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Antigen P24 vs Antibodies - Seronegative Infection

Hello,
Sorry for my poor english.

I want to share my story with you as I still believe I'm infected with HIV due to my unexplained symptoms and recent happenings with my girfriend. This is kind of complicated so I will try to keep it short:

Exposure:
October 11, 2014 - penetration without condom, I don't know the status of the girl.

Symptoms:
1. Mouth ulcers (in first 2 weeks)
2. Oral thrush/candidiasis (diagnosed by dentist and a doctor - by 1 1/2 month to 3 months)
3. Loss of appetite and weight (4kg - by 2 months)
4. Vomits (mostly by morning or by meals - food smell I guess)
(These symptoms last from 2 to 3 months after exposure - I felt really down, always tired and sleepy.)
--
5. Angular cheilitis (at 5 months)
6. Oral thrush (again at 9 months)

Tests done:
4th generation test (Antibodies + P24 Antigen) taken at 3, 6 and 9 MONTHS post exposure - all came back negative.

THE ISSUE:
After the 6 month negative test I promise myself that I would move on, which I indeed did - I got a new girlfriend, she is amazing and I love her for real!

I thought I had left the HIV paranoid behind me after the 6 month mark test, but then I slept with her (my new girfriend) for the first time around the 8 1/2 month post my exposure - protected penetration, unprotected oral sex (she performed on me). She became sick (flu-like symptoms) after one week of that same night (the night we engaged sex). What scares me the most is that it's summer time over here and she got really sick: sore throat, runny nose, headaches and pain in the muscles and back. She also got constipation and pain in the tummy by the second week.

As you can guess, I am again terrified. I'm starting to think that I'm one of those rare cases that one does NOT develop antibodies at all (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/724575_3). I know the chances are very low, but what if...? I mean, I had a lot of symptoms and now this happens - I don't know what to do. I fear for this girl, as I love her and she is the last person that I want to hurt, and now I believe I may have infeceted her with HIV. I know this sounds crazy, I need help...

I went for another 4th generation test at 9 months - negative, but I recently developed oral thrush again. Can this be because of my anxiety?

I already have scheduled a new medical appointment to see what my doc says, but, please, comment my story as I feel horrible... and I can't wait any longer. I just want to be happy and don't think of this anymore.

Other specific questions if you have the time and knowledge to comment properly:
1. Let's say that my body is NOT producing enough antibodies to be detected on the test, would the antigen P24 still be present?
2. Having in mind my 3 negative tests, can I be sure that I'm negative? Or should I go for PCR-RNA? Would this one be 100% accurate?

Thanks for your time!

Yours,
Terrified guy
15 Responses
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Avatar universal
Whatever you are feeling is NOT HIV.  You are conclusively negative.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi James,
Thanks for your time.

Have you read the recent happening I mentioned? I feel very stressed for my girlfriend.

In addiction, this oral thrush is making me really anxious again. I'm healthy, I don't do drugs, I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, I practice a lot of sports (like crossfit and soccer) and I eat healthy and fresh food. What else could be the reason? Stress?

Also, can you please adress this question?
1. Let's say that my body is NOT producing enough antibodies to be detected on the test, would the antigen P24 still be present?

Thanks in advance!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Antigens appear once antibodies attach to them.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Are you sure?
I would say that it is the other way around...?

Antigens appear as they are part of the virus and then antibodies start to be formed as a reaction to this.

"The role of antibody is to bind with the P24 antigen and inactivate them."
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I meant to put disappear.  Please forgive me.  I was not paying attention.

You are conclusively negative.  HIV is not your issue.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
No worries, that makes sense now!

Hypothetical question:
Let's say that I am infected and I'm not developing antibodies. Would the antigen P24 be detectable by 3 months?

In other words: if producing antibodies is a reaction to the virus and if there is no answer from the body, then the P24 antigen would still be there, right?

Thanks again for your answers. As you can see, I'm really paranoid!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Your scenario is not occurring.  If it were HIV, you would've tested positive by any test at 3 months.  HIV is not your problem.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Please, take a look at this:
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/724575_3
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Enough please
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Vance,

Apologies. I understand that I'm asking detailed questions, but i'm only doing so because I am really stressed. I wake up and go to bed thinking on this, HIV is seriously affecting my professional and personal life.

I just need some answers to get some rest...and move on.

Please, can you adress this question?
"Let's say that I am infected with HIV and I'm not developing antibodies. Would the antigen P24 be detectable by 3 months?"

Million thanks in advance!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
YOu are asking repetitive questions.
Antigens are not detectable after about 1 month, after that antibodies are. YOUR BODY DOES AND WILL PRODUCE ANTIBODIES. YOU DON'T HAVE HIV.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am because I was not getting a straight answer to my question. It seems that you and James are not understanding my question.

I know that usually people develop antibodies within 3 to 4 weeks after exposure and because of that, antigen is no longer present after that time mark.

However, I'm suggesting a scenario where one develops antibodies later or does not develop antibodies at all (there are clinical reports of these cases - 25 cases to be exact).

Let's imagine that one starts developing antibodies at 3 months. Would the antigen P24 still be there from 2 weeks to 3 months? Is there a gap beetween one and other?

From what I understood, by reading medical articles, the antigen ONLY disappears after antibodies are formed...

Thanks again for your comments!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
P24 antigens lasts mostly for 4 weeks and in rare cases 6 .so relax .official window period is 12 weeks but u have tested out till 9 months . What more can u ask for
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for your kind answer!

I'm still feeling worried for my girlfriend though. She got seriously ill one week after we engaged sex - it's summer over here.

I don't know what's going on :(
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Not HIV
Helpful - 0
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