HIV Anxiety

Hello, I was wondering if I could get other stories from anyone who suffers from anxiety around contracting HIV. I consider myself well educated around sexual health but nevertheless experience crippling anxiety.

I engage, infrequently, in what is classed as low risk activity, or low risk activity where the presence of a sore may increase the risk but based on a low number of confirmed cases, the risk is still classified as low.

The next day I start to question what the risk was, reading online journals and professional texts to learn its low risk. I then start to worry whether I should ask for PEP, knowing I won't receive it. I try to tell myself that this must mean I don't have HIV, because otherwise they would give me PEP. Then I call numerous charities, NHS helpline, THT etc. to ask about the risk and they tell me similar things, that its low. (I donate each time to make sure I'm not wasting their time). I then send questions online to ask the same question. I then book GUM clinic appointments to ask them. Whilst I get similar response each time, that I should not be concerned...I keep searching for a damning response. Its almost as if, because the answer of a test can only be yes or no, then for me it becomes a 50/50 chance.

I stress uncontrollably and check my lymph nodes, wonder whether that ache in my shoulder is a new ache or wonder why I haven't eaten dinner at my normal time. If I have a blocked nose after the event I say "well that can't be coincidence". I wonder then if stressing so much is giving me these cold like symptoms?

The window period is so long it means that everyday for four weeks I am tearing myself apart from the inside.

I then have a test and get a negative result and I am fine until the next encounter.

"oh I had a small mouth ulcer, so I must have it"

"oh I had a superficial cut on my finger, so I must have it"

I know people with HIV and for me its not a problem, just to be clear. And like I said before, I am educated and take precautions where I can (i.e. using protection for penetrative actions).

So please do not dismiss this post as someone who is new to the game and dumb.

I would just like to know if anyone else is in a similar situation and how they are managing it.

Thank you

4 Replies

  • Hi man, I am in to same board feeling like stress like anything.

    Below is my case-

    Had sex on 14 feb with CSW don't know her status.

    I am always very careful about std don't know what happen that night to me.

    1st round was oral sex she performed on me was unprotected and later after 20 minutes vaginal sex protected. I didn't ejaculated as I was very nervous of std.

    finally she took of the condom and did the hand job in second round. When she took out condom I ask her to see the condom there was some fluid at the end of condom head she said it is your Precum from second round or left over in penis from first round. Not sure if condom was broke.

    After 2 weeks from the incident I got throat infection 2 weeks I was on antibiotics, followed rashes 2-3 at back side of shoulder took 2 weeks to heal then I got UTI for 1 weeks then all symptoms I have noticed over 3 months.

    Such as dry mouth, dry lips this two still persists, loss of aptetiete, 10 Kg weight loss I was 92kg now I am 82 kg.

    Since last Last one month I have stomach pain / cramping. Leg, neck and muscle pain comes and goes very frequent.

    I feel very tiered and no energy, cannot concentrate on anything. Hardly sleeping 3 hours every day last 2-3 weeks.

    My street started actually mid march that is 4 weeks from the start exposure.

    Below is what tests I conducted till date all are negative but still symptoms exists don't know what's happening.

    4 weeks Elisa test - negative (hiv, hep b, hep c and syphiss)

    6 week duo 4th gen - negative (hiv, hep b, hep c and syphiss)

    8 weeks complete STD profile all negative

    10 weeks just hiv - negative

    12 weeks hiv rapid test - negative

    13 weeks duo 4th gen - negative (hiv, hep b, hep c and syphiss)

    Can some one some advise

    1) what are my chances to turn my positive?

    2) Are there any cases took 6 months to turn positive ? Do we know what were the medical conditions of the indidivual?

  • Hello Sir. You are negative. The test results conclusively prove that.

  • Thanks AMA

    Not sure why I still have symptoms I am I the one that takes long to produce antibodies. I have read some one with immune difieciency disease would take 6 months to test hiv positive. As far as I know I don't have any such disease. I have vitamin D deficiency and I take supplements for that. Does that effect window period?

    I get sick 2 times in year with normal flu / cold that should week our Immune system.

    Lot of questions in mind with all hiv symptoms exists.

    Please advise do I need to test further at 6 months??


  • Well if you are in UK you probably know the statistics: The Guardian reported that there are about 140000 people living with HIV in UK. Of those about 45% are men who have sex with men and about the same are people of both genders from sub-saharan africa. Add to that drug users who share needles and those sex workers who are not careful. The likelihood of getting it from low risk sex is obviously small.

    But that does not really help and possibly you may - from cultural or upbringing - feel guilty about sex in general. Perhaps you could find a counsellor? Relate do sexual guidance, you don't have to be married etc and it costs!

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