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Dunkel
Member

Reged: 02/09/14
Posts: 27
Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275830 - 03/30/14 12:11 PM

Hey to anyone reading this,

I'm looking for some insight, additional reassurance even? I'm hoping that I'm just a crazy person! 58 days ago I had protected vaginal intercourse with a sex worker from west Africa. I do not know why I can be so stupid! The next morning I noticed a break in my skin on the shaft my penis. The break or cut was small, but noticeable with my eye when showering. It was located about 1/2 inch away from the base. I'm certain the condom didn't cover it the entire time. The place I went to was shady at best. Initially my buddies and I went there as a joke. So I've been assuming this whole time she was positive.

After noticing the cut or abrasion my anxiety shot through the roof, I thought the worst, started to panic, and started trembling out of fear. I just kept hoping the condom kept that area covered. But I couldn't remember the full details of the incident because of course, my dumb self was intoxicated. I do remember the condom staying on, and took great care to ensure it didn't break (because I was overly paranoid she had HIV... Which begs myself to question WTF was I doing having intercourse with her in the first place??!)... Can't change my decisions, obviously...

Symptoms took place next:
Day2-7: Trembling/shaking (Anxiety no doubt) with small and loose poop, not diarrhea, but not my usual large and in charge protein inhabited poops. I also caught a cold or possibly a sinus infection and was coughing, sneezing with mucus buildup
Day8: Mucus goes away, sinus clears up, cough remains but dry, I start noticing tingly burning sensation on my forearms, hands, and feet and my skin was red and somewhat blotchy in those areas, my skin was blotchy red in my bicep area on the right side, and red and irritated near my armpit and pectoral muscle, then I started getting cold chills. I went to dinner that night, bought a beer took 3 sips from it and got immediately lightheaded (3 sips never does that to me) I started to panic because I knew it was HIV. I got nauseated too, didn't want to eat my food but my stubbornness forced me to eat to prove it was HIV doing that to me but I struggled putting it down my throat. I started having hot flashes with sweating too.

Day9- Woke up early in the morning with night sweats. Then I noticed my mouth was really really dry. I just couldn't drink enough water. Then I saw my tongue and noticed it was pretty white. I immediately thought it was thrush. More hot flashes ensued.

Day10: More of the same of EVERYTHING from before. Except I started taking my temperature during this time. Temp was normal. In fact I took my temperature all the way to day 28 (which is when I stopped taking my temp) and never once did it go over 99.1.

Day11: Saw a doctor, he didn't know jack and or s*** about HIV because he's a general practice doctor. None the less he thought my tongue didn't look abnormal, and couldn't see anything alarming to him. He could tell I was anxious/nervous so he ordered me a full screening on STIs to include a 3rd Gen HIV test. Everything was negative, but of course it had been 11 days.

Day12-24: I continued having cold chills, hot flashes, night sweats came and went periodically, I also noticed my lymph nodes on day 17 in my neck, underarm and groin could be felt but honestly I didn't know if they were enlarged or not I just assume that if I can feel them then it's not good, the tingly/burning feeling in my hands stayed until day 24, I also continued to have a white tongue (kind of hairy looking) appearance, my stomach made the worst and loudest noises I have ever heard it make and have felt cramping as well.

Day 24 until today: I have continued to have the white tongue appearance, gnarly loud stomach noises and still since day 2 I have small loose poops, and my lymph nodes in my neck have gotten pseudo bigger and I can feel the lymph nodes in my armpit and my groin. Also during the first onslaught 8-12 days I felt a little lethargic like maybe I was sick, but not too sick because I still was doing pushups, pullups and running to places to see if that would make me feel bad but it didn't really...

I took tests all throughout this time but they all have been within the considered window period:
11 day 3rd Gen lab test=Negative
17 day 4th Gen lab test=Negative
26 day 3rd Gen lab test=Negative
31 day 4th Gen lab test=Negative
41 day Point of Car Rapid finger prick test=Negative
48 day 4th Gen lab test=Negative
56 day Point of care Rapid finger prick test=Negative

I have spoken to just about everyone I could speak to online, through Medhelp, through Freedomhealth (the doctors) and I have spoken to doctors where I am living. Mostly, everyone agrees that 6-8 weeks is conclusive especially after using a 4th Generation test and being tested to 8 weeks exactly. Everywhere you turn though, you hear about needing to wait until 3 months.

