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OCD and Fear of HIV
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OCD and Fear of HIV

Hi All
I am so pleased that I have found this forum, as I feel quite alone and have no-one really to chat to about what I go through except my therapist, but often I think that she is just appeasing me.

My story is that I think that I have had ocd in some form or another for most of my life.  When I was a teenager I suffered from anorexia, which I have heard is a form or an expression of ocd.  And I have always basically been paranoid and very much always assuming the worst.

The latest obsession that I have is HIV.  I had protected sex with a friend of mine over a year ago and am completely convinced that I have now been infected with HIV.  The friend has reassured me time and time again that he is negative and plus we used protection.  But everynow and then my ocd flares up and nothing that anyone says can convince me otherwise.  The friend thinks that I am a complete lunatic and we hardly speak to each other anymore as a result of all this.

This isn't the first time I have thought I have had HIV, in the past I have worried about this and despite negative tests I still remained convinced that I have HIV.

Is there anyone out there who can relate to me?  I would love to hear from you.

Please if you are going to tell me to just have an hiv test, don't respond as even though I know is is the most rational thing to do, I can't.

Thanks
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Avatar_m_tn
I can totally related to what you are going through.  I am there right now.  I am struggling with a one time low risk activity and my OCD is driving me crazy.   I have been going through episodes like this for 15 + years.   I have really good times and really bad times.  HIV worrying has been the focus of it over the past three.   I feel your pain.  Believe me.  
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Avatar_f_tn
It is so nice to know that I am not alone and not a lunatic as well.  I am sorry though that you have to go through it, it is terrible.

I just hate the fact that my mind can't stop imagining the worst case scenario's.  The last 4 or 5 years for me have always been about HIV.  Anytime something happens or there is change in my life my OCD flares up and I almost getting paralysed with fear.
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Avatar_m_tn
Have you tried and type of relaxation CD's?   I have been using this one that has really helped.  I dont have it with me or I would give you the name.   It goes through the process of relaxing and getting the unwanted thoughts out of your head.   The more you try to not think about something the more you do.  You need to learn how to relax when these episodes happen and realize it only negative thoughts.  I know its not that easy and I know they can control you.  I have not by any means perfected this process and more times than not I fall into the OCD, but it does help.  

Just like myself when anxiety or stress enter your life your OCD kicks up.  I have the same issues with HIV.  Except I get tested.  Last year I probably got 4 tests.  Well I hope I am some help to you.  Feel free to keep in contact.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well you are a lot braver than me - at least you get tested.  I am too scared.  Even though the sex was protected and the guy promises and swears on his life that he is negative I am convinced that I am positive.

It is crazy I know all about hiv and what a fragile virus it is etc etc and I love to discuss it.  

I did get tested before this incident, but even then I still don't fully trust the results - is this how you feel?
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Avatar_m_tn
wow i love this site! o knew i would be able to relate to the people on here, but this is incredible. Probably my second cause of panic since I first developed OCD was that I had hiv and whenever i would feel the slightest discomfort i would freak out. Does anyone else worry about heart attacks, cancer, botulism, meningitis, or that there is some form of toxic substance in everything they come in contact with? Not just germs, I'm talking botulism, cocaine, acid, the powerful stuff. But thanx everyone, just knowing that it's normal to be so terrified of this makes me feel more safe.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know what you mean, when I am not focusing on HIV I am convinced I have cervical cancer or something else equally as horrible.

I even sometimes think that I have had sex with someone when in reality I know that I haven't - crazy hey?

I also find it helpful to know others out there like me.

Do you have any hiv tests?
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Avatar_m_tn
I totally understand and EMPATHIZE with all of you.  I have been struggling with this for about 5 years.  Had a risky (well in my insane analytical opinion) experience with a guy.  Got sick afterword...I mean...weird sick.  Vaginal ulcers, fever, etc.  They tested me for everything...herpes, syphillis (syphilis), EVERYTHING.  EVERYTHING was negative.  Never got an answer for what it was, even after multiple doctors and tests.  Convinced myself it was HIV.  Have had (over the past 5 years) 5 negative HIV tests and still can't let it go.  What the HECK is wrong with me?????  Convinced myself I had a rare form that couldn't be identified by current testing (but, is only ever found in West Africans) ridiculous huh?  I have my wedding coming up in 6 months and am so scared I'm not going to be able to enjoy it.

Sad.
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Avatar_m_tn
I hear you. I had a similar experience where I had protected sex with a girl and I worried about it for a year, despite three negative tests. I kept thinking that maybe the lab made a mistake or whatever. Now recently the OCD has been flairing up again. I can't even shake peoples hands or touch doorknobs without thinking about it. The other day I was doing a project for school that invovlved interviewing people. So I talk to this homeless looking guy and he hands me is newspaper so he could fill out a interview sheet for me. Ever since I have been terrified that there might have been blood on the paper and it might have gotten in a cut. At this point everyone thinks im nuts and even im starting to think that. I would love to talk to somebody about this so feel free
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Avatar_n_tn
Everyone who has posted in this forum thus far needs to RELAX.  I can totally empathize with all of you as I too suffer from this seemingly debilitating mental disorder but understand that you DON'T have HIV; you have OCD.

First of all, HIV is EXTREMELY difficult to contract.  Unless you're having daily encounters with prostitutes and using IV drugs, you're 99.999% fine.  If the situations that you have all described were likely paths of transmission, every college campus in America would be completely full of HIV+ students.  Be safe, but don't fret.

Secondly, I understand how these crazy, irrational thoughts defy logic and become very convincing.  I suffer from OCD, and my worry is also HIV despite the fact that I have never taken part in any sort of risky activity.  Touching doorknobs, lifting weights, and using public computers are just three of the various daily activities that have consumed my mind with the thought that I've contracted HIV.  Part of me understands that this notion is absolutely absurd, but the OCD can finds of justifying these irrational truths into my mind.

I have battled this paranoia for a nearly a year now, and I have seen noticeable improvements.  I have tried several meds (SSRI's) but found them to be detrimental by actually exaggerating my OCD thoughts.  I have discovered solace in making sure I'm well rested, seeking therapy and educating myself about HIV transmission routes.

PLEASE realize that you are not the only one suffering from these thoughts.  You need to force yourself to fulfill an enjoyable and typical lifestyle; do not change it because you have a false notion that you have HIV and that you may spread it to someone else.  YOU ARE FINE, just like the majority of your friends, family, etc..  It is when you discontinue these activities and dwell more, that OCD garners more momentum.  That is the fuel to its fire.

You can't go through life with a certain craze because everything we do involves some sort of risk.  I'm continually telling myself that the chances of getting killed in a car wreck are 1000000 more plausible than the chance of contracting HIV through doorknobs, weights, etc.

I know this may seem very frightening but take a deep breath and realize that you're not alone.  You have OCD and nobody is going to get sick from it.  I understand how awful these thoughts can be though and I am willing to answer questions that you may have.  I am simply a law student and thus obviously am far less knowledgeable than a therapist or counselor, but I have spent a lot of time studying and becoming acclimated with the symptoms of OCD (specifically in dealing with HIV).  Enjoy life, you may get hit by lightening tomorrow ;-)
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Avatar_m_tn
Does anybody have any suggestions on how to get rid of anxiety provoking thoughts? I get these thoughts and I literally can't get rid of them until  get an hiv test done. I hate living in fear all the time
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Avatar_n_tn
You need to speak with a counselor and begin undergoing CBT, unfortunately it is unlikely that these thoughts will go away on their own.  An SSRI may be prescribed in the meantime to help you cope.  Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi All, I am glad there are others like me here. I recently strayed outside my mariage and it has killed me ever since. I thought I had HIV from a very very low risk scenario and it drove me nuts for the last 2 months. I went in for an HIV test at 6 weeks and received a negative result but liek the poster above I felt like the nurse wanted to infect me for my horrible choice in life that I made. I started to analyze everything as she left the room before drawing my blood and all the needle were in the room, I keep asking myself why did she leave the room. Maybe she has a needle in the back with blood on it etc. I ddin not watch the needle as I am terrified and of course now it is lingering in my head every second of that 2 minutes (it seems liek an eternity) and analyzing everything with what ifs. My wife things I am over the top ( I have told her everything as I wanted to work on our marriage as we needed it).

DOes this seem like OCD? My doctor has put me on Cipralex and it has helped and I am booked to see a cousleor in 2 weeks. I am hoping these are just obsesive thoughts and when I tell anyone they think I am nuts.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank god, I am not alone. I had an occupational exposure with blood and open wound. It cuased me a lot of stress as my wife was pregnannt and we just had a little girl a few weeks ago. I was so scare of ever passing anything on to them that I became an anxiety and OCD paranoid person looking up absilutely everything. I felt like it was my fault this happened and was very guilty (to feelinnuts, guilt was proably a huge factor in your scenario above as well). I recently went to get tested at the 7 week mark and got in a little spat with the tester as she didnt want to do it ans said to wait three months. Finally she agreed and left the room as well. I started thinking over and over again why did she leave the room, maybe she had some blood in the back and she would show me. I know it is irrational to think this way but I cant stop it. I am also on an SSRI an have cousneling this week for the first time. Does this sound like OCD?
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443136_tn?1210539925
Honey I feel ya, I really do. It doesn't matter how many tests you get done, something so small happens that always makes you think you got it. I've had OCD all my life, I mainly used to be obsessed with my face and taking hours to get ready, but now it's escalated to germs, rituals, intrusive thoughts, etc...But I've had intrusive thoughts all my life. Anyway, I really do know how you feel. It's horrible to wake up everyday and think that you have some horrible infectious illness. Like me, if I get a cut or something, I'm afraid that it'll get on someone and I'll infect them, or even if one of my family members gets cut and blood gets near me, I freak out. Even though I know they don't have anything, my OCD is telling me "Everyone and everything is infectious. Stay away!" I've already had an HIV test because I got cut at a manicurists, it was negative. I was good for about 30 something days, then when I went to a doctor's office and had to get my blood drawn, I noticed they didn't have them in packages like I'm used to at the lab. They were capped, and I even asked if they use clean needles, the nurses laughed at me and made sarcastic jokes (like "oh yeah, I stick everybody then I stick myself"). I noticed her throw away the needle though, but I'm still paranoid. So now I'm counting the months until I can have another test done.

Sorry to go on and on, but I know how painful and annoying it is to be in fear of EVERYTHING. I just hope that everyone suffering from this is able to overcome it and be happy again. It's good to be cautious, but when you have OCD, being cautious turns into a 24 hour job.

Good luck and I hope you get better. I'll be sure to pray for you and everyone else suffering from OCD.
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Avatar_f_tn
I know exactly how all of you that suffer from this particular form of OCD feel, but I am here to tell you that you can get it under control.  Back in the early '90s, I woke up one day with a sore throat and instantly concluded that I had AIDS.  I had test after test after test.  All were negative, but I didn't believe the results. My doctor referred me to a psychologist.  It took me a couple of years (!) talking to the therapist before I could admit that I was convinced I had AIDS.  I knew my thoughts were irrational but was ashamed that I couldn't control them.  Once I admitted it though, she immediately knew that I had OCD and we began the long journey toward recovery.  Between cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication, the OCD began to subside.  Now, 17 years later, I still sometimes think I have AIDS, but the thoughts are fleeting and they don't stick in my head for more than a minute or so.  I still take medication (Lexapro and Remeron) and I still see a therapist, but all of that is more for maintenance than anything else.  No one would ever know that I had OCD.  Hang in there.  Get help.  And start working toward your recovery.  It can be done.
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Avatar_n_tn
okay i dont mean to be a really big jerk... you guys need to CHILL the F*** out =| if you use condoms and they dont break youre 100% protected from hiv. a negative test result after 3 months is conclusive meaning you dont have HIV. im going thruogh the same thing. i dont have ocd though. im just really paranoid.

try meditation it REALLY helps!
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Avatar_f_tn
I can completely relate to what your saying, I am sometimes crippled by the fear that i have HIV or AIDS or Cancer or just about any other life threatening illness.  A lot of people think I'm a Hypochondriac, but its actually my OCD that causes this.  And the only thing worse than the thought of having these illnesses is going to get tested for them.  I get dizzy just thinking about the absolute panic and fear and worrying I would feel waiting for the results.  I know that you can't just rationalise the fear on your own - and even clear test results will be ineffective in the long-term without treatment for your anxieties.  OCD is an illness that won't disappear by sheer will alone.  Also explain to your friend that you don't mean to cause offense, and that your fears are very real to you that are caused by a condition you have, not as a result of anything to do with him or you not trusting him.
  The best thing to do is to go to your doctor and explain the distress your fears are causing you.  Ask to see a therapist or counsellor to help you deal with your worries.
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Avatar_m_tn
I know exactly what you're all going through. I've had 'No Risk' after 'No Risk' situaiton, yet the thought never seems to leave my mind, and I experience paralyzing panic attacks, sometimes even playing games with my body, to the point where I feel psychotic. Best thing to do guys and gals, stay OFF the internet. You cannot self-diagnose. And many sites out there are full of misleading information, that tortures the mind. Right now, I'm going through a heavy OCD phase about HIV, after yes, a No Risk situation, which I put myself in unfortunately. Basically, one compulsion leading into a very harsh obsession of the mind. I've just started Zoloft, and soon I'll be getting CBT, so hopefully that helps. Keep your heads up, and OFF the internet sites.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah, its possible you have OCD, but certainly not a bad thing. Very treatable. My advice, I too smoked a massive amount of pot, and in a way believe it has contributed to my anxiety and OCD issues in my current state.
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Avatar_m_tn
I myself have/had a ZERO  risk exposure, and trouble coping about it. Seems like the internet is a scary place is misinterpretations, I trust in MEDHELP and Aidsmeds, and not the rest of the conservative web, I think a lot of people might benefit from that as well. But all in all, I'd like to help as best as I can with anyone struggling with this phobia.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's so surprising to see that so many people have my problem!
I didn't have this fear at all until my grandad dies and the shock provoked my ocd (which i had badly when i was younger) to flare up again and i went crazy obsessing over hiv.  I got tested and it came back negative but it hasn't stopped me worrying.  I now get fear that someone may have stolen my toothbrush and bled on it and I get scared if I kiss somebody about there being blood present.  I can't let things go.  I just google everything and drive myself mad.  I've read that there has been 1 case of hiv transmission through kissing and now I'm completely convinced that I'm going to be the second!  It's really horrible!
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Avatar_m_tn
Stay off google (theres so much false information out there) Places like medhelp and aidsmeds know the fact. By the way that Kissing transmission was disproved, therefore leaving NO DOCUMENTED CASES. But I know exactly where you're coming from, I had that very same 'no-risk' before, along with my new 'no-risk.' It's harsh.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad to find a site like this. I've been in truamatic episodes of what I think is OCD for I can't really take off the HIV thing out of my head, since March, I will go to sleep thinking about HIV and when I wake up, it is also the first thing on my mind. I had tests March3 and May12 which covered the October2007 (beat the 3 month window period) possible risk i had. both tests were negative. However, i still find some other excuses to prove that I am positive and would want to take another tests. my parents are getting mad at me for torturing myself. I am consideirng getting psych help but sometimes, I am able to control now my fears. the www.thebody.com site is very helpful in staying away with my OCD, read Dr. Robert Frascino. he is the best.

ANOTHER BEST technique that I am doing is this mindset, "at one point in time, we are all going to die anyway one way or another, so why excessively worry about illnesses while we are still alive?" I will admit that i still worry about HIV everyday but not as excessive as 3 months ago. still, this mindset adds more courage to me. if you need someone to talk to, just message me. we can get through this together :)
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Avatar_n_tn
sounds to me that u guys are more scared of being scared about HIV, rather than actually having the disease itself, ie u fear the fear. OCD is far more debilitating that HIV. my friend has hiv, and he is living his life and is quite happy - great job, friends, partner, whereas u guys can hardly function. its tragically ironic. im not having a go, coz i been in the same position as u.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know if I have OCD or not. Let me tell you about my story and let the readers judge it (sorry...I am Asian and English is not my language.hehe)

Last year, I am a sex active gay, having sex with more than 100 guys WITH NO FEAR OF HIV AT ALL! I had oral sex without condom but anal sex with it. One day, I accidentally met my friend who is a medical student and he happened to talk about HIV and said that " Everything is never been 100% protected"....after that, my fear of HIV infection sparkled in my mind and I couldn't get it out from my head. Two weeks after that, I couldn't stand anymore...it was really really annoying and terrible, affecting my life and my work a lot and a lot.

Finally I decied to have my blood tested at the hospital by PCR method. The feelling before knowing the result almost made me die because my heat beat so fast and I felt fatigue and exhausted and couldn't stand. I don't know how to explain literally because I am not good at English...but I could say that it's the most horrifying and worst experience in my life (I still recall how I felt in that situation)...But my blood is NEGATIVE.....I was very glad.....it seemed like I was reborn with new life and all of HIV fears were totally eradicated. I turned to be what I used to be.....

However 2 weeks later, I started to have sex with a guy again...at that time, I think i had to play safe so I felt paranoid at all time. We didn't do anything much, just mutual masturbation with some precum involved. But after that I kept thinking that his precum may permeat into my urethra and caused infection. I tried to get rid off this irrational though as medical reports told that in this world there is no documented case of precum infection although it's possible in terms of theoritical risk. Anyway, the fear was still inside my mind and started to ruin my life bit by bit....So I decided to have my blood tested again and it turned out NEGATIVE....

This is not the end of the story because after that I had sex with a guy. We masturbated mutually and I wore condom on mine, telling him that my penis was hurt (but actually it was not).....when we got done, I came back home and thought that "oh maybe his precum touched my scrotum or the penis base and it could crawled up to the penis head and into urethra.....oh my god...I kept thinking about this again. This time was so bad as I couldn't sleep well, eat well and I had to take leave for 1 week because I couldn't concentrate on my job at all. I had test and it was NEGATIVE as usual.

There were still 2 cases which almost have "ZERO RISK" but I still thought that the risks were still present and I was unlucky to be 1 of 100,000,000 persons to get infected with this incident. I had 2 tests after that and the results were NAGATIVE.

I feel bored and bored....bored with myself and my mind that kept imagining to the worst-case scenario at all times. The recent case is that I had an inflamatory pimple on my arms and when I walked into the bathroom, there was one guy walking past and his wet hand touched my pimple exactly....oh my god! I think "what if that guy stroke his penis and his *** was in his hand that touched my nipple....and so on"..........Now I am serious again......please suggest me what I should do. Should I have a treatment by the the doctor? Now I am 29 years old....my life now is so bad and I don't want to live on!

