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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Anonymous
Unregistered

HIV2 IN SanFransisco
      #7767 - 07/29/00 12:57 AM

Hello,

I have been worried sick about HIV for the past 6months, I had sex with a guy who actually brought HIV up. He called to tell me that he didn't have HIV, I was in shock, I never thought of HIV before that. I asked him to test, he said that he would but then disappeared. His phone was disconnected and I lost contact. I put HIV on the back burner until 2 1/2 months later when I started to develope wierd symptoms. I woke up one evening with extreame paid under my arm pits, it felt as though they were on fire. This was followed by a month of nite sweats, fever, horrible sore throat, rash, and dry mouth.. Now 3months later I still have swollen nodes in my neck, achey back pain, minor sore throat and thrush... I have had 5 tests total all of which came back negative. I live near san fransisco so I went to a HIV clinic in the Castro District, (primaraly homosexual high risk area), and I asked to be tested for HIV 2. The clinic that I went to is affiliated with UCSF a huge meca for HIV research. The councler told me that he has been employed for the clinic a long time and has only performed the test 1x, he went on to say that it was a person from africa. He said that HIV2 is so rare that I probably don't have it. Anyway, I am still worried because my nodes are still swollen I have aches, and I have thrush. All the symtoms that I have had are those of HIV and it is too coincidental that these would all occur following this exposure.. In san Fransisco the test that is used for HIV is a standard eliza, not one that would detect HIV2.. Even UCSF seems to think that HIV2 isn't prevalent enough to test for it... Does anyone have any suggestions, I am going crazy.. My life is falling apart, I really need some advise.. please respond..



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TroynAnonymous
Unregistered

Re: HIV2 IN SanFransisco new
      #7770 - 07/29/00 02:04 PM

Hey there.

If you have had 5 tests in 3 months and they were all negative, I would believe those results. A one-time exposure is very unlikely to transmit the virus. I was in a similar situation with a risky encounter and tested negative after 6 weeks I realize I need a followup test but after the first negative, I already started to feel a little better. Checkout this article at this website www.chron.com/content/chronicle/texas/00/07/09/index.html. This might make you feel a little better. It helped me.

Peace



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: HIV2 IN SanFransisco new
      #7771 - 07/29/00 02:25 PM

No suggestions except to get the test if it'll help get you some piece of mind. If you've read through this board, you'll see a bunch of people with your symptoms who test negative. My story is almost identical to yours: didn't even think about HIV until about 2-1/2 months later, when I came down with a month of drenching night sweats, swollen lymph nodes (really painful in my groin and under my arms), the worst sore throat I ever had, lost a bunch of weight, red spots all over my tounge. At about the same time all this started, my regular partner came down with shingles. I was sure it was HIV, but I tested negative on an HIV-1 test out to 19 months, and my partner was negative on an HIV1-1 test a year after the shingles.

I'd gladly forget about all this, except for some weird ongoing symptoms that the doctors can't help me with (mainly red, burning areas on my tounge and the roof of my mouth). I'm successfully resisting (so far) the urge to test again at 24 months.

Everyone says forget about HIV-2, so I pretty much have. Plus, from what I've read, the HIV-1 tests can pick up HIV-2 about 60-80% of the time (although the Western Blot for HIV-1 will usually be indeterminate with an odd band pattern).

So where does that leave things? Extremely unlikely that you have HIV (either 1 or 2). But I'll also tell you - it's a helluva lot easier for me to sit here and tell someone else that than to sometimes believe it for myself. A lot of the people on this board with your symptoms (and mine) also went for HIV-2 tests and they were negative. There's no reason to think that you (or I) would be any different.

Good luck.



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aanxious
Unregistered

test at 6 months new
      #7776 - 07/29/00 05:56 PM

I belive the reason most places don't test for HIV 2 is because the standard ELIZA is able to detect antibodies for HIV 2. However, this is why the window period is longer in some places (6 months instead of 3). The places that are conclusive at 3 months are normally the ones that test for HIV 1 and 2 together because together the test is more sensitive. Dont worry though, like I said HIV 2 is also able to be detected by using the HIV 1 test at 6 months. Good luck to you!



