My Confusing HIV Results... Am I Really Clear?

So here it goes... the past 4/5 months of my life :(.

• My exposure was on April 23rd 2016 with a girl of unknown status (condom breakage - exposure was no more than a few minutes as I had not long checked before ejaculation).

• I've read that you shouldn't judge your HIV status by symptoms but I want to give you guys as much information as I can. From June 11th - June 16th 2016 (48 days after exposure) I had a bit of a dry throat as if I'd just swallowed undiluted squash, it was quite mild and didn't come with any other symptoms. There was something going around a work so I can't say for sure if this was related or not. Anyway, I Went for an STI test on June 13th 2016 (50 days after exposure).

• I Received a call on July 6th 2016 (3.5 weeks later) and the nurse said that I had to come back in to have my blood retested. I could barely speak to her I just agreed, all I remember her saying was that sometimes there is a blip on the machine and that there is absolutely nothing to worry about but they were not prepared to give me a negative result just yet.

• I went in the following day - July 7th 2016 (74 days after exposure 10.5 weeks) and had 2 tubes of blood taken for another HIV test.

• On July 18th 2016 I got a text saying 'ALL OK'.

Over the next few weeks my anxiety became too overwhelming so I went in for another on 17/08/2016 (115 days after exposure - 16.5 weeks).

The nurse did explain to me that my first test (50 days after exposure) was due to ‘non specific antibodies cross reacting’ and that they just wanted to make sure (though I am not sure what test they did as they were short staffed that day and didn't go through it with me). She also said this happens for a variety of reasons such as other viral infections that may be going on at the same time and that due to the sensitivity of test this can happen; so I wonder if this is just bad luck of me being ill around that time.

on the 25/08/2016 I got the text saying 'ALL OK' (again - 2nd negative result); However, given the events leading up to this moment do you think I can safely move on. I want to go for another test perhaps in December if I can hold out that long, I am just so worried. I am even beginning to think things like 'maybe they sent the wrong text to me or tested the wrong sample and I am actually positive'.

If anyone has any insight in what I should do next I'd be happy to hear from you :).

8 Replies

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  • if its negative 90 days or more after exposure then your fine they dont mix up the results as it doesnt go on name but a number they asign you and the test arnt done inhouse but sent out!

  • Maybe you're worrying way too much about being positive in the first place? I've been positive for 8 years now, yes I have to take a pill a day but I've had no ill effects and I'm feeling much more comfortable being in that group of people who are undetectable and uninfectious to our partners (my partner of 20 yrs is still negative) than I would be if I was if I wasn't fully aware of my status. You've done the right thing, your status is clear, accept that and move on, continue to be safe but accept that if the 'worst' should happen it might not be as bad as you think. I'm sure some will disagree with me but don't waste your time, spend your time reassuring this guy

  • Educate yourself with the facts. You should not have been worrying from the start.

    FACT: The infection rate where a male contracts hiv from a female though penis/vaginal intercourse and without using a condom, is 1 in 1000 in counters.

    THIS MEANS: If you had sex with 1000 women, 1 encounter with each woman, and who were known to be hiv+ and you didn't use condoms then the odds are you would have sex 999 times and then that 1000th encounter you would catch it.

    You used a condom but it broke. So a portion of your penis was still covered by the broken condom so you weren't exposed 100% to her vagina.

    Also in order for you to get it from her there would have had to have been her Blood to your Blood contact. Or vaginal fluids to your blood via a cut or sore on your penis or balls.

    Now. If she was hiv+ and she knew it. She is obligated by law to tell you before intercourse starts. If she is hiv+, she is probably on meds and most hiv+ individuals who take meds on a regular basis become known as having "undetectable hiv status" which means the hiv+ person has less than 20 copies of the hiv virus in their blood stream and the odds that 1 of those 20 copies of the hiv virus would get into your body is less than 1%.

    To help you out in the future you can ask your doctor about putting you on PReP. Its just another way you can protect yourself from all the stress.

  • It's a great answer but I'm not sure I agree with the bit where you Imply that there would be less than 20 virus cells in your whole body if you are undetectable. As far as I am aware the 20 or less cells detected applies to each millilitre of blood tested and not your whole body. I am told by my consultant that there are also different amounts in different fluids such as semen compared with blood and also within individual organs.

    I do however agree with you that the risk was very low and being positive myself for 7 years and having a negative partner for 4 years who is still negative mirrors your experience.

    I wanted to clarify slightly though.

  • Thanks for your responses guys :). You're all superstars! I'm going in tomorrow just to get a bit more information about my first initial test so that should give me a clearer insight, that's the only thing that got me worried to be honest and it kind of just spiralled out of control from there :(.

  • I'm sure if you had antibodies the test would have shown them to be present (which is what they test for). Especially after several tests...

  • I had always thought that if someone knew they were HIV positive they had to tell their partner by law but then someone told me that wasn't true. My best friends partner had HIV and never got treatment, now has AIDS. That person still has not told my best friend, we only learned by accident, luckily they haven't been "together" for 3 years but for that person to have AIDS now wouldn't they have contracted HIV anywhere from 5-10 years ago. That means my friend was exposed during sex. I like the statistic of 1/1000 if that's true bc my friend is now sure they have a death sentence and is deeply hurt by the whole thing. Going to get tested asap but that statistic may ease some anxiety. Thanks

  • HIV isnt a death sentance anymore ive had it for 4 years and my hiv doc said that i will live a normal life and wouldnt be any shorter than a negative person!

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