Thank you very much for every comment afterwards!          
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Avatar_n_tn
To add more information, I used to be a person living my life with joy but last year til now, the outer look is still joyful but I have a lot of pressure, worrying, and anxieties that can't be overcome inside my mind. I dare not have sex with anyone despites the best protection that one partner can do....my worries were wiped away after the blood result turned out NEGATIVE but 1 week after, the OCD came back and I couldn't escape from it...huh....thank you for this thread that can make me more relaxed....and I am willing to share everything with all of you. Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi guys, if anyone is still looking at this thread here's my story and how I deal with these thoughts.

I have OCD with HIV fear aswell, I keep thinking that I've been pricked by an infected needle stick (misinterpreting a sharp sensation like a hair being pulled or a pimple being scratched), sometimes my brain makes up absurd stories of some evil person planting infected needles in places. Along with that I have your garden variety contamination OCD aswell, touching things etc etc, mainly to do with blood and HIV though.

Here are some facts, you can ONLY get HIV through sexual contact or through intimate blood to blood contact i.e. needles. The virus is very fragile and requires a perfect environment to stay viable (which is inside the body) as soon as it is outside the body (whether it be in blood or some other bodily fluid) it is immediately compromised as the changes in tempurature, moisture, pH level, and light levels damage the proteins that allow it to bond to cells to the point of no return. And this happens immediately, so even though the virus itself is still intact for a few minutes before it dries up its capacity to infect is nil because the proteins that allow it to infect are destroyed.

Ok, so knowing these facts helps a little but OCD is still stronger than this logic in most cases.

So here's what you do next, its a version of the worksheet that my Cognitive Behavioural Therapist gave me and its very helpful:

Causal Thought: Write in full detail what the worrying thought is, for example I now have HIV because ... etc etc

1) What evidence do you have to support this thought?
This answer will always be NO, because answering YES would mean that you have already gotten tested with a positive result, that's real evidence.

2) What evidence do you have against this thought?
This is where you can unleash a barrage of attacks against the thought with all the facts and logic you know.

3) What would you tell a friend if they were having this thought?
Allows you to detach yourself from the thought and give yourself therapy. You can use your non OCD logic and even restate some of the things you said in Q2.

4) What would a close family member or friend think and say to you if they knew you had this thought?
This allows you to imagine getting therapy from a close family member or friend.

5) What does this thought do to your life, how does it make you feel?
Makes you realise the extent to which this thought makes your life a misery.

6) What would your life be like if you could let go of this thought?
This question allows you to imagine a life without OCD, it lets you easily see the difference between the answer to this question as opposed to the answer to the previous question. Lets you clearly weigh up the options, keep this thought? or let go of OCD? The choice is a no brainer.

I really hope this reaches someone and helps them.

For minor worries I suggest you read this article:

http://www.anxietyculture.com/worry.htm
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663428_tn?1225666014
As a psychologist let me assure you that you are not alone in your phobia. Let me also assure you that you do not have hiv. Why?
1) You had protected sex NO RISK
2) He said he was - . most people tell the truth and those that have hiv usually do not want to pass it on
3) Millions of people suffer from hiv anxiety. How many turn out to be positive? Far les than 1%
4) Almost everyone who has hiv from sexual contact became infected through several high risk (unprotected encounters)

Put all this together


Any other questions feel free to message me
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm so happy that i found this forum. I've been having Obsessive Complusive thoughts about getting HIV for 4 years now and it has made my life a misery. It started with one incident 4 years ago, when i was drunk and could not remember what had happened even though my girlfriends were with me the entire time and looked after me, taking me home and putting me to bed. I worried that i had been raped and not remembered for 3 years until i got an HIV test and obviously it was negative. During those years i also had fears of HIV from other instances such as using someones toothbrush, getting blood drawn at a hospital, another drunken experience (which occurred at my own home with family) ect. So i was worrying about the initial incident as well as others at from time to time. One worry would over take another. I was convinced i had HIV and startes thinking about it all the time, as well as preforming 'rituals' or wasys of thinking to help me cope. I also had ridiculous ridiculous fears of pregnancy even though i hadn't even had sex and was on the pill!

So after my test a year ago, i thought my OCD would finally be gone and i would have a chance to live my life normally and happily... but i was wrong. I soon found another incident to worry and obsess about, and then another and another...each time thinking I have HIV. I went for a test in August and it was negative,, but this didn't help because before that i had a low-no risk activity and have been worried sick about it ever since. I had the test only 2 weeks after this low risk activity so it wouldn't have been conclusive. Now i am still worrying about it, even though i was adviced by a medical expert NOT to worry i still am, and on top of this I also worry about other instances. It has gotten so bad that sometimes i am convinced i have had sex with somone when i know that in reality i haven't. I even ask them and they think i am crazy. I don't know what to do anymore, I can't live like this anymore. It is really driving me crazy and interfering with my everyday life, it especially affects me when i am stressed or have an important assignment or job to do, or when i am out with friends or trying to sleep.

It seems like i don't want myself to be happy, my mind makes up all these situations and then plays them over and over again. I try not to think about it but i just can't stop. My newest fear is that i have HIV from fooling around with a guy, JUST making out, i know we didn't have sex but my mind wants me to think we did and have started worrying and obsessing again. I sometimes wonder why i have this problem and so many other people get to live their lives in happiness and enjoy waking up in the morning,, when for me it's just another day of obsessing and worrying ahead. I used to be depressed (think i am again) and went on cipralex a year 2 years ago, it helped with my OCD a little but not much, i went off it a few months ago as perscribed by my doctor, but now it seems like everything is falling apart again...i now realise that my OCD is the misery in my life and the cause of my depression and just wish that somone could help me. I'm going to take a test as soon as possible as it has now been three months since the low risk activity, but i will have to wait three months more to stop my newest obsession.

I feellike life is so worthless because it is destroyed with worry, i never live in the present moment, because my mind is in the past or future...worrying. Somebody please offer me advice. Thank you for this forum, i thought ily one in the world.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'd love to share my OCD of hiv too. It strongly have been starting when I had a naked body massage with a sex worker.My condom slipped but I didn't  insert to her.Then I had protected sex.After that I kept fearing if my penis accidently went into vaginal or not.Finally the fear drove me to get hiv test.I remembered extream fear when waiting for the result.

Two years after that accient,I have been living with fear and OCD over many various incidents.For example,receiving handjob with condom,or blood in environmental surfaces.

Two years after that incident,I had around almost 20 hiv and antigen
tests.Every morning when I wake up,I cannot feel like I did before-it's like u have some sadness that can't be cured.

I'd like get over it but not easily.Hope everyone has this OCD find the way to solve it!  
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Avatar_n_tn
HI!

I am in the same situation-is been going on for years and I still fear about HIV transmission. I had 5-6 tests and all came negative (thank god) but something new happens and I am worry again. Is more or less contact with people- shaking hands, needles, people touching me (like in a crowded place), etc etc. I imagine every possible way...I am so scared at times- I am really scared of something happening without me being aware of. The other day I shocke someone hand and I had a cut in my hand, the guy didnt look very healthy and yet I shoke his hand..why did I do that? then I realised how stupid I am to think that I got HIV from a contact (non sexual). Now my mind is playing games with me. I am in a stable relationship - I dont have to worry about the things I used to worry in the past (contracting the disease via sexual contact). but now my mind is saying you can have it any other way.. I am totally losing my mind now.  I am so losing it.

This is a horrible condition,is causing me to have depression and anxiety. If I didnt have this I am sure my life will be different, I will def enjoy life more.

I am so sad, if only I could talk to someone who will understand me :-(

Sarah
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Avatar_m_tn
Sarah,

I was happy to see a recent comment posted about OCD and HIV, and I'm happy to know I'm not the only crazy one out there, but I'm sorry you're going through this awful mental condition.  I just returned from the Gap where I was trying to buy a pair of jeans.  I picked a pair up and then put them down again, only to remember right away that I had a paper cut.  What if the jeans were folded by somebody with HIV and they had a cut where their blood got onto the jeans and then passed into me when I picked them up.  It's a ridiculous premise, but I can't shake it.  I went back over to the jeans to inspect them and they seemed okay.  I'd go back again to re-check them, but I couldn't be sure I would be picking up the same pair.  Probably best not to even consider going back because it just feeds the compulsive end of the OCD.  I, like you, also get the fears after casual contact such as handshakes.  I've had many tests over the years, though none lately and I'm happy for that because I pretty much know what the result will be before I even take the test.

I'm ultimately most afraid of getting HIV from contacts that are not typical sources of transmission, but not knowing it, and then in the meantime I end up infecting someone I care about.  If it was just me, then so be it, but the thought of giving it to somebody else has a paralyzing effect on me.  If you're in a stable relationship, can you take your boyfriend into your confidence and talk to him about it?  If you haven't talked to him about it, it might be worth the risk because he might just turn out to be absolutely understanding and supportive.  

All the best,
Tom



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Avatar_n_tn
A non-sexual experience happened with me a couple of years ago. I shared a "cigarette" with a friend. His lips were bleeding and there was definitely blood on the tip. He passed it to me and I stupidly finished smoking it. Could my lips have been sore at the time? allowing the blood to come into contact with mine? Then there were other times i used to nasally inhale "flour" with friends using the same rolled-up bank notes. The notes doubtless contained their blood on it occasionally. However, I have never injected anything in my life.

I know the chances of meeting someone with HIV in the U.K. are 1 in a 1000 and I know HIV doesn't survive well in the open, but so long as there's a tiny, tiny chance my brain seems to exaggerate the danger. I have OCD. I don't fear having the virus as much as the guilt of passing it onto someone else.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello -

I realize that the most recent comments on this thread are several days old, but I finally managed to tear myself away from the HIV forum to come over here, and this was the first topic I pulled up. I find everyone's posts ridiculously familiar, especially those which relate to acquiring HIV via environmental surfaces (my situation involves menstrual blood on a bathroom stall door, which potentially got onto my hand, then onto a thermometer, then into my mouth when I stuck it in). I have been told DOZENS of times that there is "no risk, no risk, no risk" (from dr.'s, as well as veterans from the HIV Prevention forum), but I CANNOT and WILL NOT allow it to penetrate my brain for any substantial amount of time. I'll do okay for a few hours, even a few days; but within only a matter of time, I'm back online - researching, obsessing, freaking out - and back in front of the mirror, checking for symptoms and taking my temperature at least 15 times a day (I'm currently in the midst of what could be the ARS stage, so I am particularly frantic at the moment). I started therapy for all of this about a month ago (there was, shock of shocks, yet ANOTHER potential HIV-transmission-related incident back at the beginning of March as well) - what I learn there helps for a while, but then I'm right back to Crazy Town soon after. I am hoping that the good days will start to outnumber the bad, STAT!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have never worried about HIV till I had unprotected sex with a guy i was dating. Before this i was always worried i would get pregnant so i asked him to pull out even though i have been on birth control for several years. I went to the Gyno a couple weeks later and found out that I had Gonorrhea. This came as a complete shock to me and i was completely devistated. He was only the second guy i had ever slept with and I have always been somewhat "prudish" when it came to sex. After i found this out i became depressed and got tested for all STDs (some more than once) and all my resaults were negative. I got treated for the Gonorrhea, but my obsession with HIV is holding me back from licing my life to the fullest. I have had two rapid HIV test and they both have come out negitive. I now have a boyfriend who i love, but I am so worried i will give him HIV even though i have been tested twice. Im thinking about going back again, but im trying to tell myself its all in my head. I think about it all the time and im on the internet all the time researching it thinking my past two test could be wrong. I have not told anyone about my Gonorrhea or my obsession becuase i am so ashamed. I think i need to see someone to talk about it, but i think if i just get tested one more time I will be over it.

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923497_tn?1243898324
You just don't know how much I understand.  My situation is slightly different.  I met a guy online, and we were friends for 2 years. He finally came to see me this year and I made him get tested for HIV just in case "the heat of the moment" came up.  He told me the results were negative, but he forgot to bring them with him.  We had sex with a condom and my fears were put at ease when he mailed me the results, showing they were in fact negative.  I went to visit him for my birthday 3 weeks ago, and because I thought we were in a monogomous(although long distance) relationship we didn't use protection.  I didn't start to panic and get frantic until I got back and our relationship aburptly ended.  The day after we broke up, he texted me askin' me what the symptoms of the flu are.  I immediately went into a panic mode and have been ever since.  There were things I found out about him during our courtship(he's slept with a transsexual, he says he used a condom and he got tested after that).  I'm trying to find comfort in the negative test results, but after the betrayal and lies and deceit, I'm scared, especially since he's had flu like symptoms.  His son was sick with a virus, but this doesn't ease my mind.  So I totally understand how you all can feel worried.
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Avatar_f_tn
It's so nice to know i'm not the only one that can't stop thinking about something I know isn't real, I don't want to live the rest of my life not being able to have a healthy sexual relationship because of this.
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Avatar_f_tn
i had unprotected sex about 8 months ago. i gave him a ******** 2 months before i had sex with him. I never swalloed it. i have a tooth that is growing out and every now and then it bleeds. That freak me out ! My last sexual encounter was 8 months ago and since then in may 09 ive got two rapid test orally that came out negative. I was scared that i still had it. So i tested again in june with rapid but this time with blood and that too came out negative. it's been 8 months and i have this fear that my body hasn't made anti-bodies yet? A friend name lizzie lou message me saying that a conclusive hiv result is 3 months after your sexual encounter, that someone else said 6 months so june made it 6 months and am still terrified. it's now july and am worried that maybe 8 months isn't long enough to test for hiv? My doctor told me that i was negative! negative! negative! All three times but i have this fear that anti-bodies can take up to 8 months or longer in aug. am schduled to test am so scared but i pray and pray that God makes my life better and to take any sickness away from my body! Do you think hiv  anti-bodies can take up to 8 months to show up in a person hiv test results. If anyone would answer my thoughts and fears pls do so, it would mean alot to me and would put my mind at ease because i keep having bad dreams that my boyfriend is going to kill me because i gave him hiv! Pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls helppls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help pls help plshelp im worried so much that fdeel like vomiting right now at this moment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
pls i wrote but no one is giving any advice but am so alone and afraid of what if's ? help?
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Avatar_n_tn
a conclusive test is in 3 months. if you're exposure was high, take another at 6 months. after that, it is EXTREMELY rare for the antibodies not show up. I PROMISE, you are good. i too, questioned the window period, and when my ocd gets bad, i still do.

I too, am totally 100% ocd about this. the latest...the guy i was dating for half a year, we had unprotected sex but after negative test results came. i broke up with him last week and now the ocd thoughts of having hiv is back full force. i try to be logical, say he got tested, i saw the results, but still. its a crippling fear that i have had ever since i was 21. i had mono, but the stupid nurse said it sounded like i had the symptoms of hiv even though there was no in the world i could have caught it.  that ruined me. ever since, total cripple fear of it. i have noticed that anytime something bad happens, i go back to that fear and let it overtake my mind. god welling, we will all get past this and have a happy, "normal", long life. this *****.
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993160_tn?1292102264
I honestly don't know what to do.  I haven't been diagnosed with OCD because I haven't been to a therapist.  My primary doctor just laughs at me when I tell her my symptoms.  I was laid off last year and have no health insurance.  I haven't had any since 2004.  I have been suffering on and off since I was a child.  My OCD started to become a real problem around 2000 and it is now debilitating.  I have an extreme fear of blood and other bodily fluids.  I am a germaphobe and cannot be without antibacterial gel and wipes.  I have a fear of contraction HIV and Hepatitis C.  In the past, I have worked in a mail order pharmacy dealing with prescriptions.  So many prescriptions have red and brown or red/brown stains on them.  A co-worker of mine had a major cut on his hand that was actively bleeding.  He did not tell me and he got blood all over the work stations.  I got it on my shirt and who knows where else.  He is an older gentleman and I tried to convince myself I was ok.  I also opened a package that contact a needle.  I don't believe I was pricked with it and had my supervisor deal with it.  I have not been tested because I am afraid that if I don't already have HIV or Hepatitis C, I will contract it when I go to get tested.  I will be starting a 3 month assignment working at another mail order pharmacy scanning prescriptions later this month.  I am scared to death.  I am afraid that I am infecting others.  I am not currently having sex and I do not take drugs.  I am afraid of contact with people.  I can't go grocery shopping.  If I see red on paper, such as when I worked data entry, I assume it is blood because someone else handed me the paperwork and they were an unkept person.  I can't use public restrooms.  I will sooner wear adult diapers than use a public restroom.  I won't eat or drink before or during work so I don't have to use the restroom.  I am at my wits end.  I am so anxiety ridden and stressed out with this work assignment coming up that I cannot quit obsessing and crying.  I have no self worth, self confidence, and hate myself at the moment.  I wash my hands all of the time.  I have only left the house 4 times since December 2008.  I really don't what to do.  My friends don't understand.  My one friend thinks I make it all up.  My family is tired of me.  There are days I wish that I could sleep for a week or more just so I don't have to deal.  I was on zoloft for 6 months.  It didn't help much and I stopped taking it because I would have to get blood work in order to continue taking the zoloft.  I can't sleep because my anxiety and intrusive  thoughts will not let my mind rest.  I really don't know what to do.  Sorry for rambling, but I truly am on the edge of cracking.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Great discussion
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi........From most of the posts above I've noticed that many people who think they might have caught HIV were in 100% no risk situations and had no symptoms whatsoever....

That pretty much proves why I'm so worried and why my situation may unfortunately be more than just anxiety....

I slept with CSW's last june in China.....I used protection, although the condom partially slipped off (I do not recall having my urethra being exposed, nor not having a condom on)
A week after that (which was my first sexual experience, triggered by loneliness and sadness about being turned down by a girl I really, really liked), I started experiencing ARS like symptoms (had a sore throat, noticed a white tongue, felt kind of hot throughout those days, felt a lot of fatigue, felt muscle pain)......

Although most of the symptoms have eased off by now , I'm still tremendously worried...Additionally, I still have some muscle pain, which comes and goes once in a while.....

This whole issue has screwed my summer up.........I haven't been able to enjoy a single day ever since I first felt that soreness in my throat........I posted in medhelp's HIV forum and was repeatedly told that I had no risk and hence, whatever symptoms I might have expierenced were not HIV related......However, I still have some doubts whether the condom did stayed on throughout the intercourse..........