They even say that when you're having symptoms that your test will turn positive just shortly after you start having those symptoms because your body is producing antibodies which is creating those symptoms... I'm still negative, and I have had a gauntlet of symptoms. So who's right? Are these renowned doctors who tell me 6-8 weeks is conclusive, that it takes "virtually" everyone 6-8 weeks to produce a positive result right? Even the doctors here in the UK state the same thing... Or is the CDC right and everyone e CDC right?

I'm wanting to believe my results, but my symptoms were pretty powerful, the lady was west African. And West Africa has a higher prevalence with HIV2. I've taken tests that cover HIV-2, in fact all of them I have taken supposedly cover it... But not much is known about HIV-2 because you don't see it in much of the world outside of people who go to West Africa, or have interactions with people from West Africa. And further, no one really knows if it takes longer to produce antibodies to HIV-2 longer... I am confident I don't have HIV-1. Very confident. But, with my symptoms still persisting (white tongue, enlarged lymph nodes, and LOUD stomach noises and small loose poos) I don't see how it could be anything other than HIV-2. I have tried looking into other causes. Nothing is panning out.

So what gives? Am I crazy? I'd really like to be at this point.

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anotherday
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Reged: 05/15/13
Posts: 416
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275833 - 03/30/14 01:05 PM

Your being crazy! You have had test after test after test, negative, doctors reporting negative, people in this forum telling you there was no risk. Yet your "splitting hairs" insisting you have HIV.

If your lady of the evening was from west Africa living in Germany ... how long has she been living there? Not everyone from a specific region in the world carries HIV 1 or 2. Keep in mind also, MOST sex trade workers get regular tests, carry protection and have assessed you long before the business got underway. One final note, she was probably of West African decent born and raised in Germany ... throws a whole new twist on things doesn't it?

Your freaking out so much that your causing your body to react to the stress your putting onto it. Your more a threat to your body than HIV!

Time to move forward, accept that your negative, learn from your experiences if your beating yourself over that (not judging), but you did comment "can't change my decision" ...

So stick to your own diagnosis, your crazy, and calm yourself down and just ramdomly in 3 or 6 months go for a test again ... but expect a neg again!

--------------------
anotherday ... in paradise!
daily ponder ... be the reason someone smiles today!

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Dunkel
Member

Reged: 02/09/14
Posts: 27
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275834 - 03/30/14 01:55 PM

She was born and raised in Nigeria. Told me she moved from Nigeria 15 years ago. She also told me she's 33 and that her name was "Jessica". She spoke broken English, and I didn't hear her speak German. None of that really matters. I'd like to believe HIV isn't the cause of all this. I'm still having swollen lymph nodes in my neck, and in my armpit on my right side, and in both sides of my groin. It's getting ridiculous. And they aren't going away, or going down either. They have been here with me for 6 weeks consistently. And my tongue hasn't looked normal for 7 weeks. And my stomach doesn't stop making loud gurgly noises. It has NEVER made these sounds. Never.

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anotherday
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Posts: 416
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275835 - 03/30/14 06:17 PM

So ... just curious, with all the feeling up of your lymph nodes, do you know what they are "suppose to" feel like. Because your suddenly internet sauve on symptoms and realise swollen lymph nodes are a major, prior to your symptom surf had you ever felt your lymph nodes. It takes a very trained medical professional to be able to seriously assess whether a lymph node is swollen to a degree to be an issue. Did your doctor(s) that tested you allow you to feel the lymph nodes so you could get a frame of reference.

Gurgly noises and intestinal woes are usually a first sign of stress and anxiety too! When you get an anxious feeling, like maybe skydiving for the first time, what happens ... you almost "crap you pants". That's the term given to when people worry and fret too much, your stomach is usally the first thing to start freaking! You've been fretting over having HIV for how long ... I bet 7 weeks!

I still suggest you calm yourself down, in a few weeks go for another test, it's your body test all you want, they won't deny you of that. When the next test comes in neg though, seriously, get on with living and learning!

Stay strong, stay safe and smile!

--------------------
anotherday ... in paradise!
daily ponder ... be the reason someone smiles today!

