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Decent question here Doctors!!!!
Oct 18, 2003

Dear Doctor,

Does hiv cause anxiety or does anxiety come from knowing one has the virus?

Response from Mr. Shernoff

The answer to your question is not simple. Either situation may cause anxiety. It is very normal for a person who is diagnosed with a major life threatening illness, especially one that may be contracted through sex that many people think of as ilicit, or by sharing drug using paraphernalia, both behaviors that have enormous social stigma attached to them to feel anxious about having gotten the virus and about telling other people that he or she has it.

Additionally, HIV can affect the central nervous system and have an impact upon a person's moods and feelings possibly making him or her anxious.

Michael Shernoff, MSW



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