In any case, this whole mess has effectively screwed up my ability to enjoy sex in the future...............I'm a nerve-wreck right now and I'm planning to get tested in 3 weeks time.

Has anybody expierenced these kind of symptoms and yet turned out to be HIV -?

Reading these posts have actually fueled my fear that I may have indeed caught HIV....Nobody here had any symptoms!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I can totally understand what you are going through. I got a HIV test at least 6 months after risky procedure, and the test was negative. I am really happy and relaxed that time. Waiting for that week for the test result to come out was the hardest time in my life.

But not long ago I have contamination OCD, and I am really obsessional about hand washing and dirts (esp bodily waste). As a result, my hands have cracks and sometimes they bleed. Once I shook hand with some people that looks healthy and the intrusive thoughts came: I may get HIV if they are HIV+ and with blood on their hands. I know this would be absolutely unlikely but I still worry about it all the time. When someone touch my hands accidentally would drive my crazy. I plan to have a test later, although my therapist strongly disagree, but I know HIV anxiety would not be easy to fight off.
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1030618_tn?1260936978
Well First off I dont feel so alone anymore :,) I have suffered with OCD my whole life. I have be obbessed with the thought i have had HIV for like 2 months now just out of the blue to..and now everytime i get sick or something hurts i say its because I have HIV. Its driving me crazy. But i feel so much better now knowing im not alone with this...:D
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Avatar_m_tn
got STD and HIV OCD here :( 1 time protected encounter with CSW and got gonorrhea. my doctor told me could be because I did not took it off properly.

anyway, been going to STD and HIV websites.

today got tested at 8 weeks. result will be on friday along with HSV1 & 2.

foolish decision going out with CSW. not worth this emotional meltdown.

please wish me luck for 8 weeks which will give me good indication as some of the forum members said

and good luck to all of you waiting for testing
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi people,

I'm goin through the same thing. My OCD has become severe in the past 4 years or so. I've worried about HIV over the past 4 years and had numberous tests all coming back negative. I'm currently goin through an episode now and im hoping when i have my final test in 3 weeks time that i am negative. I wanted to know if some one could tell me if actually seeing a physciotrist really helps? Its been getin really bad in the past year and i think its about time i got some help. I'm in Toronto, Canada so if any one could recommend a place to go for help? Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone,
I am relieved that I came across this site. I thought I was alone in these crazy HIV fears. My boyfriend and I got into a fight one night and he broke up with me. The next night I drunkenly made out with a guy I didn't know. We didn't sleep together and his pants were on the entire time. He performed oral sex on me for like a minute but I stopped it because I did not feel comfortable.
Days later my boyfriend and I started working things out but I couldn't get over the guilt over my irresponsible behavior and I began fearing HIV contraction. I was more concerned over the kissing than receiving oral sex because the kissing went on for a really long time while the oral sex was brief and I worry about microscopic cuts, etc. even though I've read that saliva actually has protective qualities against the virus. I know there is only a theoretical risk of contracting HIV from kissing and that contracting it from receiving oral sex is very low, I couldn't stop worrying about it. I've since had a PCR test done which came back negative and an antibody test which also came back negative. I was also tested for all other STDs which came back negative as well.

I have since told my boyfriend (we are back together) about it and while he's disappointed that I made out with someone while we were broken up he thinks I am NUTS for continuing to worry about HIV. My tests were done before the three month period was up and I am debating about whether I should get re-tested in a few more weeks when I reach the three month mark or if I should just let all of this go and move on from it. Advice?

I had my annual physical the other day and all of my bloodwork was perfect. I have been told by my parents, my boyfriend and even the testing center that I should not worry about having contracted it.

I have suffered compulsive thoughts before but this fear of HIV has taken over my life for the past 7 weeks. I feel better that you guys are out there too. I can't help but wonder why my obsession has been with this particular episode. I am not proud of it but throughout my single years I partaked in riskier behavior than this and didn't worry nearly as much about it until this time. I don't know if it's guilt because I love my boyfriend and am afraid this will ruin our relationship or if I am fearing that I may have a "sixth sense" where I sort of "just know" or what! I am going crazy though and I am scaring myself and those that I love.
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Avatar_m_tn
This forum...wow...I could have written so many of these posts! For the past TEN years, since 1999, I have had a ridiculous fear of HIV. It has crippled me. Everywhere I go, everything I do, there it is. I've probably had on average one test per year for the last ten, all negative. Intellectually I know that the ways I worry about getting HIV (touching things, picking up trash along the road in my neighborhood (even wearing gloves) are ridiculous. I've read all the literature. I've seen the websites. I've gotten educated about it. But the fear is still there and it NEVER goes away. I was actually tested today, should get the results early next week. And, on the way home I'm pulling into my neighborhood,,,We have a small, little community and we sort of take turns picking up litter (our neighborhood is off a busy road.) So, though I had gloves on and it was raining I picked up a febreeze bottle and a bleach bottle and put them in a plastic baggy to throw away. Ever since then I have been thinking...what if that bottle had blood on it? What if it was in contact with other trash like a used feminine napkin or something like that? Even though I wore gloves and even though I washed my hands afterwards, still...I've sat here all day thinking about it...so, if there was blood on the bottle, then I touched my eyes or nose or mouth....or maybe my broken cuticles....UGH! I am so tired of this. I am a married man with a new baby and I am so worried that I am going to give them something. My wife says not to pick up any more trash, but that's part of my OCD too...if there is trash, I'm gonna pick it up! It is SO NICE to know that there are others out there like me. Please feel free to keep in contact.

Thanks...
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1094396_tn?1257717034
From reading this ..... I think I may be on the brink of OCD for HIV
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Avatar_f_tn
Glad I found this forum!  I've suffered with HIV fear with OCD since at least 1993 and in college.  I was also hospitalized briefly for anorexia when I was 14.  However, my doctor recently prescribed Lexapro, and it seems to be helping so far.  
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1084114_tn?1302083430
Oh my goodness! Reading these posts makes me feel like we are almost family..lol! Its just good to know I am now alone....I received oral sex from a female friend I am a female as well...since then I have panicked....mostly because she is promiscous....I had a test done at 3 months and it was negative....prior to that I was changing my tampon and my daughter being explorative touched it and ever since then I think she put that same finger in her mouth and that I gave her hiv....this is soooooo scary!.....however got tested came back negative and some how I can't believe the test results....this is insanity! Someone help me please.....I even asked my daughters pediatrician could I have given it to her that way and she said no without a hesitation or a worry and im still scared about it! Oooooh my goodness! Some one help me please!
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow...coming to this forum I realize now that I truly have OCD. Just like many posters, I OCD about HIV infection by making scenarios up in my head. For example, I was on the bus and I dozed off for a few minutes.... and when I got off the bus, my body was sore. Logically, it's because I was on a city bus for an hour holding a heavy backpack. However, I convinced myself that the guy sitting to me (who coughed a lot) infected me with a HIV pin *****.

Now logically, there has only been one case of this happening to a prison guard in Sydney, but it was a little more than a *****. Moreover, if that really happened to me, I would have blood on my shirt, jacket, or a clear wound with a bruise and most likely would have woken up from it.  But somehow I can't help obsess about it.  I think those pin ***** urban legend email somehow got into my psyche.

Anyways, I am going on holiday in a few weeks and really want to stop obsessing about it lest it ruin my vacation.  I am going to try writing out answers to the questions another member posted as well as try meditation.   Anyone have suggestions?  This is starting to really affect me, but somehow I think with enough mental determination and help from this forums members, I will get better ....  

Appreciate any advice or help and I hope to return the favour if it does ... I guess, pay it forward so to speak...



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Avatar_f_tn
Hey Mickey,

I have done the same thing as far as having worries about a pin *****. I have taken 5 HIV tests in about 3 months and every last one of them have been NEGATIVE but as usual  I continue to let those intrusive thoughts continue about how I could have possibly contracted HIV. You are not alone in this! Never feel like you are!
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Avatar_n_tn
Glad to know I'm not the only one that does this. My fear started about 5 years ago. I was a little promiscuous and ever since them I am paranoid!!! I need someone to ease my latest fear although I know I'll have to take a test in 6 months. (just to be worried again that a dirty needle was used :p) but yesterday on my kitchen floor I picked up what I thought was a leaf. To my horror it was a band aid that had to be tracked in on a shoe. I do have cuts on my hand due to my excessive washing of my hands. Plus on one finger I have an infected fingernail. So now I'm worried I have gotten HIV from the band aid. HELP!!!!!
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1156883_tn?1262431356
It is so weird how we can think logically when giving someone else advice but not when thinking of the same thing happening to us.  You really don't have to worry.  There is NO WAY a bandaid that got tracked from where ever all of the way into your house could have kept hiv on it intact and living.  This is not possible.  Please don't worry.  I have to force myself not to get tested and it is so hard.  I have dreams at night about taking hiv tests and them coming back positive and then me wondering how it could be possible?  I had a dream the other night that one came back positive so I went to the store and bought eight more because I just couldn't believe it.  I am terrified of touching anything that someone else hands me for fear it might have blood on it from a papercut that goes unnoticed.  I live my life in fear and now I am to the point where I won't get tested.  I have done it so many times and it always comes back negative.  I can't let the thoughts go and they control my life to the point that it is all I think about even when I'm sleeping.  So, the only relief to my anxiety is medication.  Medication relieves some of the anxiety but does not alleviate my fears.  I still will not go through checkout lines unless someone is with me who can take the bags and the receipt. Last time I did I was unable to function for about five weeks because I thought I had hiv.  I didn't get tested just started back on meds.  Paxil made me gain a lot of weight so I stopped it and lost the weight.  I started Prozac two and a half weeks ago and so far no weight gain which is good.    Please do not worry about the bandaid incident.  I know it is hard to listen when someone tells you to let it go.  We can't deal with any uncertainty at all. We always have to check "just to make sure", "just in case", because "what if....." ???  Good luck and continue to post for support.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I have been suffering with HIV OCD for the past 5 months, I am two weeks away from giving birth to my second child and absolutely petrified about going into hospital. I have been told by the doctor that my OCD probably started because of the pregnancy and having suffered 2 miscarriages in the last year and a half. I am obssessed that everything has come into contact with blood, and any red dot or mark I see looks like blood and I straight away assume it is contaminated with HIV. It is awful because it takes over yourlife, my hands are red raw from washing them and that just makes this situation worse. Everyday I have a new obssession, and can't seem to just get on with my life. I am hoping that once I have the baby it all goes away and I won't have time to think about these ridiculous fears. The only thing that seems to help is thinking that the chances that it's blood are low and the chances that it is HIV infected blood are VERY low.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had OCD for about 15 years now.  Just like many of us, HIV is the highest on my fear list.  Anyway, what I wanted to say is that just like you, I "feel" like I have come across some blood  or "might be blood" almost everyday.  I bet many you feel like this too.  

Yet, as many times this has happend.  I still don't have HIV.  You know why>?  Because it's just the OCD.  That part of our brain that is almost constantly telling us that we are in danger is skipping like a broken record.  Look, if there was no HIV, then it would be the next worst thing, ya know>?  

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Avatar_m_tn
wow! we all fear the same,..i was at the gym cleaning myself up,..behind me was a guy in the shower.i keep thinkung what if this guy sprinkle water on my back! Will i get hiv,..i know it's insane cause he never did and i don't even know him. last week i was in a mall's wasroom when to my horror the guy nxt to me has a cut in his face with blood...i immidiately think that he sprinkle me with blood that goes tru my pimple when i know i have no blood in my clothes or skin...i am tired of this but i can't help it.

after all everyone dies,even the healthy peolpe die. but this fera of hiv has taken over my life. i never had sex for a year now thinking i would get it if i do. so there you go,..i feel what you guys feel and somehow feel bad for all of us. why can't we just be normal and enjoy life.

just think that everything happens for a reason and the most important thing WE ARE ALL HIV NEGATVE IN THIS SITE.

WE ARE ALL HIV NEGATIVE.

so why are we wtill worrying...

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi All,

I found this while trying to find ways to combat the OCD. I have been in therapy and have been trying to get this thing resolved. I am pregnant, and that is one of the main reasons I am trying to sort this out. There is enough on my mind with the pregnancy and with the OCD added, it is too much sometimes!! Talk about overload.

My paranoia and OCD about this started five years ago. I had protected sex with someone, but couldn't put it past me that it was just that, protected.I would go out drinking with friends, and was convinced that I was having sex with people, which would in turn infect me. This was way out there thinking, as the guys I was with were respectful and knew I was married and there was no way anything could happen.  That led me to test multiple times, sometimes as many as four tests a year. But these tests evolved- and something new would cause the testing. It could be thinking there was blood on a take out bag, a nurse re-using a needle, a pedicure or manicure that convinced me that I could be at risk. I would then stare at the nurses and lab techs to be sure that they were using new equipment- I was stare at people in the waiting room to see if they looked "sick." But even then, I would go home and start thinking about things in my mind, wondering if the items they used were new, or if I had imagined it. I would not be able to enjoy everyday life and these thoughts would consume my thoughts. It is good to see that there are others out there like me, it gives me hope that we can beat this together. Thanks for sharing your story. If you have any advice on how you try to combat the thoughts, or if you can relate to what I have written, please feel free to message me.
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Avatar_m_tn
hi ,
im not too sure if i have ocd but at times i think i do. for the past 7 months ive been going through anxiety attacks from thinking i had hiv. today, i had a super bad attack cause i went to my local public health clinic to get my result. i was so a wreck, i was shacking and tearing and having difficulty breathing. i keep thinking im going to be positive. all my friends and family keep telling me to relax and they assure that i dont have it. I guess the main reason is that i keep seeing weird symptoms on my body that seem like hiv symptoms. i dont know if its my mind making my body have these symptoms but for the last 7 months ive been having really bad trips. I even kept seeing adds, commercials, songs that had messages about hiv, and i never heard hiv related messages more in my life than within the last 7 months. i always think its telling me i have it , or movies are parallels to hiv and it was some weird psycho way of telling me i had it. crazy huh. my mind has not been in peace and it scares me so much..

How did u guys(that took the hiv blood test)feel before getting it? i feel depressed and scared. i keep thinking of my family and all the worst things that could happen. im really scared i developed a mental disorder. anyone out there who feels the same? i feel for those that are going through these terrible situations. none the less, if you have tested negative i truely and honestly feel that you should feel the best out of everyone because that is good news. i still have a 50/50 chance of testing pos or neg. as long as you dont have symptoms and test neg you are 100 percent safe. i know its hard to just forget, but do things that will help you forget like watch comedy shows or music or stuff.
The main thing is, trust in God and pray to him, talk to him he is our comforter and protector. Only he can help us through the bad times!
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Avatar_m_tn
also, did u guys get weird skin symptoms or diarrhea when you guys started getting anxiety over hiv?? right now im having diarrhea , scares me! it only happens in the mornings
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Avatar_n_tn
I alwAys thought that I would get shot I even wanted to join the army at one point and I would think well I'm supposed to get shot soo here I go on my way to get shot. I thought that a gangster would shoot me sometimes. I thought Maybe I would shoot myself sometimes. I even thought that if I go to a gun range and shot a gun the bullet would backfire and shoot me. So I've identified that I have always dealt with this sort of anxiety it's identity only changes and compulsive thoughts continue in a diferent way. I have OCD :)
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Avatar_n_tn
I alwAys thought that I would get shot I even wanted to join the army at one point and I would think well I'm supposed to get shot soo here I go on my way to get shot. I thought that a gangster would shoot me sometimes. I thought Maybe I would shoot myself sometimes. I even thought that if I go to a gun range and shot a gun the bullet would backfire and shoot me. So I've identified that I have always dealt with this sort of anxiety it's identity only changes and compulsive thoughts continue in a diferent way. I have OCD :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Does anyone out there have chilldren and constantly worry their children have caught HIV from the most ridiculous of ways?
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Avatar_n_tn
The best thing to do would not be to get checked. The best thing to do would be to learn to calm yourself down. Once you start worrying about having HIV your anxiety levels shoot up then when you're in that state you aren't thinking clearly. If you can find a way to control your emotions and think with a clear mind coming to the logical conclusion that you don't have HIV will be easier. When you'r anxious the evidence doesn't matter, your mind is out of control, you could have the test results on front of you, saying negative and in your anxious state you will find a way to believe you have HIV. Calm yourself down, relax, grab a hold of yourself and moving forward will be possible.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi-
I am so relieved to hear so many people going through the same awful mind processes I am. The situation I am so terrified of sounds so stupid even to me, but it's still there and I am completely obsessing over it and I just feel 100% sure I am dying.

I'm a nursing student and during clinical at the hospital, I was washing my hands with antibacterial foam stuff. I noticed a kind of stinging on my hands and I looked at them and saw a very small cut (more like a scratch that bled just a tiny bit) on my hand. I instantly became petrified that I somehow contracted HIV from this. What if I had scraped against an old used syringe or something that was used on someone with HIV? Or what if whatever scraped me had blood on it or something? I am terrified because it did bleed, although it was a very small amount. I can't stop thinking about it and I am so scared I got HIV and I am dying. I know I didn't give any injections today or start any IVs or anything so I was not handling any needles at all. But what worries me is I have no idea how I got this cut and I am just so, so, so, so, so worried and scared that I got HIV from it.

I know I probably sound completely stupid to you all, but I swear, in my mind I am being completely rational and I have every reason to be terrified. I keep looking at the cut on my finger and then I feel so sick to my stomach; I don't even know how I am going to make it through the night.

I know I've got to stop this- I don't know how. I really feel like I am at risk here and I just can't do this. I'm so scared.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am so glad I found this site.  Like everyone here, I am completely paranoid about HIV but am glad I have found friends here going through the same thing.  I have had tests and have read up and learned that you can't contract it from objects, etc.  However, I found Josie77 and Amikins notes that they sometime think they have had sex with someone when they haven't.  Clearly, this is what one can go through when the anxiety gets this intense but how did they handle this?  I sometimes go through the same thing!  Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
lol! I only kinda skimmed through this thread bc there's so many people all saying the same thing I feel.  I too am convinced I have HIV even though the person I'm sure I got it from is in the lowest risk group ever and tested negative 4 months after we ended our relationship. Luckily he's a good sport and deals with the insanity. My friends all think I'm nuts. My doc thinks I'm slightly crazy. I'm now on Ativan and obsess every moment about it. I went to talk to psychic about it twice. The rational side of me knows I'm inappropriate, but the other side of me, just won't calm down. The fear is so consuming that my stomache gets in a pit, I feel it in the back of my neck, I get hot, I can't sleep. I look at my friends that sleep around and never get tested and they don't worry at all. And then there's me who gets tested habitually and doesn't sleep around who panics.
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Avatar_m_tn
Im so glad I found this, Im exactly the same as you all....convinced I have HIV. About 2 months ago I slept with an older man (Im 19), we had anal sex and he used a condom and lots of lube. Two days later I got a viral tonsilitus (which regularly get the bacterial version of), I was then convinced thats the condom split (even though I asked the guy and it didnt) and I was convinced I had HIV and didnt leave the house for days, read numerous online articles about HIV and couldnt bare to make contact with people.

