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Can you please help???? Living with fear of HIV for a long time.

Jul 13, 2008

Hello Dr. Horwath, Now I know that you cannot diagnose someone over the internet and I plan on seeing a psychiatrist. However, can you possibly give me an insight into what my problem might be.

I am terrified of the HIV virus. I do not have sexual intercourse with strangers and I do not do drugs. However, if I have a small cut on my hand, and shake someone's hand I would possibly worry about contracting HIV this way. I also worry that if I have a cut on my body, somehow HIV blood or semen will get into the cut. After these thoughts, I will panic and it will be on my brain for days! I know I have a case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder as well, but HIV is the only thing I am afraid of.

Can you give some insight and explain how medicine will help. I am going to see a psychiatrist but I wanted to hear what you think.


Response from Dr. Horwath

You cannot get HIV infection from shaking hands.

You definitely have an anxiety problem, probably obsessive-compulsive disorder. You should seek help from a psychiatrist, as you are planning to do, as soon as possible.

Please address my O.C.D. / H.I.V. inquiry.

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