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Anonymous
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The HIV Story...
      #25642 - 12/17/01 03:41 PM

First it starts with exposure, either sexual or through a needle. If you're exposed to someone who's HIV negative, then there's no way you got HIV from them. They have to have HIV to give it to you. If you don't know their status, you assume they have it, but in reality they might not.

Next thing, what was the exposure? Protected sex is considered extremely low risk, basically no risk if the latex condom didn't break. Unprotected "insertive oral" is rather low risk, but "receptive oral" with ejaculation is higher risk. Unprotected "receptive anal" and needle sharing are the highest risk, and everything else (like unprotected vaginal) is somewhere in between.

Now you'll be looking on the web, reading about symptoms. You cannot use symptoms to diagnose HIV, because the symptoms usually look just a flu bug. If you don't get any symptoms, that doesn't mean you're HIV negative, because some people can get HIV but they don't even get any symptoms. So symptoms are pretty useless, but its natural to look at these things when you're worried about HIV. Just remember it's not possible to diagnose HIV from symptoms. You might say to yourself, the timing is too much of a coincidence, because you never get sick, and now all of a sudden you have this or that. Well, maybe you got something during that exposure, but maybe its not HIV. Lots of things can be passed from person to person during sex besides HIV. Get over the symptoms and focus on testing.

So, unless you really had very low risk in the first place, you have to take an HIV test. You can take an antibody test any time, but if it has not been at least 3 months since the last exposure, then the test is not conclusive. Even if it has been more than 3 months, there is still a very small chance that you have HIV but the test didn't pick it up. It's not very likely, but it is possible. So to be safe, you'll want to take another test, around 6 months to be sure. Unless of course you had very low risk in the first place, then you might not test again, its up to you.

During all this waiting, your life changes a lot. You start assuming you have HIV and thinking about what it will mean for you and those you care about. It becomes hard to work or study, and you're usually freaking out.

If you can't stand the waiting, then you can go to a doctor and get a different type of test. The P24 antigen test is one option, but it really only cuts about a week off the wating time. In other words, if you test positive on the P24 antigen, you would have tested positive in about a week on the antibody test, so it's not really helping you much. An HIV viral load test is NOT designed for diagnosing HIV, but if your doctor gives you one, and you have no detectable virus, plus a negative antibody test, that means more than just the antibody test alone, because a recently infected HIV positive will normally have lots of virus. The viral load test might come up positive even if you don't have HIV, which would scare the crap out of you, which is why it is not approved for diagnosing HIV.

Then you ultimately find out that you are HIV+ or HIV negative, even if you had to wait 6 months to really know for sure. From there you usually will look hard at your lifestyle. If negative, you probably should start to behave more responsibly, and always use condoms. If positive, you find a good HIV doctor, and start closely monitoring your health.

This is the HIV story, more or less, in a nutshell. HIV worry and testing does not need to extend beyond 6 months. The only reason for continued worry after 6 months is either you're having psychological problems, or else you continue to have unsafe sex. Either way, at that point you need to change your mindset and stop putting yourself through this.

I hope this is of help, I know it's long. Take care.



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Anonymous
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Re: The HIV Story... new
      #25643 - 12/17/01 03:55 PM

This is not what most HIV experts say !




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Anonymous
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Re: The HIV Story... new
      #25644 - 12/17/01 04:04 PM

What Do The Experts Say?



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Anonymous
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Re: The HIV Story... new
      #25645 - 12/17/01 04:05 PM

what part do you disagree with?



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Anonymous
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Re: The HIV Story... new
      #25646 - 12/17/01 04:13 PM

"If you're exposed to someone who's HIV negative, then there's no way you got HIV from them. They have to have HIV to give it to you."

Just a minor correction: the person might have HIV and still be "HIV negative" on a test. I mean thats probably not the definition of "HIV negative" because it is considered a false negative, but thought I'd mention it anyway.



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Anonymous
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6 months new
      #25651 - 12/17/01 04:41 PM

testing positive after 3 months just dosen't
seem to happen anymore there are no cases in the modern era of this happening if it was there would be alot of information on the web and doctors would say 6 months instead of 3.

Im sorry but people like you who repeat this 6 month thing over and over never seem to show any cases where people are testing + after 3 months.



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Anonymous
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Re: 6 months new
      #25654 - 12/17/01 04:54 PM

Are you sure there are no cases of seroconversion after 3 months using the current tests? Where would such a thing be documented? Anyway, the post does say that its unlikely but possible. The only way to contradict that is to say it is impossible. Are you saying it is impossible to seroconvert after 3 months?

There is no mention of PEP in the post, so I assume we are not talking about PEP here.



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Anonymous
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Re: 6 months new
      #25655 - 12/17/01 05:22 PM

The docs almost always say that only a 6 month antibody test would be conclusive. (Unless they ALSO had a p24 antigen test, or they ALSO had a PCR test, or if it's a worried well who had no real risk in the first place.) Here is an example, as recent as June 27, 2001 this doctor was suggesting that even a 6 month test is not 100% accurate.

http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Treatment/Current/Q24852.qna

Could you please refer me to even one link that says 3 month antibody testing is conclusive, meaning just as accurate as a 6 month test? Thank you.



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Anonymous
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Re: 6 months new
      #25656 - 12/17/01 05:48 PM

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/faq.htm


nothing is 100% you just need to know the truth



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Anonymous
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Re: 6 months new
      #25657 - 12/17/01 06:14 PM

I think the link you intended to post was this:

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/faqs.htm

Or, more specifically, this:

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/faq/faq9.htm

In which it says that rare cases can take up to 6 months to seroconvert. So what is your point? That "rare" means "never"?



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Anonymous
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Re: The HIV Story... new
      #25658 - 12/17/01 06:41 PM

Hey Bill I liked your 'depends on what the meaning of is is' also. Keep em comin' ;)



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TJMax
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I agree new
      #25663 - 12/18/01 12:11 AM

Finally an anonymous poster with some sense and guts, besides Shane and Jackie. Right ON, get tested at 6 months to be sure! Finally someone eles who's not afraid to preach the truth.



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Anonymous
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Re: I agree new
      #25679 - 12/18/01 12:58 PM

The truth is you don't know anything about HIV testing

I do and 3 months is what most experts say is the outer window.

I suggest you read more about serology and not what you read here.

John Hopkins has some very good information for you.




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Anonymous
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Re: I agree FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH new
      #25680 - 12/18/01 01:07 PM

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A DEPT. STORE CLERK THAT GOT KNOCKED UP AT 15 AND CHEATS ON HER BETTER HALF.



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TJMax
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Re: I agree FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH new
      #25684 - 12/18/01 02:04 PM

Actually I do know about HIV. My next door neighbor is an RN at the largest hospital in Miami. She works in the hemotology dept., and knows more in her little finger about HIV, testing etc., than both of you combined. I can assure you that only you sacred little dorks who keep hanging around even though you tested neg are the only fools to preach 3 months conclusive when having a high risk encounter. I have read the Johns Hopkins site, and they also say that 6 months as a follow up is still recommended for follow-up after a 3 month test even though it will most probably reflect your negative status.

Again, you don't have the guts to answer the simple question as to why you are still here if you're so sure of your status?

Chicken-shi ts





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