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National Cervical Cancer Coalition


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 Post subject: hiv
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:43 pm 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
Firstly, I would like to say that this is an excellent site, I have visited the herpes forum and Betsy has been a great help. How is it that you guys do not have a forum for just HIV ?
My question is more of a concern and I hope that it is just anxiety but I really need some help/reasurance.
Approximately 4 weeks ago I visited a clinic for a vaginal swab (bacteria - all negative) I have never been there before, the doctor used an instrument to hold the cervix open. The next day I had a terrible headache. Then 3 days later I developed what I felt was a mild fever that lasted about 3 more days. Then about 2 weeks after the doctor visit I had fever (39), cold hands, loose bowels and feelings of unwell. The fever lasted about 2 days. I had a cbc done and all was well. Then approx 3 weeks after I had mildly swollen lymph in my neck that went away in 2 days. Now I feel a fine. My question is do you think that I was put at risk by the instrument used and probable infection of hiv or something else ? I feel scared thinking about it and it has only been 4 weeks since the incident and I know that testing for hiv should be done at the 3 month mark but is it ok to test now? will that give me an indication of what is happening? Am I just being paranoid?
Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
I'm not sure why there isn't a hiv specific forum though I suspect it's because it's best to have someone very well trained in hiv to moderate it and I'm not sure anyone else at asha has time for that right now to be honest.

It really sounds like you had one of the run of the mill viral infections going around lately. I really wouldn't suspect hiv as the cause.

Was it a really high risk partner that makes you think hiv?

betsy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:55 pm 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
Thank you very much for the answer - I appreciate it
No it was not a high risk partner, as mentioned I was just concerned that the instrument used in the procedure was not clean as I have never been to that doctor before and after the procedure I came down with all these symptoms therefore I got really worried.
But from what you stated I do not have need to be concerned and should not consider testing.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 6:18 pm 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
Hi Betsy
It's me again. I just find this site very educational and I am learning a lot. I hope you don't mind but I do have another question. Upon reading the general information about hiv on this site it stated that the average time for antibodies to develop is 25 days, other sites have stated 4 to 6 weeks but all have stated 3 months for a definiate answer (according to the cdc).
My question is: what is really the mid mark for testing? and is a test at the 6 week mark a very good indication about your hiv status?
Also, while reading posts on this site i saw one where Dharma said that it may be a good idea to have one dedicated for just anxiety - I think that sounds like an excellent idea because many of the post here about hiv (including this one from me) sounds more like anxiety than real risks. Looking back at my question above about my risk of contracting hiv from unclean equipment from the doctor also looks like much anxiety in there and still is - as even though you said that you don't see a risk my mind still keeps going to hiv infection because of the symptoms I had following the doctor's visit :( .
Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 10:18 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
The odds of getting unclean equipment are incredibly low. All clinics in the US have standards they have to meet. I wouldn't worry about getting anything off of the speculum from your exam.

Yes I agree anxiety about an encounter can be far worse than the actual risk from an encounter. That's why we recommend always having protected oral and genital sex with new partners and if you can, both partners getting full std screenings before you start being sexually active together. You are covering your bases from your situation and it was a one time encounter so really the risk of anything that can't be taken care of with a couple of pills is really low.

We still recommend hiv testing at the 3 month post encounter mark just to err on the side of caution. Testing before that with certain tests is probably pretty accurate but better safe than sorry.

betsy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 7:08 pm 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
hi betsy

thank you once again for you post - i appreciate it


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 8:33 am 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
Hi Betsy
My fears of this sitaution has arisen again, mainly because you stated that in the US all clinics have a standard, I am not in the US, I live in a third world country. Since your response I did a rapid test at 4 weeks and it was negative. I know you said that 3 months should be the standard but a negative at 4 weeks is it good? and what is the difference between a rapid and elisa test? which one is better to take.
Thanks again


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:38 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:08 pm
Posts: 2122
Location: North Carolina
Hi Tricia,

ELISA tests for HIV require that specimens be processed in a lab, whereas "rapid" tests can be done on-site and give results in 30 minutes or less.

