My best friend is infected with hiv
Feb 22, 2007
Dear Dr, My best friend of 5 years has just told me recently he is infected with hiv.I am reacting in the worse way possible!Im avoiding him as much as possible.When he tells me hes coming over,i always tell him im going off somewhere,or on the occasion that he cathes me at home, after he leaves im washing and sanatizing mine and my littl girls hands.In all reality i know me and my daughter are really the threat now to him with his immune system weakend.I take pride in the fact that im more health savvy then all my young friends,BUT I can not get over this irrational fear of catching it.I feel the most ignorant and on top of that now i feel guilty because this is the time he needs me and my support!Now i know i can catch it through sex and what not,but hes gay so thats out of the picture.Can you please give me suggestions on how to get over this irrational fear?Thank you so much. Sincerly, Connie
Response from Dr. Frascino
You characterized your problem well when you wrote ". . . I cannot get over this irrational fear of catching it." I agree your fear is "irrational" and that your problem is not being able to conquer this phobia. HIV is not your problem. Fear of HIV is. Phobias are fairly common and can be focused on any of a wide variety of things (see below). I would suggest you consult a psychologist or psychiatrist and also that you level with your best friend, rather than try to avoid him. Show him this question and my response. It may help explain your erratic behavior. This friendship and your mental health can be salvaged if you take the proper steps to address your very real problem. Yes, Connie, your friend may have HIV, but he's not the only one with a medical problem that requires treatment. Hopefully you'll be able to help each other. After all, "that's what friends are for!"
president of WW needs help Feb 9, 2007
I am running for office again. almost 4 years and 30+ tests later still cant let go. have now dry cough and luekoplakia. test include 6 proviral dna 20+ antibody some for just 1 and some for 1 and 2, NAT along with western blot for the cherry on top. ALL NEGATIVE need your help for a good shrienk or what. even went as far to find old DR on THE BODY Dr Reznik to look at my mouth. Please say no way no how and some good DR for my mind.
Say hay to DR Steven for me. I always say hey to you when I speak to him. HE knows me as Brian in Atlanta.
Vey sorry for the loss of you brother Pete.
A guy who truly needs help
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hi Brian in Atlanta,
Yes, Dr. Steve relays your greetings whenever he chats with you!
Your qualifications for President of the WW Club are indeed impressive. We may even make you czar!
Brian, with six proviral DNAs, 20+ antibody tests, NAT and Western Blot all negative and extending over a four-year period, I can definitively and conclusively tell you HIV is not your problem. No way! No how! (You've now spent more money on HIV testing than the combined annual gross national product of four West African countries! And you've probably given enough blood to become borderline anemic!) So tell me, Brian, exactly which part of "HIV negative" don't you understand? From talking to Dr. Steve, I'm quite confident you realize that your HIV fears are indeed unwarranted. Kind of like people who are deathly afraid of spiders. How could a miniscule eight-legged insect cause such fright in a 175-pound human? It's really not logical, but actually fairly common. There are other strange phobias as well. (See below.) Considering the severity and persistence of your irrational HIV fears, I'd recommend you see a psychiatrist. They would be the most qualified in helping you confront and conquer your irrational fears. Ask your general medical doctor for a referral. (I don't have any personal friends practicing psychiatry in the Atlanta area. Sorry.)
Keep us posted on your progress, Brian!
Dr. Bob and Dr. Steve
"mental" HIV worry! Jan 7, 2007
Firstly, thanks so much for your great advice and honest feedback! I recently read the "Blood on table" question and many other seemingly far-fetched ideas for getting HIV on this website. I indeed think I fall into this category..I have many irrational thoughts about HIV -and in most cases I know they are "out-there", but really just cannot stop worrying. I know that others would not worry about the same situations. You recommended that the person should receive help for this "mental HIV" problem". Could you let me (and others like me) know how to go about getting over these kind of thoughts about HIV. Who could help with such an issue? I would love not to spend my time and energy thinking about HIV anymore and am desperate to get some help!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Realizing that your fears are irrational is a major first step in confronting and ultimately conquering them! Many folks have irrational fears about all sorts of things fear of spiders (arachnophobia), fear of snakes (ophidiophobia), fear of flying (aviophobia) fear of heights (acrophobia), etc. and those are just the common ones. There are also loads of less common, less well known phobias, such as:
Arachibutyrophobia: fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
Blennophobia: fear of slime
Bogyphobia: fear of bogeyman
Didaskaleinophobia: fear of school
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia: fear of long words
Paraskevidekatriaphobia: fear of Friday the 13th
And even Dubya undoubtedly has a few real phobias as well, such as:
Epistemophobia: fear of knowledge
Phronemophobia: fear of thinking
Logophobia: fear of words
These are all real medical diagnoses, real phobias! You can look them up if you don't believe it! Of course, if you asked Dubya what "phobia" means, he would probably say "phobia is what you have left over after you drink two out of a six-pack."
OK, getting back to AIDS-phobia or fear of HIV/AIDS, this is an increasingly common phobia, as you can surmise by perusing the archives. Any qualified psychologist or psychiatrist should be well equipped to evaluate and treat phobias, no matter what the object of your fear may be. Ask your general medical doctor for a recommendation or referral to someone qualified in your area.
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