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: HIV2 IN SanFransisco new
      #7784 - 07/30/00 02:08 AM

have you done a test to measure your T cells. I was told I had thrush by several doctors and all I had was a geographical tongue that can be caused by stress. If your T cell count is fine and you are having these symptoms then your symptoms are not HIV related. Only when T cells count drops below certain level, symptoms persist. Try to have the test done and if it is ok just forget about HIV. You have tested yourself up to 6 months, I think this should be conclusive.

good luck



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: tcells new
      #7793 - 07/30/00 05:31 PM

I've done a CBC w/ a differntial that showed that I had lower lymphocytes, it didn't break them down by type.. Do you think that this could show HIV? I searched everywhere to find out why my lymphocytes could be low.. The only conclusions I found was that Cancer, HIV, and Other autoimmune deseases can cause lower lymphocytes.. All in all, this does not help w/ my HIV stress.. Like I said, I have tested 5times, all negative, these were all done w/ a standard eliza.. The only thing that I can think of is the possibility of hiv 2???? Any sugesstions??



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: test at 6 months new
      #7794 - 07/30/00 05:33 PM

I was told that HIV 2 is not detectable by a standard elza, I heard that it requires a specialized test, and that the antibodies are different



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: HIV2 IN SanFransisco new
      #7817 - 07/31/00 09:39 AM

Here's some info on HIV-2 (which you may have already seen). It's from "Medical Management of HIV Infection" by John Bartlett, MD (Johns Hopkins). It makes a pretty convincing case that you shouldn't worry about HIV-2:



HIV-2
HIV-2 is another human retrovirus that causes immune deficiency due to depletion of CD4 cells. It is primarily found in West Africa*. Compared to HIV-1, HIV-2 is less transmissable (5-8 fold less efficient than HIV-1 in early stage disease and rarely the cause of vertical transmission), is associated with a lower viral load, and is associated with a slower rate of both CD4 cell decline and clinical progression (Lancet 1994;344:1380; AIDS 1994;8 suppl 1:585; JID 1999;180:116). HIV-2 shows reduced homology with HIV-1 (Nature 1987;328:543). About 20-30% of patients with HIV-2 infection have negative HIV-1 EIA tests; Western blots are weakly cross reactive. Western blots for HIV-2 are neither well standardized nor FDA approved (Ann Intern Med 1993;118:211; JAMA 1992;267:2775). An HIV-2 EIA was licensed by the FDA in 1990 and became mandatory for screening blood donors on June 1, 1992. Some commercial labs now use combination EIA screening assays to detect HIV-1 and HIV-2 simultaneously, although this is not recommended for routine testing by the CDC (MMWR 1992;41:[RR-12]:1). There have been 78 persons diagnosed with HIV-2 infection in the U.S. between 1987 and January 1998: 52 were born in western Africa, and most of the rest had traveled there, had a sexual partner from there or had incomplete data (MMWR 1995;44:603; JAMA 1992;267:2775). The CDC recommends that HIV-2 serology be included in serologic testing of: 1) natives of endemic areas*, 2) needle-sharing and sex partners of persons from an endemic area*, 3) sex partners or needle-sharing partners of persons with HIV-2 infection, 4) persons who received transfusions or nonsterile injections in endemic areas*, and 5) children of women with HIV-2 infection.
*Endemic areas in West Africa - Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, São Tome, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo; other African countries - Angola and Mozambique (MMWR 1992;4[RR-12]:1).





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BDG
Unregistered

Re: test at 6 months new
      #7828 - 07/31/00 12:20 PM

A regular HIV-1 test will not pick up HIV-2 antibodies all the time, only about 70% of the time. A combo HIV-1/HIV-2 test will pick up HIV-2 antibodies all the time.

I believe aanxious was told that HIV-2 antibodies will be picked up with standard HIV tests because she is from Ontario. Over here, the standard test (and only test available) is a combo HIV-1/HIV-2 test.



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aanxious
Unregistered

Re: test at 6 months new
      #7837 - 07/31/00 03:14 PM

actually, i wasn't told by anyone in ontario. i read it online from a site, but i never trust site information unless it is an actual respectable site.. you know what i mean... so i'm pretty sure it's accurate.

anyway, here we do the hiv1/2 combo by default as well because it makes the test more sensitive thus conclusive at 3 months.





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BDG
Unregistered

Re: test at 6 months new
      #7840 - 07/31/00 04:08 PM

Well, in that case, I think the site may have been misinformed if it stated that HIV-1 tests will always pick up HIV-2 antibodies. HIV-2 antibodies are similar to HIV-1 antibodies, but they're not identical. That's why the HIV-1 tests will pick them up most of the time (about 70% according to some test manufacturers), but not always. You need different chemical agents in the test for it to accurately diagnose HIV-2 infection at all times. That's why the HIV-2 test was developed.

