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Dilemma - To test or not to test ?

Dec 29, 2000

Hi ! I consider myself as someone who belongs to the 'worried well' group of people. For the past few years I have been paranoid about getting infected with HIV. The most recent ( started 2 years ago ! ) thing that sparked my worry was about me using a shared nail clipper ( with someone who frequents prostitutes ) to pick my healing scabs ( you may have read about this before, I have been sending this question many times ). However, Now I have a dilemma. if I get tested, and find myself negative, my anxiety will be erased forever, and I can live in peace. But the problem is, I MIGHT be positive, and if I am, I rather not know ! You see, I am a college student, with few more years to go. If I am diagnosed with HIV, I might have to stop college . I cannot afford to go to college due to the medical bills I might have to pay. Also, my family will surely not let me continue and even if they let me, I don't think I would be in shape to do it. Besides, I am studying medicine and that might be a problem with the college who might not let me continue ( I am not in US, its probably different there ). But then again, the anxiety is killing me ! What should I do ? Should I get tested or not ? A negative test would be big relieve but a + one would be a disaster ! Its better not knowing ! Do I neet a blood test or do I need mental therapy ? Please advice me on what to do !

Response from Mr. Shernoff

I would suggest that you start with psychotherapy to deal with your irrational obsessions with very minor risks.

Michael Shernoff, MSW

what can we do for family member that is HIV and is in denial
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