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so scared to get tested, thoughts of suicide

Feb 15, 2005

I will readily admit that my past is NOT spotless. Soon after losing my virginity, I engaged in behaviors I know were not safe. I ran around with a bad crowd, some of whom used drugs. I am not sure if they were injecting drugs, but it wouldn't be entirely surprising. I had sex with many people in this crowd and I totally regret it. Some of it was also unprotected, although I've never had anal sex. Since then, I have calmed down quite a bit. I am finishing my senior year of college and recently got engaged. I desperately want to put this past behind me but I cannot shake fear that I have HIV and I will never be able to have a family or live my life. On top of this, I am absolutely terrified of getting tested. I came to the conclusion that I would not be able to live with a positive diagnosis and therefore I have been thinking suicidal thoughts. I have considered taking that action now, since I am convinced I have this disease. I have symptoms as well. My throat is constantly dry, I have muscle tension and headaches. The fear is monumentally affecting my life, but I cannot control it, even though I have been seeing a therapist. If I could find the strength to get tested, I know the problem would be solved. However, I do NOT want to kill myself and I honestly would feel compelled to take that step if I found out my past bad decisions have taken away my future. I realize that HIV is not a death sentence, but I don't have the guts to handle such a sitution. I just need the help of someone experienced with this.

Response from Dr. Horwath

The symptoms that you are experiencing are undoubtedly due to anxiety. If you are considering suicide, then you need to get psychiatric help. You may be suffering from depression or some other psychiatric condition that is eminently treatable. If you get the appropriate help, then you will be better equipped to handle your fears and proceed to have an HIV antibody test.

You should not allow fear of HIV to prevent you from living your life.

How quickly do symptoms appear ?
Silly Question

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