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In need of mental help!
Mar 25, 2003

I am going crazy with this "Worried Well" syndrome I have and need a little bit of "mental help!" Sorry for this long message.

About 3 weeks ago I performed oral sex on a man I didn't know. First time (and only) time I have ever done this. I had some condoms with me, but wanting to "taste" a hard on I didn't slip one on him. Had I done that my mental state would be better. After about 5 minutes of sucking I thought I tasted semen in my mouth, not a lot, so it was probably pre cum. I immediatly stopped then spit and spit and spit. Within 30 minutes I had rinsed my mouth out over and over again. I will say I don't have any oral problems such as bleeding gums or open sores. I also don't have any other risky sexual behaviors or use drugs.

So, ever since then, I have decided I have HIV. Stupid I know, but I worry. I have also diagnosed myself with gonorreha of the throat, herpes (no blisters though) and soon I will have Hepititis(sp) B. Yes, I read too much on the internet.

I talked with my local health department (3 of them in fact) and was told my HIV risk is minimal and except for peace of mind I don't need tested. I asked about a gonorreha test and was told the same. After following your posts and researching other sites, I realize that my risk is extremely low.

But as of today, I thought I had a fever (I check it 4-5 times per day looking for ARS symptoms) and it was up from 97.8 to 98.8 (but has gone back to 97.9). My right testicle is slightly swollen and I wet the bed last night for the first time in my life, and my glands in my neck are slightly enlarged.

I also have a sore throat and have had since the day after I performed the oral sex. I might add I can see white drainage at the back of my throat and it has been there since the sore throat started. I also have my tongue coated in white. So logic says I have post nasal drainage with possible thrush due to Minocycline which I am on.

Logic and good sense say don't worry, you are fine. My mind has me dead in 6 months. I think part of the problem is the guilt I feel that I have let my family down. I am married with a daughter.

BTW this happened in Tennessee which has only about 12,000 cases which puts my chance of encountering someone HIV+ at about 1 in 2500 which makes my odds (based on what I have seen online) at contracting HIV this way at about 1 in 6,250,000 based on a .04 chance of transmission through oral sex.

Bottom line is, could you just confirm for me that my risk is extremely low and that I am being a hypocondriac?

I do appreciate your insight. I hope you can post an answer and help me out.

Thank you

Response from Mr. Kull

"Worried well" is a misnomer if we are talking about an underlying mental health problem, like anxiety or depression (or hypochondriasis!). It is a huge mistake to tell someone that they are a worried well if they are chronically anxious or depressed. These are real problems, as real as any physical disease, that need real treatment. Telling you that you are "well" and to just "get over it" is not an appropriate way to address the discomfort that you are feeling because it will not just go away by telling it to. That's like treating HIV only with vitamins; it's not going to work. You need caring and accurate support.

You have all of the information you need. You know that your risk is extremely low. But it sounds like you can't believe it. Now it's time to address your thinking and emotions.

Sometimes people have acute periods of anxiety after having sex with a person. It's difficult to assess if this is a unique experience or is an expression of a more chronic condition. Regardless, it is important that you talk with a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker) and get an appropriate assessment. That offers the best and most reliable relief available.

RMK



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