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Old 07-23-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Exposure to HIV - My Story

Three weeks ago, I had sex with a sex worker. The area is known for being a hotbed for HIV. (I should note to help save what little shame I have left that while she was a prostitute, it was a mutual attraction and I never paid her to have sex with me. First time with a working girl too, even though she technically wasn't working)

Unfortunately for me, the condom broke. It was like that for maybe a minute or less, right when I was coming (I hope she was on birth control). I had with me prophylaxis (preventative meds) for herpes and chlamydia (don't ask...), but not HIV.

This is a HUGErisk. Everything on the web talks about homosexuals and drug users, but the fact is that most new infections in the world are from heterosexual contact. And I just had unprotected (be it accidentally) sex with a hooker in an area where 1/4 of them are infected? And I don't have any access to prophylaxis.

Over the past three weeks, I've been absurdly stressed about the encounter. Adding onto that stress is the fact that I live in Haiti, my job ends in a month and I don't have another one, and my girlfriend and I are having problems. To top it off? I started showing possible Acute Retroviral Syndrome symptoms. I had a small, very faint rash on my stomach (around the belly button, about the size of the palm of my hand), and now have a mildly sore throat and general feeling of being unwell (no fever, yet...).

The symptoms may be just be the absurd amount of stress that very few people ever have, but if they aren't ARS, the little illness sure has bad timing. I had a anxiety attack two nights ago. I was so upset, I thought I was going to throw up. Then I got clammy and shaky. I've never been like that before. I've never had a panic or anxiety attack. That's how stressed I am. The stress might be causing symptoms, as my whole body is tense, every muscle flexing and rock hard. That can't be good to your immune system


I'll take an HIV test when I go back to the US in the beginning of September, and, if negative, will follow up with another one 3 months later. I'll keep posting and will let the forum know of any test results. Hopefully they are negative and everyone that is stressed like me will see this and try to relax, knowing someone has gone through it before. There isn't a lot of people talking about getting HIV from prostitutes, but prostitution makes up the majority of new HIV cases worldwide, so surely there are a lot of people on the web searching and worrying.

If I show up positive, it will be a important warning to all guys out there - It only takes once, and that cute working girl can give it to you.

Someone said the odds are 1:300 if she was infected. Someone has to be that 1. Is it me? We'll find out.

Even if I'm negative, there still might be a miniature me running around the DR in a few months!

Last edited by Administrator; 09-08-2012 at 05:34 AM.

 
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:33 AM   #2
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Well firstly lets forget about the symptom talk they mean nothing at all as the sticky threads indicate above.

Well you have put yourself at risk and certainly require testing as you know. Well at 6 weeks you can test for hiv to give yourself a good indication of your status but follow up at 3 months for conclusive results. Also at 6 weeks you should test for all std's. Naturally you must abstain from unprotected sex with your partner.

In the mean time try not to think about this to much, best of luck
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:58 AM   #3
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Hi,

Buddy everybody that comes onto HIV forums is convinced they’re the unlucky one. The reality is that in the last six years I have been posting on this board only one person as ever been unlucky and the risk involved was extremely high. You risk despite your own conviction that it was huge was actually very small. I have read many posts on many HIV boards over the years and have read many condom failure concerns. I have not seen one condom failure resulting in a positive result, not one.

HIV is an extremely difficult virus to transmit from person to person, sexually, and more so from a female to a male and you exposure was very brief. And of course jumping to the conclusion that she must have had HIV is never a great idea; the reality is that you have no idea if she had HIV.

Your symptoms cannot be commented on within this setting other than to say if they will have no bearing on the outcome of an HIV test, which is the only way HIV is diagnosed. Buddy HIV symptom chasing is one of the most common and worst things anybody who is concerned about HIV can do, please do you a huge favour and stop it. All you will achieve is to add to your stress and anxiety which in itself can cause no end of physical symptoms.

Because you have had a small risk of an HIV infection and I stress this is a very small risk you should test for HIV. Your options are to have a 4th generation duo test at 4 weeks or a 3rd generation HIV antibody test at 6 weeks. The results from one of these tests as to be confirmed at 12 weeks and are unlikely to change.

Buddy try to keep this all in perspective, ok? You would not only have to be unlucky to have contracted HIV from this you would have to be exceptionally unlucky.

Kevin.

Last edited by blokecalledkev; 07-24-2012 at 02:02 AM. Reason: typo

 
Old 07-24-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Thanks and thanks.

I know I'm not supposed to think about symptoms, as it is virtually impossible to tell. It's just that I rarely get ill and the little bugger couldn't have come at a worse time.

Figured out what I'll be doing in a month, and it looks like my girlfriend and I will be ending our relationship. It's amicable, as we both are on different paths (she wants to get her PhD and I want to start a business), so that has been a bit of a stress reliever, too. Feeling a bit better today. It's amazing what a little stress removal can do!

