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Negative tests - not sure if reliable - story enclosed.

How many scares does it take to actually start using condoms?
0 - i paid attention in sex ed
1 - momentary lapse in judgement - i will never do it again
>1 - I have the memory of a goldfish.
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where to begin...bare with me this is a bit of a story but you will have all the details when you are done reading. a doctor's response would be greatly appreciated.

My symptoms: slightly elevated body temperature, swollen spleen, general acheyness and malaise duration 6-7 weeks now. normally my body temperature is between 36.3-36.8 as my range for any normal day. usually when i hit 37 or higher i have something working on me. I have been ranging from 36.8-37.5 for at least the past 6 weeks.

Timeline and reason for being worried about exposure to HIV.

GUY #1

At the end of May, I went to visit my ex-boyfriend in Northern Mexico. He is a volunteer paramedic. He has not had very many sexual partners (he is a bit of a quick draw so he doesn't get that far with many people), he does on occasion though get exposed to blood during his volunteer shifts. it is a very bloody and messy time cleaning up after the drug dealers. he has on more than one occasion not had gloves on while dealing with patients.

Before i got there, i asked him to get tested and he went and donated blood since STI tests are fairly expensive there - the logic being that they test blood before they use it. in any case we were safe except for one moment of weakness. he was inside for all of 3 seconds but he pulled out and well...quick draw. on a later occasion my eye was also accidentally used for target practice (after oral sex he came in my eye...just in case my coy euphemism was misunderstood). 2 potential opportunities for exposure. towards the end of this trip, let's say 7 days after the first exposure...4 days after the 2nd... i picked up a nasty case of food poisoning. i went to the hospital for inability to stop vomiting...(gross) and they said that i had picked up a parasite or something. I was given antibiotics and was feeling fine in a matter of days safe and sound at home. total time line - May 18-May 29th.

GUY #2

fast forward. I went to Newfoundland end of June beginning of July(June 28th -July 3rd). Got drunk at a party and had unprotected sex with someone I literally met that night. I am still in touch with him. he has been to jail. minimum security but still...we have all watched prison break, shawshank redemption etc. and he has a tattoo....all in all my concern over the second partner is more paranoia. anyways the next day we did it again...3 more times. unprotected. this occurred on July 1st and 2nd.

July 3rd, a bit sleep deprived from packing and partying, i headed home feeling very nauseous and like i had a bladder infection in the works. gave it two days and symptoms persisted so i self medicated with a prescription i had on hold(i usually get them after sex so i have prescriptions on retainer). after 7 day treatment, infection felt like it was lingering so my doctor called in another 7 day treatment. I started feeling extreme pressure/acheyness in my mid back section. Then on July 18th i was feeling feverish and was 4 days into second course of antibiotics - infection felt better, but back felt worse.

DOCTOR #1

Due to time constraints instead of seeing my family doctor I went to the walk in clinic near my house. I told them all of the above and i asked for a urine test and an STI test. she felt my back and suspected that my kidneys might be to blame. she thought it might be a kidney infection so i went on antibiotics for the 3rd bloody time in the month of July. She told me to finish the one I was on and then start on a ten day course of cipro meaning i was on antibiotics for 24 days of july. blood results were back by the 21st. everything came back clean including the urine. (only 16 days after guy #2 and only 7-8 weeks after guy #1). i took this to mean that the other STI tests were fairly reliable but obviously not the HIV test (3 month window). they ordered a study of my white blood cell count and hemoglobin and gave me a requisition for an ultrasound. blood count came back normal, no signs of infection and the ultrasound showed non-obstructive kidney stones (2 in my left kidney, 1 in my right). (also poly-cystic ovaries...clearly i am not the picture of good health...) at this point the walk in clinic told me i was fine and that the rest was in my head... Neutral

FOLLOW UP WITH GUY #1 & GUY #2

soooo i freaked out and convinced myself it was definitely HIV. I called the ex-con (his last crime being a DUI...) and asked him to go get tested. he said no he was afraid of doctors. I then put my crazy butt back on an expensive plane ride and personally dragged him there. i meanwhile called the ex-boyfriend in mexico and asked if he was sure the blood donation was a reliable method. He said that the previous week he had a dying family member in hospital and was just asked to come in and donate blood. He said they tested it before using it and they haven't said anything to him so he figured he had to be okay. guy #2 had his results come back but he has since been arrested again and is unavailable to pick up the mother effing results. he did say when i spoke to him that they hadn't called his cell or his house line so he was hoping that meant he was in the clear.

this is my life. this is not a movie.

DOCTOR #2

so when i got home i finally dragged my ass back to my family doctor. she did her own physical and determined that my spleen was in fact swollen...she pushed and I screamed ow. hence swollen spleen. she heard the whole story above and thought that maybe this could have something to do with the parasite from Mexico. Or Mono. Or Lyme disease...Or [insert long list of common viral illnesses here]. Fast forward again to yesterday. Kidney function normal. Liver function normal. NOT Mono or CMV or the other one..toxoplasma something or other. still waiting on West Nile, Lyme disease, and the parasite samples to come back - i haven't had a bug bite this year but sure why not - West Nile sounds great. (sarcasm)

so my questions summarized - does this sound like how HIV would present? will my STI results at 3 months be reliable enough to be able to stop joking about this as a defense mechanism? any ideas as to what this could be? I am really sick of feeling sick. Neutral

Thank you for your help.
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replied September 8th, 2012
Experienced User
whew !

i'll keep my response short and sweet.

3 months post your last exposure to obtain a conclusive result.
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replied September 8th, 2012
Experienced User
no one mentioned anything about a duo test AND if you had paid attention to the dates...you would have seen that the poster is beyond the 4 week mark.

pay attention.
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replied September 9th, 2012
Experienced User
there is no reason to have a duo test beyond 4 weeks when a simple antibody test will do the job..
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