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Avatar universal

Anyone help with HIV testing anxiety/phobia?

Hi Everyone,

I am struggling with HIV/STD testing anxiety and phobia. I’ve had numerous tests come back negative (8 to date, and most recent one being 15 weeks after the incident), which I am so grateful that they have been negative.

I am however still feeling so much guilt, fear, and anxiety from all this.. I find that I constantly Google information about HIV, testing, symptoms, etc. I literally am having a hard time functioning and wanted to reach out to this forum to see if anyone has a similar story or if you could provide any info or insights on how to deal with this.

I’ve never been diagnosed with anxiety before, so this is all really frightening that I’m having a hard time coping and moving on. I find myself trying to ask various online resources for confirmation that I am ok.

If anyone has any advice, I’d truly appreciate it. Thanks.

3 Responses
Avatar universal
If you look at the archives on this forum and the HIV forum you will see a ton of people just like you who have developed an obsession about getting stds. Obviously, HIV isn't your problem, so you should change your focus to your phobia about getting it.  A psychologist who specializes in anxiety treatment would be your best bet.  As you already said, a lot of people feel a lot of guilt about sex and how they go about getting it and focus on HIV instead of working on why sex is a problem for them and why they engage in behavior that increases the chances of getting it, if that's the case.  This is something you can probably work out by talking it out with a professional and then moving on.  Peace.
973741 tn?1342342773
So, the problem is that if anxiety is pushing you to test, continue to research and question and ask others for input . . . you will NEVER get enough answers to satisfy anxiety.  So, you have to go ahead and work on anxiety to have a change in your behavior.  Does the anxiety focus strictly on hiv/std testing?  Or has it seeped into other areas of your life.  Are you continuing to engage in behavior that makes you feel guilty and worried or is the activity now over?  But agree that overall, your best bet and way to move past this is to see a psychiatrist and psychologist and begin treatment to overcome this.  Let us know how you are doing and what you think.
Avatar universal
I'm in the same situation, that's why I decided to reply here.
I'm gonna send you an PM so, fi you want, we can talk about it.
I know how hard it is, since, as I said before, I'm dealng wth the same problem. And it's killing me. The problem is, my anxiety can't stop telling me that I'm infected. Everybody else here told me to calm down, but I'm still worried and decided to go and get tested. As the time goes by, I'm scared as...
So, yeah... If you want to share your thoughts, feel free to message me back.

4 Comments
It is pretty hard to cure someone of hypochondria when they are experiencing it themselves. A professional therapist one on one discussion is the quickest way to get results to reduce the misery of an obsession about a disease you can't have.
Maybe, but support can be helpful.  Group therapy is a thing as well, you know, though I personally think it's probably useless for anxiety cure it can help to share what's working.  One on one therapy will take a long time to work, though I agree it's the best approach, and in the meantime it doesn't hurt to share.  As to the poster, it's not your anxiety that's telling you you're infected, it's you telling you you're anxious.  Anxiety is a bear to cure, but in order to do it you have to at some point learn it's coming from the way you think.  That doesn't mean it's easy to do this or that you ever will do this, severity differs, but it will help if you don't look at anxiety as a foreign being controlling you.  It's still you that's doing this kind of thinking and that's what therapy will hopefully help you stop doing.    
When both people have taken multiple purposeless tests, weren't even close to a risk and they both prefer their own made up science because they don't accept the basic HIV science, it is questionable what there is " to share what's working."
Anxious, I'm talking about treating the anxiety.  Anxious people tend to isolate themselves.  It can be helpful for them to share.  It won't help to share the HIV stuff, that's true, but the problem here seems to be anxiety, not HIV, and is all I'm talking about.  I do agree with you, though, sharing won't cure the anxiety, it just might make it easier to cure it with the therapist by making the groundwork better.  It also might not, though.
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