Sep 10, 2011
I get PM's alot from people asking me about anxiety and HIV and the primary question is wanting to know how to get over the anxiety and how I did it. So I decided to write about it so that you guys can see that it CAN be done.
A number of years ago I cheated on my boyfriend with somebody else, I foolishly thought that this other guy really liked me blah blah blah!! I got drunk one night and had unprotected sex with him (lesson number one is that casual sex and alcohol do not mix well!!).
2 weeks to the day after I slept with him I came down with the flu, at this stage I knew NOTHING about HIV. I freaked out but never got the guts up to test. 2 years later I finally decided to test, I was negative. I had however, lived in fear and ignorance for such a long time that I went down a very bad path of testing, testing and testing again. I couldn't move on, it was impossible. Eventually I went to the doctor, not about HIV but about my mental state. I told him EVERYTHING, he sent me to a psychiatrist who said that I had OCD.
In a way this diagnosis made me a little relieved, it was up to me to break the cycle of obsessive thinking on this. With my therapist we decided on a few courses of action.
2. 4 step program
The education aspect was important to me as I was in fear of something that I was ignorant about.
It has been a very long and difficult road and at times I have felt like it is too hard. The mind is very powerful and can make you think that things are a threat when they are not. It is the fight or fligt theory but with OCD this becomes over exaggerated.
I have spent years and years getting better and I have achieved it. As part of my CBT program (cognitive behavioural therapy) I worked in a testing centre where I still work today as a HIV counsellor.
I cannot say that I know EVERYTHING about the virus, I will leave that up to the scientists but I know enough to know what is a risk and what is not.
If you have axiety about HIV that is unrealistic and not real and you cannot move on then you need to see a doctor. Living in fear of a virus is not a healthy way to live.
HIV isn't the bogey man, its a virus just like any other virus and you can live a long, happy and healthy life if you are positive. Most of the posters on here live in fear of it which you don't need to do.
Get out there and enjoy life and realise that no matter what negative or positive its your life and you gotta live it.
Hope this helps.