Our forum is under maintenance at the moment which means we can't reply to any posts or comments. We'll be back up online soon - in the meantime if you have a general Play Safe question please email us [email protected] or, if you have a sexual health question, you can ask Nurse Nettie completely confidentially here https://playsafe.health.nsw.gov.au/ask-nurse-nettie

HIV Risk - please help

Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
I am a very worried female and would very much appreciate your help. Hiv has caused me a lot of stress and anxiety over the last year. My risk was kissing and fingering, but it was very brief, one off, in/out for couple of seconds. Nothing alerted me then as i wasn't educated how hiv transmits. After few months I started reading about STIs because I had some strange things happening with my body. I then got worried that this guy could have had blood on his finger, which I didn't see and this is how he's infected me. Since then HIV became a phobia for me. I was spending hours reading online. I was so scared to go and test. Finally, after months of agony, I went to test - exactly 8 months since the fingering episode. I went to a clinic and had a rapid test done - Insti. Then they also drew blood from my arm for normal lab testing. The Insti was negative. Few days later i called the clinic, the other test was also negative. They tested me for syphilis, Hep B and C - all negative. This was back on April. I calmed myself for some time but now the fear is back and the questions...What if I am one of these people who serocnvert later than 6 months, even a year...What if the tests weren't done properly.....What if they gave me someone else's results...etc. I don't want to live like this anymore. 
Please, tell me is there anything that can cause my tests at 8 months to be false negative. I did one rapid test - INSTI and one where blood was taken from the vein. I was told it was IVth generation test, Abbott Architect Combo Ag/Ab. Both came negative. 
Please, just spare me a minutes and tell me what you think. Thank you! I am terrible worried I could have not been identified as positive and have also infected my 3 years old child, who's been on and off sick for 3 months now. My life is hell and I can't stand living like this anymore. Thank you all for your help and thoughts in advance. 

Best Answers

  • Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
    Accepted Answer
    Hey, @CookieMonster
    Thank you for your comment. I don't want to be retested as this causes me great deal of stress and anxiety, which I can't take at this moment. I have been tested with two different test, and if tests are reliable, why would there be a reason to repeat them again and [email protected]_Nettie
    I have variety of health issues which make me worry and as you can imagine, every single one of these is linked to HIV. For example, I currently have vaginal thrush and this is one of the symptoms. That is why I better don't discuss them as there is no point in [email protected]_Nettie
    All I wanted to know is if I have put myself at risk from what I did and is there any possibility for two test after 8 months to be false negative. 
    @Nurse_Nettie already replied and I am not sure how to leave a comment for her to thank her. 
    Thank you, @Nurse_Nettie! And thank you @CookieMonster

  • MintMilanoMintMilano Posts: 181 Mod Squad
    Accepted Answer
    Hi @Poppy15, I think Nurse Nettie answered some of your questions here.
    She is right, your test result would be accurate, and from what you've described there doesn't seem to be any risk of HIV transmission at all. You might be experiencing symptoms like vaginal thrush, but that can occur as a condition in and of itself, completely unrelated to HIV. 


  • CookieMonsterCookieMonster Posts: 104 Mod Squad
    Hey @Poppy15
    Tests are pretty on point now days. I am like you and freak out when the slightest thing changes in my body and assume the worst possible thing could happen!! If you are really worried you can always go to another clinic and get re-tested.

    @Nurse_Nettie will be able to help more about false negative tests as I really don't know much. If you feel comfortable could you maybe let me know more about the symptoms you are experiencing that made you think you may be HIV positive?

    Also, it is extremely rare to pass it into a child as it is usually passed on through breast feeding/ Child birth or during pregnancy. 
    You may want to read the HIV fact sheet as well if you would like?

  • Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
    Anyone any more comments, please? Thank you. 
  • PurplePurple Posts: 90 Mod Squad
    Hi @Poppy15, Nurse Nettie answered your question on your other post and I would completely trust their judgement in saying that you do not have HIV. It's really normal to be anxious about STIs but if you feel like the anxiety is taking over and preventing you from living your life, I'd suggest you perhaps speak to your GP to organise a mental health care plan and you can have some sessions with a psychologist who can help you manage how you're feeling. 
  • Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
    Thank you, @Purple and @MintMilano for your answers. Your comments and support are really helpful but i can't stop worrying about false negatives. I know HIV tests are the most accurate tests for any medical condition but can's seem to accept this. As most of you suggest, my other problem is anxiety. I will speak to my GP to see what my options are for getting help...
  • RoseHillRoseHill Posts: 71 Mod Squad
    Hang in there @Poppy15 ! You're not alone in being nervous about STIs! From the sounds of it, you're definitely in the clear but I understand it doesn't always take away the worry. I've been so anxious during a pregnancy scare once that I took two home tests and even went to the GP just to be sure I was negative! 