Im slowely getting better with the OCD and I think when I get tested it will help me clear my mind but until then Im still worrying. Even though we used protection, I keep thinking I have HIV, everything I do I worry about, recently I got a rash (from using a new shower gel) and was worried it was the HIV (even though this isnt even a known symptom) it is taking over my life and the more I think about it, the worse it gets.
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I think I'm somewhere in between. You can read my posts. In a nutshell, I had a brief minute long kissing session,  with tongue,  but not that deep with a  girl I just found out is promiscuous. The thing is, is that I bit my lower inside lip 4-5 hours before the club during dinner. Damn cut!!!!!! Got tested at 40 days. Negative. I'm good for a week then these "what if" thoughts pop in my head. I get tested again at 53 days because I was sick of thinking every little thing on my body might be a symptom. I wanted to put it to rest. Again Negative. Happy again, for a week then the thoughts pop in my head again and I start prodding my body for nodes, possibly irritating the tissues and causing swelling. I've had   Dr. HHH and Dr. Cummings both tell me that there was no risk, that getting tested in the first place was a waste of time, and I should stop doing this myself. I respect them so much I know they're right given the evidence but I can't get these thoughts outta my head. My cousin who's an ER doc, even said ," I wouldn't worry about for a second!!!!!"Stop beating yourself up."  It seems after each test I get a little better.I'm trying soooo hard to not go back at the 12 week mark because I know in my heart and rational mind I'm fine.I know it'll be negative.  My 12 weeks mark is on June 10th. Prior to this I had a huge fear of flying. Maybe when this finally blows over I'll get back to my fear of flying, terrorism, and cognitive degeneration. I can tell you this, ever since this incident, I find the nightlife scene(which I used to love) a breeding ground for STD's. Irrational fear I know. All from a cut at dinner and a seemingly innocent minute or less make out session. But I know this will pass.
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Wow.  I thought I was all alone.  6 yers ago I had an affair with a man who was married for 15 years.  Only separated from his wife for a few months.  He died at the end of the affair right after I ended it.  I was also married.  Last Nov.  I tested positive for hpv which led to lots of googling for answers.  Since then I have had a yeast infection, possible warts on my face, a reaction to bactim, and possibly athletes feet.  I have had three yes three tests all negative. Two through std express and when I didn't believe those I took a home health access test.  Negative too.  Still every single time anything happens to me mind mind goes back to the fear which I believe has a lot to do with guilt.  I just can't get it through my head in spite of the fact that all experts and even people on HIV hotlines tell me there is no way possible.  It just sits there inside of me ruining my life.
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I would love to start a friendship with anyone going through this.  I see a tharapist this afternoon but truly need someone who has been there and understands.  Please contact me.  I need help.
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Hi. I am going through exactly the same thing.. i had unprotected sex with a guy 4 years ago.. only once and it lasted for not even a minute. i did a test 85 days after and it was negative. that guy is now married and has a son. i have asked him a million times if he has hiv and he has said no and that he donates blood all the time. even to this date i dont leave his life alone! prior to him i went through exactly the same thing with my xbf and i did 3 tests and i still wasnt convinced. I am in a relationship now and i have asked my bf to do a test as i doubt him also. I doubt everyone. and this an OCD. its horrible.. its takes my time my energy. i cant enjoy my life. and im only 25. i am seeing a therapist as well but doesnt really help. i am also on medication. but yeah i totally agree tests dont help because this is an OCD and the sufferer can doubt the accuracy of the tests also. i pray for you and myself and everyone else who goes through this to get over it one day and just appreciate our health and enjoy our lives.
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Iv had ocd since about 15 years old, im now 36 ive had a blood test every 3 months from the age of 18 to 33 and just a couple in the last few years, I never worry going for the test itself I suppose on some level I think im ok but its the three month window period that ruins my life, its prevented me from having relationships and I feel like im the only person that does it, my fear would be gone if there was no 3 month wait but I struggle to get though until I can get another test.
mark
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I'm a first time member of this site. It is a real relief to discover that other people worry about the same stuff that I do. Whenever I try to express my worries to my family and friends they try to understand, but sometimes don't. I've had OCD since I was about 5 years old. Recently (within the last 2 months or so) I've been worried I have HIV/AIDS. I know it is proably an illogical worry, but this is why I am worried about it: I shared a cup with one of my teachers. I do not know if she has anything, but she seems sick often. Also, she has visited foreign countries. I do not know if she just had saliva on the cup, or if she had an open wound on her lips, mouth, or etc. Not only am I really worried about it, but I feel like an idiot for drinking after her in the first place. In my defense I was trying to face my fears. So, here I am worrying myself into a heart attack or stroke.

I'm very sorry if I offended anybody in any way.
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Hey guys.  I have had OCD for about 15 years and I used to get this fear too.  Now, I'm like, "if I have HIV, and I feel fine, then whats the big deal?"   The point is, what am I gonna do about it?    I test negative.  My ex's test negative.   So, F**K it.
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Sorry I just posted this in main area as a new post by mistake instead of adding to this discussion but here is my concern.

am so glad to have come across this forum.  I do not have OCD but have become very worried and almost obssessed with concern over having HIV.

About a month ago I had protected vaginal intercourse with a women i had just met.  I am unsure if she was infected with hiv but let's say that the more I learned about her and her number of partners I became very concerned.

She performed oral sex on me while I wore a condom for quite a while before we engaged in intercourse.  The condom that we used was a flavored condom. I checked it following the act and it did not seem to be damaged in a noticable way. However I am not sure about the quality of the condom and am not 100% sure that there was nothing wrong with it.    

I also came into contact with her menstrual blood by using my saliva as lubrication and putting my hand back in my own mouth multiple times.

To further complicate matters I was diagnosed just after this encounter with molluscom contagiosum and had a few small bumps on my abddomin and genital area from the virus during intercourse. I understand that having other sti's can enhance your chances of contracting hiv.

I know that symptoms are not the best way to diagnose but a month later I am experiencing some muscle fatigue, swollen glands, back pain and joint pain which I know can be early signs of hiv.  

I am definitely worried and am wondering what my risk of contracting hiv has been considering the following items.

1) Injestion of menstrual blood
2) Not sure about the quality of a flavoured condom
3) The fact that I have molluscum contagiosum
4) The fact that I am experiencing some but not all of the early symptoms common to hiv.

I have posted before and people have told me that I do not have any risk but I am hoping on this forum that someone may be able to tell me why I am haveing so many of these syptoms (symptoms) for a prolonged period of time (approximately two weeks).

I did go see a Dr. and was told that I did not have any kind of flu or illness and he said I was likely just nervous and to relax, but these are real physical symptoms that I am having.
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Avatar_f_tn
guys. Me too as same condition.my life is came painfull because of fear of hiv. Although i checked it after 6 months and i close that chapter.but now i'm thinking in my mind may in hospital nurse used me same syringe needle which is she used  befor another person. Even i checked medle it was looks new and was not blood at peak of needle and i asked nurse is it new ? She said of course new. But i always start to think may she used same syringe  i'm sure she used new. But i cant move this things from my mind. Please you all guys give me your own suggestion about using syringe in hospital and clinick ?
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as my knowledge hiv testing in 3 months is 99% and it takes six months those ppl who are iv drug users  and  who are under chemotherapy  and recently body organ transplaned. If you are not in these condition then 3 months blood testing is conclusive. Cheer  
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Avatar_n_tn
I have OCD all over my life. When I was a teenage ,I kept thinking about a part in my body that I think it's ugly and it makes me unable to do things at my best ,and makes me feel irritated. Now it's quite better but not be cured. Another OCD is I kept thinking about showing my  penis  to kids.I kept doing this for many times until  it's gone by itself. (may be it's not but since I can go to massage parlor or  secual commercial place  ,I don't want to show in public now.)  Now  my biggest OCD that makes me fatter and look quite sad is fear of HIV.

I never have unprotected sex.I once did protected sex and it's the only one time in life.After that I keep thinking about any mistakes that night for months until I could not take it and went to test. I thought it would be over and I can live my life but it's getting worse. I keep testing for stupid situation until now. The example are fear of blood in surfaces,handjob,touching,etc.


Just want to share and thanks for hearing.

I know the cure:keep doing things, relax,find friends,etc. I know it's not easy for us to help ourselves from this deep misery.
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hello.
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hi.

sorry about the premature submission!  i can relate to all of you...ocd has attempted to rule my life BUT i am doing everything in my power to fight the nasty beast.  as many of you have posted above, online chats like this can be very helpful, while searching the web relating to HIV/AIDS symptoms will only add fuel to your OCD fire.  

i had (according to my mind) every type of HIV related exposure, even ones that i could not acquire through sex.  my first "melt-down" occurred after i had protected/safe sex with a male partner and i was convinced that he intentionally broke the condom to infect me...i was not even sure that he was HIV positive.  i then thought that i was infected by kissing, a needle in a doctor's office, a manicurist, a Q-tip and the icing on the cake was thinking that i "blacked out" at a clinic while waiting for HIV test results (which were negative) and contracted it while in the waiting room.  

due to my OCD, i had strained relationships with loved ones, friends and family members and it was only 2 yrs ago that i began to receive CBT in conjunction with SSRI meds.  my mistake was that i stopped treatment once i felt better and my symptoms returned with vengeance.  IT IS CRUCIAL THAT YOU MAINTAIN THERAPY EVEN WHEN YOUR SYMPTOMS SUBSIDE...YOU ARE NOT CURED, BUT RATHER IN REMISSION.  many people will discontinue meds and therapy once they feel better; you must remember that OCD does not go away, rather can be controlled by a solid combo of CBT and meds and you will often experience aggressive symptoms during times of extreme stress.

i wish everyone on here luck with their treatment...i'm not going to lie, it will be a bumpy ride, but remember you are in the driver’s seat!
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Well these posts are old but just found und site and hoping someone will catch it and respond to it. I have pure O and for the last 20 years have had recurrent thoughts relating to hiv to the extent that I became a basket case. I am gay, older,very lonely as a result of not being able to relate to other gay men$ Yesterday I hooked up with a gay guy on Craigs list and he wanted to meet me but I freaked out about the memory that such an activity last time landed me on OCD drugs in a psych ward. I am better now, but I am miserable. The guy emailed me his disappointment and I feel bad for him too. I received some therapy but couldn't afford ot and instead immersed myself in my work trying not to think about it. I've had over 30 neg hiv tests. Can someone relate? Bill
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Well these posts are old but just found und site and hoping someone will catch it and respond to it. I have pure O and for the last 20 years have had recurrent thoughts relating to hiv to the extent that I became a basket case. I am gay, older,very lonely as a result of not being able to relate to other gay men$ Yesterday I hooked up with a gay guy on Craigs list and he wanted to meet me but I freaked out about the memory that such an activity last time landed me on OCD drugs in a psych ward. I am better now, but I am miserable. The guy emailed me his disappointment and I feel bad for him too. I received some therapy but couldn't afford ot and instead immersed myself in my work trying not to think about it. I've had over 30 neg hiv tests. Can someone relate? Bill
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Well these posts are old but just found und site and hoping someone will catch it and respond to it. I have pure O and for the last 20 years have had recurrent thoughts relating to hiv to the extent that I became a basket case. I am gay, older,very lonely as a result of not being able to relate to other gay men$ Yesterday I hooked up with a gay guy on Craigs list and he wanted to meet me but I freaked out about the memory that such an activity last time landed me on OCD drugs in a psych ward. I am better now, but I am miserable. The guy emailed me his disappointment and I feel bad for him too. I received some therapy but couldn't afford ot and instead immersed myself in my work trying not to think about it. I've had over 30 neg hiv tests. Can someone relate? Bill
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Avatar_n_tn
i just think some one is trying to infect me with needle
am so scared to go to theatre, when some stranger touch,poke me i think that he pricked me with needle and take duovir for 4 days... any one help me
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Avatar_f_tn
i have read most of these comments, and while im sorry you all are dealing with this, im at the same time relieved that im not the only one i thought i was going crazy... i cant sleep or have one single thought without this phobia bringing me to tears or putting me in a deep depression. i have kids, and sometimes im jumpy and frustrated, i try to keep on the tv the radio at high volumes to drown out the sound in my head. yes im a nut job. its the worst thing iv'e ever delt with. i haven't slept in days and sometimes consider suicide just to make it go away. i find myself becoming more isolated everyday. i have exhausted my friends talking about it assuming it would help but it rarley does. i've turned to marijuana for relief, sleep, and coping. i have tried meditation, perscription drugs, and coulseling but still im bombarded with heavy anxiety... even been tested too.. yeah i have had unprotected sex, but never have i worried  so much about anything in my life. it's taking over.
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Avatar_n_tn
I started reading the posts and I began to feel slightly better and I can see a correlation between guilt about having sex and fear of HIV.

Okay my story.  I don't have sex very frequently and now I feel that maybe the fear of HIV is so dreadful that the sex really isn't worth it.  A year ago I had unprotected sex with a new boyfriend, the first time we had sex.  All later times we used protection and I have no idea why we did that.  A year of it playing on my mind and I had a test which was negative.  I'd split up with that boyfriend after two months.

So then absolute blissful happiness descended and I go on holiday feeling fantastic.  Three days into the holiday and I have unfortunately hooked up with a new man and have agreed after a lot of worry to have protected sex with him.  We had intercourse 3 times and each time he wore a condom.  The very last time we had sex he managed to remove the condom before the end.  I had no idea, the sex was incredibly painful and I hated every moment but experienced maybe two minutes of unprotected sex which was not consensual.

This was two months ago and the fear and panic has totally gripped me.  The stress is so all consuming.  I am trying to decide whether to wait one more month and know for sure or whether I should cut my losses and do one now.

Any feedback would be wonderful.  For me, having an existing fear of HIV, I cannot understand why I had sex with this man.  I was not attracted to him and I certainly wasn't turned on by him.  I wanted to feel close to another person and now each day I am gripped with this nightmare.

I cannot wait to get a test done.  I know from now on that I cannot trust someone with a condom - what a cruel trick.  I did console myself that the man was formally married with two children and may not have had that much sex but if he is the kind of person to actively seek unprotected sex then maybe I am more at risk than I thought.

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Avatar_m_tn
I too am going through this fear of catching HIV! I had a scare earlier in the year after stupidly having unprotected sex with a guy I had just started seeing, the day after he tells me how he used to use a lot of drugs and even needles.. thats when the worry set in! so I got tested and tested many times after that all Negative! however now I feel like everyone I meet has HIV and is out to infect me :(  I met another guy last weekend and we ended up having protected sex.. however half way through he pulled out and started pulling himself saying it turned him on to do it against me... at the time I didn't think much of it! but now im worried he may have purposely taken the condom off and had HIV! I want to message him and ask but I know no matter what he replies it wont help! its driving me insane!

I am constantly hearing about HIV on TV, conversations, newspapers etc.. its like im constantly hearing the word HIV! I had never heard it before now! I am so scared that its just a sign I have it!  does anyone else get this??
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Hey there Laicat (and everyone - this is a great place!!)
I am a circumcised male, late 40's in a 24 year marraige where my wife has been ill for the last 6 years and physically unable to have sex. For the entire time, I did not do anything with anyone - I was celibate trying to wait for thinbgs to improve.. that was until I met a married woman totally chance a few months ago, whose husband was also unable to have sex for medical reasons (she is in her mid 40's).
We met 4 or 5 times (first socially, but we were attracted to each other immediately); we planned an encounter and both discussed our HIV status (we're both fairly senior people in our companies and HIV screening is part of our companies' policies as an example to everyone else)
So to my point... we're both in our 40's, married with kids (lots to lose), both met through an internet group supporting people who partner's could not have sex (both of us hadnt had any sex for what felt like forever), both were tested recently and were negative - (I never saw her proof, but she said assured me she was neg), it was no 1 night-stand - we got to know each other first - and although we live in a high infection rate country, these are tragically in vast numbers amongst the poorest sections of the population and just not in our "circles" (I am srry if it sounds snobbish).
We had 1 encounter only which was unprotected and I am circumcised. I totally panicked and still am in "scanners-on" mode, even though the chances of her having HIV (tiny) and me contracting it as a circumcised man (even more tiny) and then just 1 contact (tiny) make this whole thing insane.
5 weeks after I took a screeing and it came out neg, but I cant get the racing catastrophe out of my head.
I should know better - 3 ER trips with chest pains were nothing more than an anxiety attack each time. I stopped seeing her because of this -cant take it any more.
As a married man we have much to lose and would not risk something.

I have a technique I try to use which perhaps might help, and its based on pretty basic stats - maybe this will help
Chances of her being HIV positive given her circumstances prob 1/3000
Chances of her lying about her HIV negative test (a generous 1/100)
Chances of man contractig HIV when circumcised (6/100)
Simple stats give my chances as 1/5000000
Thats pretty convincing to me - perhaps my stats lecturer taught me wrong, but that's about as compelling a reason you could find.
Still I think about it all the time and will almost certainly remain celibate from now on.
This is a terrible, debilitating this, but we can ovrcome it
Mark
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Oh wow, I am SO happy I found you guys.  It means I'm not alone.

I got married a year and a half ago, after being with him exclusively for 3 years.  So, 4.5 years total in this completely monogamous relationship.

In the ten years prior to that, I had several partners, and while there were a few unprotected moments in the heat of the moment with several of them, every one of them wound up using a condom to finish the deed...........except one.  My ex before my husband, who cheated on me repeatedly.  Though he swears that he was tested for everything in March 2009 and all was negative, I waffle between believing him, or believing that I may have contracted H** from him or one of my other partners.  

None of them were gay, none of them were IV drug users, but I have been obsessing and obsessing that I have somehow contracted it (though my husband has been sleeping with me for 5 YEARS, had a physical for his life insurance 6 months ago and is negative).

