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

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

Still terrified. Please Doc! (re-re-re-post)

Dec 27, 2006

Dear Robert:

I am a 40 years old, married man, with 2 children, and I am wondering how I could be so stupid to put in risk my health and the ones I love.

I am a heterosexual male, and on February 14, while in a business trip, I engaged in sexual activity with an unknown status male, penetrating him using a preservative, he did not penetrate me but he *** over my stomach. I lived in worry 90 days, not sleeping at night and even losing my hair, until I came with a NEGATIVE Elisa Test exactly at the 90 days mark (13 weeks).

On October 17, while in a business trip too, I gave oral sex to an unknown status male, for about 30 seconds, he did not ejaculate in my mouth, and I was not aware of pre-cum coming out of his penis. Then he penetrated me using a rough-sex condom, water-based lubricant, and ejaculated inside me, using the preservative. The preservative did not break.

Almost inmediatley after this I had a huge guilt complex and anxiety, and after coming home I began searching the web trying to find the odds of being infected with HIV (or VIH as we call here in SouthAmerica), HIV symptoms, ARS symptoms, etc. After coming home I had a severe asthma crisis that had to be treated with corticoid nebulizations, after this (10 days after the incidend) I developed swollen and aching lymph nodes under my chin and neck, and also pain under my armpits. I have a dry cough with dyspnea, and it looks like my hands are changing skin, like an eczema. I had not fever, or other book symptom. This is going on for about a month and a half and it looks like the more research I do in internet, I can feel more swollen nodes developing

I convinced myself that Ive got HIV and infected my wife, and I am becoming crazy!!! I do not want to have sex with her and I even use a condom if she wants to masturbate me!!!. I think of this every minute of the day and night, as some nights I can not sleep at all and I dream almost every night that I get the test and it comes out POSITIVE. I look myself on the mirror constantly, looking for other signs of the virus. I research internet many times a day as I wait until the 3 months mark to test. If I read a magazine and I see the word AIDS or HIV, I think that this is not a coincidence, and somehow it is a message that Ive got it.

I know you are not a fortune teller and you can not tell me the outcome of the test, but let me ask you a question: Can anxiety and guilt complex be triggering these symptoms? The fear and symptons are so clear I used to think I was a smart and rational person but I am amazed how stupid I was, and how I am going to tell my wife and my parents if I am infected.

If this is not HIV, then anxiety will kill me first

Thanks for your time and words of wisdom

Gene Living a nigthmare somewere in SouthAmerica.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Gene,

I do not need to be a fortune teller to advise you on the outcome of your HIV tests. You are HIV negative. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how.

Your penetrative anal sex, both giving and getting, was protected and the condom did not fail. HIV cannot pass through intact latex. No way. No how! So if you used a latex condom properly and it didn't break, your risk of acquiring HIV from these acts is essentially nonexistent. That leaves only brief oral sex as your HIV risk. Oral sex carries a minimal risk for HIV transmission. That you had a negative HIV test 90 days after your February "business trip" rules HIV out definitively for that episode. The October "business" included protected anal sex (essentially no risk) and 30 seconds of receptive oral sex without ejaculation (negligible risk).

Your symptoms are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV ARS. As you mention, "the more research (you) do on the Internet, the more (you) feel swollen glands developing." BINGO! Your "swollen glands" are directly related to your Internet searches and increasing anxiety, not HIV! As for your seeing the word HIV or AIDS in a magazine and thinking it's some kind of message that you've got it: that is totally whacko! What happens when you see an ad for a Mercedes Benz? Does one show up in your garage???

To directly answer your question can fear and anxiety be the cause of all your "symptoms"? absofrickinlutely!!!

So why all the irrational fears and perseveration on HIV??? I assume this is directly related to guilt over your gay sexual activities. It's perhaps easier for you to feel sick and worried about being ill than it is to confront your homosexual desires and behavior. Gene, you don't need to worry about telling your wife about being HIV positive (because you are not). However, I do strongly recommend you level with her about your indiscretions and gay inclinations. It's not only the best way for you to confront your guilt; it's also the right thing to do. You may well need psychological counseling to help you come to grips with your irrational HIV fears and sexual orientation. Couples counseling may help when you tell your wife what's been going on. It is not a crime to be a 40-year-old man with children who now recognizes he has a sexual attraction to or orientation for other men. Whether you are gay, straight or bi is fine with me but you must be honest with yourself and those you love. Your living nightmare is not virologic or infectious, but rather psychological and self-inflicted.

Remember, "nightmares" are only bad dreams. They are not reality. Isn't it time you woke up?

Good luck, Gene.

Dr. Bob

cut on the penis
Problems down Under 2

  • 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