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immunodeficiency and hiv tests

Question: 

Thank you for your time.

I had a risky encounter in april with a transexual. I was bottom ( no protection )

I know it was a stupid thing to do, and the last six months have been the worst, and I don't think I will ever believe I am 100% Negative

Two weeks after encounter-
Developed a butterfly rash on my face that felt like sunburn.

Three weeks-
Came down with a fever, headache, chills, mild sore throat, sweats. This lasted for 24 hours.

Other symptoms include-

Sensitive skin,
Cuts , esp after biting nails taking a while to repair, and seem to get infected, but clear in the end.

At seven weeks, I had a 4th gen finger prick test, which was negative.

At thirteen weeks, the same test still negative.

Then at 22 weeks negative.

But I still can't get it out of my mind. I am married with a daughter and feel so guilty. I can't get close to my wife again just in case .

I still have the rash on my face, and was diagnosed with rocasea. It just seems strange that I get this rash, and that 24 hour fever, a couple of weeks after the encounter

My question is, if you have aimmunodeficiency disorder, would your test be false negative or false positive?

The reason why I ask is because the last three colds I have had, have gone straight to my chest, having to have two weeks of work each time. Also with my cuts slow of healing and sometimes getting infected (but still heals after a while)

Could I have a immunodeficiency that has not been diagnosed yet? I am terrified to go to the doctors, just in case I find that I am hiv positive, as my hiv tests were not from my doctors, but from a charity called Higgins trust UK

I made such a bad mistake, and I am paying for it. If there is any chance I am positive, I will take my life.

The stress of all of this has taken its toll.

Answer: 

Hello and thanks for reaching out to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

It's evident that you're extremely worried about HIV and that you've been feeling this worry for a long time now. I'm glad that you've reached out to AIDS Vancouver for information to ease your worries, and I'm especially glad to hear that you've gone for testing! You're certainly doing all the right things in terms of taking initiative for your own health. Pat yourself on the back!

First things first, let's talk about the symptoms you're describing and the results you have from the HIV tests you've had done. I know that you're worried about symptoms, but symptoms are **NOT ** a reliable way for you or any health professional of knowing whether or not you have HIV. This is because symptoms can mirror so many other illnesses and conditions, which you've seen firsthand with your rosacea diagnosis. The only way you can know whether or not you have HIV is to get tested, which you've done.

Based on what you've said, you have had 3 HIV tests, and all have been negative. The most recent tests were at 13 and 22 weeks after your possible exposure. Based on the guidelines we follow in British Columbia, we consider HIV test results to be conclusive at 12 weeks post-exposure. Therefore, the two most recent tests you took are both considered conclusive and indicate that you do not have HIV. If you had an immunodeficiency disorder, it might take longer for your body to develop detectable antibodies against HIV. In this case, it might take up to 6 months post-exposure for your results to be considered conclusive. However, since you have never been diagnosed with an immunodeficiency disorder, it is very unlikely that your HIV test window was affected. You have also been tested almost 6 months post-exposure, and the result was negative. It certainly seems as though you're having a hard time accepting and believing your negative test result, and that appears to be taking a negative toll on your health and overall well-being. Have you asked yourself what's stopping you from accepting these negative results? Could it be the guilt you're feeling? Instead of focusing so much on symptoms, it may be beneficial to start focusing on your negative test results and these questions in order to allow yourself to move past this. You might want to consider partnering with your healthcare provider to discuss these barriers that you're struggling with that are preventing you from accepting your negative test result. Another option would be to contact THT Direct for emotional support regarding fears of HIV or other tools and local referrals that may help you move forward.

Lastly, I just wanted to comment on one thing. You say that you "made such a bad mistake" and that now you are "paying for it". HIV is not a punishment, and I want you to remember that! HIV treatment and care has also evolved so much over recent years, and has moved from at one time being a death sentence for some to now being a chronic condition that can be managed with one pill, once a day. Thanks to advances in treatment, people living with HIV are living long and healthy lives. A website that you may find useful is HIV Aware - I particularly like the section about facts and myths about HIV.

I really hope this has helped answer your questions and reduce your worries. Once again, thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

Take care,

Erin

AIDS Vancouver Volunteer

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