I feel so dumb for what I did. I haven't had any other symptoms, other than these enlarged nodes. These wouldn't bother me, except why would they only swell up after "that" experience? I actually wish I was in your situation....you have gone way over the 6 month mark, and I believe that alone is a good indication. If I can make it past that mark, I will be relieved and feel like I am born again, with a renewed vigor and zest for life. I pray to God that I am okay. Thanks for your support.

Chancy Guy





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Anonymous
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Re: Scared and in a deep depression... new
      #1459 - 04/02/00 09:13 PM

"All I can think if right now is ending my life."

You should really think about talking to a therapist.



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curious
Unregistered

Re: Scared and in a deep depression... new
      #1460 - 04/02/00 09:14 PM

I would just relax dude! I think you are in good shape. If you properly used a condom, the risk is very LOW. NOt only that, but tests
are pretty darn accurate after 3 months. Granted that in some people,
the virus can go undetected up to 6 months, but in the majority of people (I mean like 99%), the virues can be detected in 3 months. If
you got tested 3 months after that day and was found negative, I'd say
that you are doing just fine. You can take another test after 6 months, just to be 100% sure but take it easy for now...

K




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chancey guy
Unregistered

Re: Scared and in a deep depression... new
      #1461 - 04/02/00 09:14 PM

Actually, I can't stop thinking about it. And I had the test at 2 months. I am getting ready to take a home test when it arrives in the mail. What about my symptoms? I mean, why would they only show up now, after my encounter? Can you get it from kissing? Or sharing a bathtub, with both people in the same water? I just need to know, which is why I am taking this test at the 4 month mark. I pray to God that it is negative, so I can rest assured until it is time to take another at the 6 month point. Only then, can I regain my life and live with a new look on life and happiness. Right now I just want to get this burden off of my shoulders.....thanks for your advice, I am looking for all that there is......



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Scared and in a deep depression... new
      #1462 - 04/02/00 09:15 PM

Hey, I kinda know how you feel. I had a risky encounter with a girl
a few weeks ago. While I'm pretty sure she is clean, I am waiting
for a another month or two to pass so I can take the f&!king test
(I wish they had a faster detecting test!!)
It's tough waiting but I am determined to not let it drive me crazy
and have been doing good so far...
I don't know too much about your symptoms. But I do know that getting
HIV through kissing (I mean deep/french kissing) is very, very minute.
Unless someone has open sores in their mouth, it is very low risk.
No one has ever contracted HIV through just kissing.
Shareing a bathtub is even less risk. The hot water would kill the virus almost instantly. HUV is a fragile virus outside the human body.
Direct, near instantaneous contact is necessary for transmission.

Hey, good luck with you test. I hope you are all right.



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steve
Unregistered

Re: Scared and in a deep depression... new
      #1463 - 04/02/00 09:15 PM

Chancy, I think you're fine. Correctly using a condom virtually guarantees that you won't be infected. And testing negative three months after the fact further clinches it. I see very little reason for worry.

To the anonymous person who responded to Chancy's post: I'm not sure what literature you're referring to when you talk about the "incubation" period. I have never seen literature that indicates it takes longer than six months to form detectable antibodies. In fact, the CDC says six months is the outside limit. Perhaps the "incubation" period you refer to is the time to actual illness, which by all accounts is years after infection.



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