[Question #3755] Becoming much more worried and stressed

35 months ago
I’m sorry to do this, I honestly don’t know what else I am to do. If you feel the need to delete my question without refund I fully understand. Honest.  As the title states my worry is growing ten-fold, with reason;

Let’s start with: “If you can reach your partners, a compromise would be to contact them and ask them to be tested.  If they are negative at his time, you are virtually certainly in the clear.” I’m only concerned now with the escort encounter.  She seems high risk, however denies having hiv and says she is tested, however I offered to pay her full rate and even double that to go get tested with me and she is very stand off-ish and absolutely refuses to do so. 

My family doctor would not send me at 7 weeks for my “conclusive” result, I live in an area with a doctor shortage so I can’t find another doctor to issue the test, and the testing clinic absolutely refused to test me alone until 13 weeks have passed since my last exposure. Which is mind blowing as picking up on an infection as early as possible makes the most sense and is essitinal in this pandemic. 

So now I’m anxiously waiting, and while I do more syptoms appear in me AND my regular partner. 

In me; I had the red spots/blotches ob my hands, the back of not palms roughly 2 weeks after exposure and since cleared up completely and hasn’t returned (hiv rash?); although it seems a little late (7-9 weeks post exposure) I have had a very sore/stiff neck and back that isn’t going away, a white/yellow tongue, and a sore/bump in my mouth lining that was painless and lasted a week before healing up. If my first test was negative and HIV2 results take 6-12 weeks to be conclusive, and syptoms come with antibodies; maybe it’s HIV2. 

In my girlfriend; starting roughly 2-3 weeks after we had sex; 1) she suffered from a severe sore back for 2+ weeks, missed time from work, and it has since resided mysteriously. 2) her face (primarily her cheeks and eye lids) has broke out a fair amount in what I can best describe as a

35 months ago
2) her face (primarily her cheeks and eye lids) has broke out a fair amount in what I can best describe as a Rash (hiv rash?) 

3) I know “cold-like” is not “flu-like” but on top of both other syptoms she has also come down with a flu/cold. 

4) she also commented on a “sore” in her mouth as well. 

The escort has no problem bugging me constantly to “loan” her money out of the blue, any small amounts at all, and hangs out at the needle exchange clinic, yet refused to get tested with me for double her regular rate, claiming we used a condom there’s no way I can be infected. She seems to be very high risk. 

I read this forum daily trying to educate myself , and I read a lot on HIV2 being rare, and less infections, and that neither of you have seen someone take longer then 4 weeks to test positive for HIV1. If I had HIV1, then my 15 day test could of been reactive (antigen) or my 35 day test reactive (antigen/antibody), so I would be very puzzled if I had HIV1 after using a condom, and my 2 negative results. 

HIV2 might still be a concern, but I only had sex with my girlfriend twice in the past 10+ weeks, once after my 15 day negative, and again at my 35 day negative. If HIV2 is rare and less infectious, then it would be odd to catch it after using a condom, and spread it after only 2 with my regular partner (unprotected but no ejactulation)

I try to tell myself that even once without a condom is unlikely, with the condom, and my 2 negatives I should be virtually home free, but this doesn’t feel like it’s going to be the case. 

Very obviously the worst thing I could of done in my life is meet this escort, and I feel like the second worst choice was to not seek PEP, and finally I should not have had sex with anyone until I had a fully conclusive result to rely on. 


35 months ago
Oh shoot, and I’m sorry, I completely forgot in my essay style story; I’m also loosing a lot of weight. To the point people are even asking if I’m ok. Pants that used to hardly button up are now starting to fall off of me. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
35 months ago
Welcome back -- but I'm afraid I can't help more than I and Dr. Hook already have tried to do in your two previous threads. Whatever happens next, this must be  your last posted question about this exposure, your HIV fears, and your testing dilemma.

The exposure is the same and we have already explained why this was a sufficiently low risk event that testing isn't necessary. I don't understand the apparent disconnect between you having alread been tested a few times yet neither your doctor nor a local "testing clinic" (health department?) is willing to order yet another (excessive!) test until 13 weeks have passed. But I guess that's what you'll have to do. Or find a lab online if you still want to be tested sooner, e.g. any time after 6 weeks, for a conclusive AgAb (combo, 4th generation) HIV test. Thousands of people who have posted on this forum have obviously had no problem finding such lab services through online testing brokers. OTOH, why do it? There is no chance you have HIV, and it shouldn't be such a big deal to wait until 13 weeks have passed if you would prefer it be done by your PCP. (Or you could print out this thread, and others, to help educate your doctor about the 100% conclusive nature of AgAb testing after 6 weeks, i.e. 13 weeks is old news going back to older HIV tests now little used.

There certainly is nothing in all the symptoms you report that even hints at a new HIV infection. You need to mellow out. Beyond these things, I don't know what else to say. Sorry I can't help further, but hope these comments are useful.

HHH, MD


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35 months ago
Alright. Understood. I apologize for being bothersome. Sorry.  Thanks again for the great services provided. 

I guess my continued fear comes from the fact that my situation was still “low risk” and not no risk, and still waiting on a truly fully conclusive result. 