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Dunkel
Member

Reged: 02/09/14
Posts: 27
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275836 - 03/31/14 02:30 PM

The lymph nodes have been verified by a sexual health doctor in the UK, and by my physician. I showed them the areas I was concerned about hoping they would tell me it wasn't lymph nodes but they both verified it is. You're right, prior to this event I never really felt my lymph nodes. But after the incident happened, my symptoms appeared, I started to google everything. And I read about swollen lymph nodes. I wasn't concerned because I started feeling for my lymph nodes but couldn't find them. Then a couple of weeks after that went by I started to feel them. Groin, neck, and then finally my armpit. I have been dealing with this for 59 days exactly. So roughly 8 weeks and 3 days. I have tested. I have been fretting this, and I would agree with you anxiety and stress can cause your stomach to churn, and do sorts of other funky things. If my only symptom was an out of wack stomach, I wouldn't sweating it. But, it's the lymph nodes, the stomach, my loos and somewhat small poops, and everytime I look at my tongue in the mirror it looks like a cats tongue. Hairy and white looking. My tongue is something I've always looked at. Brushing my teeth and always seeing it. I don't necessarily think it's thrush, because I can't scrape the whiteness away... But it gets worse if I don't drink water. And it gets really bad when I try and exercise. I have been feeling too weak to exercise lately, and very tired. When you throw in the fact that my initial symptoms were very weird, and very unlike what my body feels on a normal day to day basis.... Especially after my very risky incident, you begin to connect the dots. For me the only thing that hasn't verified I have HIV is a blood test. I did test a exactly 8 weeks which came up negative. I was so relieved! But none of my symptoms faded. Instead they just got worse, and I found about two more lymph nodes in my neck on the left side. The doctors haven't verified those yet, but I will see the UK sexual health doctor tomorrow. There's nothing else they could be, they feel the same as the others the docs verified. They more than likely won't test me again until 12 weeks. Unfortunately. My physician has tried other causes. He thought maybe Epstein barr virus, but it wasn't that. He doesn't seem overly smart on HIV. So when I tell him about my symptoms he usually doesn't know what to say. One thing is for sure we haven't found another cause.

I do appreciate your words anotherday. I just wish there was some sort of magic drug for HIV like there is chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis where you say: "shoot man, I think I might have got HIV" and a doctor goes: "No big deal dude, just take this pill" and poof! It's gone. No worries, troubles are over. There isn't, and I'm stuck here in the worst hell I've ever experienced. It would be one thing if my test mattered up to this point. But they've all been in the "window period".

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crabmanModerator
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Reged: 03/10/11
Posts: 1053
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275840 - 03/31/14 02:50 PM

Just a few things to keep in mind.

1) Your symptoms are not presenting as they would for ARS. ACUTE Retroviral Syndrome is caused by the body fighting off the virus and producing antibodies. It typically lasts for a week. The symptoms hit you quickly and leave after a short time. After that? You feel fit as a fiddle. These lingering chronic symptoms of yours are NOT typical of ARS or HIV.

2) You had protected sex. That certainly is NOT a high risk and most would consider it NO risk. Matter of fact the CDC's chart of estimated transmission only deals with UNPROTECTED sex with someone with HIV. In your case if you had unprotected sex then you would have a risk estimate of 5 in 10,000. BUT you didn't you had protected sex.

3) Since antibodies typically develop by 25 days, close to 100% of people will test positive by 6 weeks.

4) If I recall I had read that you are married and feeling extremely guiltily about stepping outside your marital bounds. It's been my experience on this board that people that have guilt over the sexual activity that brought them here, tend to have the hardest time accepting the fact they do not have HIV. Sometimes they will agonize and punish themselves for months, a few, even years. You are showing those classic signs. I would suggest you deal with the guilt before you final test, otherwise I fear you may be one to continue the punishment.



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Dunkel
Member

Reged: 02/09/14
Posts: 27
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275843 - 03/31/14 03:19 PM

I hear ya, Crabman. I respect what you're telling me. I've heard unprotected sex carries a 1 in 1,000 risk. Regardless, I did use a condom. No doubt. Damn thing stayed on the whole time too. BUT, there was a cut, or abrasion or skin break... It was more than likely caused by her giving me oral, or through friction caused from sex. And it was just outside the point where the condom could cover. The condom probably covered it at some point. I remember the condom rolling up, and definitely past that point. I've heard a few people tell me that it is a risk, but only "in theory". The UK doctor here tells me it does carry a risk. Especially if you have other STDs (which I do). HPV if you're wondering.

