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So scared right now, need support.
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16 months ago, I made a huge mistake. I had unprotected sex with a man that I didn't know. I was in the UK at the time. He insisted he was clean, and not a drug user but he was a Rastafarian so he did smoke a lot of pot. He also sold drugs and said he could get anything. He swears he was not a needle user and even showed me his arms with NO track marks.

I came home so disgusted with myself and scared to death. I had all of the STD tests done except for an HIV test as at that time it was to soon. Now I waited so long I am more scared than ever.

I have been feeling ok except these last few weeks I have developed a dry cough and a dry mouth.

I have been on a beta blocker and zanax for the last six months due to my panic disorder that I have battled for 25 years on and off. I am not sure why these drugs would suddenly start causing a dry mouth like I have.

My mouth burns, and I sometimes taste metal in my mouth and feels very dry. It seems the more that I stress over it the worse it gets. It does improve when I eat food.

I know that a dry cough and dry mouth are HIV symptoms and I am so afraid.

I want to take a home test but I am still terrified.

Please someone help me, I am at my wits end here. I live in Canada.
Posted on 06/25/07, 02:08 pm
11 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Reply
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Reply #1 - 06/25/07  4:09pm
" Hi ya Big,,,

Im sorry that your feeling this way but PLEASE BELEIVE ME,, there are NO definitive symptoms of HIV,,, the only way to know is to have a proper HIV test carried out.

I would suggest that the symptoms that you are experiencing are nothing more than stress and fear related.

Honestly,, just because you have a cough or a dry mouth,, it does not mean that you are or have been infected with HIV.

I know its easier said than done, but please try to relax,, take the test and then take it from there.

If you want to chat further then please feel free to contact me, i can pass you my e-mail and we can chat.

I have been Poz for nearly two years now, and although not an expert, i have a very large network of friends tha will be able to answer 99% of your questions.

xx "
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Reply #2 - 06/25/07  5:23pm
" What Andy said. You have only a very very small chance of being exposed to HIV, which, incidently on the scale of things is quite a hard virus to catch. The only way to put your mind at rest is to get the test done. Andy has already said it, but the symptoms of HIV infection are a bit random to say the least, and dry cough and dry mouth could be laid at the feet of any number of problems, including side effects to current drugs.
Personally i wouldnt recommend a home test, as you are then not able to access the personal counselling available. In my experience this counselling is offered regardless of the outcome of the test (altho i guess the type of counselling is very different).
The important thing is not to get to worked up, go and get the test done and Im sure your mind will be put at ease.
A word of warning though while surfing the net for answers...there are a LOT of very unhelpful sites out there so be at best sceptical of some of the things you read. From what I have seen of this site, it leans towards support for people affected by HIV, rather than definitive medical answers to symptoms, drugs, OI's or an other medical matters.

I have been poz for 5 years now, and I have seen a lot of junk on the internet regarding HIV, and I have only spent any time on 2 of the websites visited...This one (lots of friendly supportive people :) ) and which I visit for specific info.

Take care, and stay in touch :) "
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Reply #3 - 06/25/07  6:19pm
" The above posts gave you some good advice. I had AIDS and am still here and doing fine without the antiretroviral medications so I wouldn't get to worked up about it even if you were positive, which I don't think that you are.

I too would recommend an at home test if you feel that it is necessary to test because if you are positive you life will change drastically for the worse. "
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Reply #4 - 06/25/07  6:35pm
" Thank you Andy, Bonkers and Number1Healthy. The support and kindness goes a long way and I do feel stronger now knowing that there are people out there to support me.

I will get tested tomorrow at a clinic and put a rest to this once and for all.

I will post back the results. I am hoping to get a fast response test done. I don't think I could wait a week, to much time for me to have even more panic attacks brought on now by this stress.

Thanks again everyone. "
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Reply #5 - 06/26/07  2:45am
" Andy is right the only way to know is with a proper test. There are many symptoms that could be anything other than HIV. It took me a long time to get up the courage to be tested. I could not sleep at night wondering do I have it, I only slept with him ONCE. I was scared when the test results came back positive, that was 12 years ago. I spoke with my dad because i knew I was going to die right away. He reminded me that I might get hit by a bus leaving his house who is to say being HIV positive is going to take my life? Please be tested and know that the stress you feel now might go away if it is negative. It might get worse if it is positive but in time life will settle back down. "
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Reply #6 - 06/29/07  4:50pm
" I finally got the courage today and had the test done. They said I could not get the results back today and it took take up to a week.
My anxiety level just reached a new all time high.
I had gone to the hospital the other night due to my panic and this dam dry mouth. They would not test me for HIV as it was not considered an emergency.
They did test me for Diabetes and anemia. I was fine on those tests.
They also said my moisture level in my blood was fine so my dry mouth really doesn't exist. I have been smoking a lot more than usual lately which might be the reason for feeling this way. My dry cough seem to be going away.
I do not have thrush so that is good news.
I am so anxious right now, I think I will go and skim leaves off of the pool for a while to try to distract myself.

Thank you for the continued support. "
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Reply #7 - 06/29/07  8:43pm
" Good for you hun, well done,, I can only imagine what was going through your mind,, but as I have said,,Im sure you will be ok,, just try not to stress about it,,

xx "
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Reply #8 - 06/30/07  5:26pm
" The medical office called me today, it's good news..I am negative.
I just wanted to thank each and everyone of you that gave me such encouragement in my darkest hours of my life.
I feel happy with my luck, and really it was only luck that I was spared this. Many of you have not been so lucky, for that I vow to never forget this or you.
I also want to say that all of you are in my thoughts, heart and prayers.

I pray one day this desease will be wiped out completely and a cure will truely be found.

May God lay his healing hand on each and every one of you and provide healing, health and long lives.

I can not fully at this moment, express to each of you my love, compassion and support I feel for you.

I sent to you all a group hug, kisses and more hugs. "
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Reply #9 - 06/30/07  5:47pm
" Yay!!!!
Congrats you. Im really pleased for u.

On a more sombre note tho, please be safe in future, I know you will anyway, but spread the word, HIV/AIDS hasnt gone away.

Dont be a stranger, keep in touch from time to time and take care. :) "
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Reply #10 - 06/30/07  5:51pm
" Thank you Bonkers, yes you are right. I have been forgiven my both God and my husband, I need to now start working on forgiving myself.
I can tell you one thing, I gave up drinking over this. Alcohol is the main reason for my stupidity, I shall not forget or repeat what I did.

Like I said, I am just one of the lucky ones, it could have gone either way for me.

I will not forget. "

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