You say “whatever happens next...” I’m pretty sure this just means not to post about my fears/testing on this exposure, not that you expect I will soon find out I have HIV. 

I did try looking online for Home testing kits, but most do not ship to / support use in Canada, and the home test kits that do, do not test for HIV. 

The “(excessive!)”; is that because they won’t test me until 13 weeks, or because I am doing another test post 6 weeks for my final result. 

You seem to still be fairly confident that I have not acquired HIV from my exposure, and I understand from a numbers perspective the odds are in my favour, but nothing has been “absolute” yet, so I still worry there’s that tiny chance that the results could change. I however believe also you remain fairly confident that my 13 week test will still be negative/non reactive. You are the expert with years in the field, so I sure hope your right. 

I guess the timing for all the “syptoms” is just a matter of bad timing .. or at least I hope so. Again you are the experts, so I would hope you are confident in your assement. 

I don’t like the numbers game, I like to know for sure and I want to be able to move on past this without looking back. 

Again I apologize for my high anxiety, and I thank you for your time and services. 


H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
35 months ago
Your anxieties are leading you to over-interpret everything you feel and everything you are told. Every itch, tingle, or new body sensation you interpret as possibly indicating HIV, when in fact you had no significant risk, have had several negative tests that are conclusive or nearly so, and no symptoms that are typical for HIV. And the context of my words "whatever happens next" makes it VERY clear that I was not hinting at any possibility you have HIV; it referred only to if and when you have additional HIV testing.

I was not referring to home test kits. In the US, you can easily find websites that offer almost any lab test you can think of. Just google "STD test" or maybe "online lab test" to find several. But maybe not in Canada?

My last substantive comment is to remind you that the HIV blood tests are a thousand times more reliable than symptoms or exposure history in judging if someone has HIV. The tests never lie, but symptoms and exposure information gives misleading information all the time. Test results ALWAYS overrule.  You could have mainlined HIV+ blood and now have a textbook case of ARS, and a negative blood test would still prove you don't have HIV.

I'm sorry you "don't like the numbers game", but that's a weak excuse for being frightened when the overwhelming evidence is against having HIV. You have a duty, to yourself anyway, to think objectively and stop rejecting science based reassurance. 

Perhaps you'll relate to one other number:  zero. That's the number of people who turned out to have HIV among the thousands of questions about HIV risks, testing, etc on this and my previous forum (14 years). You're not going to be the first. If and when that happens, it will be someone with a real risk, and without the test results you have already had.


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35 months ago
I really didn’t want to ask anymore questions and save my last response to update you on my test results in another 3 weeks time, but I still remain concerned about the rash on my girlfriends face. 

I understand if I don’t have HIV I could not have passed it to her. We only had sex twice, once about 8 weeks ago which would be to long from her rash for it to be ARS. The second time was about 5 weeks ago. 

The rash on her face started roughly 2.5 - 3 weeks after the last time we had sex, and lasted roughly 1.5 weeks, which could be within ARS timeframe. She thinks it was ecemza but neither of us are doctors,  so that is really just a guess. I tried to ask as many questions about it as I could without being obvious, it affected her face (cheeks mainly), it was red with slightly raised bumps, she said it was slightly scaley/dry skin appearance, she said it was itchy for a number of days but I don’t recall her commenting on it or scratching it, and I asked her if she felt like she had a fever and she doesn’t think she did. She did buy some ecemza cream and since then it has appeared to get better. Do you have any comments on the ARS rash that might be helpful to me? 

It’s just with its timing, and duration, that I am afraid it could be a sign I infected her. I am not totally sure if she broke out anywhere else because she knows I have health anxiety and doesn’t tell me everything because she says I freak out. But she also doesn’t know that I’m afraid of this disease at the moment. 


The reason waiting for 13 weeks is a big deal to me because I am still very convinced that my results can and will change, and I’m sick of the anxious waiting to find out. 

If you would like to keep the thread open I will not ask any further questions until I get my final results. 
35 months ago
Oh, and the numbers game scares me mainly just because they don’t prove I’m not infected. I understand 1 in a billion is an extremely low chance, but just like the lottery, with probably compared odds, someone is bound to win at some point. 

I often see your comment that nobody has ever come back with HIV in the 14 years, but maybe some have, and just had so much then on their mind they never came back to report it. But again that could be my anxious brain telling me it’s possible. 

Thanks again for all the amazing work you do for me, and everyone. It was great to at least have someone to vent to 
35 months ago
I doubt it changes any assement but she is also very tired / fatigued a lot more then usually in the past 2-3 weeks
35 months ago
The escort contacted me again today and requested I give her money. I denied and said I would only pay her to have a test with me. She further refused, and in an almost sinister way told me good luck with my test. So. Who knows what to expect 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
35 months ago
You misunderstand my comments about numbers. There is ZERO chance you have HIV. Feel free to test again and again to your heart's content if the further negative results will help get you past this. Fatigue or tiredness probably is the single most common physical symptom of anxiety or stress.I also suggest you stop contacting the escort:  you might be on the edge of illegal harrassment or even stalking. This is no longer her business, only yours.

Please heed the previous warnings and do not be tempted to post any more questions on these topics. Thank you.
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