|Stress, medication and delayed seroconversion
Nov 16, 2012
First of all sorry about my English. I'm a 30 year old guy from south east Asia. I've been in chronic stress and so depressed in the 5 months since exposure. I'm very terrified about getting HIV. I had come to psychiatrist who prescribed fluoxetine and alprazolam. During the first 3 months I developed a lot of symptoms related to HIV, but after 5 months I am still non-reactive.
My question is: can stress/depression or my medication somehow delay seroconversion?
Thank you for the answer.
| Response from Dr. Fawcett
Thanks for writing. Neither stress nor depression can delay seroconversion. Anxiety, however, can create numerous stress-related symptoms that can mimic symptoms of HIV. Being non-reactive at five months is very good. Continue working with your doctors on reducing your stress levels. I feel that alprazolam should only be used in the short-term for symptom management. You can also find relief with other tools such as progressive relaxation, deep breathing, and meditation. If available, I would also recommend speaking with a mental health counselor about your fears. There are tools to help you counteract certain thoughts/beliefs that create the fear.
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