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Conclusive or more testing?

Question: 

 Ok so I will try and make it short. Jan.28 th I has unprotected sex with a HIV + man. ( I did not know this then) 3 days later i told my boyfriend that I cheeted. We were however separated somewhat. Anyways we had unprotected sex. 2 weeks later I came down with a horrible stomach ache, loose stools, migranes, sinus infection, really tired, skin irritation and sensitivity. Sore throat and a tongue that looked ( not right) yellow white curdle appearance. So I took a 30 day, 63 ,93, 5 months, 7 months and 9 month test all antibody test one oral at 5. 7 and 9 month were sent out to ACL lab ( no idea what generation) my boyfriend 2 weeks later was complaining of headache, Loose stool, lost about 10 lbs of muscle. And i feel like something is just not right. I read that 6 months for known exposure in the USA (where i live) but there have been reported cases of longer! I can't afford a viral load test . What do you think testing done and symptoms are nothing? I still have a very sore throat, migranes, ear infection, and crazy fungus stuff today ! So annoying it's a constant reminder something is wrong!! All doctors say they see it looks like infection but dont know !? Ent said he didn't know ? Please what do u think?? Thank you

Answer: 

 
 
Testing is the only way to know for certain if HIV transmission has occurred & it's great to hear that you got tested. Symptoms can develop in some individuals, but not in everyone so they are never a good indicator of HIV transmission. If someone does develop symptoms, it is usually flu like illness that occurs 2-6 weeks after the exposure. However, after the symptoms subside the individual will return to being healthy and may not show signs of the disease for up to ten years. Persistent, ongoing health issues like the ones you are mentioning are not symptoms of recent/primary HIV. I would recommend working with a medical professional to figure out what sort of infection is causing these ongoing symptoms.
 
If you took your test in the United states, it is most likely that you took a 3rd generation antibody test. This test looks for HIV specific antibodies in the body and has a window period of 4 weeks to 3 months with up to 95 % of infections being detectable within the first 4-6 weeks after exposure. Any results obtained at or after 3 months can be considered conclusive and definite. Sometimes medical professionals suggest that if you know for sure that the person you shared needles with or had unprotected sex with was HIV+ that you re-test as a precaution; however, I am not surprised that your results did not change between 3-6 months. You tested negative 93 days (3 months), and also at 5, 7 and 9 months so you do not have HIV. You do not need to go in for any more testing as your results will not change. If you do not have HIV, then your boyfriend cannot get HIV from you but it is possible to pass other infections, such as the flu.
 
Healthcare professionals will suggest testing at 6 months only if you are affected by one of the following 3 factors:
1. You have a immunodeficiency disorder
2. You are taking Hepatitis C medication
3. You were taking PEP (post exposure prophylaxis medication)
Individuals with these conditions may take a longer time to develop antibodies against the virus so that is why a test at 6 months is recommended.
 
You have already taken a test at 9 months, so even if you are affected by any of these factors, you are still not HIV positive.
 
I would suggest that you and your boyfriend visit a healthcare professional regarding the health issues you are both experiencing as they are the result of something unrelated to HIV. Please be aware that HIV is only one of several sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia and syphilis, and we encourage individuals to get tested for all STIs to ensure that they are protecting themselves and others.
 
I hope this answers your questions, please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
 
Take care,
Wendy
AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer
 

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