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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Testing Period??
      #68150 - 07/25/03 09:51 AM

10 weeks ago now, I used my hand to ejaculate a man onto my face. The semen ran down my cheek and to the corner of my mouth. I am not sure if any semen got in my mouth or not, if so it would have been a very small amount. The corner of my mouth was red and had a burning sensation for about 1/2 an hour afterwards. During the first week after, I started feeling fatigue and slight nausea. At week 4, I had a severe sore throat, Dr. said siniusitis and gave me Zithromax. It helped but did not cure. At 6 weeks, sore throat back severe again and a couple white spots on my tonsils. Dr. said "tonsil cheese" and gave me Amoxicilian. Again, it helped but there is still discomfort in my throat. Now at 10 weeks, my sore throat is back again, slight nausea, and fatigue.

I tested negative via Home Access test at 5 weeks and again at 7.5 weeks.

My questions are 1. Could this be ARS at 10 weeks? 2. I have heard that the majority of people will test positive if they are going to within in about 4 weeks, is this true? 3. I feel that my exposure if any was virtually nil, I did not notice any cuts, sores, or blood on my face, lips, or in my mouth, so do I have a legitimate worry, or am I making a mountain out of a molehill? and finally 4. What should I do next, nothing, test at 3 months and be done if negative, or test at 3 months and again at 6 months.

I am very confused and very worried about what I may have done to my body and how it could affect all my friends and family. I know I will never put myself at any kind of risk again as I cannot handle the worry and the window period for testing.

Thanks to everyone on this board for their comments.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Testing Period?? new
      #68151 - 07/25/03 10:06 AM

1. No. ARS would show itself 2-4 weeks after exposure. Anything after that is not related to ARS. Even if you had "ARS type" symptoms in those 2-4 weeks, they are likely not related to HIV. Read the Safe Sex forum on this site and Ryan Kull's answers to ARS symptoms. Unless you had unprotected anal or vaginal sex, your symptoms are not likely due to HIV. Plus, you shouldn't self diagnose HIV by symptoms alone, even doctors don't do that!

2. The CDC states that most people will develop detectable levels of antibodies to HIV within 30 days, but only a 12 week test is conclusive, because it can take that long to show up sometimes. From what I have read, anyone who will test positive, does so by 8 weeks. But again, only a 12 week test is conclusive.

3. Your exposure is virtually nil. In fact, it's really no risk at all. Infected fluid has to get directly into your bloodstream in an airtight environment, i.e. unprotected sex or through a needle. In your case, the semen was exposed to the air and your skin. Intact skin is an excellent barrier to HIV.

4. Whether to test or not is up to you. Personally, I would not test from this experience, but since it is causing you so much anxiety, consider getting a test at 12 weeks for peace of mind. Just think of how happy you will be when you find out that it's negative!

You should seriously consider speaking to a professional about your fears. You really did not put yourself at any kind of risk and shouldn't make yourself crazy over this. Denying yourself something you enjoy doing (sex) is not a good thing. If you feel that you need to test after every low risk or no risk activity, it's more than likely anxiety is your problem, not HIV.

Try reading through the Safe Sex forum, Dr. Bob's responses to other people with fears just like yours are very informative, caring, and should go a long way to helping you realize that you are going to be okay.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Testing Period?? new
      #68152 - 07/25/03 11:13 AM

Thanks so much for your reply. You have said things that in the back of my mind I have wanted to believe, but there is always this little bit of doubt when I start feeling ill during the window period.

I do believe anxiety is a big factor here, after all I am married with kids, have a professional job where I am very well known in my community. I just keep thinking about the effects of a positive result and how it will affect me, my family, and those who put their trust in me in the community.

I used to have lots of oral sex in the past. Then I learned about HIV and other std's, every since then, I freak out after a "risky" or "mischievious" experience. I am not giving up on sex by any means, but I am giving up on sex and any even remotely risky behavior with anyone except my spouse. If I am truly clean now, I want to remain that way and live a long healthy life without the worry of HIV and the consequences that come with it.

Thanks again, and I would really appreciate any other comments that anyone may have.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Testing Period?? new
      #68153 - 07/25/03 11:39 AM

It's kind of funny, with the exception of kids, you could be describing me!! I know exactly what you are feeling and going through as I have been through it and continue to go through it. Despite all of my extensive research that I have done over the past few years, my anxiety sometimes still gets the better of me. Those damn "What If's" still sometimes send my nerves through the roof! Hang in there friend, you will be okay.

If you need to talk further, you can e-mail me at Switch625@email.darkpoetry.com.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Testing Period?? new
      #68155 - 07/25/03 12:04 PM

You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. You didn't even have a risk, you don't even know for sure if any semen entered your mouth for starters. Oral isn't a high risk and this doesn't even come near qualifing for oral at all. You've tested negative at 7.5 weeks. Another half week in Europe and it would have been a conclusive negative. With the tests that are being used today it's almost if not now totally unheard of for to be infected and NOT test positive by 6 weeks.

As far as those lingering symptoms.....please everyone say with me......one more time....'A in ARS stands for ACUTE. Not chronic.

JB



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Gerry10
Unregistered

Re: Home Access Reliability new
      #68336 - 07/28/03 07:40 PM

While you're potential exposure to HIV is at a minimum, you should probably get a final test at the three month period with your doctor.
From what I have been reading and hearing, Home Access is not as reliable as having blood drawn from your doctor.
Hope everything turns out ok!



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Home Access Reliability new
      #68378 - 07/29/03 03:39 PM

Home Access IS as reliable as the doctor. They both run the same test, so the results would be the same. The only thing with Home Access is that if you don't put enough blood in the circle or it gets contaminated, that could screw up your results. With a doctor, you would have less of a chance of the sample being contaminated.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: Testing Period?? new
      #69786 - 08/21/03 11:17 PM

For those who for some want to question the accuracy of Home Access, here is what I have learned from them:

1. They are absolutely as reliable as having the test done at a doctor's office--there have been countless studies done comparing the same blood sample tested by Home Access v. venous samples (i.e. blood taken at the doctor) and the results are 100% the same indicating the testing mechanism is just as reliable.

2. If the sample is in any way contaminated or you did it incorrectly, they will not produce a result and will inform you you did it incorrectly. If you get a result, you provided enough blood and there were no problems.

3. If you follow instructions, prick your finger, put the blood in the circle and immediately place it in the envelope to be mailed to Home Access, there are no problems with your result.

Get it? With a non-existent exposure, you should not even have been tested, but if it makes you feel better, you're negative.







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