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HIV Prevention Message Board

HIV Prevention Board Index

I know test anxiety is a common subject here, and I'm trying not to overreact but I don't have anyone to talk to about this so I thought I'd post here.

I'll be getting a major physical soon as a requirement for a new job. This includes an HIV test. The only one I've taken previously was many years ago (about 15) and it was negative.

I've been celibate for the last 3 years as I don't do casual sex. Prior to that, I had four boyfriends over the course of the last 10 years, no unprotected sex with the last three and a couple of incidents of unprotected sex with the one I broke up with in 1995. Prior to him, I was engaged from 1989 to 1993 and had unprotected sex with my fiancee. None of my exboyfriends nor my ex-fiancee have come to me and told me they are positive, and all are still alive and seem to be in good health.

I've been researching the symptoms of HIV infection on the net (a great way to scare yourself silly), especially the classic symptoms for women. I can't remember the last time I had a yeast infection (maybe 7 or 8 years ago?), and I've only had maybe 3 or 4 total in the last 15 years, all of which went away easily with the standard medication. Pap smears all normal, no STD's, including the results from the one I got this past spring. I also got a full CBC, liver panel, kidney panel, and metabolic tests when I had that pap smear, those came back normal too. I've had infrequent colds/flu, the last one in winter of 2004. I have fibroids, but my gynecologist told me that's not unusual. I've had eczema and senstive skin since I was a baby, which flares up sometimes. And I have two small swollen lymph nodes in my neck that have been there since I had a very bad bout of tonsillitis when I was a teenager, they never fully went away.

I know all this sounds like I'm basically normal, but I've read that people can be asymptomatic for years, get a "routine" HIV test, and end up with a positive result. That terrifies the heck out of me. So I'm wondering, what are the chances that I could be infected? My skin is so sensitive sometimes, and I know the eczema and work stress could be the cause, but I also know that rashes are a symptom of HIV infection. Is it possible to be asymptomatic for 10+ years (my last likely possible exposure) and still be positive? Even though my lymph nodes have been there for years, could they mean something dire? Sometimes they change in size a little, but they haven't gone away and it's been more than 20 years since I got my tonsils out! And is it possible to have normal bloodwork across the board (including WBC, lymphocytes, basophils, monocytes, eosinophils, and neutrophils) and still be HIV positive?

Sorry if I sound ridiculous or like a hypochondriac. But the closer my physical gets, the more scared I am. I'm having trouble sleeping and I can't concentrate. Any feedback would be soooooo appreciated!

Thank you.

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