Sorry I posted to wrong forum first time. Trying again.
Dr. Bob, I love your answers and have probably read all of them. Here's my problem.
I cheated on my wife and had sex with someone of unknown status a few moths ago. I took a Home Access test at 81 days and it was negative so I was relieved. I have a tendency to freak out and obsess so I had to get the test a few days earlier.
However, lateley my wife has been waking me saying that I have been shaking and trembling. I'm not sweating, and haven't had any symptoms of ARS except for maybe this. Could this be delayed seroconversion?
I know I could get retested and that MIGHT ease my fears, but based on my past history I just end up in a cycle where the negative result makes me feel better for a few days, then I need another test and on and on. I would rather donate to charity (Like yours) than waste money on unneeded tests. But if I NEED one because I tested a few days short I will.
By the way, you should remind all your readers at the end of every year to get that last donation in for tax purposes. I remembered in Decemeber, and will again. I think it's great what you are doing.
Shaking in Miami
Hello Shaking in Miami,
Glad you found the correct forum.
Shaking and trembling are not associated with ARS. I would suggest you seek counseling and therapy to help with your "tendency to freak out and obsess." It may well help with the shaking-and-trembling problem as well.
Regarding testing, the guidelines state testing prior to three months is not considered conclusive. Is 81 days enough? Perhaps, but we do not have guidelines to support that. And if I were to suggest 81 days were OK, I would soon get questions from folks asking about 80 days or 79 days, etc. . . . so for now, I'm sticking with the three-month rule.
In your particular case, as you point out, the real problem is your history of distrusting your test results after a few days. This is an irrational fear and a psychological problem that you need help to resolve.
As for donating funds to charity rather than unnecessary repetitive and excessive HIV tests, I couldn't agree with you more. I can assure you that the good feelings (and karma) that stem from helping others who are less fortunate persist, unlike your transient sensations of relief following unnecessary testing. Generosity and compassion towards others in need also helps us place our particular (and often completely unwarranted) worries in their proper perspective.
Don't "shake" with fear, but rather take "steady" action to confront your imaginary demons.