Anonymous
Hi,
I'm so stressed out. I'm confused because I've read on here that hiv testing is absolutely conclusive at 3 months. I asked my doctor and she said hiv detection can be as early as 15-20 days and up to 30-45 days. Is that correct?? The tests taken at the doctors are called hiv 1& 2 AB/AG Combined screen. Is this type of test considered a test that is absolutely conclusive at 3 months? I'm upset and stressed because since I have read here that tests are absolutely conclusive at 3 months why does the nurse at my doctors office say testing is done at 3 months and then 6 months I assumed if conclusive at 3 why is she saying 6 months? Also I asked the lab supervisor the same question and she said that the CDC recommends followup testing at 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and in some cases 12 months!!! With the 3 month follow up being most important. Additionally, she said OSHA recommends 3, 6 and 12 months! Following an occupational exposure. Is this all true? Or is she still stuck on the old information? Anyway all of this is freaking me out. I did not have any real exposure technically but I always think I'm exposed possibly when I see blood or get a blood draw because I'm ocd and have a huge hiv phobia. I somehow find some issue and then go get tested but even testing becomes an issue because I get stressed out thinking the person drawing get my blood is gonna somehow transmit hiv to me because normally they know my fear ahead of time because the doctor or nurse calls the lab before I come to let them know I'm afraid of hiv and to make me comfortable by opening packages and stuff in front of me and even then I get it in my mind that now the person drawing my blood knows my fears so maybe they will intentionally infect me. Why I think that way is because I'm so afraid of hiv. Yes I know I need help and have tried talking get to therapists doing cbt and taking medicine. Nothing has worked for me and so I suffer emotionally all the time stressed out that I somehow got hiv. I do not sleep around I do not do drugs it's people I am afraid of that like in a doctors setting that I fear will transmit hiv. I even had an instance where I had a little too much to drink at a wedding that I was with my own boyfriend that somehow when I was walking to the bathroom alone outside that someone may have done something to me for example rape or what not because the next day I was stressed I couldn't remember certain things about the night mostly insignificant things like a few conversations with people or who was there when I said bye or standing in a line waiting for for dessert.. but I remember leaving, the car ride home and other stuff but because I do not remember exactly everything to a T.. I am thinking what if something happened to me that gave me hiv and I just do not remember. I know this is an extreme worry but I can't help it. I am constantly asking the doctor if certain situations are an hiv risk and I know I am driving everyone crazy with my thoughts of stuff such as what if the lady drawing my blood did something to me. I also took it to the supervisor level and even that didn't make me feel better because in my mind she is gonna defend her employees especially when she probably thinks my fears are irrelevant which they sort of are non existent. Can u tell me if I need to worry about hiv based on what I am writing? Is the 3 month test and the test that I stated hiv 1&2 AB/AG combined screen absolutely conclusive at 3 months? I shouldn't even be worried about hiv but unfortunately I have this weird annoying phobia and I do seek reassurance all the time. I'm just so stressed because if tests are conclusive at 3 months why are people giving out false info saying testing is required at 6 weeks 3 months 6 months and sometimes up to a year!? Please answer all my questions and provide me with a detailed response. My test was negative by the way as it should be since I do not do anything risky. It's me and my ridiculous mind. Do I need to be worried or concerned or need more testing. Please advise! Also when the doctor doesn't answer my messages after a few days have past I then fear my worries are real and they haven't got around to answering me because they are thinking of a lie to cover themselves. Help!
Quote
Anonymous
Greetings,

Thank you for choosing the AIDS Vancouver Helpline as your source of information.

As there is a lot of information above, I will do my best to answer your questions as I've read them:

-Your doctor is correct. However, World Health Organization (WHO) states that tests are considered completely conclusive at the 3 month mark. The 4th Generation EIA (DUO, COMBO, AB/AG) Test is considered by many HIV specialists to be conclusive at 6 weeks. However, we abide the WHO's guidelines. The 6 months testing is a testing guideline put forward by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). The two different timelines for testing are simply separate recommendations from two different organizations. It is up to you as to which one you'd like to follow.

- Old methods of testing urge re-testing at 6 months. We know now that this is not needed for the general public. The only people who require re-testing at 6 months are those who are being treated for cancer, being treated for hepatitis, those living with a preexisiting immunodeficiency disorder, diagnosed at birth or infancy, and if you are on PrEP. I am not sure where you are writing from, but as medicine is an ever changing/updating field, some doctors find it hard to stay up to date on all infectious diseases.

- Based on what your writing, no, you do not need to worry about HIV. The only thing we can offer you here is facts, as I have done above. No amount of hypothetical situations can change the fact. One thing that we have noticed is that you don't have a clear understanding of the mechanisms under which HIV is transmitted. Hopefully, us elaborating on this will alleviate from the fear and anxiety that you have.
HIV is just not that easy to transmit; it is a weak and delicate virus that cannot survive in oxygen, saliva or outside of the human body at all. It dies within seconds in an open air environment (outside the body). For a risk to exist, specific HIV positive fluids (vaginal/anal fluids, blood, semen) must come into direct contact with the blood stream of an HIV negative person.

Doctors and nurses are trained professionals. They will not put you at risk, whether intentionally or subconsciously. Please keep this fact in mind.

We strongly suggest that you reach out to a doctor or a medical health professional in your area. He or she may recommend counselling or other services as they may deem appropriate, given that, as you have indicated, are dealing with issues that are not directly related to HIV. From this end of things, you do not require any further testing, you are free of HIV, and you are at no risk of transmitting it.

We hope this helps clear things up a bit for you. All the best with this situation,

Katie and Moe- AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteers.
Quote

ABOUT THE HELPLINE | SUPPORT OUR WORK | RISK ASSESSMENT CHART | ANONYMOUS TESTING | DISCLAIMER | CONTACT

Charitable Registration #
10668 9896 RR0001


© 2019 helpline.aidsvancouver.org
Privacy Policy
Disclaimer

OUR ADDRESS

1101 Seymour Street
Suite 235, 2nd Floor
Vancouver, BC V6B 0R1
Canada


GET IN TOUCH

Main Phone: 604-893-2201
Fax: 604-893-2205
Email: contact@aidsvancouver.org