The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Mental Health and HIVMental Health and HIV
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

I am bipolar, with panic disorder; Should I get tested for HIV?

May 4, 2006

I tend to over-analyze and worry a lot and am probably stressing myself out for no reason, but I'd rather be celibate (I've had more than enough sex to last me) for the rest of my life, than to discover at age 22, I've made a serious fatal mistake somewhere along the line.

If I test positive, I'll kill myself. Testing positive is a death sentence in any case, and I wouldn't be able to date, tell my family, or wake up each morning to get out of bed--there would be no point in living, my dreams and career aspirations would cease to exist.

I'm crying as I write this, and I've been so torn up inside over getting tested.

It's been almost three years since I was tested (negative)and I have mostly used condoms. But I know that in the past I had a very risky sexual lifestyle.

I think I need a support group or something because I don't want the stigma. And I don't want to know. I am educated about HIV, and I'm college-educated, but I can't help the way I feel about HIV. I've never known anyone who had it (or who told me they had it) so it has never really affected my life, but I'm really deathly afraid it has already. Do you have any suggestions or resources I can turn to?

Response from Dr. Horwath

You need to get tested to help resolve your fears. You are avoiding the test out of fears that are not based on fact. With today's treatments, HIV causes a serious and chronic infection, but it is not a death sentence.

You should also get help for your feelings of shame about your past behaviors. If you are protecting yourself now, then the past needs to be put behind you. Finding someone to talk to, such as in a support group, may help you to resolve the feelings of shame.

HIV Positive or NOT
Partner & I just both tested positive.

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint