Talking about home testing for HIV

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extreme anxiety

Hi, been suffering from very extreme anxiety for more than a year. It all started with a white coated tongue and visual problems and fatigue, which sent me into a spiral of anxiety. I have since developed other symptoms such as persistent, very mild headaches, pains in my shoulder and kidney region, hives rash (which as now gone after using a skin cream). In the worst and early period of my anxiety I suffered from frightening flashes and noise in my head when falling asleep (exploding head syndrome). I have had extensive neurological and kidney tests done which showed nothing. The diagnosis made by all the consultants involved (and my GP) is anxiety.

My exposures (3 or 4 oral sex exposures with female sex workers) were between 4 and 9 years ago, since then no more exposures whatsoever. I have had 3 negative biosure tests and 1 negative hiv antibody test (laboratory blood test). Doubts about my results are making me very, very anxious and depressed. Every new spot on my body, every cough or pain sends me into a new level of fear. I have read similar posts on PEBL but I am not sure how accurate my tests are given that my exposures date from many years ago.

1 Responses

 Used on 17th January 2018

Dear Extreme Anxiety, Thank you for getting in touch, we are sorry to hear your distress and anxiety. The fact that your potential exposures were so long ago means you can rely on your negative test result because the test looks for antibodies to HIV, which will be in your blood by 3 months after infection and will never go away – even if someone is on treatment and has an undetectable viral load, they will still have antibodies to HIV. In addition, the fact that you have performed three tests is really very conclusive. You do not have HIV, so please try hard not to worry. You made the choice to test and this is a truly powerful thing to do, you have taken responsibility and been proactive, so see this as an extremely positive step forwards towards feeling more calm and in control. Everyone makes choices in their life, sometimes these are right and sometimes these are wrong, but it never makes sense to carry them as a burden. Learn from any mistakes you have made, to make different future choices and be kind to yourself. I hope this helps put your mind at rest and you are starting to feel a little better. Take care. Brigette

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