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Window Period/OCD Hell please help...
      #26216 - 01/02/02 06:57 PM

This is my first post here even though I have been practically living @ TheBody for the last couple of months...

I really need some help/peace of mind and have not been able to get it. I really need some "straight" talk...

On 11/9/01 I (gay male) had sex with another man of unknown HIV status, (STUPID! STUPID) which included oral and anal sex. I was on the bottom, and the condom broke. (I always use condoms) I was not aware of this until I went home to take a shower about an hour later. It was then when I noticed what appeared to be semen in/around my rectum. I panicked and tried to express what I could, and wash myself with soap and water. I called the national HIV hotline. The first person I spoke to said there was nothing I could do. The next person I spoke to gave me a link to their website where they talk about PEP. After reading the file where they state the risks from one exposure, I decided not to go to a hospital because I had to go away on a trip. (EVEN MORE STUPID) By the time I got back it was too late for PEP.

I went to my LGBT doctor and got tested for HIV at about 25 to 26 days: NEGATIVE.

So far I am at almost 8 weeks, and have had no major symptoms. No fever, no fatigue, no muscle aches no swollen glands, no rash.

Right before and after my first test, I had so much anxiety that I developed hives. They would itch like crazy, be red and raised. They would come out only one at a time, and then completely dissapear about an hour later. They were usually on my arms or chest. Never on my face or trunk. I still get them on occasion, when I am nervous but not as much.

I had a complete physical with my LGBT doctor at 5 weeks. Where I informed him I of my negative result at 25 days. I asked him that while I knew it was not definitive, could I have some confidence about the test results? He replied that the results say nothing about my recent exposure. This sent me right back into a state of panic.

During my physical he asked me if my throat was bothering me to which I replied, that for the past few days I have been compulsively swallowing to check if my throat was sore, as a possible sign of ARS. Then he said "It's not going to be subtle, if it happens it will knock you on your ass." Needless to say this did not help my anxiety... He later said I was fine after my physical, and order a few more blood tests for cholesterol, syphilis, etc.

From that day till now I still Obsessiveley swallow. More when I am nervous. At about 6 weeks 4 days I developed a real sore throat, and one swollen gland under my chin. (nowhere else) This sent me into an even greater state of panic, and I went to another doctor closer to home. (THE LGBT doctor was unavailable)

This doctor said my sore throat was because of bacteria, and perscribed 5 days of antibiotics, this appeared to do the trick. My throat cleared up and my gland stopped swelling, I can barely feel it now.

I'm now a day short from eight weeks, and I have started to obsess again. I check my temp often. I look at my throat in the mirror. I drink a lot of tea, or chew gum, or chough drops so that my swallowing does not irritate my throat. (My throat is always fine in the morning since I don't swallow in my sleep.) I feel like I'm either saved or screwed, because if I am infected I have missed the opportunity to treat the infection during ARS if I am infected. The experts on this website and others say that is the best opportunity to treat.

I don't know how I'm going to be able to live like this for another month. I know that any sort of symptoms that might happen now are unlikely to be ARS, but I can't seem to stop checking. About the only things that give me some sense of sanity are working out, sleeping, or being with my friends. But there is only so much time you can do that, and then the fear creeps in.

I guess what I'm asking for is advice on how to deal with the waiting the window period. Or am I likely to be infected?

From the facts I know it's not likely but I feel so unsure.

Please help me...

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Re: Window Period/OCD Hell please help... new
      #26218 - 01/02/02 07:28 PM

hey your situation is COMPLETELY same with me

I had low risk exposure (fingering) and 6 days later I started to have very mild pharyngitis.. and continued 8 weeks.. I had no problem with swallowing but breathing is disturbing.. Also 7 weeks later a lymph node swell..maybe it was already swollen for years but I discovered it..
I hadn't any symptom except this and as you can guess I am E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y anxious..

I haven't tested yet `cuz I have no insurance and I think I have to wait at least 2 years to have it.. I must find a home test..

please contact with me

good luck

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Re: Window Period/OCD Hell please help... new
      #26219 - 01/02/02 07:29 PM

hey also 6 weeks later I had strep throat..maybe that's why my lypmh node swell..

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Re: Window Period/OCD Hell please help... new
      #26221 - 01/02/02 07:41 PM

First off, 25 days is a very good sign, contrary to what your doctor told you. Also, the fact that he said ARS would knock you on your ass (I agree) is another good sign, because, obviously, you are on your feet - and aside fron the swallowing (which is most likely nerves), you're doing O.K. The hives don't sound like an ARS related rash - again - it sounds like nerves. Trust me, my body went through everything in the ARS symptom handbook - and I was negative (and my partner was pos.). Now, to address your peace of mind, which is of paramount importance ..... I am going to suggest two things:
1. Get a PCR test .... these are availabe (although not cheap) through Quest Laboratories (check out their website), and at 8 weeks, this test will definitely give you a conclusive answer.
2. If possible, try to contact your partner from the evening of concern .... share your fears - you'd be surprised how cool peope can be! (I shared mine with my partner when I tracked him down - and he took a home test for me .... unfortunately, the results were pos.)
Hang in there, my friend .... I truly believe you are negative. Best of luck.

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You are correct new
      #26223 - 01/02/02 07:55 PM

I'll tell you what that doctor told me. Nodes swell proximate to where you have an infection bacterial or other. So if you had strep that's why you had a swollen node. The operative word is a node. HIV is usually more than one node. As for fingering, I would even be close to this state of anxiety if all I was worried about was fingering. I'm gay, I have fingered many a guy in the ass, and I BITE MY NAILS. (See anxietyboy) I have never been that concerned about fingering. That is and incredibly diffcult for someone to get infected, especially if there was no blood...

Trust me you are in a much better place than I.

As for testing you should either to the home test, ( or try to find a anonymous clinic in your area. Most test are free or very low cost. Believe me I hate testing and waiting as much as the next person, but it is the only way to be sure.

As for insurance, there are govt ins plans for those (God Forbid) are infected. Don't let insurance be an obstacle to taking care of your health.

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Re: Window Period/OCD Hell please help... new
      #26244 - 01/03/02 01:19 AM

WRONG - you don't have a situation, jackass - you can't get infected by fingering ..... sorry.

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