Anonymous
I last asked a question on this platform on 7th of JUN and well answered. Thank you guys for the services. however, my worries continue. Due to nonstop browsing of the internet for HIV information since i last became suspicious of my possible exposure to HIV now 2 months back, and almost having visited every HIV site, it looks like every site mentions skin rash and headache as some of the major symptoms of early HIV infections. It is by no doubt that i have experienced these symptoms at one time and the current one being a very mild headache. 1 week ago i experienced strong dizziness where low blood pressure and dehydration were diagnosed and was put on IVs and the dizziness reduced but hardly has the mild headache gone away. OK, i know also these can be due many other causes but i cant rule out the fact this can be due to sero-conversion illness because never in my life have i ever got this severe dehydration, and a SKIN RASH!!!. Though all my sexual activities were categorized low risk, i cant rule out the fact carefulness could not have been highly observed during the acts. Nevertheless, i have become a daily customer to the HIV testing centers and all my 6 tests have returned non reactive the recent one having been made on 22nd (8/9 weeks) JUN. My brother who is a health professional has told me never to rely on these rapid (determine) tests as they can only be trusted 60% before the 3 months window period yet i also fear to do other tests like the PCR which can detect the virus no mater the window period. some piece of advice please!!
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Anonymous
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline for your HIV/AIDS related health information. It seems you are pretty concerned about the possibility that you may be HIV positive. We're happy to answer your questions for you.

To summarize your current situation, it seems you have recently asked a question to the forums about your risk and symptoms. We unfortunately do not know which question was yours, so are missing some specifics (like the date of the encounter you're concerned about). You feel you are continuing to experience symptoms of an HIV infection, have gone for medical care and have had 6 HIV tests.

We've probably already responded to you with this, but we'll state it again. HIV infections are never diagnosed based on symptoms alone. The only way to diagnose an infection is through testing, as the symptoms of an HIV infection are very similar to many other common medical conditions. It seems you've already seen a medical professional about your symptoms, which is great.

You may have already given us the date of your potential exposure. It is important to remember with HIV tests that they are not considered conclusive until 3 months post exposure. If you've tested all these times after 3 months, then you can stop going for tests as you are indeed HIV negative. If you've tested before then, then you'll need to wait until the 3 month mark to know your status conclusively. It is true that prior to the 3 month point, HIV test accuracy is below the point where we'd say they give your status conclusively. Even the PCR test you mentioned has this same 3 month window period.

We encourage you to maybe slow down and question what it is exactly that you're worried about. Even if you are HIV positive, it is important to know that HIV positive individuals are able to live long and healthy lives with appropriate medications. There really is nothing to be scared of at this point.

Thanks for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your questions, we hope our answer has eased your worries a bit.

Trevor

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online

helpline.aidsvancouver.org
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