You need to treat your anxiety and see a therapist. I was in your situation. I was afraid to use toiled paper in public washrooms fearing it could have HIV on it. BTW, even if there was traces of HIV blood in that water (which is imposible) you cannot get infected that way.
There has to be a certain amount of body fluids for you to contract the virus, from what I have been told by a physician friend of mine. The HIV virus is extremely weak, and the force of the water flushing the toilet would make it impossible for any significant amount to linger on and infect you. Besides, what are the chances of that person before you being sick with AIDS, or any other disease for that matter?
The real problem here is your hypochondriasis. I have been fighting the same disorder since I was a very small child. My stomach gargles and I think I'm dying. One therapist I saw years ago made me keep a journal of my fears, and she made me read through the pages every time I got a "new disease". I haven't done that in a while, but maybe I should start again. Perhaps that might work for you also. Keep in mind that it is a control issue; your mind "distracts" you with irrational fears so you don't have to tackle painful issues in your life that need to be dealt with (how ironic!).
Hypochondriacs typically see the world as a scary place full of threats and tend to avoid change. A lot of us grew up in less-than-healthy family environments, where our sense of reality constantly shifted. Anyway, don't worry - you're fine. Just seek help for the real issue. Best of luck.
The obsession with problems of disease, malfunctioning organs, etc., is something which many of us here are well familiar with. And I think that if for any reason we have some sensitivity about a part of the body, then that part tends to be a target of the obsession. I'm not conflicted by HIV, but if I were, you can bet I'd be really uncomfortable in the a public men's room -especially from the appearance of some the dregs of humanity I see leaving as I'm going in. I'm an expert, Androo, in not touching ANYthing other than ME while I'm in there. I bump the entrance open with my shoulder and don't wash when I'm done number 1, because that means the only thing I've touched is ME, and I know that I'M clean. And number 2? Oi. I'll do what I can to avoid that entirely in public restrooms. And so, if I ever GET a case of hypo-you-know-what, you can betcha my body's sanitary system is gonna be a prime target.
I say all this to say that if we have any clue -any at all- about which body parts or diseases tend to be the theaters in which our obsessions and fears play their roles in our psychology, we can probably guess that if we knew more about THAT, then we might know more about why we even have the disorder at all, in the first place. And while I appreciate the factual, objective data that says "not to worry," it would be about as effective for me as telling me that planes are safe, because statistically, I'm more likely to be killed driving down Main St., than in a commercial plane flight. Maybe so, but in MY car, guess who's in control of the situation?
So I'm thinking that therapy might help you figure out why you are the way you are, and once you have some reliable data from therapy, you can begin to re-wire a few things. You may never be completey at ease when it comes to exposure -but you won't be obsessed by it, either. After all is said and done, I DO, in fact use the public facilities for whatever needs might arise and I do hop on a plane with no problem other than the sheer boredom of long hours cramped in a small space, or the abject terror brought on by the litttle curtain climber in the seat behind me kicking the back of my seat or peering around to check me out. But I got all this functionality back as the result of therapy, so I encourage you to go for an evaluation.
One thing I know -you're someone I CAN, in fact, shake hands with -with no worries.
Smart (plural of word for donkey goes here)? If I see any (which I doubt) I will disabuse them of what they imagine to be their comic mission in life. Trust me.
Believe me, no one here is going to ridicule you. We all suffer with our anxiety in a different way. We have irrational thoughts but cannot help but believe them. Logically, you know that you did not contact HIV. However, subconsciously you can't get it out of your mind.
I suggest getting a therapist that can help you overcome these irrational fears. Do it now before these thoughts take over your life...
I know what you're going through. I also have an irrational fear of getting HIV. I hate using public bathrooms, I think that anything wet is contaminated and that anything remotely red or brown must be blood. It makes life really difficult and I know that I am wasting time obsessing.
I don't have the money for therapy and I really need to talk to someone, so I just try to take everyday as it comes. My mom is a health professional, who knows a lot about HIV and how it is transmitted She told me not to sweat the small stuff and, in our daily lives, it's all small stuff. Unless you're having unprotected sex or sharing needles you're not at risk. But I know that fear doesn't listen to reason when you have anxiety like we do. Just try to realax and breathe deep when you feel panic setting in. I find this helps sometimes to stop the body's learned reaction to worry.
Good luck and if you want to talk to someone, feel free to send me a message. :)