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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
Unregistered

I destroyed my life
      #61851 - 03/29/03 12:47 AM

I'm married with children and have a great career. As of 3 weeks ago, I had what, to most people, was the perfect life. However, AA says that you are only as "sick as your secrets". I had a secret which is now coming back to haunt me literally to the death. My secret was that I have over the past few years periodically gone to a massage parlor. There I would receive oral sex with a condom and be licked all over my body including my nipples. I thought that was a virtually no risk activity but I am now quite sure that I was wrong. Starting about 6 weeks ago, I got sick. I started with a killer cold which then became a bad sinus infection which cleared up with 2 courses of antibiotics. However, I think these were possibly incidental to the following. 2.5 weeks ago, I began classic ARS symptoms. Low grade fever (99-99.8), swollen glands under my jaw, minor headaches, increasingly severe night sweats, very noticable tenderness under my left ribs (enlarged spleen), horrible dry mouth, tachycardia and a minor (almost negligable but still new/different) rash of small red/pink bumps around my neckline. I've only had 2 possible exposures in the past 3 months - one 7 weeks ago and one 3 weeks ago. It was 4 days after the last one that my ARS symptoms started. I wish I could even begin to think that my symptoms are psychosomatic...unfortunately the thermometer and my wet pajamas do not lie. My GP is a kindly sort who knows nothing about HIV. He ran all the usual blood work (CBC etc.) and it came back normal, as you would expect with ARS. He pronounced a "viral infection" and that was that. After I was honest with him about my exposures, he did give me an ELISA test 2 days ago and I was negative (3 and 7 weeks post my last exposures). I realize that's probably meaningless except to wipe out the concept of infection from more than 3 months ago (which would not be causing my ARS in any event. I will go to an infectious disease specialist Monday and get a p24 and viral load test. I have absolutely no doubt the results will be positive - the symptoms are just too real and too classic. I think it finally sunk in when my neck glands blew up a couple of days ago. I'm not sure why I'm writing except that I feel so utterly alone. This is truly the deepest abyss I've ever stared at in my life and I dug it all myself. How could I have been so selfish and foolish? I must have been insane. I just thought it was virtually no risk. I'm assuming that the sex workers either licked my abraded skin (nipple?) with bloody saliva (I think they brush their teeth between sessions) or possibly spit in the condom before putting it on. Also, I think the 7 week old exposure involved some baby oil on my penis before the condom was applied. I've already admitted everything to my wife and you can imagine her complete devastation. Frankly, that was so much worse than anything I could possibly concieved. Thinking about my own impending sickness and battle is a relief next to thinking about what I've done to her. I believe strongly that she's HIV- based on our behaviors and that is perhaps going to be my only salvation in all of this. However, thinking about my children makes everything else seem insignificant. How can I even begin to explain this? And what about my Mom - I just can't imagine she's going to survive this development. I realize that I have nobody to blame but myself but I've spent alot of time reading in this site over the past few weeks and I've seen an amazing degree of compassion from the professionals and posters. As of this point, I have to reach out to somebody and this seems the best spot. I guess my only question is how long the p24 and viral load tests will take to come back? Can someone tell me? And, please feel free to comment as I feel so incredibly isolated and full of shame. I've broken my own heart and the hearts of those I love the most and I feel so empty and alone. Any response would help me. Best to you all.



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X-happy
Unregistered

Re: I destroyed my life new
      #61853 - 03/29/03 01:23 AM

Hey Anon

I want you to browse through past posts from 2002 and such. You will be amazed at the number of people who have had virtually every symptom, not just a few like you, and all tested negative will all testing methods! Most of them have had very low risk exposures as yours.

My PCR test took some 5 days to come back. So I think it should take anywhere between 4 days and 14 days.

You have a very high chance of testing negative for HIV! I would say about 80%!!!

X-happy



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: I destroyed my life new
      #61877 - 03/29/03 07:20 AM

Hello anon,

I understand what you are going through - as I am sure do many others - But I really do feel that if your tests come back negative accept them. I went for my test yesterday and even though I have had, especially in my teens a considerate amount of full sexual encounters - unprotected ,the consultant explained to me the risk factors - and I still to my amazement due to location, and the fact they were hetrosexual relations am considered low risk. Men are considered even lower risk again in such circumstances - I feel that as you have said there was no unprotected penetrative intercourse and other precautions were taken you are at very very low risk if any. The stress and guilt feelings can induce many many symptoms and stress can cause actual physical things so I am sure that the thermometer was not lieing! Please when you are given the all clear from the next tests - accept them and be happy - you have opened up to your wife its all in the open which gives you the oppurtunity to learn that the giving into the temptation at the parlour was the wrong choice and you can start afresh being stronger for the experience.

God loves us no matter what - Jesus has given us the oppurtuninity to know that. God Bless and keep you



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Jackie_Blue
Legend

Reged: 10/26/00
Posts: 2028
Re: I destroyed my life new
      #61879 - 03/29/03 08:47 AM

One of the reasons there has never been a confirmed case of transmission from receiving oral sex is because something in Saliva seems to inhibit the virus.

If you break down everything, you have never had a risk.
She licked you all over - Not a way for transmisstion. Remember the Saliva and the fact it would be exposued to air. You used a condom - Not a way for transmission. She spit in the condom - Not a way for transmission, remember Salivia inhibits the virus, besides this one is just plain borders on fantasy and paronia. The fact your doctor didn't tell you that since you used protection you didn't have a risk and there really wasn't a need to test shows he knows little about HIV.

