Over the years new testing has been developed for detecting the presence of hiv antibodies. Apparently the tests are sensitive so as to detect antibodies to the virus within three months. However, as with every virus, I think it is quite possible for hiv to mutate so as to go undetectable by these newer tests. From my experience of being sick with typical symptoms associated with hiv lasting now eight months (and still testing negative) and not finding any indication of being infected with another, more traditional disease, I believe a new strain of hiv has arose.
I am a level headed, educated man- not a worried well- someone who has been relatively healthy for all of my life and has had over 300 heterosexual relationships, who (since having a low risk sexual encounter with someone in May of unknown status) has never felt this sick before, feeling all systems of my body falling apart. I have problems with my digestive system, my skin, muscles, etc. and no one can figure out why. This total system breakdown is not in my mind but is still very frustrating. If anyone has an answer other than "your crazy", I would like to hear from them.
Thank you for not responding with "you're crazy". What I am finding now is problems with my mouth and tongue, sore throat and a lump when I swallow. I have terrible bad breath and various ulcerations and coating on the tongue. When I wake up in the morning my (saliva?) glands are swollen under my neck. I have taken some tablets for my bloated stomach, but when I go out to eat, I end up having diarrhea with half an hour. I want to get a viral load test or CD4 count- try to bypass the antibody test-
Sadly, most medical professionals tend to deal with the lab reports than with their patient's symptoms as evidence of their state of health. I can understand general praactioners not being up to date on this stuff- but I have talked to nurses and doctors at sexual health clinics and they won't even entertain looking at my throat, rash, etc., since I have tested negative. The AIDS and Sexual Health hotline has been supportive but still- 3 months is conclusive. I will not have any relations with anyone until I truly find out what is wrong with me. If I am found to have hiv, I hope the medical community will use it as an opportunity to learn more about the virus and not say I was part of the .01% that seroconverts later than others.
However, as with every virus, I think it is quite possible for hiv to mutate so as to go undetectable by these newer tests.
WRONG. Group O, N, and even the most recent Group P can be diagnosed with a standard ELISA test.
Originally Posted by cantbtrue
From my experience of being sick with typical symptoms associated with hiv lasting now eight months (and still testing negative) and not finding any indication of being infected with another, more traditional disease, I believe a new strain of hiv has arose.
WRONG. HIV status CANNOT be gauged by symptoms and if you had HIV an ELISA test would detect it.
Originally Posted by cantbtrue
I am a level headed, educated man- not a worried well- someone who has been relatively healthy for all of my life and has had over 300 heterosexual relationships, who (since having a low risk sexual encounter with someone in May of unknown status) has never felt this sick before, feeling all systems of my body falling apart.
If you tested 3 months after your last risk exposure then you DO NOT have HIV.
Originally Posted by cantbtrue
I have problems with my digestive system, my skin, muscles, etc. and no one can figure out why. This total system breakdown is not in my mind but is still very frustrating.
None of these 'problems' suggest HIV, whatever they are. All we can tell you is that whatever is going on with you, it isn't related to HIV. Test results always tell the story; symptoms never do.
I don't think your 'crazy', even the most level-headed, logical, educated people can suffer from HIV anxiety. You are probably just misinformed from your web surfing, if you are typical of people that I have seen that come to HIV forums. When people research 'HIV symptoms' on the Internet, it is common for them to draw the wrong conclusion from their research- that somehow one can gauge their HIV status by how they are feeling. It just doesn't work that way.
Thank you, I have had INSTI Tests done here in Canada and I was told that they do cover Hiv2. If a person was infected by two different people, one with hiv1 and the other with hiv2 (as an example) would the virus mutate so as not to show up in an antibody test? I did have a lover from kenya and we were last together in February 2009. As someone on here has said, no two people react the same way to an hiv infection so I do not know if that includes the seroconvserion timeline. With thanks
Well man, im not sure if this will help but play the numbers game. If 70,000 have hiv and there is no doubt in my mind most of those will consist of gay men and drug users, your chances of your encounter being hiv positive is.. well damned low.