But you're absolutely right about HIV1/2 combo test being the only test available in Ontario, thus the guarantee that a 12 week test is conclusive! Not because they're testing for HIV-2, but because the technology used in these tests is by default newer (3rd generation in Ontario, and 2nd generation in New York State - from what I hear from Not_Scared), guaranteeing an accurate result in about 3 months.







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Anonymous
Unregistered

HIV-2 TEST NEEDED new
      #7866 - 08/01/00 04:18 AM

you don't need an HIV-2 test. a six month standard HIV-1 test is golden! I would only get HIV-1/2 combo test at three months in order to get conclusive result without waiting any longer than three months (according to NY state, AIDS epicenter of our USA)



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: tcells new
      #7903 - 08/02/00 04:55 AM

Can you compare your WBC with other tests you have done before your exposure? It could be that you have always had low lymphocites count. To rule out that your symptoms are related to your immune system just ask for a full blood count including T-cells. I did the same thing myself and after finding out that my T-cell count was in good order I ruled out thrush. I also developed lymph nodes in my neck and under my arms which I still have up till now. I have tested negative way past the six months for HIV -1 and 2. I know it is hard to take the idea out of your mind but either you try to do so or ask for professional help. I still have a plethora of symptoms which are refusing to go away or come and go. My doctor told me that stress can cause a big drop in the number of lymphocytes. I was also told that if you have your blood taken in the evening, you practically have 30% more WBC than if you do do so in morning. Believe me I tried it and it was true. Not kidding. Try to do the test for T-cell and hopefully everything will be OK. What is your WBC count? is it very low or just below the 4000 mark?

good luck and keep me posted.



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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: HIV2 IN SanFransisco new
      #103515 - 07/26/04 07:02 AM

I would not ignore any symptoms. HIV2 is very real here in Africa, and at the moment we have a 3rd dimension - HIV3 which appears to me that you all seem to have developed. HIV2 does convert to Aids but over a much longer period of time. You do die of HIV2. Science and History here have dated the first aids case to have originated in 1960 in Africa, when a Portugese contractor was working on the west coast of Africa. He slept with a local and took this wonderful gift of Aids home to his family in Portugal. HIV 2 has developed along the similar lines, but the conversion to full blown AIDS takes much longer. Here in South Africa there are a few people who are developing the same symptoms as mentioned in some of the Bulletins other letters. This appears to be the 3rd dimension of HIV - the possible theories is that we are starting to develope and immunity to AIDS, hopefully this 3rd dimension will not kill. But it will become a way of life for all on the planet.

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Anonymous
Unregistered

Re: HIV2 IN SanFransisco new
      #211945 - 10/17/06 09:45 PM

HIV 2 is often not being considered often enough by medical pracitioners. If you are concerned, INSIST on having the HIV2 Elisa of WB done. We are seeing more incidence of this strain and to say it is rare in North America is over simplifying the issue when they are not even testing for it. How can they say it is rare then? Of those tested 10% are now coming back positive for HIV2... so how many more out there are infected if they are not testing for it.

When concerned there is only one way to be sure... get tested for it. Then you can truly be a peace.

As with HIV1... it can take up to 6 months to isolated antibiodies, therefore a test a 6 months post suspected exposure is important.

If HIV2 + the disease progression is slower, but all the same opportunistic infections can occur. But keep in mind there are other causes for immune supression other than HIV, so if you have been diagnosed with thrush, it could also be something else other than HIV eg. diabetes.

In HIV2 it is the CD4 and CD8 that we take as the important markers, as a lab test for the viral load itself has not been specifically developed yet. If your CD4 and CD8 tests are OK, relax some OK?

It is important to note if the test for HIV1 is consistently negative over a year there is little chance you have HIV2, as we normally have seen to date that those with HIV2 show alternating + and - results to the standard testing for HIV1 EL or WB.

As all ARV's (HIV meds) are not effective in HIV2 it is important to know your HIV type.

When in doubt, check it out... is a good motto... it is your body you have the right to have ANY test done to relieve your concerns. rather than having your concerns poo pooed by opinion alone. Advocate for yourself, and do not take no for an answer when concerned.

From and HIV Nurse Specialist.

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