This has me in it's grip REALLY bad right now.  3 weeks ago I got appendicitis, and then have had a complication of diarrhea (they say it's C. Diff) for the past 10 days.  I have managed to convince myself that, though 3 weeks ago I was perfectly fine and dandy, in a span of 3 weeks I have all the symptoms of the dreaded you-know-what.  I check my tongue in the mirror every morning, expecting to see white spots.

I have been pressing into my neck so hard looking for lymph nodes that I've given myself a migraine and managed to create a knot in my neck just behind the bone behind the ear (which of course wasn't like that before I began digging at it but now is DEFINITELY a lymph node, right?).  My arms have been bent to feel the back of my neck for so long over the past 3 days that now the muscles in my arms and elbow hurt......or is that epitrochlear lymph nodes I just never noticed before?  I can't get away from myself.

I have been on every symptom site the internet has to offer, constantly checking off what I don't have and calculating my risk.  If 27% of the stats are women and 17% of those are white, then I fall into the 5% category, right?  You can drive yourself nuts doing the math.  The one symptom I do have is persistent diarrhea, but for some reason my mind wants to ignore the fact that 3 weeks ago I had a frigging appendectomy, was taking narcotics and broad spectrum antibiotics and probably picked up a bacteria there.

Again, my husband has been with me for 5 years and is negative but I have convinced myself that he just got lucky and I have a bullseye on me.

This is terrible.  A little Xanax helps, but not much.  I want to go get tested because it would be so nice to have someone tell me that there is nothing wrong, but I am paralyzed by my fear.  I feel like I might just be confirming what I already know (though I am aware that I am being a nut).

I sit here going through my labs from the hospital.  CT scan shows no adenopathy and there are notes that there is none in my neck either - ok that's good!  Then checking the lab values of my lymphocytes.  2554 pre-surgery.  1750 less than 24 hours after surgery.  Why the drop?  Could it be the effect of laparoscopic surgery, IV antibiotics, IV narcotics, general anesthesia and bodily stress?  OF COURSE NOT!  The appendicitis must have triggered the disease!  It was just waiting until I was weak enough and I managed to drop 800 lymphocytes in a single night due to it!

I can't get away from this.  Please, please, please, someone help me.   What do you do to stop the OCD and gripping anxiety?
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow, this is such a relief
I thought I was the only one feeling like this. Thinking that I have HIV and constantly imagining my death in a few years time has driven me mad. Even though I've never had sex and i don't do drugs, I've been freaking out about kissing a boy which doctors say is no risk but for some reason that won't go into my head. I just keep thinking about my death or how some mad people may have injected the virus into me when I wasnt paying much attention... I know this sounds totally crazy but It's driving me mad...
I suffer from OCD and it links to this phobia as well for example I'll touch everything 5 times and tell myslef that if I do that my risks of HIV will be slimmer...
Anyways I know how everyone here feels
I hope everyone is feeling better and making a recovery
and I am very glad that I'm not alone
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Avatar_m_tn
It is so comforting to read that I am not the only person out here suffering from this extremem anxiety about contracting HIV.  I was married and divorced from someone I believed to have cheated on me, and to be very promiscuous.  I have since developed this extreme fear that I have contracted HIV, and that I am going to die.  I caught streph throat a year ago, and since then I have been obssessed with that thought I may have HIV.  It is getting so bad that all I do is sit on the computer and search HIV symptoms.  I was last tested for HIV when I was pregnant with my son, and it was negative.  Here lately I have gotten anxiety attacks just from the thought of getting an HIV test. I fear hearing that it is positive.  My obsession is getting worse and worse.  I find my self searching and searching HIV symptoms, and can find some type of way to relate all of them to myself.  If I am not searching for symptoms on my laptop, I am searching for them on my cellphone's internet service.  I cant look at anyone without wondering if they have HIV, or fearing they notice that I may have HIV.  I have even started to believe lately that the test I received during my pregnancy with my son was not accurate, and he too has HIV, and this fear is really taking a toll on me.  It is one thing for me to have HIV, and another thing for him to have to suffer with it.  I can't sleep at night.  I awake in the middle of the night searching HIV symptoms.  I dont want to do anything other than stay home.  I am contemplating moving out of my town because I fear everyone around me knows I have HIV, and I dont.  I have even been having thoughts of suicide, because the thoughts are taking over my mind and my thought process.  I have been trying to convince myself to get tested for months now, but I am too afraid of receiving the results.  I am a wreck, and I dont know what to do.  I feel like I am losing control of myself.  Please God help me. Please.
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand exactly what you are going through.  I am going through the exact same thing right now.  It is horrible.  Just last night I was up most of the night searching HIV symptoms uncontrollably.  Although I am sorry that others are suffering in this as I am, It is really comforting to know that there are others out here who understand what I am going through.  I am too afraid to be tested, because I fear hearing a positive result.  I have related everything that goes on in my body, and in my life to me having HIV.  I have even lately begin to fear that I have given the virus to my toddler son.  I dont know what to do.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi,

i am someone who knows exactly how you feel. i was with someone 2 seperate times about 7 yrs ago and he pulled out both times. when i went to the gyno that fallowing summer, she found cervical abnormalities and i called him and asked him what was up...he started crying and saying "oh my god, i can't believe this, i am in a relationship oh my god" like i had done something to HIM...so after i realized that the hpv cervial issue was nothing to worry about, i stated worrying all the time abut all inds of other diseases.

All this even tho i asked him, well, basically yelled at him and said was there anythign else i had to worry about and he said no.

it took me 3 and 1/2 yrs to get up the courage to get tested and it came out negative. I was fine until 3 weeks ago when my doctor mentioned my imflammation levels were high due to lack of vitamin d...and somehow that spun me into thinking i had ...i cant even type e it out... you know. i have been dealing with awful thougths of doomed future, losing my love in my life now, and haveing that"sixth sense" like you already logically know that you are ok, but what if the extra little voice is saying you are not and cant let you believe you are etc. and i try to think, if i just get passed it, but every time i try to feel better about things and look forward to soemthing... i feel like god, or someone else, will take it away from me...so i suffer.

i know that ocd is to blame and even in saying that...i think...oh no, maybe it's not, so much doubt...and ocd gets worse with time, so i am getting meds and help...it can get better i am told, so kee ur head up and talk talk talk to someone proffesional abaout everything...i'm with you in spirit girl..;]
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Avatar_f_tn
wow, i have a big fear of hiv as well. i've had ocd for 9 years... nearly half my life, and every so often it flares up. atm, it's in overdrive. and whenever i see condoms on the floor... believe me, i notice them a lot.. i seem to be the only one though, but i purposely avoid them in case i catch something from walking by them. also, not long ago, i was out in a club, and my mate was kissing some lesbian... bit strange since my mate is a guy... but he told her to kiss me and i was like no, but a bit later she just pounced on me, stuck her tongue in my mouth and stuff. and then the next day i started worrying again in case i caught something. i made a post on here and asked whether there was anything to be worried about, and both replies were that you can't catch anything from a kiss, except maybe cold sores (which never happened). this sorted my worries out, but now the worries and fears have started up again. argh, i hate it.
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Avatar_m_tn
ok ppl,this seems 2 b the very best place to get the info needed for me,ive tested negative after 1,2,3,4 months after possible infection,all negative  know the human brain is an undisclosed powerful organ but is it possible to manifest symptoms after reading up on them ((google)) wits end is a understatement for me right now,am i gonna die,aaarrrggghhh
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi

I suffered from OCD about HIV from the ages of 15 to 19. I live in the UK and what triggered it was a holiday in the US in the 1990s when paranoia was high - and I saw some dried blood on the wall in a motel. I'd also been involved with a bisexual man who was 15 years older than me (although we never had full sex.) My boundary with him had been to do anything that did not put me at risk from contracting HIV - and then one day I was kissing him and his lip was cut on my braces. This was horrible - I wanted a test (he had one that was clear) - and I became obsessed with avoiding anything that had blood on it during the 3/6 month window period where you would not show up. I wouldn't eat in restaurants, I would wear a band aid on my finger to school each day, I wouldn't use the school toilets, I would freak out at the hairdressers in case they cut themselves, and even if someone brushed by me I would be convinced that I hadn't seen a cut and had blood on me. My OCD mainly disappeared when I left home, went to university and came out as a gay woman. However, it was always in the background throughout my 20s. What finally helped me get over it was knowing lots of gay men who had lots of casual sex and didn't catch it (they tested regularly, and mainly had safer sex) - I figured if they were okay, I would be too. Since then I've felt comfortable hugging and kissing (on the cheek) friends who are positive - which would have really distressed me (shamefully) before.  
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Avatar_f_tn
PS - I tested negative aged 17 and 22, but haven't tested since because I think it just fuels my OCD. I have never had unprotected sex with a man - so I think the testing doesn't help the overthinking.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think testing when you have been in a no risk scenerio fuels a feeling of danger. I think that feeling of danger is one feeling I have been struggling with.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am amazed that I found this site. It is very refreshing. I have had OCD since I was 18 years old when I had unprotected sex I though I contracted HIV so I got tested over 10 times over a 12 month period only to finally accept I did not have it. Since then I have never had sex. I am finally in a relationship with someone who has a high sex drive and we have been together for a couple of weeks. He told me that even though he wants to have sex, that he is willing to wait. But he thinks the reason why I want to wait is b/c I want to see if this relationship is real etc., but the truth THERE IS NO WAY that I can have sex and I belive I will cost this relationship. I am very attractive I'm told by friends, etc. but I am 30 years old and I am so so tiered living like this. How can one be in a realtionship this way. I feel like I'm a weirdo or I simply will give up on relationships all together. My therapist thinks I am finally pushing my boundaries. For example all 4 days we slept together (not ORAL SEX OR SEX) we just made out felt each others bodies in the nude, etc. We both turn each other alot. But even from making out and all that I described I feel like wow, am I at risk of getting HIV, etc. but I know it is mainly from my OCD but also I feel it's real like may freakishly it's going to happen to me. PLEASE HELP and thank you so much for starting this thread. I really appreciate your genuine input.

-AAN
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok heres my story.  My ocd about hiv started like 3 years ago.  I woke up one morning and thought maybe someone pricked me with a needle during the night, absolutely ridiculous, but the anxiety was just too much.  Then, I resolved to get a test done in 6 months and that eased the pain for a while.  Unfortunately, the ocd came back and at the worst point, my main fear was getting anything that looked like blood on me or getting pricked by a used needle that someone taped under a table or any ledge for that matter.  That led to any ledge under which I couldn't see I would have to check if, upon walking close to that ledge (for example, a table, a desk, bench, etc.)I felt any sort of sensation (slight itch, pain, anything).  I would wash my hands constantly and I even took a shower for like 2 hours once.  Ever since then, however, it has gotten better.  I now don't care about touching stuff at all, even with unknown substances because, frankly, if I touch stuff, there is no way to know in the future whether hiv was present so, in my mind, there is no way to "check" anything/perform a compulsion.  I'm really glad that part is over with.  However, one part of my hiv ocd still stubbornly remains and that is the part about dirty needles under ledges.  And it gets even more specific than that.  I don't care about dirty needles being under ledges in which I can check at a later time easily without any people walking by and thinking what a weirdo.  On the other hand, I also don't care about ledges where a ton of people walk by constantly and there is absolutely no chance that I wouldn't be noticed.  Lastly, I don't care about temporary "ledges" such as a fold out table, where, if I didn't check under it, then someone else would notice (if there was any needle under it) eventually.  Thus no need for me to check those.  So, the ones that do get me are ledges in which not many people pass by and I have a slight chance of checking under it without being noticed.  If that makes any sense, that is what causes the most anxiety.  For example, things that make me anxious would include under a water fountain by a track, benches by a tennis court, or anywhere where people are but not always, and the ledge has to be a permanent structure.  This all seems very weird to me rationally but we all know that ocd is irrational and this is why it continues.  
     I have been trying really hard to ignore these thoughts and a lot of the times it works, but occasionally, one of them gets me.  I'm really anxious for a couple days, but then, no matter how bad it seems at first, the anxiety subsides completely.  Lastly, it always seems that if I am not worried about something in the moment, that my mind is racing to try to find something to worry about as if it is not allowing me to NOT worry about something.  very weird stuff...doesn't make sense to me.  Anyone have any remotely similar experiences or any ideas here?  I think I might be on the verge of getting this under control.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi im so happy to know im not the only one going insane with this! i most definately have OCD.it all started when i had precancerous cells removed on my cervix almost 8 years ago.from then on i was convinced i had cervical cancer, my doctor assured me that if i get regular paps i would be ok.nope not me it was always the what if?!!! googling never helped either. i was terrified until i had that in the clear test result come back.you think that is nuts? i had  myself convinced i was pregnant with 57 pregnancy tests in total blood/urine ;) my doctor recommended a therapist and i basically told him to f off. so with the non stop googling and tv shows like i did;nt know i was pregnant? scared the living hell out of me.i had anyway i had to get an ultrasound to proove i wasnt. so that brings me to the worst fear ever HIV!. i had a supposedly no risk encounter.protected sex for a few min.and now im driving myself mad with the what if scenario with that as well.its weird, ill be fine for a few days or if i read a few posts on here or aidsmeds and then boom!!! ill read something on another site and ill go into panic mode! sorry if im rambling but i totally know where you guys are coming from, i also had a 4 week neg test but still  dont trust it.im terrified to get the 6 week one:( this is taking over my life tbh. i really cant take it anymore! damn you OCD:(....
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Avatar_m_tn
Please, please get some help! I have had OCD for 17 years and I know all the pain, fear, anger, devastation, etc.... that you feel. Please get help before you get married so that you and your husband can enjoy life! When I was first diagnosed I was put on luvox which helped calm me down but didn't fix the problem. It got so bad my parents almost had to give our dog away because I kept feeling I was harming her. I couldn't hardly get out of bed or leave the house. I struggle with the HIV/ contamination fears as well. My parents finally found hope and help for me through behavior therapy. In Saint Louis, MO there is a behavioural health institute with a therapist who specializes in OCD treatment and is one of the best in the country. She helped me soooo much! Its not cheap but well worth it! There are also books out now about self help behavioral therapy, one is called "Brainlock". It really explains what OCD is and how to trick it. Its a chemical imbalance and when you change your thoughts about OCD, your brain chemicals rebalance themselves and the hyperactivity in the brian calms down. People can get 98% better!! Please, please get help, it won't go away on its own, you will never be able to wash enough or take enough tests and you can't outwill it! But it is stupid and you can trick it! God luck and God bless!
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AAA so happy to find this site! Totally relate to this.... I'm so sick and tired of these ******* thoughts about HIV and the "what if''s", despite trying to run through the low risk things I have done. Still does not help. And the worst is that I know that if I go for (another) test, I will still have the thoughts, no escaping! I recently (Jan) came off medication I was on for anxiety, and things were great, but recently this **** is popping up again (I think due to the fact that I have flu)... Cannot take it anymore. I see a psychologist, but it does not help between sessions having these thoughts :(
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I am ver very relieved that i have come across this site. I now know that i am not alone. I really thought i was the only person in the world that was going through this. Having thought of having ....that diesease... has really torn me apart i wake up it's that thought i go to sleep it's that thought i try fightting it off by thinking positive but it just doesn't work. I have this crazy thought after me and my parents had a roomate who was positive towards the diesease. Me and her  was very cool, she even called me her little sister. I used to do her eyebrows and weeks later i would try to use the same eyebrow razor to do my eyebrows at that time i was young and dumb and didnt know any better. It's when i started to grow older i realize what i tried to do was so dumb i just automatically had the fear of being infected. I am so scared of getting this diesease i can't even spell the name out. I know once the diesease hits the air, the virus is gone but i cant help but think i actually have it. My friends tell me to stop jinxing myself and says i do not have it but my mind won't correspond to positive thoughts. At one point i even thought i had herpes but i never had a sore.There isd time i would cry myself to sleep because of the fear of getting infected. I never got tested because i dont want the test to come out positive. Every night before i go to sleep, i pray to God hopig and wishing i sdo not have this. When i pray i feel so confident but after the prayer is over, reality sets back in. I think about the people who actually has the diease and i tell myself i must have it too because who am i to not have it. I AM NOT a sexually active person i only had sex 18 times. This is really bugging me because i really want to go to college to become a pharmacists. That is my dream career and i would do anything in my power to become one. I told God that if i had it please just killl me now so i won't have to live with this misery. Since that i am now finiding that i have OCD i feel a bit relieved maybe my mind is playing tricks but the thought of my actually having hiv IS still at alrge i dont think ths thought will ever actually go away. Lord please help me and internet friends of this forum help me alo. i really want to becomea  pharmacists, i need to over come this negative thought. Thank you guys for being open about your sitiaution i am not alone.
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Avatar_m_tn
hello
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i thought it was just me, but for the last 13 yrs iv been convinced i got hiv, after 12 test of hiv 1 hiv2 p27 and more and care workers because noone believes me! iv been going through intense therapy for the last 4 yrs im on medication because they think i suffer with skitzophrenia due to a mental breakdown because of these obsessive thoughts! Iv noticed bones appear had cold after cold, achy bone,s fatigue, lung infections, weight gain , weight loss at one point,nausea, dizziness etc and i just 6 wks ago suffered a heart attack and now out of the blue i got unstable angina and i put it down to having full blown aids, but the test keep coming back neg, so your not on your own hunnie and noone will convince you u havent got it unless your willing to accept it in your own time, there is medication and docs that will help the compulsive thoughts, you really need to know your seriously not on your own and there is pycological help when your ready. take care hunnie keep your chin up

sarah xx
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Avatar_m_tn
Is anyone out there who thinks  he/she may have HIV after a exposure despite testing -ve a lot of times and then NEEDLE NOT CHANGED and things like begin to haunt ?
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Avatar_m_tn
As much as I regret to say this, I'm glad I've come across so many people who are experiencing the same issues as I am.  As strange as it may sound, it always makes one feel a bit better when he knows he's not the only one.

I'd say that my phobia over HIV has last about 8 years now, ever since I was in my early 20's.  When I was 21 I had an unprotected sexual encounter with a girl I was dating, who I later found out had a rather "risky" sexual history, and wasn't one who really believed in using condoms.  Luckily I came out of the situation ok and tested negative, but I never really was able to shake the paranoia since then.  I'd even go as far as to say that my fear of HIV even affected my following relationships, and was a major distraction for me in school, and at work.

