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HIV and anxiety

Sep 10, 2011 - 6 comments

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.

1.  Medication
2. 4 step program
3. Education

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.

Comments
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by RainLover71, Sep 10, 2011
TOP JOURNAL I couldn,t agree with you more.Your 100% right.

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by zamzam4, Sep 10, 2011
Thank you xx

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by perch101, Sep 10, 2011
This is a great journal.
I couldn't believe when I joined Medhelp how many people were irrationally afraid of HIV - then I too got very paronoid about an aspect of my health and it totally consumed me (very similar to your story really!) .... I got over it and now I can understand.

You are right that education is a vital key to overcoming irrational fear of HIV. But also that the mind is so powerful... because even after education and a negative test you can start to think..... ''well I may be the 1st person to sero convert later!!" Which we know is irrational because the virus just dosen't work that way. But it's amazing what your mind can talk you into if you are that way inclined...!

Thankyou for sharing how you got over your fear.... there are many on these forums - on the HIV expert forum, the HIV community forum and the sexual health one that should read this journal.

Best wishes,
Perch

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by vitalsign, Nov 29, 2011
Thank for taking ur time to help the people like us... GOD BLESS YOU

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by wifeandnersingbaby, Dec 22, 2012
I had sex with a csw worker 5 months ago about 19 weeks. I wore a condom for oral and vaginal. I did notice she had blue bruises all over her legs. The condom almost came off during the withdrawal, however the tip remained covered. I had diarrhea a few days later. About a week or two later I got a rash that covered most of my back, It was scaley and dry. I started to worry a little. I tried everything to get it to heal but no luck. I stopped having unprotected sex with my girlfriend. I then got cold like symptoms. I started to freak a little. I went to the health department and got tested for gonorrhea, syphilis, hep a, b, c and hiv I don't know what kind of test. They did tell my they confirm with a western blot. The testing was done 3 weeks post exposure. It took 3 weeks to get the results back, all negative.

I started having frequent bowel movements and urination. About every 10 min or so throughout the day. I also had headaches all day every day. My legs, arms and back got very ache. I also got very dry mouth and sores on the inside of my cheeks. My legs continue to hurt all the time especially at the end of the day. I had night sweats and still have them from time to time.

I got tested again at 6 weeks and 8 weeks at planned parenthood with a unigold recombigen hiv test. Then I got bumps in my groin area. I went to my doctor and she told me it was a chronic bacterial infection. She gave me a cream to clear it up.

A week or 2 later I went back because my legs were throbbing and she told me it was a non-specific viral syndrome and they don't test for it or treat for it. She tested my reflexes and movement and said there was nothing wrong with me. I told her about my itchy dry back she said it just looked like dry skin and just to moisturize it. At this point I told her about my std concerns and the test I took. She told me I had nothing to worry about and sent me on my way without testing me.

I went to the dermatologist about 6 weeks and they told me I had a chronic tinea versicolor infection and gave me medication to clear it up. I started to get oral ulcers and my arm locked up.

I got a new doctor and expressed my concerns. Again he told me no need for anymore testing. He didn't seem to think my problems were std related. He told me the oral sores due to stress, herpes or a ulcer. He told me it would not benefit my health to test for herpes. He gave me a oral gel to try. It cleared it up with in a week.

My thighs and groin started to burn and sting about 4 months I asked him if it could be herpes or std related he said no more than likely a pinched nerve. He told me just to wait it out and see if it resolves itself.

eventual it went away. I took another oraquick advanced hiv test 11, 12 weeks and a unigold hic test 13 weeks.

15 weeks my girlfriend started having periods 2 weeks apart and really bad menstrual cramps. Bumps on her hair line and on her back. I got tested again with a ora quick advanced non-reactive.

18 weeks she came down with flu like symptoms. I got tested again ora quick advanced non-reactive.

I think I'm hiv positive and I have given it to my girlfriend. I just keep testing negative. My doctors don't seem too concerned. I don't know what to do.


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Avatar universal
by pumpkingking, Mar 09, 2013
Hi I wonder if you guys could help me.  I had unprotected sex with a someone who sniffs coke regularly and likes a drink. Three days later I have itchy patches of skin from feet to head although there is no obvious rash. Is ithis indicative of infection ? X

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