Hi! I’d like to ask for help regarding the situation that has happened to me almost 2 months ago. I am sorry that my message is long, I just wanted to be clear with my situation and my concern.

I am from the Philippines, several months ago I had an encounter with a massage therapist in a spa (breast sucking and handjob). Felt guilty for what I have done and because of rising stress and anxiety that I might get an HIV or other STD. I decided to go to one of our government social hygiene clinic. I went there several times to get tested, first was 8 weeks after the spa incident, then two weeks after the 1st test (10 weeks), then the third and last one, was 2 weeks after the 2nd test (12 weeks), thankfully ALL resulted to NON-REACTIVE (kit that was used is SD Bioline HIV 1/2 3.0).

However, there was this incident on the 3rd and last time (12 weeks) that I went to the clinic. The medtech was kind of hesitant to do another test for me since I already took 2 tests just a few weeks ago. She adviced me to just go back after 2 more weeks for me to get tested (which is 1 month gap after my 2nd test). I insisted that I want to get tested for my peace of mind because that time, that was already my 12th week since the spa incident. The medtech was still kind of hesitant and a bit irate, but we proceeded with the test. After taking blood sample from me, the medtech told me that there is another blood sample that they have which they got from one of their patients who was tested HIV positive, she showed me how the procedure is being done. She said that they don’t normally do it with other patients, however, whe wants to show it to me for me to see the accuracy of the kit. Maybe the Medtech thought that the reason why I keep on coming back to get tested is because I am not fully convinced with the kit and procedure. The Kit where my blood sample was resulted to a Non-Reactive, and the second kit where the blood sample of another patient was resulted to Reactive.

I felt very happy to know that time I got tested Non-Reactive, however, that same night, suddenly crossed my mind that there may be a risk of being exposed from HIV/STD since there is a presence of a blood sample of a person with HIV in the area where I got tested. That night I was not able to sleep again, the next day I went back to the clinic and asked about what I felt about the procedure. She assured me that she has done the test with utmost care, like with other patients, the syringe and needle that they used to take my blood sample was new and has never been used for other procedures nor other patients. She even told me that their job is to help, and not to spread the virus.

Almost 2 months have passed, but Im still having some stress and anxiety that the syringe and needle that was used to me may have been contaminated with HIV or other STD. Even thinking that the Medtech might have intentionally injected some blood with HIV/ STD before getting blood samples from me since she was kind of irate that time. I apologize for thinking this way, I am stressed and still feeling some anxiety because it’s been more than a month now when I felt some lymph node in my neck (2 in the left, and 1 at the right) with a size of a bean. I already took antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor, but the lymph nodes are still there (they are not painful though).

Was there any cases reported that a person got infected with HIV or STD after getting tested from an HIV testing center? Are the lymph nodes an indication or symptoms of an HIV/ STD? Do I need to get tested again? I feel like going through hell whenever I go to the social hygiene clinic because of stress and anxiety of getting tested. What should I do? Hope you’ll be able to help me. Thank you in advance.
Hi there, and thanks a lot for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline with your question.

It seems you're concerned about the accuracy of some of the HIV tests you've had after an encounter at a massage parlor. We'd be happy to provide you with some information on the risks involved in the encounter you had, and on the accuracy of the tests you've had since.

First off, the situation you're describing at the massage parlor is no risk, meaning activities such as these have never resulted in HIV transmission. For HIV to transmit, there needs to be a body fluid containing the virus, an activity (such as unprotected sex or sharing a needle), and direct access to the bloodstream. Sucking on a breast or masturbation does not fit this description.

While we are unsure of the type of HIV test you had (e.g. 3rd Generation, 4th Generation), it is important to note, all HIV tests are considered conclusive at 12 weeks from possible exposure. Keep in mind, you had a no risk activity and your test results were negative, therefore you can consider the test at 12 week as conclusive. For a better understanding of how HIV tests work, have a look at some of our HIV testing charts below:

Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
EIA (Enzyme Immunoassay) antibody 3rd Generation aka ELISA Blood test that looks for antibodies 4 weeks to 3 months (although most infections are detectable within 4-6 weeks). Most people develop detectable antibodies in 21-25 days. Most commonly available testing method. We are encouraged to hear that 4th gen tests are on their way to Vancouver but currently are only available via referral. Conclusive

Now to your concern of the accuracy of your test. You think the healthcare provider may have used a needle containing blood to do the test. You've already spoken to the healthcare provider about your concerns, and they have reassured you that the needles used in the test are in fact new. Globally, healthcare providers are working from WHO guidelines. Of the many cases of HIV transmission, this is not a scenario where transmission has been shown to occur.

At this point it seems you are doubting whether that test at 12 weeks resulted in HIV transmission as you think you might be experiencing related symptoms? At AIDS Vancouver we do not discuss symptoms because often they mirror other infections. If you are concerned about your health, partner with a Health Care provider. Considering it's been a few months since your last test, we would suggest you go back to the clinic and have another discussion with the providers there. They might do another test for you, but be sure to discuss with them your concerns about the risk of contracting HIV from the test. Perhaps there is some support system they can refer you to. However from what you've told us, further testing is not required.

That said, we do recommend regular testing for all sexually active individuals so it's great you went for a test. In the future, for assessing the risk level of encounters we encourage you to check out our [risk assessment]( page for more information.

Thanks a lot for your question to the AIDS Vancouver Helpline, we hope our response has provided you with some information and reassurance.


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Test Name Method Window Period Conditions
4th Generation EIA Blood test that looks for antibodies AND p24 protein antigens. Commonly referred to as the "combination," "combo" or "DUO" test. Antigen (ag) test - P24 protein is detectable immediately after infection, & only for the first few weeks. The antibody (ab) test has a window period of 4-12 weeks. Most HIV specialists consider this test to be conclusive at 6 weeks. Official HIV testing guidelines still recommend re-testing at 12 weeks for conclusive results. Conclusive