Anonymous
Hi,
I am a 21 year old guy from India(north east), I had a unprotected vaginal sex with a unknown hiv status on june 2013, I was all good and healthy till the date april 2014, no symptoms nothing.
I am studying in calcutta(India) and was hooked up with bad habits such as drugs, marjiuana, alchol from 2012 and was also in very low diet.
April 2014 I had a really bad stomach ache, weight loss upto 10kgs, night sweats, weakness, and some other symptoms related to hiv, than I worried and was very unhappy.
June 2014 I was diagnosed with tuberculosis and all the symptoms I was having was also a symptom to tuberculosis so there was a little bit of ease. But when the doctor said me to get tested for hiv as even hiv could cause TB, so I was very worried again.
I got tested for hiv on june 19th 2014 in one of the ictc centres which provides free testing and the test done is EIA rapid antibody test, which thankfully came back negative but the technician told me to come back for follow up test after 6 months and again this worried me.
My questions.
1- Is the free testing in India trust worthy ?
2- Is there carelessnes in such testing sites ?
3- Is my body not producing antibodies ? As it was a year after i got tested
4- Is it possible for hiv people to gain weight without hiv treatment ? As after I started taking anti TB drugs I have almost gained 15kgs. Is it a good sign.
5- Do I need to go for a follow up test ?
6- Is there any chance for my report to change into positive ?
Please do answer.
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for using AIDS Vancouver as your source of information about HIV/AIDS issues.

I am sorry to hear about the challenges you have been facing. I will answer your questions, as you have posed them:

1/2: Here at AIDS Vancouver, we do not comment on the practices of other clinics because we were not there. However, an organization called India HIV/AIDS Alliance may be able to answer your questions more effectively. This organization can be reached by emailing: info@allianceindia.org.

3. The only way to find out whether or not you have HIV is to be tested.

4. The weight you gained is not due to HIV. There are no clinically-defined symptoms of HIV. Some HIV positive individuals experience a strong flu-like illness 2-4 weeks post-exposure, that disappears within 8-10 days. However, many HIV positive individuals have never any experienced symptoms whatsoever. The only way to be sure of your status is to be tested.

5. I do suggest you be re-tested for HIV, to assure your results are conclusive. Here at AIDS Vancouver, we follow the guidelines of The World Health Organisation (WHO) that outline all HIV test results are conclusive 12 weeks post-exposure. However, many HIV specialists consider the results of an HIV test administered 6 weeks post-exposure a strong indication of an individual's status.

6. It is highly unlikely for an individual's status to change 12 weeks post-exposure unless the individual has continued to engage in activities that pose a high risk for HIV.
It is important to keep in mind that if you are living with TB, you have a greater likelihood of acquiring HIV. I encourage you to keep partnering with your healthcare professional to continue being treated for TB, tested for the full panel of STIs, including HIV, and addressing any other symptoms you become concerned with (e.g. weight gain).

I trust I have answered your questions. Feel free to write back to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline, or visit our website, http://www.aidsvancouver.org for more information.

Sincerely,

Marta

AIDS Vancouver Volunteer

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