Yes, I can appreciate the numbers game to a certain degree- however, if the chance is there, it is there, regardless of the math deeming it negligible. The encounter was with a bi- sexual woman from an urban centre who lived in a certain part of town (unbeknownst to me) etc. etc. The odds have mulitplied against my favour.
Are there any other infectious diseases that might explain my symptoms if it is not hiv? Now I feel light headed at the end of the day and a bit dizzy. Again, is there any way around the antibody test to see if there is a possibility of hiv infection? With thanks for all who have examined this thread.
you aren't crazy...anyone who can live on their own with minimal standards of hygiene, sustenance, and cleanliness is not crazy. However, I do think that you are suffering from a form of Anxiety Disorder, such as a Specific Phobia of HIV infection. From an objective outsiders point of view, you meet criteria for a specific phobia, according to the DSM-IV. It seems for some reason that you are fixated on the possiblity of HIV infection. This advice is given with all genuineness and goodness in my heart: try to think of why you might be feeling this way. Is it possible that you are carrying some guilt? What keeps you from accepting your negative results - is it fear?
Please, I know you said you wanted responses that focused on the biology of the virus, but I am working towards my licensure in psychology, and am not far from being licensed. I wanted to give you my educated opinion on the matter. It is not meant to be hurtful or offensive. Please consider my advice.
Thank you to the above two posters for their genuine assistance and concern. I have been to many doctors, once they see I am on effexor, they follow suit- it is as if they all went to the same training seminar. As I said, if there was a way around the antibody test to see if there is a presence of the virus, I would be satisfied. Unfortunately, policy takes precident over good health because the scientific community is so sure of its testing abilities in this area.
I agree with Elizabeth. I am not a psychologist, but in working with hundreds of worried folks in forums like these, I see common patterns. People who cannot accept their negative serostatus like cantbetrue very often have guilt or regret over previous relationships. It's as if they view HIV as some sort of punishment, whether it be for having an affair, sex with a CSW, or having multiple partners.
People such as cantbetrue usually do not benefit from forums like these because very often a deep-seated, mistaken logic predominates in them, such as 'IF I have more than 300 sex partners, THEN I MUST have HIV.' (that is just an example for illustrative purposes- I'm not in a position to say whether that is contributing to CBT's situation). Very often, these thoughts have a very strong hold on the worried individual because they are based on unfounded urban legends or misinformation that is read on the Internet, and symptoms of anxiety often accompany them which are mistaken for symptoms of HIV. I can discuss the biology of HIV testing until my fingers are raw and bleeding and it is not likely to do any good, because it does not address the underlying thought pattern. And usually the only way to address such aberrant thought patterns is through personal, professional counseling with a therapist who has had training in cognitive therapy.
cantbetrue: 'Crazy' is an outmoded, pejorative term, and I think your viewing mental health through such a broad, stigmatized perspective is not going to help you, if it prevents you from considering the possibility of a psychological origin to your issue. Any organ or system in the body can experience periods when it is just not functioning properly, including the brain, the most powerful organ, and there is no reason why you should view that any differently than if a person had liver or kidney problems. Believe it or not, on a statistical basis, at least one or perhaps several people in your life, people who you would consider 'sane', have seen a therapist at one point in their lives.
Yes, I do not have any problem with the mental health care system and proper diagnosis of patients under their care. My point is that policy and arrogance in the medical field can lead to a misdiagnosis of a patient. First, I am unable to circumvent the antibody test in anyway (ie- I need to test positive before I can get a CD4 test or viral load- even if I offer to pay for it).
Second, many gp's have no clue about hiv, since it is quite rare in Canada. I have been with many partners and have never felt as ill as I did after my encounter in May 2009. It was overhelming the real symptoms that I had, especially the complete change of my body shape in less than a month. All muscle tone was gone- my belly became extended, and my mouth has never seen so many ulcerations, coating, and sores. My skin will over-react if scratched ever so lightly, turning red instead of a light white. Folliculitis and other rashes have appeared- I could go on and on.
So, maybe I do have OCD and everything else, but there must be people with OCD who also have HIV. I just want to be able to take a more confirmative test regarding the presence of the virus instead of relying on my body's ability to respond to a prescribed timeline in producing antiboides which is not definitively proven.