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HIV Anxiety Help

Hello. I am a 24 yo female who's been struggling with GAD, depression, and OCD since I was in my early teens. It started with obsessing over the safety of my family, to eventually obsessing over my own health. I was a bit of a late bloomer and didn't start dating until college, mainly due to being raised in a religious and traditional household. Now that I do have my first boyfriend, whom I love and trust very much, I cannot help but fall into the same patterns of obsessing over my health. In particular, I have found myself with great anxiety over contracting HIV, even though I know I am at no real risk. Prior to becoming sexually active, me and my partner were tested for all STI's and are in the clear. Additionally, due to my anxiety, we still use protection when being intimate. He has been very understanding and knows that my anxiety has nothing to do with him or whether or not I trust him; I trust him 1000% that he is faithful. My anxiety seems to spike when we sometimes have issues with the condom. For example, the other day while he was taking the condom off after ejaculating, a bit of semen splashed around the opening of my vagina and that's since sent me into an obsession as to whether or not this means I've been exposed to HIV. I know for a fact that we are both HIV negative, however I can't help but obsess over the 'what ifs'. I've had similar obsessions in the past with other STI's, such as herpes. I'm not sure if the reason why I am obsessing over HIV in particular has to do with the fact that I do research on it and on its stigma. Ironically, I believe that the fear of the stigma is what is pushing me over the edge with anxiety. Has anyone had obsessions similar to mine? If so, how did/do you deal with them? How can I convince myself that I am fine? I don't want to give in to my compulsions and go get tested every time something like this happens. It doesn't seem fair to him or to me that I keep acting like this. Some advice would be much appreciated, thanks.
1 Responses
973741 tn?1342346373
You have health anxiety.  All this worry, fretting and over thinking can be worked on IF you accept it is because of anxiety.  You are in a relationship with your partner. This is not high risk sex.  A routine test for you and your partner is never a bad idea but overall, you either have to get over it and have a normal sex life or this person will likely grow really tired of your anxiety ruling your mind.  Anxiety and ocd are treatable.  There are medications that work quite well and there is CBT therapy that can do amazing things for anxiety sufferers such as yourself. I'm not going to entertain your fears of hiv/std's.  You are in a relationship with someone, using condoms and that's pretty safe sex.  Get help for your anxiety before you blow it.
1 Comments
Thank you specialmom. I know it's my anxiety, and I feel like it's gotten out of control. I do currently see a provider for it and am on medication to help ease it. I just don't know why it seems to fixate on this particular fear. It''s just been taking a lot out of me lately. I appreciate your straightforward response.
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