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Constant Agony
May 22, 2003

I need help. I am REALLY making myself sick over this. I dated this guy when I was 18. He was a very close friend of mine.I had unprotected sex with him numerous times. I dated him for about 2 years, during which I never really encountered any health problems. I recently found out that the girl he dated before me cheated on him many times and was very promiscuous. Since I am a hyperchondriac, I have been constantly worrying about the possibility that I could have caught HIV from him because of this. Ever since I heard I have had weird symptoms (seborrheic dermatitis, constant cough, body aches and pains) I don't know if I am sick, or if I am making myself sick. I am dating a guy now for 3 years, and I am deathly afraid that if I did get it from my ex, I could have ruined this guy's life. There is not a second of the day that goes by that I think about the fact I may have it. I am so scared to get tested, b/c I know I can not deal if it was +. Can these symptoms be in my head, and how to I make myself get the courage to get tested?

Response from Dr. Horwath

The only way to alleviate your anxiety is to find the answer to the question of your HIV status. You need to get the HIV test. If you feel too scared to do it alone, ask a friend to go with you. If you still can't do it, seek some counseling to help you get past the fear. Often anticipation and uncertainty are worse than knowing the facts.



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