I have such a fear of contracting HIV. But I have never used any drugs in my life and have never had unprotected sex (I am heterosexual) BUT it seems like I just can't get the idea of me becoming infected out of my head!
For example, the other night I was walking with my friend and he pointed at a good amount of fresh blood on the sidewalk and he said he saw two guys fighting 15 minutes earlier in the spot. My feet are covered in cuts and mosquito bites and I instantly walked away and checked my feet on a bench and it looked like I had nothing on me so I continued with my night no problem. But as the days go bye I keep thinking more and more "What if a little bit of blood splashed into one of my cuts and I didn't even notice" or "what if I stepped on some with my sandal and it came over my sandal to my feet." I am driving myself crazy. I read that HIV cannot infect outside of it's host but then I see websites of doctors saying that this scenario would be possible to infect. I just want to get rid of this phobia, it really ruins my life sometimes :/
I'm constantly amazed that with the wealth of information available for HIV prevention, so many people remain ignorant of the facts. (Ignorant does NOT mean stupid)
Besides getting information from your local HIV/AIDS centers, or the HIV Hotlines available in virtually every community, one of the best educations you can get is simply spending time reading the posts on our HIV Prevention Forum. Teak and Lizzie Lou are two of the most highly knowledgeble people about every single aspect of HIV and the education they provide is the most up to date and accurte information available. I can't urge you strongly enough to spend time over there just reading and learning.
As to your recent scare, you had NO RISK! You were wearing sandals and even if your feet had cuts and mosquito bites, even if some of that blood got inside your sandal, (My God, just how deep WAS this blood?) you still had NO RISK. Since that blood had been there for at least 15 minutes, even if it was infected blood, after 15 minutes the virus would have been long dead. It cannot survive outside the human body and contact with air kills it within seconds. HIV can ONLY be spread INSIDE the human body. This blood was OUTSIDE the human body. (Yours!) NO RISK.
There are THREE ways you can contract HIV. I will list them here and if you do not see yourself in any of these groups, then get on with your life, which hopefully will include HIV education.......................
1) UNPROTECTED anal/vaginal sex with an HIV+ partner
2) Sharing drug works (needles) with an HIV+ person
3) HIV+ mother to her unborn child
Stay off the HIV websites that aren't connected with either the CDC, The Mayo Clinic or the National HIV/AIDS Foundation.
Spend time reading on the HIV Prevention Forum.
If you cannot overcome this phobia on your own, then you need to get into therapy for your health anxiety. You can deal with it head on or you can continue to let it control and ruin your life.
Would that be Door #1 or Door #2?
thank you for your response, you were very helpful. I just need to try and be strong and remember it is only passed through those 3 ways. I just don't know how to shake the hypotheticals you know? For example, today I was walking home and I felt a drop of liquid land right under my eye. I looked up and it was not raining at all, blue sky's, but I was near a building that had a lot of air conditioners in it so it must have been water from it. But my irrational thoughts tell me "what if somebody was near a window and their blood or semen fell out and landed right in my mucous membrane (because hypothetically this scenario could lead to infection, although essentially impossible and has probably never happened)" It is stuff like this that drives me crazy. Sigh...one day I'll move on I hope.
The "hypotheticals" are all in your head and your post only confirms to me just how badly you need to get into therapy. In therapy you WILL rid yourself of the kind of thinking that is making your life a living hell.
You say that "one day I'll move I hope." Don't just hope, MAKE it happen! Get a reference from your doctor or your local HIV Hotline for a therapist who deals with a lot of HIV/AIDS patients and find some peace of mind!
Keep reading the three ways you can aquire HIV and try to accept how SAFE you are.
Please get help.
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