Although today I am much more educated on what presents itself as being high risk, low risk, and virtually NO risk in terms of HIV transmission, I still find myself worrying over the most ridiculous situations.  My most recent one occurred over a month ago.  I am presently in a long term, monogamous relationship.  Just over a month ago me and a few of my friends had a night out that involved some drinking, and later heading on over to a local strip club.  Earlier in the night I felt pretty buzzed, so before going to the strip club we decided to stop off somewhere to grab a bite to eat (I foolishly hadn't eaten all day), and drink some NON-alcoholic in order to re-hydrate.  After eating a hearty meal and relaxing for over an hour, I felt much better and more coherent.  

We headed to the strip club and after being there for about 15-20 minutes a stripper came to sit at our table and made conversation.  She asked me if I was interested in a private lap dance, to which I agreed.  I couldn't have been with her for more than 15 or so minutes, and till this day I do not remember us engaging in ANYTHING risky other than her allowing me to kiss her breasts momentarily.  Later than night I "pleasured" myself and upon finishing I noticed that there was some blood in my ejaculatory fluid.  I didn't think anything of that night.  The next day I decided to read up on it and apparently it's actually quite common and nothing to worry about if it occurred only once.

Needless to say, a month later I started thinking about it all and of course started scaring myself.  I started to make myself believe that maybe I actually did MORE than just get a lap dance with teh stripper, and that I might blacked out or forgot about it because I drank that night.  I try to get a grip over my thoughts by reminding myself that I remember many parts of the night in vivid detail, from what the stripper looked like, to the fact that she even made sure I knew the "rules" before getting the lap dance (no touching of the vagina), to how much money I even spent for the whole night.  I still keep making myself think however that I somehow managed to forget about inserting my penis in her without a condom on, even if it's impossible for me to have actually done so.  

My issue isn't so much with myself getting sick.  I am an adult and I am more than willing to accept the consequences of my actions.  My fear however is having potentially infected my fiancee over my stupidity.  I simply would never be able to live with the shame and torment of having gotten someone I love sick.  Once again, I know my fears based on on this episode are completely irrational, but the only way I can shake them once and for all is by going to get tested (it will probably be the 10th time in my life).  I need that scientific evidence in order to put my mind at ease once and for all.  I'm so scared though...
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Avatar_f_tn
I was raped sixteen months ago. By somone who told me they had HIV I stopes mensturating and had the ars symptoms. I've been tested for a year and a half and it's been negative but yet I'm so scared I won't even leave my house
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I am so incredibly sorry to hear you were raped.  You mentioned that you have been tested for a year and a half and it has always been negative, that is great.  However, have you ever sought treatment for the psychological trauma that you have been living with?  If not, then I suggest you seek therapy either individually or in a group.  You have made a prison for yourself by staying home.  You deserve so much more out of life.  Please think about getting help so that you can move on with your life without fear.  You are in my prayers.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I am very much in the same situation. I was in a relationship with someone who I had no reason to suspect she had HIV.  Not sexually promiscous, not a drug user and I know for a fact she had a test a few months before we got involved as her whole family was tested for an organ donation. Ever since the end of the relationship I have been in pure hell and have gotten tested at least 10 times out to more than 5 months after the relationship ended. A big problem with the HIV fear is there is varying opinions on when you can say you are definitely HIV negative. Every country in the world besides the US says 3 months at the most and some even say 6 weeks is conclusive, but the CDC still likes to say a small percentage of people need to test out to 6 months. Medhelp is a very good site for information on this topic as there are experts from both the US and overseas that give good advice on risk assessment and test reliability. For people with OCD who obsess over the "what ifs", it is difficult to believe the dependability of current testing methods. I am just a couple of weeks away from my 6 month mark and I know that if I don't get tested I will simply never be able to let it go. It is the most infuriating feeling in the world as there are many times where logic takes over fear and I feel confident that I am negative, but the obsessive thoughts always come back. I really don't have any advice on the subject except that you need to try to keep your situation in context. You can find tons of forum posts in the HIV Forum where the doctors explain the math and probability of even getting infected with HIV in the first place (low risk versus high risk) and what a negative result means for a person at what time. And my other piece of advice that I have a hard time following myself is:

Realize that we live in one of the biggest finger-pointing countries in the world where people just look for excuses to sue doctors and health organizations. Remember the US's psychotic response to SARS, bird flu and swine flu? They have to cover their *** as they are the health organization to look to in the US, and their stance on HIV is no different. They even still note on their website that there's been a few cases of people testing positive after 6 months which is something that almost all experts consider to be ********. The CDC will probably never drop their guidelines to be less conservative as they simply cannot take the risk.  If you find a health forum on HIV such as thebody.com where Dr. Bob says to test out to 6 months if you are high risk, you need to read between the lines a little and see some of his posts where he recommends to follow the HIV guidelines of the country you are in. He chooses not to contradict the CDC as there are cases of people taking up to 6 months to test positive. HIV was discovered in 1983 and there is no telling how much money has been spent on testing research since then. All the Medhelp experts say 3 months is even ultra-conservative for everyone except for people on PEP medications and severely compromised immune systems (i.e., cancer, being treated with chemotherapy).  So, if you are able I would try to trust the advice of the experts that are out there in the field testing people every day.  And if you figure out how to do this all the time without doubt creeping into your mind, let me know. :)
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I'm starting to get really worried and I too have OCD.

Me and my friend went to a pub the other night, and I found an unopened packaged condom on my chair. I decided to take it and practice with it when I got home since I'm too embarrassed to buy any, and practice makes perfect eh? :P

After I had tried it on, all that went through my head was the typical OCD fears. This mostly consists of "why was it there?", and "what if someone opened it up and inserted HIV into it?".

Any advice? I know it's stupid but I'm literally going nuts over this, and it's all I'm thinking of right now.
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There is OCD and then there is HIV Anxiety.  Since you are not having other irrational thoughts or compulsive behaviors, I would say you have developed HIV anxiety.  This is very, very common.

Let me tell you a little bit about HIV.  It cannot live on surfaces.  It cannot live on a chair, a package, or a condom sitting in a package.   It can only be transmitted when an HIV infected person's blood comes into DIRECT contact with a cut on an uninfected person.  This is why intercourse is a method of transmission.  And even in this instance, the chances of getting HIV are not 100%.  So you have absolutely no risk of having HIV.  Doubt I know is a big thing here.  You are second guessing what you did trying to prove or disprove whether you have HIV or not.  I promise you that you do not and could not get HIV from practicing with this condom.  
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Thanks for the input JGF25!

The fear got worse due to the fact that a day after I had practised with it I woke up sweating (it was quite hot in my room however) and that I have what appears to be a cold. I had to do a lot of work with my arms that day (which was on sunday, which involved lifting) and my arm is still hurting from it. So all my mind is thinking is that these are HIV symptoms.

Also I do actually suffer with OCD as I was diagnosed with it 15 years ago (crazy to think how long ago it is now), but I've stupidly never gone to get help for it.
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This is something that I have come across with myself as well. My OCD in the past has been with cancer-phobia, and if you have a fear of a specific illness any symptom that pops up will have your mind attach it to the fear. It doesn't seem to matter when a knowledgeable person assures you that there is nothing to worry about. A mind with OCD always seems to think that we will be the 1 in a billion chance that something bad happened as we believe anything is possible. But JGF25 is right: the situation you are concerned about is akin to being worried about a meteorite striking you dead as you get hit by lightning. About as close to impossible as one can get. You may already know this if you're educated but no doctor biologist will ever say something is ZERO risk as mathematical laws of probability prohibit it. But what helps me sometimes is to fully break down what you are worried about. You found an unopened condom. Do you really believe someone with HIV would inject a condom with their blood or semen in a dastardly plot to infect a random stranger? And let's say someone actually did this: HIV is transmitted through fluid. Blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breastmilk. That is IT. Do you really believe you wouldn't have noticed one of those things in the condom? And even if there was something in the condom, HIV cannot survive exposed to air. If it could, tons more people would have HIV. So assuming that everything to this point is true, opening up the condom would expose it to air and kill the virus. And knowing how an OCD mind works, you have probably looked up studies on the internet on how long HIV survives in air. You will probably find something that says biologists have tested concentrated HIV samples which take an hour or so to become inert. But these samples' viral loads are concentrated several hundred times more than you could expect HI infected fluid to be in a natural setting. You put all these things together and you might as well call the HIV risk 100% impossible. If all this does not satisfy you, find a free clinic and get tested and go in for what sounds like some well-needed sex ed. You need to know about condoms and how to use them so when you do have sex (actual HIV risk) you do it safely.
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That was a great post Thomas.  I hope 89tjr found more comfort from the wonderful details you provided.  
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Thanks for the help guys.

It has eased me a bit and hopefully it'll get better with time.

There was actually something inside the condom, but that's because it was a special condom with lube inside it. I knew this and tried it on anyway, but when thinking about it a while later my mind kept jumping to an unrealistic scenario.

I'll most likely get tested sometime in the future anyway (when I'm actually having sex), but I've got to keep telling myself I don't have HIV. There's no reason for me to have HIV and no one, no matter how evil would inject a condom with an STD.

It's funny how OCD instantly thinks of the worse case scenario eh?
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Yes, it is quite amazing how our brains work and what irrational scenarios we can come up with.  Keep saying those positive thoughts.  :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Yeah just got to stay positive!

The only thing concerning me now is the fact I still have a bit of a cold (which isn't a symptom of HIV from what I can tell, but my mind likes to tell me it is!) and my arm still feels stiff (from the heavy work I did on the 4th September). My mind is trying to relate that as being a symptom, but it's stupid to think that since it seems like far too big of a coincidence to pop up the day after lifting up heavy objects.

Just got to try and remain positive.
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Yes I suffer fromt his exact same thing iam convinced i have hiv i had a risky ecounter 3 months ago and have had 5 test done all negitive but i have swollen nodes in my neck and groin and weird pink pimples on my thighs and arms! so im convinced i have hiv even though i have tested Neg
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hey everyone, im afraid of hiv all the time, sometimes i feel better until i see a stain in my clothes, it could be a stain of coke of food or anything but i start to think it could be blood or seme....oh please its horrible, i just want to be happy again and my intrusive thoughts are going me crazy...
i just want to be normal again, my life is beautiful but this ocd doesn't allow me to enjoy my beautiful life, i want to be out of this complete shitt
sorry for my english, im not a native speaker :(
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Suffering with these thoughts is needless.  You both need to seek professional help.  Contracting the HIV virus is a very common irrational fear and therapists have a lot of knowledge and techniques they can pass on to you.  There is also the medication route which can be very helpful.  

You say you want to be normal again...that requires you to be proactive and take charge of your life by seeking out the proper help.  You can do it and you can get your life back.  
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yeah i know, it's difficult, but i go to a therapist and i visit to a psychologist, she helps me a lot but sometimes it's very hard to avoid, i mean the doubt, the doubt is always in my mind.
for example, yesterday i saw a little tree leaf in my hair and i touched it, so it had something brown, so i saw it in my hand, it was mud, obviously but i have a doubt that it maybe was blood...my mother saw it and she told me it was mud...
that is my big problem..
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:( it's going me crazy
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yeah i know, it's difficult, but i go to a therapist and i visit to a psychologist, she helps me a lot but sometimes it's very hard to avoid, i mean the doubt, the doubt is always in my mind.
for example, yesterday i saw a little tree leaf in my hair and i touched it, so it had something brown, so i saw it in my hand, it was mud, obviously but i have a doubt that it maybe was blood...my mother saw it and she told me it was mud...
that is my big problem..
i just want to be happy again, i want my life back
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Avatar_n_tn
HIV Paranoia arises from two different scenarios. Either you know about the disease process and have seen the complications it causes very closely. The other scenario is a guilt that comes from high risk sexual behavior, that makes one believe to have HIV despite negative testing.

In our lives, intimacy and sexual relationships are very important. The problem with HIV is that it threatens to take away this pleasure, more so than having to suffer with the disease itself. It can have a great impact on our relationships, unlike any other disease. This is very unfortunate and I believe is the main reason for our uncontrolled driven anxiety behind it.
The other reasons, is the misery of stigma and deadly complications if left untreated.

Now the first thing to do is to get tested of course. One needs reassurance in an objective way and this is the way to do it, especially if you have been engaged in a a high risk behavior lately.

Now lets talk about the testing itself.

It takes at least 3 months to have positive seroconversion, that is a detectable antibody response. It is checked with ELISA. In US, it is a pre requisite to run a confirmatory test called Western Blot, if this initial screening test is to become positive. ELISA can be falsely positive in many individuals, that is why Western blot, a more confirmatory test is performed. Only after that, an HIV test is reported.

Therefore HIV tests currently available today are very reliable. It can be trusted upto 99.99%, which in my opinion are 100 percent! Dont let your brain invent ideas and fool you here.

If you tested negative after 3 months, it is unlikely to turn positive by itself! That is just simply ridiculous to think.

I suggest the following:
Educate about HIV from CDC website.

If you are so scared, avoid any sexual activity with anyone else except your partner. Monogamous relationships have many advantages. That will keep you at ease

Most of the people have irrational fears to a condition that doesn't exist, which is called Delusion. It is a fixed firm false belief that is simply unshakable!

Get yourself tested after 3 months of any high risk sexual activity (from this I mean unprotected sexual intercourse) and if it is negative, IT IS TIME TO MOVE ON! Close the chapter right away. It is not worth it. Dont waste your money on Medications/CBT, because unless you change your own thinking, no one in this world is going to help you. Remember you are not alone! Pray to God and meditate, talk to your friends and family. It really helps you to understand yourself and get social support.

At the end of the day, what matters is how you control your own brains and not how your brain controls you with its irrational thoughts!

Also, please remember you are a human and you also need some time and a little break to get over it. So allow yourself sometime and never give up! It is not impossible to get rid of this phobia. All you need is a positive inclination in your thinking.

Good luck to everyone and my best wishes for a good health to all of you.

With best regards

K



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thank u for your words.
i have done an hiv test by elisa, i have waited 6 months and the results were negative...therefore I taught my brain to avoid any situation in order to  get hivi, ut it's a paranoic thought because I check the objects everytime, i can't walk in the street without look after blood or condom or anything, it freaks me out!! i can't touch the floor because im afraid of blood, i dont know...it's hard but i know im infected because of the two tests...
i want just to avoid my paranoic thoughts because im not happy in that way...
sorry again for my English, im not a native speaker and i dont speak English with anybody :(
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What you really need is to be checked out by a psychologist/psychiatrist.  There are many things you can do from CBT to medication that can alleviate your fears.  You just need to be proactive and seek out the profesional help.  This is not a way to live and you don't have to live your life this way.  Many people on this forum and the HIV Anxiety forums have gotten help and moved on with their lives.  Best of luck.  
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Hello Mel 536,
I thought I;d reply to you since we are in similar age groups. I too am suffering from this obssession of thinking I have HIV. I've never had unprotected intercourse and about a year ago I had oral sex with a person I have just met and since then have been paranoid. (I know its low risk but it still bothers me) I have been tested twice and both times were negative, yet for some reason I still think I am positive every single day. Anything that reminds me of HIV or that night makes me panic and I hate it, and wish I could just get over it but the fact that I am so ashamed of my actions with that one person makes it much harder to get over.

I'm glad I'm not the only one going crazy over this.
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Everyone on here is needlessly going crazy over this.  Trust me, I have been in your shoes.  I thought the same thoughts.  I sat in a hospital AIDS clinic as a type of exposure therapy to get past this.  It worked.  HIV is no longer an irrational thought for me.  I did all of this through therapy.  I became education about the ways of transmission.  That is why I recommend that anyone that is stuck in this irrational thought cycle about HIV to be proactive and seek help.  
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thanks again for your words....these helped me a lot
look....im taking pills, it helped me a lot but i think that i sometimes dont make a strong effort in order to control my irrational thoughts, i was stronger when i was younger but now...i just wait for the effects of the pills...but i know it's not the right way to struggle with this disorder.
im much better when i use my learned techniques but sometimes im stubborn, haha
my psichologist is specializing in ocd and she helped with my disorder..
i think my problem is on finding new "possible" ways on contracting hiv. it's crazy
i think the key is to return to the past, i was so different!! i think (and i read it) that you have to make your brain to get used to think in a different way, i dont know how to explain but you have to remove your intrusive thoughts....well i tried to make myself the more clear as i could, i dont know if you understood...
but im reading linden method, it's really good
blessings
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Of course I understand.  Remember, I sat in an AIDS clnic for who knows how long to get past this irrational thought.  I know it is hard but it does sound like you have all the tools you need.  Our brains don't always cooperate unfortunaely.  It is truly amazing to me what we can make up in our heads!  Just keep doing what you are doing, eventually it should become a non issue.  Best of luck and post again if you need to talk.  
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Also, do me a favor, if you post again pleae start a new post. This is such a long and old post that it takes forever to get to the bottom of it.  :)  
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hey everyone, hey jgf25 it's me again.
im having a crisis now, i just think that im not going to have a cure, i think that im weaker now more and more...im really desesperated because i have a weird sense of contamination around me, i cant not travel by public transport without checking everywhere i go and i find many stains!! i dont know what they are but these freak me out!! im very sad, im angry with this disorder i just wanto to take this disorder off my mind, but i cant!!! it *****, ****...im want my life back....i know that you dont know me but i can understand you, too
look...today i had a cut on my finger by a door, it was a little dot (i dont know how to explain)i didnt have blood or anything, any fluid, nothing but that event freaked me out anyway...do you think it's possible to get infected with hiv in that way?
second event: i had three stains on my jeans, i dont know what those were but i touched those, then i had the thoughts that they could  be semen or breast milk but anyway those stains were dry. however, i started to cry because i thought that i could get inffected with hiv by that way. HEY WHAT DO YOU THINK??? I DONT KNOW HOW TO  OVERCOME THIS, I THINK IT'S NOT POSSIBLE TO DO...
my problem is that sometimes i think that many ways are possible of getting hiv, i dont know, sometimes i think they are irrational thoughts but sometimes i think they are possible!! what can i do??? how do i know they are impossible??? please help me!!! what do you think??
thank u so much, really...thank u and sorry for my english, im not a native speaker
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you remind me a lot of myself. I take the simplest things and turn them into HUGE problems. It's like I know the risks and routes of transmission but I can't seem to shake the fact of the "what ifs". "What if i'm the first person to get it by pumping gas" and other crazy thoughts run through my head. Going to the gym helps me relieve stress/anxiety. Having too much downtime is bad for an idle mind so try to stay active.

