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Tips for overcoming irrational fears

Nov 18, 2004

About a year ago I had a low risk exposure to HIV at work - it was a blood splash all over my face. I was wearing glasses. I tested negative at 3 months. And thought I'd test again at 6 months - negative. Now a year later I was worried so I had another test - also negative.

I should be celebrating, but I keep worrying that I will contract HIV. Obviously I use universal precautions at work but still worry that they may fail or I will get a needle stick. Or that someoone else will splash me with blood. I know my fears are irrational - but can't get the worrying thoughts out of my head. These obsessional thoughts are becoming increasingly obtrusive.

Can you advise me of any relaxation techniques or things I should think about or do when I get these anxiety attacks?

Response from Dr. Horwath

Your HIV test have conclusively shown that you are HIV negative. The fears you have are irrational and out of proportion to the circumstances. I would recommend getting some psychotherapy from a psychologist with experience in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, or consulting a psychiatrist for an evaluation and opinion on medication treatment.

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