Thread: HIV question
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
StillWorried StillWorried is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Columbia, SC, USA
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HIV-negative at 8 weeks, but have cancer history (possible immune problems)

Hello!

Last November I had unprotected sex with a guy who turned out to be very promiscuous. He did not ever want to use a condom, and although I usually insisted despite this, on a couple occasions I stupidly let him ejaculate inside of me. Later I realized that if this guy had been with a lot of women, and didn't care about using protection, he had a high risk of having HIV or another STD. Furthermore, he was from Guatemala and had had sex with many women there. (I don't know if this country has a higher HIV rate or not.)

Eight weeks later I got an HIV test, which came out negative. I was also tested for other STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and hepatitis), which also came back negative. I've searched the internet, and repeatedly people say that it is very rare to be HIV positive if you've tested negative at 8 weeks.

However, I've also read that that the exception is if you have a lowered immune system, due to things like chemotherapy. I have had chemotherapy for colon cancer, although I have been off treatment and cancer free for 5 years. My entire colon was removed, which my friend told me will compromise your immune system. Also, at the time of this sexual encounter, I was not taking good care of myself (smoking a lot of cigarettes and weed, and not eating right or getting enough sleep). I was sick after having sex with him (fatigue, coughing and mild lung damage, weight loss), which was likely the result of unhealthy habits, but I am worried it could also have been "conversion sickness". I also had a rash, although it's likely I caught this from someone I knew.

In general, I'm worried that my immune system may have been lowered at the time, which may have meant I hadn't produced antibodies by 8 weeks. However, while at the gynecologist's I also had some blood tests (things like iron counts, liver function) which were all normal--I don't know if these tests would determine whether my immune system was working well at the time. My immune system was good enough to bounce back once I started eating and sleeping right again, and cutting back on smoking. However, I have had a couple "odd" things happen, like some major acid reflux last night in which I vomited up some blood, and a couple of strange bumps on my leg. This makes me scared that my immune system may be compromised by HIV.

I keep thinking to myself, if I were going to catch anything, wouldn't it have been more likely to be a more common STD, like chlamydia? Still, I feel worried. I'm actually afraid to get another test, because I'm afraid that the results will be positive this time. I would prefer to go back to my gynecologist to be tested again, because I know the doctors and nurses and feel better there than at a free clinic, but I don't have health insurance and don't want to spend the money right now. In the meantime, I just want to get another perspective. Should I be genuinely worried that I may have had a "false negative", or do you think I am probably fine?

Last edited by StillWorried; 07-20-2012 at 10:51 PM.