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At my wits end!! (donation on the way!)
Jun 21, 2007

Hi Dr. Bob,

First off i want to thank you for all of your great work on this site! Now unfortunately Dr Bob I am at my wits end with anxiety and worry. Here's my little story, I have had 'close encounters' with infection twice in my life so far, which have led me to losing periods of my life thanks to excessive worrying and just real stress! These ended of course when i got tested and slowly got over these problems. Why im here today tho is a similar issue. Back in April 2006, i strayed from my girlfriend of 5 years to do something pretty damn stupid. I had way too much to drink and ended up with an old flame from years back which in turn resulted in unprotected oral both giving and receiving, this was all. I carried on my merry little way after that without much concern and things were going well, without much thought of the event except the obvious guilt, which i seemed to live with. However in February this year, a small trigger (me thinking my glands were swollen) triggered all of my old feelings of anxiety and fear, so much so that i would be thinking i was infected every minute of every day, not continously but the kind of anxiety that those thoughts were always in the back of my mind. So, after a while this got the better of me and so i went to get tested about 10 months after the encounter. This came back negative. I accepted that to a point i would think, and carried on. However to this day, i still find myself continously worrying that i may be infected. I find myself questioning my test results, thinking maybe there had been an error somehow. It's gotten to the stage that when i get a small cough of just a sign of a cold or common flu it triggers these emotions. It gets to the point where i find im not enjoying life like i used to and it's really irritating and it's like i know that logically my risks are low, it's just hard to accept it and move on. Any words of wisdom for me Dr. Bob, and please could you post your Foundations details so i can do my bit too. (hope mastercards are accepted!!)

Thanks

Steve

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Steve,

You correctly identified your problem when you wrote: ". . . I am at my wits end with anxiety and worry." BINGO! HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. Rather, anxiety, guilt and stress are the real reasons you are "not enjoying life." My advice is simple:

1. You need to address your psychological issues guilt, anxiety, depression, irrational HIV fears, etc. I recommend you seek the assistance of a psychologist to help you confront and conquer these very real problems.

2. Level with your girlfriend. We all make mistakes, even yours truly. What's important is owning up to our indiscretions, accepting the consequences of our actions and learning from our mistakes.

3. Stop chasing and worrying about a disease you could not possibly have and instead get the help you need!

Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. Sure, we gratefully accept all major credit cards (www.concertedeffort.org).

Good luck!

Dr. Bob



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