    I agree with @Purple to seek out a GP/counselor - sometimes it just helps to hear it from a medical professional and they can help you feel comfortable moving forward to know that you're taking all the necessary precautions. 
  • Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
    Thank you, @RoseHill, I have spoken to medical professionals and health advisers. All of them say that the tests can't be wrong when done at the right time. I simply can't accept this. I feel that I am one of the rare, unlucky people who never test positive. I feel so desperate. The answer is go and test again if you don't believe, but I am just so scared to test again, as I fear that I will finally see the positive results :( 
  • Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie Posts: 319 Mod Squad
    @Poppy15 I can hear how painful this is for you. I want to make clear that the problem isn't actually about HIV, but about anxiety. There is no risk that you have HIV so no reason to test again. But besides that, the first negative test didn't make these worries stop & I don't think a second one will either. 

    The anxiety you're experiencing sounds like it's having a pretty big impact on your life. If it's affecting how you sleep, how you eat & how you feel day-to-day, that itself is health condition that deserves some care. You don't have to suffer through this on your own. There is help. Talk to your GP for a referral to a psychologist, call Beyond Blue or check out understandinganxiety.wayahead.org.au/ for more info.

    Thank you for sharing your experience here. I'm sure that there will be lots of people reading this who will know exactly what you're going through. Health anxieties are really common & so painful. I know we're all hoping you find some relief soon!
  • Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
    Dear @Nurse_Nettie, I can't express how much I appreciate your help and support. You have been extremely nice and helpful to me, for this I am so grateful, you are such a wonderful person. Thank you for being here for poor worried souls like me. I am sure many more are in the exact same situation as me. 

    I completely agree with you. Anxiety is a very bad ongoing condition, affecting the quality of life and can drive you insane. I feel drained by the constant negative thoughts. I can see that this has caused me great deal of stress leading to all sorts of physical problems and symptoms. 

    I have listened to your advice and I have started seeking help. I spoke to my JP and I am going for detailed assessment, so they can refer me to the right place where I can get more support. I guess the first step is recognizing the fact that anxiety is my actual problem. 

    You are absolutely right about the tests. I have done two different tests beyond the longest window period (6 months) and they have not provided any relief for me. I am absolutely dreading going for another test as I know this will not help. In my mind, if I go, this time I will test positive and this will be the end. So I am trying my hardest to keep away from extensive testing. 

    I will follow your advice and will seek help for my anxiety and depression. I need to get out of this hole mainly for my daughter. She is the most wonderful child and she deserves a sane mother, who can take good care of her. Right now I know I am not there for her 100% because my mind is preoccupied with these dark thoughts. I don't enjoy life anymore, I am not interested in anything and all I can think is HIV. I wake up and go to bed with this one thought in my head and this has to stop. 

    With your help and support I know I will get there. I also hope my experience will help others in my situation. We are humans, we make mistakes and we have to learn to forgive ourselves, learn from these mistakes and move on to be better people. 

    I hope you don't mind me updating you on my progress. Your help has been enormous and I wish I could hug you for all you have done. People like you are rarity and I am glad I came across this forum. 
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart! x 
  • Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie Posts: 319 Mod Squad
    @Poppy15 I'm so glad to hear you're taking steps to look after yourself. And yes, keep us updated! You're always welcome here :)

  • Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
    edited 19-01-2018
    Thank you, @Nurse_Nettie
    Last thing I need your advice on - most people who know about my problem suggest I should go for another test, just to convince myself that I am truly negative. Do you think I should go? I just fear it will have the opposite effect and make me worry more. I will, if there is a change that the tests are false negative, this is the responsible thing to do, because of my child...
    Thank you again for your ongoing support! 
  • PurplePurple Posts: 90 Mod Squad
    Hi @Poppy15, based on what Nurse Nettie has said and that there is absolutely no chance you are HIV positive, I personally wouldn't go and have another test because as you said it may have the opposite effect. I think you should tackle the problem of your anxiety first and foremost and perhaps organise to meet with your doctor. You don't have to live like this and there is lots of help available. I myself have suffered from anxiety in the past so know how painful it can be, but with the right support you can find some peace. 
  • Poppy15Poppy15 Posts: 9 Newbie
    Thank you for the support and encouragement, @Purple
  • Nurse_NettieNurse_Nettie Posts: 319 Mod Squad
    @Poppy15 There is definitely no need test again, in fact, I would advise against it! Agree with @purple, get support for the anxiety :)

Sign In or Register to comment.