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Emotional Hell (Please Answer)

Feb 21, 2001

I am married and recently had an encounter with a female stripper (oral/vaginal sex for a few seconds). Since this places me at risk I have been emotionally drained with guilt, fear, and anxiety. I have turned into a hypochondriac. I told my wife about it and she is ready to forgive me and move on, but I cannot until I have medical assurance that I am OK. Unfortunately, there are 3 diseases (HIV, Herpes, HPV) that cannot be diagnosed until months after exposure. I tested HIV negative at 8 weeks and a HIV PCR was negative at 30 days. Others on this forum have stated that these test results makes HIV infection unlikely, but not impossible. This has made me feel MUCH better, but I still worry. I think I am rebounding, but I still obsess about my health. My anxiety and stress was so bad I had skin rashes, headaches, insomnia, and I lost 10 lbs in the process due to lack of appetite. Of course I blamed all this on acute HIV syndrome. I am trying to get better, but I wont be able to until I can be reassured through blood tests that I am OK. I know that my guilt is driving most of this, but I can't help it. The thought that I may have contracted HIV/Herpes/HPV through one act of stupidity is too much for me to contemplate. I have thought about counseling but haven't done it yet. What do you recommend?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

You already know that I am going to tell you to call a mental health professional today to begin to deal with your fears. The only question to ask yourself is why have you not already done so? Michael Shernoff, MSW

Lonely in Ft. Lauderdale

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