The CDC says most individuals with HIV infection have detectable antibodies, on average, in about 25 days. It can be longer or shorter, though, so a confirmatory test at 3 months is not a bad idea.

Read more at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/testing/resources/qa/be_tested.htm#wait

Hope this helps.

Best,
Fredo

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:07 am 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
Hi Fredo

Thank you - yes the information was helpful. I know from what Betsy said that i am probably being irrational wih my thoughts but I will be going back to the same doctor today because i just wanted to be sure because ever since the procedure: a 3 days later I had a low grade fever for about 3 days, then two weeks after another low fever and now at 5 weeks after another low fever and this time I have a runny/stuffy nose (this one looks like the cold). It is because of all these symptoms I am worried and can not shake this idea, otherwise I would be fine.
I called the hiv hotline yesterday and the lady told me that she does not believe that I was at risk for anything as people normally follow procedure, so that eased my mind, but I still have these hosts of symptoms that I am hoping is only due to anxiety but I don't think stress and anxiety woud cause a fever
hope i find out what is wrong with me


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:30 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
Most times a cold, really is just a cold :) You are really letting your anxiety get the best of you from the sounds of things.

betsy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:48 pm 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
Hi Betsy
Thanks for responding. I do think that I am letting the anxiety get out of hand. I know I have become a very anxious peron over the past year. You would not remember but last year about June I wrote into the herpes forum about testing positive then negative for type II. I tested positive via blood in Nov 2005. The doctor did not order any follow up test (I never had any visible symptoms or signs of herpes) and for 2 and a half yrs thought I had it until I decided to be re-tested in May 2008 - it was negative repeatedly - even up to Jan 2009. Since then I must admit that I am paranoid about things like this and I get very anxious about these things and having all these fevers etc since that dr visit just has really made me more anxious. I have contacted a counselor and will be seeking to try and deal with my anxiety. But now that I have explained I hope it sheds some light, actually it was you who would respond to me on the herpes forum and you were just so good - thank you. But still have to admit all these symptoms I am experiencing is still making me scared.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 8:08 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
When my son was a baby, I had myself convinced I must've had hiv and given it to him. He was getting rashes and had diarrhea a lot. I went to my doctor crying. My doc looked at me and laughed ( he had been my doc for awhile so he can do that and get away with it...he he he ). He asked me how many times I had donated blood since I was married. He asked me just why I thought hiv. I sat there bawling telling him that I had sex way too much before I got married so I probably had hiv ( now back then it was still almost exclusively in drug users, gay males and prostitutes it was that long ago ). He ordered testing for me and told me he'd call me to laugh WITH me when he told me I was negative. So I was negative and that allowed me to think more clearly about it all. Turned out my son was allergic to apple juice and the butt wipes I was using....lol. Even being a pediatric nurse for many years at that point, I still couldn't think rationally about it all and figure it out faster!!

Hang in there - odds are that this all has nothing to do with hiv - it's been a rough winter and spring for germs being passed around to us all.

betsy

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:01 am 

Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 11:08 am
Posts: 25
hi Betsy

thank you so very much for taking the time to share your story with me, it means a lot. I did go back to the clinic and met the same doctor, she was soooo nice to me. She showed me the packaged equipment and exlained how all is cleaned and actually the equipment comes from a company that sterilizes these things in sealed packages. Then she examined me for the fevers and said it could be several factors. But we're still not quite sure what is going on.

Since I saw the process I now feel a bit silly and realizing how that misdiagnosis of herpes has may be really played with my head - it made me paraniod of doctors and especially the accuracy of tests. I feel sad about that. But as I mentioned I am still pursuing the counseling because now I think I need to work on this fear and anxiety. The doctor also said that of I was still concerned pursue the hiv test at the 3 month, it is still a consideration for me butI feel a bit more relaxed.

Thank you again Betsy - you are a wonderful and patient person.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 5:05 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:47 am
Posts: 5443
Location: PA
I'm glad when you went back, you saw someone who took the time to help you work thru your anxiety like that :)

betsy

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