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Hopefully some Anxiety Relief for those going through it

I want to share my story for anyone who has had anxiety over a recent exposure and how that anxiety can become extremely overwhelming and cause the most relatively uncommon symptoms.

I am a 25 year old male living in west hollywood, ca. I had a rather risky exposure -- unprotected insertive anal with a female massage parlor CSW. I mention west hollywood because there is a relatively high risk here although the residents here are very educated on HIV and AIDS...it's still an area of higher than average HIV positive residents for the U.S.

3 days post-exposure, I had a 1 day fever. Didn't think much of it. 2 weeks later I had a hard time focusing. I'm at work when this bout of headaches, focusing issues, and a detached feeling set in. I left work immediately thinking this was HIV setting in from my exposure 2-3 weeks earlier. I walked all up and down Santa Monica blvd, bordering breaking down, contemplating suicide, wondering how I would tell the 2 girls that I had been with that I had exposed them to HIV (these are friends of mine). I went immediately to the clinic and got tested for the gamut. I was told that I had no antibodies present from the rapid testing so I hadn't had contracted HIV in the pat 3 months...but my test was 17 days in and was during the window period. I had to wait 2 weeks for the rest of the STD testing to come back. Mind you I was in such a neurotic yet aloof state and erratic at that I couldn't recall which tests I took exactly outside of rapid. Over the course of the next 10 weeks I felt every ARS symptom and sensation there was to feel. After 2 weeks I got no call from the clinic so I figured I was in the clear for all other STDs...there was a little relief because if I tested negative for those then it would certainly be harder to contract HIV....but I'm still freaking out. I had headaches, lost feeling in all my limbs, muscle aches, diarrhea, stomach issues, boils on my inner thighs, a slight cough, tension everywhere, joint pains, thought I had thrush, a sore throat every now and again, low grade fever, night sweats, nightmares, extremely dry skin, lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks. I had it all and had never been the one to have anxiety as I had always seen myself as being pretty chill, so I was most certain I had contracted HIV. All the while im still active without using a condom with one girl. She started to get sick and had a cough. I started noticing little spots pop up on her body and then one day she vaginally bled out of nowhere. I was certain I had exposed her. I didn't know what I was going to do.

To cut to the chase this miserable reality went on for a little over 3 months until I finally decided to accept my fate and start to live HIV positive. I went to the clinic and I was asked why I was back. I told the nurse that I was in the window period when I took my rapid test. She asked me if I had had another risky exposure during those 3 months I told her most certainly not. She then asked me if I had realized that 10 weeks earlier when I had come in that I also took the NAAT test which specifically test for the virus and is accurate at 10-12 days. I took it at 17. This entire time I had not noticed that I had been negative months but because I was concerned with the window period, the power of my mind took over and convinced of all these symptoms that were purely associated with anxiety.

I hope this helps. I spent too much time on the Internet searching for symptoms and anxiety relief...get off the internet after reading this...you'll be fine. I had an incredibly high exposure and ended up being ok.

Thanks for reading
4 Responses
Avatar universal
I took the ag/ab 4th gen test at 15 weeks, and am still fretting and taking rapid tests out to 24 weeks anxiety is awful and is seriously crippling me mentally.
Avatar universal
Once I had flu that was in april 2015 after a low risk exposure. I was convinced it was just cold. Everything was normal thereafter until last month in june when i suddenly began having night sweats and several bouts of diarrhea. This is when anxiety came in. I started searching the web and everything pointed to hiv. That time i went for a test and it was negative. These stopped 3 days later and later my lymph nodes started to swell. They are swollen till today on my neck region. The fourteenth week, last week saturday, I tested again on pararell antibody rapid tests and i was negative. What freaks me out is the mouth ulcer i developed yesterday. My point is its these symptoms that are leading to anxiety and not anxiety leading to symptoms...
Avatar universal
Regardless of what you want to believe, your symptoms are anxiety and are not HIV related, as you never had a risk.
Avatar universal
so it was just anxiety not hiv ?
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