I know exactly what you are going through. You're not alone. God Bless.
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thank u a lot, sometimes it's funny but sometimes it's not...what if...what if...there are a lot of these questions on my mind...
thank u for understanding me
blessings
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Hi i thing there is a way for your anxiety to go away. I read it online on how a person went to their doctor who prescriped a medicine pills called paxil-this helps mellow down your phobia and when anything creeps up in your mind it quickly goes away-THE MEDICINE IS CALLED PAXIL
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Actually there are quite a few medications out there that can work for OCD.  Paxil is just one of them.  Each medication may work differently depending on who is taking it.  So while Paxil may work for one person it might not work for another so just keep that in mind.  I take Wellbutrin and that works very well for me.  I have not tried Paxil.  I have tried Celexa and Zoloft and they didn't work for me.  
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Hi

I am going through exactly what you describe and having a nightmare trying to shake the irrational thoughts. I worked out my risk of getting HIV from my low risk exposure plus my negative tests as 1 in a million at least. Yet I continue to be panic stricken and attribute every symptom to it. I have been told it's OCD feeding the fear and to just keep telling my mind to shut up and ignore the irrational thinking. I really do understand how you feel. Things will get better, it's all about putting things into context. There's ore chance if being struck by lightning : )

Take care
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I had a high risk incident, I am OCD.  I tested negative 4 weeks and 5 days after exposure.  Every little sniffle, cough, cold I get has me grabbing a flashlight and looking at my throat, and I swear I am having ARS symptoms.  I was good after my negative test only for a few days, then I was concerned over the accuracy of the test (Keep in mind it was a high risk exposure).  Yesterday, sore throat, diarrhea, upset stomach and chills had me grabbing the flashlight and staring at my throat and tonsils again.  It has been 11 weeks.  

I guess what I am getting at, is that I am going through a cycle, I am fine, then I am obsessed, then I am fine, so on.  I know that it is unlikely to have symptoms 11 weeks post exposure.  I am going to be tested one more time and try to move on, hopefully.  I'd say that you are fine. If you tested negative after a low risk exposure, your fine.  I was high risk, the most risky type of exposure.  I have no symptoms, just paranoia.  I can relate, but I cant stop the mania in my head, and I don't think I will ever be able to stop.  

Best of luck to you!
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Recently Steve Jobs died... I came across his words of wisdom...

"Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."_Steve Jobs

You all have a treatable condition... Just give yourself some time....

Fear is the second most powerful thing in the world. But Faith is most powerful above all. Just have faith in in your negative HIV tests... and move on guys...

All the best everyone
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im  to  having  same  problem  i  got  tested  in  jan  june  august  and  september  3  of  them  4th  generation  tests  and 4th  test  insit test  all  negative  it  happened  to  me  by  a  man  who  grabbed  and  kissed me  while  i was  intoxicate  in beer  few  days  later  i  got  dry  mouth  oral thrush  swollen  throat  night  sweats  couldnt  eat  couldnt sleep  and  to  this  day  i  still  dont  feel well still  having  mouth  problems  and  gp  did  full  blood  count  and theres  an  infection  in  my  neutrophils  if  its not  hiv  then what  else  can  it  be  im really worried  i  have it  and  have  passed  it to  my  family unaware  i  had  been  put  at  risk  im  so  scared
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hi
  i have the same situation..friends.. i had some kind of ocd in my childhood..i too had anorexia. during my college3 time i  had love failure and i was deeply worried in the absence of my girl friend.then i started to hate girls and i thought that they are just for sex and fun..i had three un protected oral sex episodes from my three girlfriends(latter)..but now i fear that i have hiv. i tested my self three times and the result was negative. whenever i get a fever, fattigue or abdominal discomfort , i doubt it as hiv. i have recently diagnosed with irrittable bowel syndrome.i just want to get rid of this hell feeling.
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I can relate i had unprotected sex about 2 months ago got all symptoms of an std got tested all negative thank God. But I have slight kidney strain and a lil achey (achy) also. What could this be my doctor told me I'm a really healthy guy but I don't feel so healthy. Anybody can tell me if my doctor missed something?
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Anxiety can take a hevy toll on the body and if you are in doubt of your test results and anxious all the time, this would account for why you don't feel well.  If all has been checked out including the STD testing, then you have nothing to worry about.  Try to replace any negative thoughts you are having with positive ones.  I'm sure the doctor didn't miss anything.  
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im  to  going  through  same  thing  i  had  every  symptom  of  hiv  going  got  it  into  my  head  i  had  infected  my  family  unaware  i  had  been  put at risk  the  risk was  low  it  was  a  kiss  by  a  man  whos  status  was  unknown  i  now believe he  was  a  drug  user  i  got tested  4  times  and  they  was  all  negative  im  still  having a  mouth  problem  13  months  later  does  anyone  think the  tests can  really  be  negative  but  still  hae  hiv  i  no  this  is  making  my  anxiety  rise  and  also  depression  i  have had  mountains  of  blood  tests  and  they say  infection  in  the  white  cells  gp  said  in  the  neutrophilis no  treatment  works for  the  mouth  im  so  scared  
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You absolutely do not have HIV.  If after 3 months the tests are negative then you are most definitely negative.  What you do have is HIV anxiety.  When you are this anxious, our immune system is weakened.  You also become so hypersensitive to your body and any change whatsoever you think is something related to HIV.  This is very common.  

What you need to do is seek treatment from a psychologist for the HIV anxiety.  They can teach you cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.  These include breathing when you are panicing.  It includes journaling your thoughts by writing down the negative ones and replacing them with positive ones.  For instance, "What if the tests are wrong?" and replace it with "I've had 4 tests which are all negative and therefore I cannot possibly be HIV positive."  Nobody seroconverts 13 months after an "exposure" and you don't even know if what you had was a real exposure or not.  

So go to a psychologist and treat the HIV anxiety.  Once you get that under control you we be better and able to let this go.  

Take care.  
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I have had these thoughts and it has ruined my life. It started when I had sex for the first time 15 years ago. I felt guilt and shame and my parents were so mad at me they made it worse. They made me believe I deserved HIV and would not talk to me about it. I didn't want to admit my worries to others so was convinced it was my punishment. It was the end of high school. Through college I drank to cope and couldn't concentrate. I am now over that whole worry of HIV but cannot remember how to be calm inside. I am very angry and full of discontent. I have always had bad relationships bc I felt I couldn't love myself due to the anxieties. Is anyone else in this boat? No one understands how I got to be this way. I can't explain it but I have put myself through hell due to my mind.
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Im glad I found this site. I have OCD and I have basically put so many irrational thoughts in my head and need help. I have a psychologist and psychiatrist but i feel they appease me.  I was with a great guy for a year 2 yrs ago. Before we were together I was a virgin so i had him get tested. He gave me the results because he knew I had OCD since we had been friends for years. He was negative, we then had unprotected sex, and I couldn't believe I did. I think it was my upbrining...sex before marriage very bad! Anyway, i would drill him about affairs and he would deny them, I never had a reason I just believed how could he be faithful but we were always together. Anyway, he is a blood donor and he has always been fine.  Then it got to a point my paranoia was so bad he went and got another test, I could never do it. I would go to  the lab and get so sick I would throw up. I am raising my cousins child who is 3 and I think I gave it to him by cleaning him since im a nail bitter and have cuts sometimes on my cuticles. Well, anyway my boyfriends second test was negative.  I have now made him use condoms but still can't shake the fear. Well he broke up with me. I feel horrible cause our relationship was good when i wasn't having melt downs. we are still friends and we talk time to time. I know he still loves me very much and actually was tested this october and told me he was negative. he said he just wanted me to know and if I ever get my mind right he would be there. a response would be great, teling me to get tested which is the rational thing is something I cant do though I get sick thinking of it. help.
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I'm not going to tell you to get test at all, it isn't necessary.  You know, I have been in your shoes as far as HIV anxiety.  I had a psychologist and a psychiatrist as well.  What are they doing for you?  Did the psychologist teach you CBT?  Did the psychiatrist prescribe medication?  
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JDigger, there is no need on here to "explain" the way your mind has worked over the years.  We get it.  We have all been there including myself.  All I can say is that what worked for me was to see a psychologist and learn cognitive behavioral therapy to deal with the anxiety the thoughts brought on and also how to combat the thoughts themselves.  I also take medication to help as well.  There are many anti-depressants out there, the SSRIs and SNRIs, that help very well with OCD.  If you are unsure about medication that is fine.  You should start with CBT anyway and learn the techniques that you can use to help yourself.  From there you can try meds if you want.  The most important thing is to seek treatment from a professional.  So if you have not already done so, seek out a psychologist that specializes in CBT as a start.  They can diagnose you formally and then start treatment.  
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My boy friend and i been together for 6months he tested neg. But I'm afraid to get checked cause i think I'm be pos. I'm stressed out.
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What do you mean you think you may be HIV positive and you are afraid to get a test?  Either you had an exposure or you didn't...which is it?  If you had a real exposure and you are walking around thinking you are positive, then not testing is stupid really.  
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Hi. I've never really thought I suffered from OCD before but do suffer from anxiety and depression on occasions. I too at the moment and have internittently over the years been convinced I am HIV pos. I have had a number of tests and have also given blood which has always been fine, please note, this was done when I felt more rational. I wouldn't dream of doing it now. It's all too easy to search online and match any small symptom. I recently on top of this have started obsessing on things such as did I lock my doors. I have had to go home to check before. I do feel like I'm going crazy and it's flaring up all my anxieties do its nice to know I'm not the only one. Just finding this site and typing this post has helped relieve some of the pressure I felt that was leading to a panic attack.
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Hi. I've never really thought I suffered from OCD before but do suffer from anxiety and depression on occasions. I too at the moment and have internittently over the years been convinced I am HIV pos. I have had a number of tests and have also given blood which has always been fine, please note, this was done when I felt more rational. I wouldn't dream of doing it now. It's all too easy to search online and match any small symptom. I recently on top of this have started obsessing on things such as did I lock my doors. I have had to go home to check before. I do feel like I'm going crazy and it's flaring up all my anxieties do its nice to know I'm not the only one. Just finding this site and typing this post has helped relieve some of the pressure I felt that was leading to a panic attack.
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Wow, you actually did that type of exposure?  That's very brave of you dude!! I totally agree with you on doing this type of exposure activity. I so wish I had the courage to do this..  I don't think my mind can handle it.  by the way I also suffer from OCD.  My biggest obsession though is HIV.
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I am constantly tortured by my fears of contracting HIV. I have one partner that I have been with for three months, and we are exclusive. We ALWAYS have protected vaginal sex, but we have unprotected oral sex. He has never been tested, but claims that every girl he has been with has been tested, and they were all negative. He semi-recently got out of a monogamous 2-year relationship, and i am the first girl he has had sex with since the break-up. He's never used IV drugs or had any homosexual contact. I just had a rapid HIV test last week and it was negative. I am convinced that I am in the window period or I just haven't contracted the virus YET, but I will soon. I probably spend at least 8 total hours per day freaking out about it. I even dream about been diagnosed with it! He never worries about contracting the virus, and it blows my mind! I look around at other people all the time and estimate how many of them have HIV. I feel awful saying this, but I often avoid black people and gay men out of fear that they have AIDS and will somehow infect me. I am aware that it sounds awful. I am not implicitly racist nor homophobic. But I feel that AIDS awareness groups are constantly trying to convince us that most people on this planet have HIV/AIDS, and we are all going to get it eventually and die from it. Maybe I'm overreacting about that, but I constantly live in fear!!!
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There is a wonderful HIV anziety forum on MedHelp that I think you should look into.  I don't believe you have formal OCD but rather HIV anxiety.  I'm not a doctor though so I'm not qualified to diagnose you.  If this is taking up the majority of your day, then it is time to seek psychologial treatment.  You are not alone as you can see.  I think most of the posts I see regard HIV anxiety.  I had it myself years ago and yes, it stinks.  My exposure therapy was to sit in an AIDS clnic during my lunch hour for a few weeks to realize that being in close proximity to people with AIDS, touching the same magazines, sitting in the same chairs, being coughed on was not going to infect me.  If it was so easy to spread the virus the entire world would be infected by now.  
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Hi all,

This really is a great site to stumble upon. I've been following this thread for little over a year and everytime I read the new comments I am somewhat reassured. I have OCD and since im 16 I have been worrying about HIV infection.
I'm now 20 and still fear that I have contracted it. One day I'd be fine. Then I would cut my hand. Then there might be family exposed to blood and I can't get the bad thoughts out of my head for weeks( sometimes I can't and I have to get another test to assure me). Every time I have a bad thought in my head I have to do a ritual. Example would be touching wood a certain amount of times. OCD is horrible and it is certainly degrades the quality of my life. Maybe even more than HIV can/could.
I have tried CBT but it really did not help me. Maybe I did not try hard enough, As you do have to help them to help you.  I think forums and places like this are a great place to help one another. I would love to see a site made solely for this fear of HIV which coincides with OCD.

Also thanks to many posters on this site. You have helped me and im sure others.
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I feel your pain.  I had sudden bout of anxiety about HIV recently and decided to take a full STD panel test that includes HIV.  I read on the internet (which doesn't help) that flu like symptoms can happen a few weeks after infection.  Well, my ex-girlfriend and I had unprotected sex around 4 weeks before she got really sick with a sore throat and body pains.  This was way back in May, and for some reason this week I remembered that, and decided I gave her HIV.  Of course, I had no idea if I had ever had sex with an HIV positive person or not, but still decided that was the case.  I am 33 years old, and have been with around 8 people, with 3 of them unprotected sex.  Two were committed relationships, and 1 I kind of regret.  It was a lady in her 40's when I was 28.  She didn't want to use a condom, and we had sex once.  This crawled back into my mind for some reason this week.  She is really the only partner I have had doubts about.  Well I submitted my blood and urine sample on Wednesday and was supposed to find the results in 24-72 hrs.  Of course, as of this morning no results yet.  The last two days have been miserable for me.  Constant searching for answers on the internet, praying, you name it.  So here it is New Years weekend and I have to wait until next Tuesday my results?  (Monday is considered the New Years holiday).  I would have probably locked myself in my house all weekend and done nothing if didn't take action.  If found a free HIV/AIDS clinic here in town and they provide a rapid HIV test with a finger ***** for blood.  They put the blood in a vile with some solution and start the timer for 15 minutes.  If only one red stripe goes across the strip you are negative.  Two, and a positive but it requires a follow up test to confirm.  He said it is 99.98% accurate, and the .02 that isn't is because of false positives, not negatives.  Those are the only ones that require follow up.  BTW, I am freaking out at this point and he was talking to me to keep busy and I looked and only one strip was across after 5 minutes.  He told me that actually I was likely already in the clear and the CDC is even talking about lowering the time to 5 minutes.  Of course I kept staring at the strip and all ended up being well.  NEGATIVE.  The guy was super nice and the only reason it took so long is because he counseled me on anxiety and depression.  He could tell I was jacked up in the head.  Now I can enjoy my weekend, and hope my other test doesn't come back with herpes or something (LOL).  Folks, the moral of the story is this- the only way to cure anxiety is to get the test done.  Its quick and easy, and in this case free.  Good luck out there.
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First I'd would like to thank everyone here for posting.  I feel your pain, reading your posts have helped me a little.

I suffer from OCD and also have an extreme fear of contacting HIV.  I have had this fear since I was 15 and I am now 27 (I've been sexually active since I was 14).

Every single time I have a new sexual partner anywhere from days, weeks, months or even a year after I am convinced that I have contracted HIV from that partner.  What happens is I start looking for HIV symptoms in that person... Which doesn't help, because EVERYTHING is an HIV symptom!!!
And sometimes after a sexual partner comes down with flu like symptoms I'm convinced I have given them HIV.

I get tested very often... The workers at my local clinic all know me and I always feel as though they are looking at me with disgust, or like I'm crazy or both. I don't have insurance and due to my constant testing I've actually been short on money for rent, electricity and basic needs such as food.

I was just tested 3 weeks ago... Which reassured me for exactly 4 days.  You see my kinda new partner and I were intimate at that 4 day period and I didn't notice he wasn't wearing a condom for about 1 minute of vaginal and anal sex... What doesn't help is now I have a cold... Even though all my roommates and co-workers have a cold as well I am convinced that I didn't catch this cold and that I have caught HIV from him.  And to make matters even worse I noticed scars on his arms and legs which convinced me he has KS lesions.... He's had construction type jobs all his life and he says many scars he's had for decades and none of those scars are raised like KS lesions, still none of this helps me with my phobia.

I have read all the studies that even having unprotected anal and vaginal sex with an infected partner your chances from contracting are less 10% per incident... Yet this still does not help ease my mind at all.

Now I'll have to wait 3 months to be absolutely sure about any new testing results.  I think the worst part of everything is that my brain tries to tell me there are reasons not to worry so much but those reassuring thoughts disappear so quickly and my phobia takes over.  My anxiety keeps from my work, my graduate studies, my friendships and all my other relationships.  I'm currently at the can't eat and sleep stage as well.  When I had insurance medication didn't help much and neither did behavioral therapy.  Whats really depressing is at times when my HIV phobia is in hiding I also have a lung cancer and ovarian cancer phobia.  So, I am never really free.          
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Ok , I received a ******** from a random woman.. It lasted no longer then 3 minutes and she swallowed. about two weeks later I got bronchitis.. shortness of breathe, flem (phlegm), cough.. In my readings that is an early sign for HIV...I got better but then I stood in the cold and got sick again.. Ive been sick on and off for a month now. This is freaking me out considering I have never had sex.. I would like to mention I am a smoker.. I am fearing for my life and just dont know what to do.. Earlier in my sickness i was sweating but i believe that was due to my high blood pressure because I was stressing the situation. I really need some advice and please do not wave me off and take in to consideration my symptoms. Please.
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Heres my story and i hope it will help people make the right choices when it come to HIV irrational anxiety/ocd

In 1999 i had protected oral sex from an escort with a condom. I was 24 yrs old. The next 3 months were a living hell for me as i searched the web for REASSURANCE that the extremely low risk activity was just that. I got tested 5 times in this period all negative. I put it to bed then after 90 days however the damage was already done. I had exposed myself to so much info on HIV that my unconsious mind became sensitive to the whole topic and would spit out information every now and again to me. It was not for about 4 yearls later and about 15 hiv tests with all low risk activities that someone told me i possibly had ocd. Obsessed with catching hiv...compulsion....searching the net for REASSURANCE and eventually getting tested. It got to a point were i was obsessing about kissing girls and exposure to saliva.Ridiculous. In 2003 i found the website www.ocdonline.com and found some cases on HIV anxiety/ocd so got in touch wth the therapists and did 6 weeks of therapy over the phone. It has changed my life since and i have not been tested since 2003 . Detached acceptance was a tool that really worked well for me and still does to this day.  Looking for REASSURANCE over the net fuels OCD..it gives it its oxygen. I dont search the net anymore. I live with low risk...i live with uncertainty. I live a normal life now. Yeah i get anxiety spikes or episodes everynow and again but they are shortlived as i have the right tools in place to deal with them.
If your not sleeping thru the night and cant see the wood from the trees then medication may be required to get you back on track.   Paroxetine (paxil) is great for ocd...got me to think straight again and gave me the time and confidence to do the therapy back in the day
Along with the excercises wheni have episodes ..once every couple of years....i have used subliminal power.com software on my computer at work which has also worked brilliantly (positive thougts blasts anxiety). since 03 i have got married and have 2 beautiful daughters ..and i also have completed 2 ironman triathlons and am due to do a third this year.  The tools are there to fight this demon you created you just have to use them when needed. Dont give OCD the oxygen it needs. Stay off the net. this is the first time i have posted anything on the topic in 8 years. I hope this points one person in the right direction.
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"Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once."