My symptoms came on at the 8th day, and stretched into the 24th day. Only thing that didn't go away was the white appearing tongue, my lymph nodes, and the weird stomach/weird poops. I have felt right as rain physically, until yesterday when I started to feel tired and kind of run down. I felt run down today also.

I have even read that the moment you feel legitimate ARS is because it's your body generating antibodies to the virus, and that's what's causing you to feel ill. And a lot of people on other associated websites claim that you WILL test positive shortly after symptoms. But, not one single person has referenced their sources. CDC says 3 months. It says it for a reason.

You're definitely right about my guilt. I confessed to my wife. Things have been difficult. I'm glad I did decide to tell her and not hide it like most men I read about. I wouldn't dare endanger her life. It just wouldn't be decent.

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crabmanModerator
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Posts: 1053
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275844 - 03/31/14 04:00 PM

"My symptoms came on at the 8th day, and stretched into the 24th day. Only thing that didn't go away was the white appearing tongue, my lymph nodes, and the weird stomach/weird poops. I have felt right as rain physically, until yesterday when I started to feel tired and kind of run down. I felt run down today also"

Actually you claim they started day 2.

"Symptoms took place next:
Day2-7: Trembling/shaking (Anxiety no doubt) with small and loose poop, not diarrhea, but not my usual large and in charge protein inhabited poops. I also caught a cold or possibly a sinus infection and was coughing, sneezing with mucus buildup "

and

"Day 24 until today: I have continued to have the white tongue appearance, gnarly loud stomach noises and still since day 2 I have small loose poops, and my lymph nodes in my neck have gotten pseudo bigger and I can feel the lymph nodes in my armpit and my groin. Also during the first onslaught 8-12 days I felt a little lethargic like maybe I was sick, but not too sick because I still was doing pushups, pullups and running to places to see if that would make me feel bad but it didn't really..."


Please explain to me how 'symptoms' from day 2 through 56 or 58, so far, are inline with what we know about ARS? Again. Also please explain to me how you could experience 'symptoms' by day 2. What we do know is that symptoms appear between two to four weeks.

They hit hard, almost always are accompanied by a very high fever, and then self-resolve within about a week.

How can you claim ARS which is the seroconversion to a HIV positive status when you have described nothing that fits even closely with it?

Even if your STDs put you at greater risk, your 8 week negative says it's not an issue. I also noticed that you gave the whole guilt issue just a passing reference. Again, typical of the many that have walked your path before you.

I am well aware that no one can change your current mindset but you. We all can try to reason with you and present facts to you, but you will just continue to post back outlining your reasons that your fear at this point is justified.

So I will leave this discussion and just say good luck in resolving your issues whatever you may think they are.

Edited by crabman (03/31/14 04:09 PM)

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Dunkel
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Reged: 02/09/14
Posts: 27
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing
      #275845 - 03/31/14 04:43 PM

The things I was feeling on the 2nd day was put in parenthesis which I knew was stress or anxiety. I also knew that I had a cough, from my cold. I knew that my cold was from being in close proximity with a bunch of people for a week's period of time. My shaking, and trembling I knew was from anxiety, my guilt and my shame.

Where does it say that lymph nodes in ARS go away? Everything I have seen says lymph nodes stay enlarged. So what the F word? If this is not HIV, then what caused those symptoms, and what is causing my lymph nodes to be enlarged and not go away? I have tried to remain calm, and hopeful. Hell, I even wrote you personally to get answers a long time ago. A long time ago being like 6 weeks ago. But you never wrote back, and I moved forward and gained hope with each new negative test. Until realizing those symptoms I experienced from the 8th-24th were definitely something too weird to ignore. And now everything has come to a boil.

Maybe I am crazy. Maybe I am the classic worry well nutcase. You're right, though. I'm not really sure you can drag me out of my dark hole. And, dude, about your "passing reference statement" about my guilt... I'm not sure where you're going with that. What else can I say about it at this point? I did the right thing. I told her. I just don't understand what you're implying. I do appreciate you talking to me, though. Tomorrow I am going back to see the UK doctor. If he looks at me and tells me I'm a crazy man, and move on with my life, I'll come back into this forum and report it. Hopefully he doesn't think it can be related to HIV. I want to be wrong.

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crabmanModerator
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Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275851 - 04/01/14 04:32 PM

What did your doctor say today?

