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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

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Worried Brit

Much advice requested!
      #97111 - 04/30/04 07:38 PM

Firstly, apologies for the following rambling - I hope you have the patience to read through it!

As a previous ignoramus on the subject of HIV (although getting educated now thanks to thebody), I wonder if someone could allay my fears / confirm my suspicions.

My exposure (such as it was and which has now become an obsession) was an appointment with an escort 10 days ago which resulted in protected vaginal sex (not aware of any condom slippage or breakage issues but slightly worse for wear at the time - would I have known about a break?!) and, excuse the crudity, myself engaging in vaginal "fingering" (deep).

My concern is that I had damaged skin on both sides of my cuticle, not so much that there was open bleeding but enough to see that the skin around the fingernail was broken.

Now, I've researched enough of the forums to find that this is considered low risk, but as with many people, I am guilty of not being able to let this flow out of my mind. As with others I am constantly examining myself for perceived symptoms (bad idea I know) and am worried by a rash that came on yesterday (after 9 days) from just above my hips to near my armpits on both sides and 3 or 4 unexplained small blisters on my hand (also 9 days).

If you're still with me, I'm looking for help on the following:

1. Exposure - low risk?

2. Symptoms - any validity here?

3. Testing - I know that i need to wait 12 weeks for the Elisa test; is there any benefit at all in getting an interim Elisa test after, say, 6 or 7 weeks (just hating this window period!)

4. Testing - I've seen posts on here that talk about having a type of test that detects viral RNA or viral DNA after 2-4 weeks; I am unable to find anywhere in the UK where this is carried out - can anyone help?

5. Some sites talk about having an Elisa test at 6 months - is the 12 week test considered definitive?

6. Never had a condom break (didn't previously concern me as had a vasectomy) - would I know that this had happened?!

Any assistance on any of the above would be greatly appreciated - I appreciate your patience and kindness

Many thanks

Worried Brit - who's finally learned his lesson about being aware of situations before they arise!

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Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 44
Re: Much advice requested! new
      #97112 - 04/30/04 08:38 PM

How's Tony Blair?

Man, you need to relax with some Guiness at a local pub. Your blisters and your rash could be caused by other things. Doesn't sound like HIV symptoms to me. As long as there was a barrier between you and her, then I really don't see why you are worried. The broken skin around your finger is very low risk. As long as you weren't bleeding, it is fine. Even if it was slightly bleeding around your finger, it is still low risk. Yes, HIV is found in vaginal secretions, but not as much as in blood. This is why anal sex is more dangerous compared to vaginal sex. Remember that lining along the mucous membranes are more prone to cuts compared to skin around your fingers.

It was low risk. There is no validity in the symptoms. You can test with ELISA after 90 days if want to be absolutely sure. Call diagnostics labs and hospitals in the UK if you want to have PCR done. PCR's are pricier than ELISA. PCR's do have a shorter window period. But wait a good solid 4weeks if you want PCR done. In my opinion, the most accurate test is the RNA PCR. This is looking directly for the virus itself. You may want to ask about rapid tests which combine ELISA with p24 antigen test. I don't know about Britain but results are available over the phone the day after blood draw. I'm sure you have options in Britain. You don't need to wait 6 months or 12 months to get testing done. I'm sure it will come back negative. You are low risk.

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Re: Much advice requested! new
      #97113 - 04/30/04 11:13 PM


Thank you for taking the time and trouble to reply to my diatribe..... you're very perceptive as I've just returned from my local having had a few pints of Guinness!! And it was relaxing! I will take your advice on board re testing and thanks for responding. I'm sure to be having a few more pints in the village over the weekend and will raise a pint of the black stuff to toast you....


Worried Brit who's becoming less paranoid

PS - How's Tony Blair? - still Dubya's puppet!

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