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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Community
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Avatar universal

HIV OCD

Hello All

Probably you knew from reading the title what my problem is. I will go into it in more details here just to see if anybody out there has some explanation to why this is happening or something to help me think straight or just is passing through a similar phase.

The fear of HIV is debilitating, exhausting and plain out horrible. I can not think of a disease, past or present, that has cause so much fear, anxiety and stigma. The whole idea of how it is transmitted and the window period and the constant wait to know that you can test makes this disease simply horrible.

My problem is divided into two parts. "Exposures" and Coincidences.

The first part is the Exposures. Although experts will say that these are not exposures but to me I believe they are. And the rate that they are happening at makes me believe that at least one of them has lead me to become infected with hiv. I am happily married and faithful to my wife so I dont have any sexual exposures. I also don't to drugs so sharing needles is also out of the question. The thing is, I am always cutting myself with sharp objects, playing sports, seeing red spots on my clothes, hands, etc which I assume they are blood. For example, I was in a market last week and my son handed me a lolly bag he wanted to buy and while handing it to me, its tip cut my hand....so, here is an exposure. The next day, I bought a lobster and was cutting the shell and I cut myself on the shell...another exposure..the third day, we were eating out and a coworker had a zit popped on his face so he wiped his blood with his hands and continued eating. It was a shared plate thingy...so here, a third exposure...I don't know if people actually have these kind of exposures and ignore them or they just happen to me.

The second part of my problem is signs and coincidences. When I see an ad about HIV or see it in a movie or anything it is like a direct sign to me that I have HIV. The most direct sign came yesterday and this is to me confirmation that I have HIV. We were playing beach soccer and I scratched my foot and it bled a little.I didnt mind about it and continued playing until me and a friend bumped into each other and fell down. Another friend asked if we are ok, so the guy I bumped into said yeah, it's just that we have acquired AIDS now (he didnt know about my wound). So it is like somebody threw a bucket of cold water on me. I am now certain I have HIV. Are these "signs" common to people with OCD?
10 Responses
6207205 tn?1389776918
hi jim,

what you wrote down is a perfect illustration of a contamination OCD.

trust me if you wanna ask someone with experience regarding this issue, then its me.

first of all let me begin with the signs and coincidences, this happens to me 100s of times hiv ads , watching a movie then turns out to have an hiv story...
friends talking about hiv randomly , one time i was holding a cat from the streets then my friend saw me , he told me while laughing hey do you wana catch aids !!! dont touch a cat on the streets it always have hiv,,, thats what he told me, can you believe this !!! i went crazy that day , i mean i was suffering from hard HIV OCD and this incident happened , like my friend knew that i was thinking about hiv !!!! nooo he doesnt but i dont know why this happened .

i wanna tell you one thing, the ads and the scenes and the friends making fun of hiv and stuff are all there and have been there and will always be there  but it will be more visible to you when you are having OCD time. do u understand me !!!

regarding the exposures , you know that there are null , no reason , you know that HIV cannot be transmitted by such exposures ....but once again OCD plays tricks on you and on your brain.

trust me dont engage in testing and reassurance , coz they will feed you OCD more

get involved in this forum here and read about OCD and if you have time, go and seek professional help....

where do you live ???
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply raven ! I live in Australia..
Avatar universal
Hey Jim,

I know exactly where you are coming from.  In fact, minutes ago, I was listening to sports talk radio and a hiv/aids ad came on.  Of course I had that rush of adrenaline thinking that this was yet another sign.  It's actually what brought me back to these forums to search for reassurance from others (as I have done so many times already) and I just happened to stumble upon your post.

It's amazing how once something gets stuck on your mind 24/7, you literally see these 'signs' EVERYWHERE and they always popup in the most random ways. I can literally list 100 examples - friends making jokes, causal conversation with family, bank website, bank commerical, friend pointing out a testing center, it goes on and on.  And every time I encounter these signs, they feel so 'real'.  But you know what - if I'm going through this and you're going through and the poster above is going through this, then maybe the common denominator is OCD rather than the universe specifically targeting us with these 'signs'.

I mean, why does the universe want to specially target us and not every other person at risk.  What makes us special?

My main problem is not being able to believe negative test after non risk exposures  or nights where I can't remember well and think I had unprotected sex.  My most recent 'exposure' is penetrating a girl with my hand, but because I can't remember the night well, I default to thinking I must have had unprotected sex - even though I don't remember, there was no evidence and the partner denied having sex twice.

It's good to know there's other like us out there.  I really hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
Thanks for your reply. And it somehow feels good that other people think the way that I do.The thing is, I am not overly obsessed or afraid when I hear ads, see videos, or comments on the TV, internet etc about AIDS or HIV...it is just that when my friend said we have HIV now (talking about me and him)..I mean after I had cut my foot...this HAS to be a sign...
Avatar universal
I went trough the exact same thing guys, exact same thing. But I am still here and healthy!! It is OCD.
Avatar universal
Mail me...
Avatar universal
Just to complicate things more, I was thinking, if I have symptoms after two weeks of this "sign" then that's it, I must be infected...after two weeks, I had mild muscle aches in my arms and thighs that lasted for 2 days, then on the second day I had a fever that was between 37.8 and 38.3 and it lasted for almost 12 hours. I didn't have a runny nose, a cough or other flu symptoms this is why I am very suspicious of HIV ARS.

Needless to say, I am a nervous wreck at the moment...
Avatar universal
I can relate to this so much!!!

I recently went to Africa, and worked as a health care working. I have had OCD for 5 years now, I would have spent 80% of that time obsessing about HIV. It' was exhausting. If I stepped on a sharp stick I would have to check to make sure it wasn't a used syringe, if there was anything brown/red on surfaces I would freak out and ensure it didn't touch me and make sure I looked for any breaks in the skin. It got to the point where I was examining everything that would come close to my body... Even napkins at the dinner table. I would also spend hours researching about HIV!!!! I remember going through over 200 dettol wipes and 12 dettol bottles.
Avatar universal
Hi Jim,

i belive thats the perfect OCD situation.Iam going through the same now and its terrible.I gave a lift to a staranger and beilve he pricked me with hiv syringe(i felt a butt pain).from then i am just feeling torture.Everything i look about HIV seems to be pin pointing me that i have HIV.To make matters worse i have a canker sore inside my tongue and it pains when i swollow some thing....i dont know whether this is reality or coincidence or imagination.......i hope everything is fine with you.....
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