Anonymous
Hello, I hope you can help me with my issue i am having lately. I have had a vaginal, unprotected sex, with a women that never told me her status. All i know about her is that she was doing some drugs in her youth, i dont know which one, and that she is really open about having sex with people. I have tested 2 months post exposure, and i was advised to test aditional 3 months after that tast, which would be around 5th month. So both tests came back negative, and i was told i am conclusive and that i need no further testings. Still, regarding tests, i am in a lot of fear, recently i had sore throat and first thing that comes to my mind is that it is HIV causing it, then my mind tells me that they could have made a mistake during testing procedure, the test i have done is, as told to me, fourth generation rapid test. Counselors told me that they are so sensitive and that if i was infected it would almost instantly show it, but that they have to wait 20 mins to be 100% sure in test results. Anyways i am told i am negative but fear is crushing me and ruining the way of my life. Whatever change in body i have i think its HIV, then i think i can not produce detectable level of antibodies because something might influence them to not produce in enough numbers. Please help me, you are the only one who can help me continue my life without a fear. Is it possible to have negative tests and have "symptomes" after 6 months.
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Anonymous
Hi there,

Thank you for choosing AIDS Vancouver for your source of HIV/AIDS related information. It's great to see that you are taking initiative when it comes to your health and well being!

While unprotected vaginal sex is considered a high risk exposure, it does not guarantee that HIV will be transmitted. Moreover, this woman's past drug use and sexual activity should not be used as a platform for assumptions. However, based on all the information you have provided you do not have HIV for the following reasons:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all HIV testing options provide conclusive results 12 weeks (or 84 days) post exposure, provided there have been no other exposures during that window period. Considering that you have tested negative well past the 12 week mark, you do not have HIV.

There are no clinically defined symptoms for HIV. The fact that only some, and not all, individuals who are exposed to the virus experience symptoms sheds light on how they cannot be used as a diagnostic tool. The only way to know one's HIV status is through testing - which you have already done! A sore throat, and the like, is by no means an indication that you have been exposed to the virus. If your symptoms are causing you distress, I would encourage you to contact your healthcare provider.

It's important to understand that you control your HIV status: keeping the lines of communication open with your partner(s), testing regularly for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), practising safe sex, and steering clear of injecting with shared needles are all excellent ways of keeping the risk of HIV transmission extremely low. You have done an excellent job in ensuring that you are both safe and healthy by getting tested for HIV after a potential exposure. Your test results are reliable, and there is no reason to suspect that you are living with HIV - you would have tested positive by now if you did. I would encourage you to move on and to seek out support from those you trust, if required.

At AIDS Vancouver we encourage all sexually active individuals to test for all sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, as part of their health routine. This can be in the form of testing every 3 months, bi-annually, annually, or whatever suits that individual's lifestyle.

I hope I have addressed all of your concerns, and if you have any other questions please feel free to contact us again!

All the best,

Greg
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