 
Old 07-24-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Hi,

It is not a case of not talking about symptoms as though it is some form of taboo subject that should not be mentioned. It is as case of being as honest as we can be with anybody that comes here. The simple honest fact is that no matter what you or anybody offers up in the way of symptom they will have no bearing on the outcome of an HIV test. The biggest misconception about HIV by people who have a HIV concern is that if they have no symptom they do not have HIV or that of they have lots and lot of symptom they have a greater chance of having HIV. The reality is far different.

Just because somebody does not experience a single ailment does not in any way mean they could not have HIV, many people who get diagnosed with HIV have absolutely no idea that they have it because they have experienced zero, nothing. On the other hand when people are concerned and start looking, small thing, unnoticed before, suddenly become massive issues. It is this constant searching for the small clues and tell-tale signs that can have its own very adverse effect on people’s wellbeing and health. There really is no small tell tales signs, regardless of what you read online. Because you maybe experience a sore throat it does not mean you have HIV it means you have a sore throat.

There is a sticky thread at the top of the board and I know I keep referring people to it. This not because it is some grand piece of work or anything, it simply is the reality of the advice you or anybody can be offered on any HIV forum. HIV forums are continually bombarded with people asking if this is a sign or that is sign as though members on these types of boards have some sort of magical insight, nobody does. The only insight anybody will ever get to their HIV status is to have an HIV test at the appropriate time and buddy this really is reality.

Kevin.

Last edited by blokecalledkev; 07-24-2012 at 10:07 AM.

 
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Dude, I know. I'm going to take the test when I can, which will be in two months, it's the only way I'll know.

Did I get myself infected? That's a question on my mind! If I hadn't a single thing wrong with me in the past two weeks, I'd still be worried and getting tested.

Hopefully when I have tested and gotten the results I can put it all behind me and take with me some important lessons.

Last edited by Administrator; 09-08-2012 at 05:39 AM.

 
Old 07-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #7
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Hi,

I appreciate how nerve racking it can be; I assure you have been there. The thing is that stress and anxiety can actually cause physical symptoms, many of which mirror the symptoms of an HIV infection. I have actually seen it argued by doctors that there are no physical symptoms of an HIV infection (ARS symptoms) but it is actually the psychological stress of the concern that causes symptoms. Of course this is academic for you. The main priority as you rightly point out is to test. On this you have my best wishes and please let us know how this works out for you.

Kevin.

 
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:37 PM   #8
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Tested and waiting

I got tested last week.

I managed to get through the last month OK. But then I developed some irritation around my mouth where my beard is. I have really good skin and rarely have skin problems, and the flaky, red, oily patches were not at all usual. Doc said its a case of seborrhoeic dermentitus. Great...

Now I'm sick again, with a sore throat and a cough. Not like I think I'm sick, I'm def sick.

I was excited when I didn't hear back from the health department, as they don't call if I test negative. They told me a week, so I called after 9 days, but hey said my blood work hadn't come in just yet.

Now I'm reliving all the anxiety I felt a month ago. At least I'll know in a few days. The fact that my tests have been delayed is freaking me out even more! You can't diagnose HIV from acute symptoms, but it's scary when you've had a really high risk contact like me and also start having these things.

I am very stressed, as I just left my job (which was extremely stressfull...), moved back to the US with my parents, ended a relationship, and have this over my head, so I think my sickness and symptoms are from stress and a new environment.

I hope so. I took my test early (7 weeks post exposure) because I couldn't bare waiting any longer. I know of it is negative I need to test again, but it will give me hope. And of I am positive, at least I'll finally know. I know the power of the mind, and I could have quite convinced myself enough to cause these things. Hopefully they will subside when I know the truth. It's hard to trick the mind with cold, hard scientific facts!

Last edited by chuckhaiti; 09-11-2012 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Reversed unauthorized editing of my personal post.

 
Old 09-11-2012, 02:51 PM   #9
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Tested negative. I'll need to go back in a few months, but that was certainly a relief.

 
Old 09-11-2012, 03:15 PM   #10
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Well its very much that clear that your status is negative, so take your 3 month test as required but i would not worry to much.

Thank you for coming back to up date us.
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:50 PM   #11
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Thanks. That was a terrifying experience. I will test again for good measure, but I'm no longer anxious. I tested negative for all six STDs that were included with the HIV test, so I it is really unlikely that I would have gotten HIV from the gal and nothing else.

I really appreciate this board. Talking about my experience made it more bearable. Thanks!

 
Old 09-11-2012, 10:53 PM   #12
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Re: Exposure to HIV - My Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckhaiti View Post
Tested negative. I'll need to go back in a few months, but that was certainly a relief.
Congrats, you only need to go back around the end of this month, as 3 months is conclusive if your exposure was the very beginning of July. And I agree with Apollo...please don't worry abotu the results, I would be expecting a negative result

 
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