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Positive & scared of every move

Apr 18, 2004

Before I tested positive I felt great, looking back I may have overlooked some syptoms but ever since I found out my results I seem to have alot of different things happening like sharp pains in my hands and elbow joints, also slight headaches just enough to know they are there. Some people have told me alot of this could be due to stress, my body is very tense and I have a hard time relaxing it. What do you think?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Your advisors are probably right. Your symptoms are very non-specific and started after a stressful event, learning that you were HIV+. You are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, which seem to appear as physical symptoms in you, aches and pains, physical tension, and difficulty relaxing. You would benefit from some help with the anxiety and tension.

For the anxiety, it would be helpful for you to learn more about HIV disease and your own health status (CD4 count, viral load). It also helps if you can get together in a group with over people in your situation to talk about your fears, or to see a counselor or therapist to speak privately about your concerns.

The physical symptoms may improve with some relaxation training or other techniques that may help you to be less tense, like regular exercise, stretching, yoga, breathing exercises, etc.

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