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    Why am I convinced?
    Mkxoxo3 posted:
    So I had a possible exposure back in August. Unprotected straight sex, one time. From this horrible decision I contracted hsv 1. I tested 4 weeks after, 12 weeks after and again last week. All negative but I cannot accept that answer for I'm having so many symptoms. The main one is swollen neck lympnodes that have been present for months. My doctor doesn't seem to be concerned and I've seen 2 other doctors in the practice who feel the same. What is m problem? Why am I convinced I have it and that it's just not detectable yet? Is there a chance I actually do have it? Someone help me
    georgiagail responded:
    Repeat after me......

    Testing beats checking symptoms each and every time.

    You have consistently tested negative for HIV. You are HIV negative.

    HSV is FAR easier to transmit than HIV (requiring only contact with skin/mucous membranes for transmission). Thus, FAR more people carry this virus than do HIV.

    Why do you remain convinced you have it? We cannot tell you why. Perhaps your straight sex encounter involved stepping out of an committed relationship or perhaps involved a sex worker and part of all of this revolves around guilt over the event?

    Mkxoxo3 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Of course there's guilt involved. No workers. It was a night out with my girlfriends that went a little too far. I'm a young professional mother and I think I'm beating myself up. My parents want me to speak with a therapist to try and work all this out. For someone reason though I can't let it go. I research the medication I feel I will need to take. I treat myself like I already have it. It's just awful. I'm abstaining from sex til 1 year and will test one final time. If that's negative then I know I need to accept it. I've always had a good immune system so that's why I feel like maybe it's not able to be traced yet??
    georgiagail replied to Mkxoxo3's response:
    This is not how HIV testing works. Screening tests check for antibodies the immune systems begins to produce after it becomes aware that transmission has taken place. Screening tests do not check for the actual presence of the virus.

    If one has a good, strong immune system they are MORE likely to produce these antibodies than someone who has a poor immune system affected by other serious medical issues such as having had an organ transplant or have recently undergone chemotherapy.

    Thus, if this event did leave you infected there is absolutely no doubt your test results would have been "reactive" (i.e., "positive") for these antibodies.

    I hope this makes sense.

    Mkxoxo3 replied to georgiagail's response:
    Thanks Gail. It does make sense. I'm clearly no expert when it comes to hiv. Now just worried why these lymph nodes in my neck have been swollen for months...
    georgiagail replied to Mkxoxo3's response:
    Lymph nodes in the neck tend to the close to the surface of the skin (more so if someone is slender). They can be felt very easily just by pressing lightly below the jawline. Because of this, they can seem swollen even when they are normal. Most of us don't even notice them until we might read about swollen lymph nodes and HIV; then poking at them to check them out can make them a bit tender, increasing the worry that they must be swollen due to infection.


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