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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Worried 2000
Unregistered

Window period and testing
      #3564 - 04/13/00 11:12 AM

I was hoping to talk with anyone out here who's in the window period like me. Exactly 60 days ago I had unprotected oral sex with a gay man who I have never met. This was incredibly stupid; I have no idea why I did this.

All I got in my mouth was a little pre-cum, so that is reassuring.

Since then, I went and had PCR tests done 14 and 33 days after exposure. Never had ARS. The 33 day test was done at Mass General Hospital, and I also had an Elisa test negative that day.

The doctors at Mass General told me that it's as close to a medical certainty as possible that I'm not infected.

I tested negative on standard antibody tests at 41 days and 53 days. As of today, we are looking at 60 days out. I will probably go in for another test from the clinic next Monday or Tuesday. They are great; results in 2 days.

I am just so scared. I need to let go of this, but it seems the further out I get, the more I worry about it. Is there anyone out here who has information on the window period? Rationally I know I should not be worried, but I still am.

Is anyone else going through this? I am looking for someone to talk with. I feel so alone and I would really welcome any talk or advice or help.

Thank you so much.




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The Voice
Unregistered

Re: Window period and testing new
      #3565 - 04/13/00 11:12 AM

Based on what you've written, you are as certain now as you can be until you get through the whole window period that you are NOT infected.

Those DNA tests are very reliable. They were done, you said, at one of the best hospitals in the country.

If you are re-testing for peace of mind, then continue doing so. There's always some chance (though here it is very small) that things will change--and the earlier you catch it, the better.

But--even looking at your risk--remember that low risk doesn't translate into later seroconversion. So your low risk activity and the fact you haven't seroconverted doesn't mean you should get MORE worried as time passes . . . . each time you come back negative it means you are that much closer.

Too many people think 3 months is the first time a test is any good. Rather, it's the end of a period in which you can be almost ABSOLUTELY sure it is good. Negatives between 1 month and 3 months are good signs!!!

Stay healthy mentally. The DNA tests and the subsequent ELISA tests are very reliable at the point you are at.

Keep the faith.




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DUDE
Unregistered

Re: Window period and testing new
      #3566 - 04/13/00 11:13 AM

Hi "WORRIED 2000. If you make it six months and tests are negative, you are not infected. If you test negative at 3 months, that is very encouraging news. We may have different risks (i'm hetro), but going throught the same deal.
I read your post and will comment. First, here's what I did and have been doing. I would appreciate a reply, cuz I got good info for you.
I had unprotected sex with a prostitute (drug user) 4 months ago. The first 3 months were hell. I tested negative at 3 months. That is called "encouraging." Most people produce antibodies within 25 days of infection, and antibodies can be detected with the standard HIV test. At 3 months,, the standard HIV-1 test will detect antibodies 95% of the time (if person was infected within 90 days). The HIV test will detect antibodies 99.99% within 180 days (6 months).I will now post something regarding oral sex. A recent study has come out. I hope you don't get too alarmed. I believe it was conducted or funded by the CDC and done in SF on gay men just having oral sex.


"UTMB Study Explains Why Oral Sex Unsafe in Age of HIV"
Houston Chronicle Online (02/03/00); Hopper, Leigh
New research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston shows the reason why oral sex is unsafe as a way to avoid HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that oral sex was likely the source of 6.6 percent of recent HIV infections among a group of homosexual men studied in San Francisco. Saliva has low enough saltiness to destroy infected blood
cells, but semen and breast milk are seven times saltier than saliva, allowing infected blood cells to live,according to Dr. Samuel Baron, a professor at UTMB and the lead author of the new study. Baron explained that blood cells need a salty environment to live, so that saliva's benefits become reduced when semen is added in large enough amounts. Transmission of HIV can occur in the gums, tongue, esophagus, or tonsils, said the researchers, who now trying to develop a gel to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV by copying the protective nature of saliva.
I've surfed and surfed (to no end) on the net) IF you want the best sites, post a message I'll give them to you.
I hope it works out for ya, I hope you're negative. BE CAREFUL!!!I was hoping to talk with anyone out here who's in the window period like me. Exactly 60 days ago I had unprotected oral sex with a gay man who I have never met. This was incredibly stupid; I have no idea why I did this.




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Worried 2000
Unregistered

Re: Window period and testing new
      #3567 - 04/13/00 11:15 AM

I don't believe that the 3 month test is just "encouraging." I think it's like 99% conclusive, and the 6 month is there just to catch those handful of people who need the extra time to seroconvert.

I have read that San Francisco study, too, but I'm not putting a whole lot of weight in it for a lot of reasons.

The doctors at Northwestern Memorial said 6 weeks is the test to put your money on. If you have a negative elisa at 6, chances are you will be OK. Mass General said the combination of viral load/Elisa at 33 days puts the potential for seroconversion later on at very close to zero.

Yet I still keep worrying.

I hope you are coping all right. What do you do to keep your mind off things? I have the problem that i keep thinking how stupid it was of me and how i have thrown away everything good about my life if i am infected. this is eating at me.

i hope to hear from you. i hope you too are OK.




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WebSupport
Unregistered

Re: Window period and testing new
      #3568 - 04/13/00 11:16 AM

>I don't believe that the 3 month test is just "encouraging." I >think it's like 99% conclusive, and the 6 month is there just to >catch those handful of people who need the extra time to seroconvert.

Right here with you guys. I was tested after possible exposure (condom broke with working girl who claimed to be tested, unprotected exposure for a minute or more). Talk about freaking out! This experience has changed my outlook on life. ELISA test was negative at 3 months and 1 week, good news considering my risk. Just tested this week and am now 9 months out from the possible exposure so this is the "IS THAT YOUR FINAL ANSWER?" test! I will be glad when this is all over and I can move on with my life.

>I hope you are coping all right. What do you do to keep your mind >off things? I have the problem that i keep thinking how stupid it >was of me and how i have thrown away everything good about my life >if i am infected. this is eating at me.

Trust me, I understand how you feel as I am going through the same feelings you are. You know what though? Here are three people that have made similar mistakes in life and are here to support each other. We can learn from this! Lets not make the same mistakes again.....OK?

WebSupport






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Worried 2000
Unregistered

Re: Window period and testing new
      #3569 - 04/13/00 11:16 AM

Thank you for the nice message. This has definitely changed my outlook on life. It's really not about money and power. It's about trying to help people and do the right things.

I hope we can stay in touch through these next 4 weeks or so. I really need you people for support.





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DUDE
Unregistered

Re: Window period and testing new
      #3570 - 04/13/00 11:17 AM

Hi worried 2000, it's DUDE here. Here's the best site on the net.
http://www.hopkins-aids.edu/index_patient.html
This guy (Dr. Gallant) used to be on THE BODY.
Read the old posts, every question is answered at some previous point.
My shingles is calming down. GEEZ I hope I get through this mess.
STAY SAFE-CONDOMS WILL BE MY BEST FRIEND FROM NOW ON!

I don't believe that the 3 month test is just "encouraging." I think it's like 99% conclusive, and the 6 month is there just to catch those handful of people who need the extra time to seroconvert.



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Ican'tbelieveit
Unregistered

Re: Window period and testing new
      #3625 - 04/22/00 03:31 AM

I just can't believe that with the knowledge of this disease, that you seem to have, that you are out there continuing the high risk behavior. Am I so stupid or naive that I just can't grasp why this is so thrilling. Why do you feel you have to give someone a blow job?>?? Why?



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