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Hi there, and thanks for writing in.
The window period (time between when a person comes in contact with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) and when the STI will show up on a test) for HIV is 3 months. If you have had a negative HIV antibody test 3 months or more after the encounter, this means that you do not have HIV.
Actually I can see that you have written to us previously with this same question. It is very difficult to live in a place where there is still a lot of stigma around HIV. It is also difficult to function in everyday life when we feel this much anxiety. It seems from your question and from the number of times that you have posted that question, that you are feeling a lot of anxiety about the possibility of an HIV infection. The fact is, you’ve had a negative test result more than 3 months after the encounter. This means that you are HIV negative.
The symptoms that we sometimes see associated with HIV seroconversion are what we call non-specific symptoms. This means that while swollen lymph nodes can be present with an HIV infection, for example, they can also be present with a multitude of other harmless things, such as a common cold.
Interestingly enough, all the symptoms that you’ve described to me can also be attributed to high levels of continued stress and anxiety. When we are feeling particularly anxious we don’t sleep. And when we don’t sleep, we get sick. When we are worried, maybe we don’t eat a normal healthy diet. And when we don’t eat, we lose weight.
In sexual health, we often meet people who are experiencing anxiety about an infection, but when we talk about it further, we discover that the actual feelings are around a new or different sexual encounter that the person feels unsure or ashamed about. I cannot determine exactly where your anxiety is coming from, but perhaps this is true for yourself.
At this point, I would strongly recommend that you see a professional counsellor or a healthcare professional about the level of anxiety you are feeling. Sometimes talking through these things in person can be helpful and counsellors have a lot of different tips and tricks to help people work through their anxious thoughts. In any case, further testing for HIV will likely not be helpful at this time, and will indeed most likely be more harmful to your mental health.
Let us know if this does not answer your question or if you have any more questions or concerns.