Most  of you  have too much spare time,start doing something like living a little instead investigating and searching diseases on internet.
Stop using internet for a while go outside get some fresh air etc
come on you live only once! and the time is ticking quickly
stop wasting the best days of your life ,change your thinking
think positive or try not to think at all
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Brilliant mate ..thanks for posting!
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Hi, I'm in sort of that boat. I tend to find guys here and there over the internet. I got tested recently when I started seeing this girl. I gave this 30 year old guy living with his family some head. He didn't even finish. All I could think about is that I contracted a disease & possibly given it to this girl. I got sick when I visited her and could only feel guilty that I may have given her something. I asked him at least 4 times already if he was clean and each time he told me yes. Should I be worried?
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Oh dear! I'm the same way. I have extreme OCD as it related to HIV, contamination, germs, checking and confessing. I also severely restrict what I eat and I've refused paxil for fear of weight gain. It's like you live in a prison. My friend completely triggered me last night over my bf who coincidentally, has OCD too. And I woke up in a panic thinking I have HIV even though he's told me that he gets tested regularly and that he's ok.

It's a prison in your own mind wondering what if. What if he lied? What if he misunderstood the post test counselling? What if he's avoiding the topic because he has something to hide? It's as if I'm trapped inside my own mind and nobody, not even another sufferer of OCD understands what I'm going through.
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I have this form of OCD as well as a barrage of others that I feel like I treat daily LOOL I have to laugh at them because If I dont I think Ill cry -
I never knew it was OCD tht I suffered from until one day I while shopping for my twin brother - during Christmas on LI - at nighttime - I was in a bdalton or something and came across the book THE OCD WORKBOOK - which literally changed my life -
I felt so alone for so many year you have no Idea - and erveryone's comments on here- I FEEL YA I think what makes me feel the saddest is the damage it caused internally - all the beautiful happy family memories I could never enjoy for fear of something ridiculous like - someone poisoning my diet coke - or some **** - LOL
Funny but looking back I wouldnt wish OCD on my worst enemies dog KNOWLEDGE IS POWER THO and you will never be fully through it - with medicine and CBT !!!! (ACTUALLY THE BIGGEST COMPONENT) you will get better -
I wish you all the best !
I cant believe how long this goddamned horrible disease plagued me - LITERALLY my whole life - I actually wish i could visit myself as a kid and bestow upon him a book on cbt - MEDICINE ALONE WILL NOT SUFFICE FOLKS
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I have no idea if I have OCD or not, but I have been crazy with thoughts about having HIV lately. I had a brief sexual encounter with a guy and was caught up in the moment and began to have sex without protection. I immediately stopped after a minute and have been paranoid since. He has assured me that he is clean and has been tested, but I don't know if I can believe him. I had only knew him a month or so and did not know much about his sexual past. I feel like logically there was not ejaculation that happened for HIV to be transmitted, but you can not be 100% sure. I'm not sure what to do. I haven't talked to him much since. I feel like I should get tested again, but most places say it could take up to 6 months before it can be detected. I can't wait that long with anxiety. This is keeping my up at night and I'm going a little insane. Is this OCD???
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i am so pleased this thread has been going on for years and im not alone. recently, i joked about my hypcondria and all the times ive had hiv, being hiv is incurable and i will die and never lead a normal life, clearly its my biggest fear. ive had it roughly 3 times "", 2 times ago, i read compulsively about it much as all of you have, early symptom, thrush, the next day i took claritin for my allergies, and BOOM dry mouth... clearly, i was dying of hiv at 18 years old. joking about that recently and thinking i have been over it all, it plagued into my head and BOOM i have it now. within the 2 weeks of swearing i have it, ive seen magic johnson on tv 3 times, ive heard queen songs, and stumbled upon things of them both. majority of the time, when there is something wrong with you, you have no idea, youre always the last one. im a very logical person and i have this angel devil like fight. i KNOW i am ok, i KNOW there is nothing wrong with me, but then at night mostly, its like well WHAT IF. the what if is what kills. as a huge hypo, trying to speak to help everyone, and myself while speaking, think of it this way, that time you got the flu, did you know 3 days previous you had the flu? no the sore muscles started and thats how you knew. when you hear about a spider crawling on someone, or someone having bed bugs, psychologically do you not get itchy? there has to be a trigger 1000 of them cause realisticaly the chances of contracting it are so slim to none, like someone said up there, there are NO recorded cases from pre-***. i feel coming from someone who literally wakes up and goes to sleep convinced i have hiv, itll help to ease peoples heads. theres always that what if fear, and i dont think itll ever go away, but realize how hard it really is to get it. my best friends father was hiv positive from sharing needles, had UNPROTECTED SEX AND IMPREGNATED, her mother. mother negative, friend negative, a few years later he died of aids. im also a huge conspiracy theory freak, and agree with what someoen up there said, the goverment tries to scare people with bogus info, like y2k, and swine flu. i think maybe even the statistics are a bit off. and i do what all of you do, i look at statistics and im like welll noooo, wait WHAT IF. mainly im so happy i am not alone. HELLO EVERYONE, FINDING THIS MANY PEOPLE SCARED OF THE SAME THING CONVINCED THEY HAVE IT, AND ALL BEING NEGATIVE, that doesnt give some comfort? we can all do it, and were all ok. this website has helped me a lot... thank you all of you for being half insane like me cause my friends are tired of hearing it.
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Don't feel alone. I have a lot of the same fears and worries as you.  I convinced myself I had sex with someone but couldn't remember who or when.  I had to get tested again because of it but now am convinced I contracted HIV because of blood on the tape the blood taker used.
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wow i have the same exact fear. every person that i every slept with protected or not i freak out about. and then they think im some crazy phycho
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Hello. My psychologist suggested I join an OCD Forum. I have never been part of a forum before. I do have OCD, mainly very anxious about contracting HIV, Hepatitis C or any other blood-borne disease. But its just not that. I am so also phobic of Cancer, pretty much any disease that is incurable. But its mostly about HIV. I used to drink alcohol. I did stop drinking. I have not had a drink in 4 months. I am heterosexual. I am married, but my wife is in Honduras now, its where she if from, but that's a long story. Anyways, I just had bloodwork done on Monday, and will be getting the results on Saturday. I am very very scared of the results. I always am when they do blood tests on me. The bloodwork included HIV and Hepatitis C. Mines is such a long story, I dont know where to begin. Just wanted to introduce myself to the forum. It is not easy to live with OCD. Everyday it's a challenge. My goal is to get better. I have been taking Prozac for the last four months, but I dont really see that much of an improvement. I am going to get re-evaluated by another psychiatrist tomorrow, I am still staying with the same therapist. I hope all goes well in the results of my bloodwork. My latest OCD hell is that I think I got Hepatitis C or even possibly HIV during the blood draw. I know that needles are not reused, but the guy in front of me that was getting his blood drawn was in a wheelchair. I saw him gingerly walking in when he entered the waiting room in the Doctor's office, then I guess the doc put him in a wheelchair for the blood draw. Anyways, I am afraid that he has Hepatitis C because a symptom of liver failure is walking problems. I am afraid that the phlebotomist touched his blood in his blood draw and then accidentally touched my needle (since I was next) and then injected the needle in me... Or even with the gauze. Anyways, that is a microcosm of what I go through. Right now that is a concern, and waiting the results of my blood tests. Last week my concern was penile cancer and that my stool had a greenish color. I just want peace of mind. Anyways, thanks for reading. God Bless all of you.
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Hi there,
I have this fear of hiv for years now. I realized some weeks ago that it comes when I am in an extremely stressful situation and if I have to disappoint in somebody. I had a relationship last year and he said that he was tested but i never really asked for the test itself. after we broke up, i was tested at 6 weeks, which was negative. I was always sure that he didn't cheat on me but then this fear was there again... And of course, now, one year later, i just got an appointment for a test on monday and i'm scared to hell. But after talking to a friend of mine who is a psychologist, i decided to read more about ocd... and even if it's weird to say i'm glad that i found you all here... I felt like an idiot in the past few years, when this irrational fear appears i cannot do anything just checking the webpages about hiv and thinking what if i have it.. it's horrible. i'm trying to do my normal life, but it's impossible. i know that even if i get tested again, if something stressful happens in the future, it will come.. so now i'm thinking about going to a therapist, even if i had a lot many years ago, i was never told that i may have ocd. I was treated for depression, bulimia and other eating disorders but never for ocd. i almost died when i was a child so probably it also helped to be afraid of illnesses. i don't know what else to write... i'm soo scared and i'm just trying to calm down myself..
all the best to you
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Thank god there are people like me....I was abused by a male servant when I was between 5 and 7. Now I am 30. All these years, it never bothered me. But one day, all of a sudden, I happen to read some article on internet about HIV symptoms and identified it with myself. That was it. I got a test done and it was negative and now I know I have OCD. It is the worst feeling on earth. I know I dont hav the infection yet I feel I can pass this to my husband. It is like dying everyday. There was a life before this OCD and life after now. I hav seen 3 doctors and they all rendered me fine yet I am unable to think rationally. I feel suicidal most of the times. Apart frm that one incident, nothing ever has happened and I know my husband is 100% safe. Yet, the fear fails to subside. I am currently into counselling and hope to come out of it soon. Life has turned topsy turvy. My OCD doesnt leave me for a moment also. Nothing can be worse than this.
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Wow, I had no idea my phobia of HIV was so common, I've gone through so much of the same stuff you people are going through.
I've been convinced for the past 2 months i was infected at an AIDS walk when i got tested in the testing tent. I went to the walk to try to put my fear to rest, all it did was magnify it after i got tested there. Everyone tells me this is completely irrational, lancets cant infect anyone, blah blah blah. but i just cant let it go. Its gotten to the point i've become almost delusional and make things up in my head like "what if he made the lancet himself" "what if it was used on someone before me" "what if the test result he showed me wasent really mine" the list goes on. Im currently on Effexor and Vistaril, neither seem to be helping much at all. I dont have a therapist yet so im basically fighting this tooth and nail on my own. makes life extremely hard. I've been tested 5 times in the past 2 months. which is RIDICULOUS. but i cant help it and i know my brain wont let this go until i get to the 3 month mark.

If anyone wants to chat, please send me a message. i could really use a friend who is going through the same thing
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Hi ,Im 37 (sorry my english is bad) .I suffered this OCD for 4 years had been the worst (I have more than 10 negative test these lasts 4 years) .But I have good news for you guys!!!!. For people like us exists a tech called DUO (Antigen 24 + ELISA) . A well known doctor here in Chile (my country)  told me that in 28 days is very accurated like ELISA in 3 month ! . Indeed our best hospital here suggests for people like us or just for someone who had one unprotected sex act this method al 28 days as definetily  , ask your doctor guys.3 month is a torture for us , we know that. Best for all you ,Im not alone !     .
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Hei! I was reading through all these comments and I feel a bit better now since I have the same problem.
Few months ago I kissed my ex boy friend (french kissing). Nothing else happened, we didn´t have sex but since then I ´ve been having this fear that I have hiv. The worst thing is that I´m in a relationship, so I feel really guilty :(
I took an hiv test 2 months after the kissing incident although my doctor said that there was no need for testing. The test was negative (of course). I´ve talked to so many doctors and they all have said that I cant get hiv from kissing. But still I have this fear :( I was thinking of taking another test but now I´m too scared and I just can´t wait for the test results anymore.
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I have no idea why it took me so long to come tothis forum.  My anxiety and OCD are out of control over a brief oral sex encounter whih I know deep down has not put me at risk but wow it just takes over my mind and day.... I am trying hard to think logically but it really can be tough. I can understand if I ahd a real risk but why is it I cannot just believe the facts and move on ....
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Hi there....I'm not going to address the HIV part of your problem because Teak has already told you there is no risk and Teak knows what he is talking about.  

Let me ask you though, have you been officially diagnosed with OCD?  If so, what type of treatment have you sought?  
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Hi there JGF25... no, I have not been officially diagnosed with OCD. I find my OCD is from coming on this site repetively throughout the day to keep reading the same things about not having an HIV concern. Two years ago I did have a real scare from unprotected anal sex. I engaged in unprotected bottom sex with a guy who I thought I trusted but as it turned out he was very permicuous and became positive.  When I was called to be tested is when my anxiety and paranoia really began I was negative thank God. Anything I have done since then (having a guy frotagge me, being fingered, being rimmed, giving oral AND NO ANAL since my scare) has thrown me into a downward spiral and I begin to revert to my anxious fearful ways from the days of my actual scare from unprotected anal.... I see a pshychologist and she tells me that I am far from the textbook case of OCD and anxiety disorder.  I do not OCD and have anxiety like this in other areas of my life.  My pshychologist is saying that I am being too hard on myself for engaging in anything sexual even when I know that I have done nothing wrong and unsafe.  I am NOT out so that may contribute to my anxious tendancies when I do anything sexual.  And lets face it, I do have some major trust issues with guys now for sure. I do not blame the guy who could have possibly infected me from unprotected anal as I am responsible for my own behaviors, but that incident has totally left an everlasting affect on me. I really do understand the risks of sexual transmission of HIV, however there seems to be a blockage preventing my rational way of thinking to dominate ....  is this OCD?  Paranoia?  Or anxiety working its magic?  Thanks for reading a replying to my post, I look forward to reading what you have to say on all this.
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I agree with your psychologist.  Sometimes OCD and HIV Anxiety/Paranoia get confused.  Just because it is an irrational thought that won't go away doesn't mean it is OCD.  

Has the psychologist taught you cognitive behavioral therapy?  It is a bunch of strategies that you can employ to help with your heightened anxiety state.  Also, has medication been discussed or are you even open to that?  If he/she does not teach CBT, then perhaps you can be referred to somebody that does unless of course you feel very comfortable with him/her that you don't want to change.  But I do think it is a very important tool to have.  

What you are going through seems to me more like PTSD.  It was a real exposure and of course that is going to scare the crap out of you and who can really blame you for being scared with every sexual encounter. And the trust, of course it went right out the window.  You said the real exposure was two years ago and you are fine.  So now I think you need to work on getting the anxiety under control so that you can go on having a sex life without fear...of course a protected sex life if you decide to do anal sex again no matter what your partner says about his status.  

Also, the whole hiding who you are could be playing a role in this as well.  It is just one more stressor in your life.  You have not mentioned how old you are..  But honestly, we are who we are.  Our genetic makeup makes us who we are.  That certainly isn't going to change.  So perhaps, if you are not already, maybe you can tackle that with your psychologist as well.

BTW, I am not a doctor so don't take what I say over the psychologist...I'm just giving you some suggestions that you may want to talk over with him/her from my own OCD perspective.   My scare with HIV was the fact that I worked with it in a lab and the people around me were not taking proper precautions.  

Take care.  
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I recall my psychologist giving me examples of OCD once and it those examples were far from what I was going through. I agree with you that my anxiety needs to be under control. I see my psychologist on Tues. and will aske her about CBT. I was on meds once and my doctor and I decided that I was working hard enough on my own that the doese of paxil I was on probably was not doing much. I am 38 years old and yes being in the closet has been a stressor ... professionally, family, society ... makes it difficult for me to be out.  I am working throught this with my psychologist.

I guarantee any future anal sex will be a codom ....  I cannot imagine the anxiety over that otherwise and besides it is just responsible. I am also leaning towards having any future partners wear a condom before I perform oral on them, or is that being too paranoid?

AS for today, my goal is to not go onto the HIV prevention forum on this site. I know reading and rereading posts on oral sex is not going to help me especially since I know what they already say ... NO RISK!   I thought reading situations that  were similar to mine and reading the experts say no risk no rislk no risk over and over again was good. However, I now realize how damaging that is. I will come to this forum because it really seems to be healthier for me by far...  

Thanks again for your reply, I am open to hearing more if you like!
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Hey
I used to do the same, I used to read over and over again information about hiv and kissing (that was my fear) but then I realized that that´s not my problem but my mind. So I rather read these posts, it helps a lot to see that I´m not the only one with irrational anxiety about hiv :)
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Yes, I agree. It is much better to read in this forum over the continuous re-reading of the same things in the prevention forum. It was like I was trying to look for the answer that I DID truly have a risk over oral sex when in fact that answer DOES NOT exist. Over and over the mesage is NO risk so therefore why keep looking, My research from reading and asking the experts is conclusive. Things are slowly sinking in but the act of pushing away the anxiety is exhausting. I wish none of us had to experience this but since we are it is comforting to know that there are many of us experiencing this and it makes it easier to be deal with it. Your fears of kissing are being heard by me and I am hoping you are realizing that the actual risk for you is NOT there.  We are both fine, all we need to remeber is that condoms for intercourse MUST always be used and we will avoid HIV.....
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We are all in this together..... HIV OCD and anxiety is defintely real and we have nothing to be ashamed about. It sounds like many of us on this forum are totally taking care of ourselves in the best ways we know how and being on this forum is a great beginning ....  hang in there and feel free to message all you want.
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Thank you for answering to my post. Your words are so reassuring, especially today when I have a bit of difficulties to deal with this hiv anxiety.
Sometimes I am able to think very rationally but sometimes.... but as you put it there has been NO RISK. The most important thing is to try to find a way to deal with the anxiety. Take care!
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You take care as well..... feel free to keep in touch
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