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Suspected HIV - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: HIV and AIDS
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2408 Questions
User :   Hello, i've had protected vagina sex with a prostitute in December 2009. As i recall, the condom did slip out during intercourse but i believe there was no direct contact between my penis and her vagina. I put the same condom back and and reused it. I took a HIV rapid test about 8 weeks after the incicent and i was tested negative. I understand that the window period for a rapid test to be accurate is about 3 months or 12 weeks. As such, i am worried that my test at 8 weeks was not accurate enough. In addition, the skin on my palm has been feeling regularly for a few months now. I checked up online and found out that skin peeling on the palms are symptons of early HIV infection. I am more worried now. Since my encounter, i have not experienced swollen lymph nodes nor severe body rash. Though i've had my share of prolonged tireness but i believe that has got to do with my bad sleeping habits. Hope someone here can advise me, thanks. I will be going for another rapid test soon but i need some assurance before i do.
User :   hi doctor
Doctor :   hello
User :   i've summarized my situation above
User :   please advise
Doctor :   i am Dr. Oberoi here
Doctor :   give me a min let me read your query
User :   ok sure
User :   anyway there was a typo, peeling of the skin on my palm, not feeling
Doctor :   well i would like to tell you that peeling of skin is not a symptom of HIV ...
Doctor :   plus your test was negative after 8 weeks
User :   not at all? i read from some sites that it is a sympton especially during seroconversion
Doctor :   so your chances are very less
User :   how conclusive is the rapid test at 8 weeks?
Doctor :   HIV has no specific symptoms. it only decreases the body immunity for other infections
User :   it was a test that took a bit of blood from my finger and the results took about 20 minutes
User :   that is the average rapid test i suppose
Doctor :   yes thats ok
Doctor :   if its negative that means your body has not started making antibodies
User :   well so i suppose it's safe to assume that i am hiv negative since i had protected sex and i was tested negative at 8 weeks?
User :   i plan to take another test soon as i have a girlfriend now but i need some assurance for now
Doctor :   its highly advisable that you need to do the test again , as you are aware of the window period . but peeling of skin is NOT symptom
User :   ok let's put that one aside
User :   what about the question on whether my 8 weeks test was conclusive enough?
User :   well i did actually inquiry about this matter on Freedom Health and Dr. XXXXXXXX Cummings told me that it's very uncertain that i am infected since i wore a condom and i was tested negative at 8 weeks?
User :   do you share the same opinion as him?
Doctor :   well so right now if you take a rapid test tomorrow and if its negative that means you are NOT infected .. antibodies take about some time 3 months .. to show and at time as little 3 weeks . so yoru chances are extremely low
Doctor :   since there was no exchange of fluids so again you are more on the safe side
Doctor :   may i know your age please ?
User :   ok, i will do it on sunday because the local hiv test clinic only opens then
User :   22 this year
Doctor :   yes i do agree that the chances are very less but please be careful next time
Doctor :   it should be your WAKEUP CALL
User :   ok how does age affect the window period?
Doctor :   your immunity is good when you are young
Doctor :   so it helps
User :   do younger people tend to seroconvert faster or later?
User :   i read somewhere that people with weaker systems tend to take longer to convert
User :   so i guess, younger people being more immuned would take a shorter time?
Doctor :   many factors are dependent and also it depends on the viral load
Doctor :   in your case the chances are very less
User :   roughly what percentage are we talking about?
Doctor :   its hard to give a percentage thats why we have tests for it .. but from your history you have told me . i think its low..

User :   would previous sexual encounters make any difference? i've actually had sex with sex workers about 10 times prior to the incident above, but all those prior ones were more than 3 months before my test
Doctor :   no
Doctor :   not at all
User :   ok
Doctor :   if you had safe sex all the time
Doctor :   you are fine
User :   yes all the time
User :   just this time there was the condom slip
Doctor :   nothing to worry bout the previous encounters
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