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OCD and ANXIETY NEED TO MOVE ON WITH LIFE
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OCD and ANXIETY NEED TO MOVE ON WITH LIFE

Dear Doc,

I am a male, 33 years old, married with two beautiful kids in a comitted relationship living in Mumbai, India. There has been no incident in the past which I would consider risky for HIV transmission.

I got myself tested in April 2010 for HIV casue I felt a needle exposure had caused it (previous blood draw/phlebotomy).  The test ofcourse came out negative! Then I thought I was infected by this phlebotomy procedure so I waited 3 months and got myself retested for HIV along with HBSAG on July 1, 2010. Test came out negative. This time I even saw the phlebotimist opening the needle from needle pack! I even smsed him later that was the needle new and he replied in the affirmative. I was relieved but this crazy thought keep pestering me what if I am still infected??

So finally after 6 months again that is on January 5th 2011 I got myself tested for HIV, Hbsag and HCV and this time I held the needle packet (TOP brand, winged infusion needle set with a BD adapter) to see if it is sealed or not. After that the phlebotomist opened th packet and worked in such a fast manner that before I realised, the blood was drawn. I again smsed him asking whether the needle set was opened from the new, valid, sealed pack infront of me and he replied in a single word YES. Ofcourse all the tests were negative!Doc why do I keep thinking this way?I am restraining from having sex with my wife should I continue.
please give me your advise as I value them a lot. I have all these reports lying infront of me stating my negative status and just want this thought to go away?

All the tests were undertaken at NM Pathalogy lab, Khar - west branch.

I feel this has become an obsession. I keep writing on different forums like thebody and to the pathlab and keep awaiting their response. It has become a dialy ritual in my life. I await your immediate reply to ease me.

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Hello.

The answer to your current situation lies in the last paragraph of your post here. More lab tests and assurances from different people, including me, are not likely to ease your anxiety, which seems to be unhealthy.

The extreme anxiety related to the needle/phlebotomy and HIV is suggestive of a possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Of course, you should not consider this opinion as a diagnosis. You will need to see a mental health professional to get a clinical evaluation and diagnosis.

To answer your question more specifically, these repeated attempts to ease the anxiety could be coming from deep seated fear of uncertainty. One of the ways to face your fears is to be proactive. Seek help of a counselor in your area and talk about the problem. Explore your thoughts and beliefs about the worst case scenario (what if your test were, in fact, positive!). You might have to add a few anti-anxiety medication(s) for some time to take care of the unhealthy anxiety that might interfere with the therapy/counseling.  

Hope this helps.
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