Hello Helpline,

I had a risky encounter and knew that I needed to get STD testing done. I never really thought about HIV until I started searching up symptoms because while that anxiety started i've developed a swollen lymph node that is still on my neck, i've lost a lot of weight, and I cant sleep at night. I went to my walk in clinic and told the doctor what happened and they said HIV is not a very common STD to get but you should still get tested, so I did. It was 5 weeks after the exposure and the doctor told me to get tested at 3 months as well. They took blood of out of my vein so I dont know what generation test was being done. I couldn't wait 2 weeks to get the blood work back so I ended up finding a Sexual Health Clinic that does Rapid HIV testing. I went there and the woman told me my risk was very low and the test was done it came back negative. The test was an INSTI test, not sure how accurate these are. I felt some relief after the HIV test turned out negative but I met someone that I loved and I still had this persisting lymph node and i've been stressing a lot about that too. It's been a really distressing time for me. So I went back to the Sexual Health Clinic at 6 months just to make sure again and they asked me why I wanted to come back I just told them I have anxiety about the last test and again it came back negative. I saw some articles about people that dont have antibodies until their in AIDS stage and that really frightens me.. and does Anemia, low Iron, Lymphoma interfere with these? I've never had chemotherapy or anything done. I'm just really worried cause I dont know if I have an immune deficiency or something.

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

It seems you are concerned that some symptoms you have may indicate HIV infection although test results came back negative. We are glad to provide some information.

We do not use symptoms to determine the HIV status of an individual. The reason is that some symptoms can be caused by other viral infections that are not related to HIV. The only way to determine your HIV status is to get tested which you have done. The fact that you were tested 6 months after the activity and the results came back negative means that you do not have HIV. We are not aware of a situation where you can develop full blown aids whilst all HIV tests come back negative. Any HIV tests results that are provided three months after an exposure are regarded as conclusive. We encourage you to discuss the symptoms with your doctor whilst at the same time re-assure you that they are not HIV related.

Our Online forum has postings that are related to your question that you can read for additional information. If you have further questions feel free to contact us again.

Thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline.

In health


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