I have had a fear of catching HIV for the past 10 years. Is anyone else dealing with the same thing? Thanks for any help in advance
What was your exposure to HIV? Do you know how HIV is transmitted? Just curious. I'm scared I might have it, but from all the looking i've done it says my risk is very low if not no risk at all. (My risk was oral sex btw)
I have exactly the same problem as yourself. I was recovering from a breakdown when I had an HIV scare, and the fear of being ill again whilst waiting three months to take a test caused me to have a breakdown. I gradually recovered although I recently had a panic about Hep C (I was still weak and vulnerable to fearful thoughts when tired) which I plan to contain through counselling. Generally I dont recommend looking up info on the internet as it seems to fuel the thoughts and get you considering all sorts of scenarios. However, if you are, Medhelp's HIV Prevention Forum and HIV Anxiety Forum are very welcoming, knowledgeable and professional. Medhelp's Hep C Community is not a place to have your fears banished. It is for people or their family actually with it, and they are very suspicious of and unfriendly to people with queries, as I found out tonight (and hence I'm here).
If I'm honest I know that the reason I fear these illnesses is that even a small belief I could have contracted them make my anxiety quite bad. So when a situation arises which gives me fear I get a second fear of my anxious state which makes the situation snowball, which is where Ive been getting to these last few days. So I either a) prove the situation was no risk, or b) face and accept the fear and uncertainty that there is a miniscule chance and just live with it. b) is much harder than a), but b) is how non-anxious people react and is my goal. Once I am confident I can live with a small risk of these bad things (I do anyway, such as by using a car without fearing imminent crashes) then I will see myself cured. Relying on a) means relying on others and also that your sittuation is no risk- that's cannot guaranteed every time.
The book I call my bible is "Self Help for Your Nerves" by Dr Claire Weekes. It is old but she is the only person i know of who can talk about phobias and depression and fear and for it to make sense. Additionally, instead of telling you what is wrong, she gives practical guidance on how to get better. I wish I found it years ago.
Reading your fears re. your incident it sounds, with the greatest respect, that your fear led you to believe this vial already had blood in it. I would be amazed if it did. However, even if it had been used no used blood would get into you from it. It would have to be a reused needle.
Read answers in the HIV Prevention forum from experts such as Nursegirl, Teak, Alienshadow, Joggen, etc. They all agree that oral is often labelled "small risk" because it may be a tiny risk to a person whose mouth is ejacualated into, and they don't see it as a risk warranting worry or a test, it is so small. All other oral they say is no risk.