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HIV Anxiety over oral
Jun 13, 2002

What I have in common with a lot of other people who have asked the question "Can I get HIV from receiving oral sex?" is just excess anxiety. I recently enjoyed a blowjob from a sex worker about 2 months ago. I know it is IMPOSSIBLE to get HIV from this after reading the studies. However, the what-if factor can be devistating and 3 months wait to get tested is even worse. 1) Is it true that there is ONLY one reported case worldwide and even this is disputed? After testing negative at 3 months for this type of perfectly safe exposure can we rule out needing a test at six months? Why is this question repeatedly answered and yet we all still feel we must go out and get tested? What sparked my fears was the fact that the woman used an asthma pump and right away I wondered if these things can cause bleeding gums? Later my "regular" blood test results showed my Lymphocytes were .6 lower than the referance range and the panic began. Please figure out a way to Convince all us Hypochondriacs that we dont need to be tested after recieving this wonderful art even if the "artist" were to be HIV+. Thank You and I commend your patience and excellent work.

Response from Mr. Kull

People who continue to feel anxious about HIV infection despite all of the evidence showing that HIV should be the least of their concerns may need to focus on the anxiety itself.

Everybody experiences anxiety about their own health and well-being at some point in their life. The severity and frequency of bouts of anxiety can vary greatly from person to person. When your anxiety begins to interfere with your work, relationships, and general day-to-day functioning, you should talk to someone about anxiety and anxiety disorders. This is especially true if you remain concerned about HIV even though the evidence shows that HIV should not be the concern (what you call hypochondriasis). This may or may not apply to you, but is worth thinking about.

People who have anxiety disorders often benefit from psychotherapy, medications and cognitive-behavioral treatment (a way of modifying certain thoughts and behaviors). Medication and psychotherapy in combination seem to work best for anxiety disorders. A mental health professional could best help you understand your anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the U.S. Many people feel ashamed about seeking treatment.

Visit the National Institute of Mental Health's Anxiety Disorders information to learn more about anxiety, anxiety disorders, and how to seek out further help if you think you would benefit from it.

RMK



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