There is no such thing as classic ARS symptoms. All symptoms that might be noticed with ARS also can be caused by a number of illness and conditions that have nothing to do with HIV. Even the timing is off, for both exposures. 4 days after your last exposure would rule out the 3 weeks ago and that would be over 4 weeks since the 7 weeks and that's too long. ARS typical occurs within 2-4 weeks after exposure and self resolves in about a week. Ongoing symptoms lasting longer than a week such as you are describing is NOT typical of ARS at all.

The fact that you're fever was only 99-99.8 certainly isn't indicative of ARS. Many doctors don't even consider 99. 99.8 to be anything other than normal variation of body temp. ARS normally would have a high fever.

The swollen nodes in the jaw would indicate an infection in that localized area. With ARS it's not just the nodes in one area that swell. Along with the low fever would indicate some sort of ear, throat infection. Dry mouth, tachycardia, rashes, headaches and night sweats can ALL be caused by stress and/or anxitey.

Spend the extra money on those tests if it gives you peace of mind, but please believe the results.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: I destroyed my life new
      #61880 - 03/29/03 09:58 AM

I just want to thank all 3 of you for taking the time to respond. You are kind and compassionate people. I wanted to add a couple of things to my story. While I don't know what will happen with my marriage, I am committed to work on it if my wife is willing. We will have to see but, as you say, at least we can now deal with things honestly and my deception is over. As importantly, I will be starting therapy to work on myself (I had good therapy experiences a few years ago). As part of my therapy, I will focus on believing any test results I would get back - and I really believe I can "believe". Unfortunately, I still just know what's going to happen based on my symptoms. My left side (under my ribs) hurts so bad now and I have gland swelling in my lower lip. I'm so afraid... BUT, you have no idea (or maybe you do) how much it means to see you guys take the time to help me. It means that, even if the worst news comes, maybe I won't be so alone. I would be grateful for more thoughts from others as I'm checking this pretty obsessively right now. It seems to be the only thing that makes me feel any better.



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Thom
Unregistered

Re: I destroyed my life (to annoymous) new
      #61949 - 03/29/03 11:04 PM

Hi,
I have similar exposure with you (and I don't even have oral sex). Even though my symptoms and sequence of it really match with ARS especially after night sweating, (it may be symptoms of other infection too), and indeed my ID and IM doctors admitted I get viral infection before, but they all denied that I have HIV infection based on my negative ELISA at week 7 and ELISA combo at week 14 plus normal lymphocyte subset. Therefore, your random symptoms + negative ELISA at week 7 is really a good sign of not getting hiv infection. In addition, your symptoms are so mild except night sweating (if your therometer indicated that you have low-grade fever, then it should be addressed by your doctor) that we would have it all occasionally.

If you are still haunted with ARS, you should evaluate the sequence of it. Rash (if any), typically breaks out first for all kind of viral infection, may be high fever and other symptoms (like flu-like symptoms) would follow in hiv infection.

Stay well, and keep calm.

Just my 2 cents



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Atlanta
Unregistered

YOU ARE NEGATIVE- I promise new
      #62125 - 03/31/03 09:42 AM



Dude,
You are NEAGTIVE 100% NEGATIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You had a Viral Infection but you wont believe that either....

YOU WILL BE THE FIRST PERSON IN HISTORY- do yo uunderstand that!!!.. HISTORY! to contract HIV this way!!!!!!!

I had all the symptoms you had and a temp of 103 - my night sweats were so bad I had to sleep on the floor because my bed was a pool- fatigue where I couldnt walk down stairs- spotted tongue- ect-I also had shingles at the same time............... Ive tested 8 times out to 7 months including pcr dna and HIV 2 and I'm negative and I love it......

YOU WONT BELIEVE YOUR TEST I CAN PROMISE YOU THAT. You will say I got them back they were negative but man I just know the test is wrong what esle could it be. You will ignore the fact you are using the most fine tuned infectious diseases testing method in HISTORY! and you will say "I'm just one of those people who cant develop antibodies" or "I must have that HIV that they have not developed a test for"

THIS IS ALL BS!!!! YOU DONT EVEN NEED A TEST BECAUSE PEOPLE DONT GET HIV THIS WAY!!!

As far as your family goes I wish I could have talked to you before you announced your massage parlor visit- everybody fucks up now and then and everyone has cheated sometime in their life- it doesnt make you a bad person---


STAY THE F OFF THIS SITE AFTER YOU FIND OUT YOU ARE NEGATIVE!!!!! YOU ARE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE NEGATIVE---



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: YOU ARE NEGATIVE- I promise new
      #62127 - 03/31/03 10:52 AM

Atlanta

What was it then that you had? Are you OK now?

Thanks



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Atlanta
Unregistered

Re: YOU ARE NEGATIVE- I promise new
      #62128 - 03/31/03 12:42 PM

I had a Viral Infection plain and simple. I'm great now. It took a while to except my results but when I got my 7 month test and spoke with some front runner lab docs about the test procedure I was able to move on and all my lagging symptoms vanished. I do know that I'm back to running 8 miles a day working out, sleeping great, eating great, and my social life has returned in full force. Stay safe and believe your results. 3 months is conclusive kids



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: YOU ARE NEGATIVE- I promise new
      #62242 - 04/01/03 07:07 AM

Atlanta,

Did you have rash? Folliculitis on torso, neck?
Did you have soft skin? Did you have burning feet and hands?

Please, let me know.

thanks



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Atlanta
Unregistered

Re: YOU ARE NEGATIVE- I promise new
      #62257 - 04/01/03 12:12 PM

yes and yes and yes- are you struggling with your results?

Please remember that people had our exact symptoms in the 40 50 60 and 70's long before HIV surfaces- yet we are all convienced we have this virus- we simply dont



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