I recently did a womens studies course where we read a chapter about africa and hiv. Ever since then I have been extremely, extremely worried about my hiv status. ( I'm a straight, white women living in Canada) As stupid as it is, in my life I have had unprotected sex with three different people(just once or twice with three of those people). The most recent of these unprotected encounters happened atleast over a year and a half ago. They were people I was dating or seeing long term who claimed they were clean. I have had a skin irritation before ( around my lips only, just red and sore feeling...not raised or bumpy at all and not itchy, not flakey... sort of just the same feeling you would get from really dry lips only my actual lips were not dry...it lasted for months and would go away and come back every once in a while..but only in the winter months when my skin typically gets dry. It started irritating me again this year and I went to my family doctor and she said it was probably just a skin irritation due to the cold whether and prescribed me a steroid cream for when it was really bothering me ) but I don't remember exactly when this irritation started/ if it was before or affter my first unprotected encounter. Does this sound like the HIV rash to you? Other than that I haven't had any other HIV symptoms..once in a while I have diarhea but it is not reoccuring or consistent and I think that is probably normal and due to my terrible junk food diet. I know the only way to know for sure is to get tested and I have made an appointment to do so but the appointment isn't for another month yet and I'm terrified to be tested ( though I realize that I HAVE to ) because of the negative stigma associated with HIV, my fear of losing my current partner if I tested positive etc.
I'm affter spending countless hours looking up hiv statistics and information, I'm distracted by the fear at school, work, and even when I'm out with my friends. I feel uncomfortable having sex with my current boyfriend WITH a condom even just incase I am HIV positive. It has become almost all I can think of it. There are some days where I tell myself " just wait for my appointment and see what happens "...other days where I tell myself " Stop worrying so much, I believe these men were clean and my chances are pretty low" and then there are days where I think about it to the point that I'll start crying and think " I have HIV and I need to start accepting that now so I'm prepared for my test results ". Whats your opinion on my situation? How likely is HIV transmission? What can I do to keep peace of mind until the test? I'm letting this fear take over my life.I'm so afraid.