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Dunkel
Member

Reged: 02/09/14
Posts: 27
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275852 - 04/01/14 07:26 PM

I spoke to both my physician and the Sexual Health doctor. First, my bilirubin was higher than it has been. Which my physician said indicates something is going on with my gall bladder or liver. Then, he said my lymphocytes were lower than what they were before. I asked him if it was my CD4 that was down? And he told me he didn't look at the CD4 levels, but just generally my lymphocytes were down as a whole. I'm not smart enough to understand exactly what he meant. So he felt the areas I was concerned about for my lymph nodes and agreed they could be felt. He asked me if I hadn't felt those before? I told him I had been feeling my daggum neck for the past 8 weeks, and hadn't felt that yet. He's a little concerned. So he's asking for another physician to evaluate me. In order to get a second opinion.

I told the UK sexual health doc all the same info. He said he's got a wealth of knowledge when it comes to HIV/STIs but, he hasn't done general practice in a long time. I asked him could HIV-2 be the cause. He told me he doesn't have enough knowledge on HIV-2, to answer that. And he said they don't really see it. But he said he would like think antibody production would be the same. At any rate, after everything I told him, he didn't call me crazy and tell me to get the hell out. In fact, he willingly provided me another 4th Generation Combination test. He also swabbed my tongue to see if it's thrush or not. I'll find out the test results tomorrow. I had him look at my lymph nodes. He agrees that it is not normal for lymph nodes to be enlarged for longer than a period of a couple of weeks. Especially when I haven't been sick, or sick with anything purely identifiable. The cold or sinus infection I had cleared up by now. So he didn't believe that could be the cause, since the duration plus no other symptoms have persisted in that manner. But he also told me that, lymphadenopathy in what he has seen, has been severely swollen lymph nodes, generally much larger than 1cm. He said that he doesn't believe mine are bigger than 2mm but, recommends my physician order me an MRI of the lymph nodes to truly find out their size. The physician put in the MRI for Monday.

So, I wanted to come in here and let you know you were right, and that I was crazy, but it seems something is definitely going on with me. Can't say it's HIV. I don't have a test to tell me that, but this stuff isn't made up in my crazy little mind... I'm trying to stay strong, and calm. I'm still keeping hope. I did agree with the Sexual Health doc that if my test is negative tomorrow, that I draw a line in the sand with HIV. And I put it out of my head and not think about why my body is doing what it's doing. And that we'll revisit the "HIV conundrum" on the 12th week. I think that's fair. But to summarize, no other causes could be identified. And I think the doctors are just kind of scratching their heads right now. Anyway, I'll update tomorrow. Thanks for asking, though.

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crabmanModerator
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Re: Update on symptoms/Testing *DELETED* new
      #275861 - 04/02/14 10:41 AM

Post deleted by crabman

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Dunkel
Member

Reged: 02/09/14
Posts: 27
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275868 - 04/02/14 04:30 PM

To everyone reading this: I declare here, and now I am officially a crazy person! I received another negative test (4th Generation or DUO) yet again at the 61 day mark. If you have been paying attention, I was completely convinced I had seroconverted. This test proves that not to be the case, and just like Crabman, Anotherday, Riverprincess and others on this forum tried to tell me. I'm sorry to have doubted you all. I want you all to know you do a wonderful job on here! I have agreed with my Sexual Health doctor I am going to put HIV behind me.

Of course, I will take a 3 month test. But not because I believe I could still have HIV, but because I believe it is just the right thing to do. And only that reason. To anyone reading this worried... Don't jump to conclusions. Don't ignore what someone, who has a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of experience related to the disease says to you. If you're feeling down, and if you're feeling overwhelmed, then absolutely seek help. Physically seek help. Like a doctor, or a therapist. Do not use a website, or other websites as your sole pulse to the matter. They can only help you to a certain extent. The rest is up to you.

I'm done here. I will revisit this place in a month. And report the all clear, but nothing more. Crazy person, out!

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Worrier82
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Reged: 04/01/14
Posts: 18
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275869 - 04/02/14 05:22 PM

Great news dunkel!!!
I hope I'll get the same news next week!


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anotherday
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Posts: 416
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Re: Update on symptoms/Testing new
      #275881 - 04/02/14 07:55 PM

Just remember it's always good to be a little crazy, just make sure your crazy is directed in the right direction! All the best my friend, talk to you in a month!

--------------------
anotherday ... in paradise!
daily ponder ... be the reason someone smiles today!

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