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Author Topic: Severe HIV Anxiety  (Read 198 times)

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Offline AnxietyGrl91

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Severe HIV Anxiety
« on: April 25, 2014, 07:55:15 PM »
These past few months I have been suffering from a crippling fear of the fact that I might have HIV.

About 5-6 years ago when I first turned eighteen. I had unprotected sex with someone who's status I did not know, I knew the person but did not talk about their status, if they were clean nor did we use protection. I was very drunk at the time due to drinking for many hours with him and was not fully aware of what was going on around me. It was also my first time having sexual intercourse with anyone. I know for a fact that he does not inject drugs or anything like that but I am not sure if he has had sex with men in the past, I'm pretty sure that he hasn't but who knows. He is known for sleeping with various people and I've had a few people that had slept with him more than once unprotected and they seemed fine. The reason I am so terrified is because it was my first time, I was hardly ready to do anything like that and after extensive research I have seen that HIV is usually contracted through cuts in the vagina and such and I'm scared because he could have torn me and there was some blood afterwards. I have been tested for other STI's such as more popular STI's and have had pap smears and they always came back negative but I know that doesn't exactly mean that I am HIV- and every time I've gone to have an STI blood test for other diseases, something has gone wrong/suddenly came up or they are unable to find a vein.

I have also recently been put on anti-depressants due to my anxiety and depression which I have suffered from an early age.

I vaguely remember a few weeks after having unprotected sex with him, I developed quite a nasty cough but that isn't uncommon for me since I am known to get bronchitis or a chest infection at least once a year but it stills scares me that it may have been acute HIV and I didn't realize. I don't remember breaking out in rash or suffering from vomiting or losing a lot of weight or anything like that but the cough still scares me.

The past few weeks I have been suffering from the sensation that something is caught in my throat and I had a sinus infection which scares me deeply since I am concerned that I may be HIV+ and it's slowly transforming into AIDS due to it being left untreated. I haven't suffered from chronic diarrhea, feeling sick, vomiting or suffered from rapid weight lost though I have lost about 2 kilos the past month due to not really having an appetite but I think that may be due to my stress. I do occasionally break out in an itchy red rash though but it goes away within half an hour to a couple of hours but that doesn't mean I'm not sitting there panicking over the fact that it could be a HIV rash. I do have sensitive skin though and have been breaking out in rashes for most of my life.

I am going for a full STI check next week and I am honestly terrified because I am 90% certain that I'll come back HIV+ and I'll feel like my life is over and the thought of having to tell my family and friends and everything like that honestly terrifies me so, so much.

Now before you start lecturing me on this, please be aware that I am well aware of the stupid choice that I made during that time but I was very drunk and not exactly in complete control of everything that was going on around me.

I was just hoping to find some people who are/have been in a similar situation before so I don't feel so alone.
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Offline mollyfin

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Re: Severe HIV Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2014, 09:34:41 PM »
You wouldn't have felt sick a few weeks post-exposure, so you can quit worrying about that.

It's very unlikely that you do have it.  Even if he was HIV+ there's no guarantee that you would have gotten it.  As you said yourself, your symptoms are classic anxiety - the caught-in-throat sensation, the itching/rash, diarrhea and loss of appetite are all anxiety. 

It's good to get tested regularly so you did the right thing but I really doubt the tests will show anything. 
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Offline AP151

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Re: Severe HIV Anxiety
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2014, 09:38:53 PM »
Hi,

I understand your fear, I myself had unprotected sex for the first time 2 summers ago. I found out the next day that the girl was known to sleep around, a lot. I was worried as soon as I found out. Now in my case, my fears are gone because the girl has since enlisted in the Navy where they do test for HIV and she's negative. But let me help you out...


This came from a medical website. "The actual chance of becoming infected with HIV during a single sexual experience even with a partner who is known to be HIV-positive is rather low: one study put the chance for a woman becoming infected by an HIV-positive male through vaginal sex at 1 in 1000."

So, the odds are low, but let's say you were infected. You say you'll feel like your life is over, perhaps you could do some research on the treatments they have these days. Typically I'd say don't google but knowing they have effective treatments may comfort you (even though you should be very confident that you aren't HIV+). HIV isn't what it was in the 80's. My uncle contracted HIV 18 years ago. I found out 3 years ago, my grandmother told me. Otherwise, I'd never have known. HIV+ people live pretty normal lives and long ones too.

The treatments they have now can actually reduce the virus so much that a patient can actually test negative. So know this, you more than likely do not have HIV. But if you did, it'd be okay!

Hope I helped! - AP
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Offline AnxietyGrl91

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Re: Severe HIV Anxiety
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 09:58:56 PM »
Thanks guys. This honestly did make me feel a little bit better.

I know there is a small rational part of my mind that is telling me that the tests will more than likely be negative and I'll be okay, especially considering I have been cleared for much more common STI's that are a lot easier to catch. I think it's impending doom part of my anxiety kicking in telling me that if anyone was unlucky to contract it after one night, it would be me and the thing that has always worried me the most is that it was my first time having sex so there was some blood and I know that's a common factor in spreading it. I also figured that after 5 years of leaving it untreated, some form of bad symptom/disease would have made itself present but the most I've gotten is bronchitis, the common cold or tonsillitis and I've been prone to them all my life.

I also read somewhere that if you are HIV+ that if you have a pap smear it can often turn up irregular and I remember mine being perfectly normal so that makes me feel a little bit better.

It's just driving me a little bit insane at the moment. I find myself constantly checking my lymph nodes/glands (and then convincing myself they are swollen even though everything feels normal) I'm constantly checking my mouth for sores and my body for signs and it's been driving me a little loopy. I guess the more you read about something the more likely you convince yourself you have it, especially when you have severe anxiety like I do.

I know that when I do go to the clinic and have my consultation/test that they will tell me there is a very slim chance of me having it but that doesn't mean I won't be anxious all week waiting to hear back from results.
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Offline Walnut

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Re: Severe HIV Anxiety
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 12:42:11 AM »
Agreed. The odds of getting HIV aren't what we were all taught at all. The member above me provided good statistics. 1 person could catch it 1st contact where someone else could have sex for years with an infected partner and never contract it. Most people think if you are exposed to it you automatically catch it.  Nowadays HIV isnt a death sentence. They have meds to suppress the virus. Thoughts and prayers your way that you get a good test result and relieve your anxiety.
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Tags: HIV hiv anxiety sti std 
 

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