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Going Crazy Over Bareback Topping Incident
Sep 24, 2007

Hey Doc. I'm hoping you can help put my mind at ease. Here is my story: March 2004 I had unprotected anal sex with another gay man in which I was the top. Why I did it I can't explain it as it was so not me. Regardless, i started getting worried, not knowing the other person's HIV status. I got tested 35 days after and it was negative.Three months after the incident I got the other person to agree to get tested, which i was there for, and he was negative. Five months later, even though he (the bottom) tested neg at three months, I got tested again. I was negative again. If that's not enough, still being OCD over the incident and feeling guilt im sure, i got tested at 10 months and 16 months. The results? Negative! Now it is three-and-a-half years later and I can't get this out of my head. I've had sexual encounters since then, but ALL the anal sex has been protected and there has been mutual masturbation and the giving and receiving of oral sex, but never to the point that someone ejaculates in my mouth.

It must be the guilt from the incident in March 2004, because when I occassionally do have sex with someone i start thinking back to that HIV scare of 2004. If I come down with a cold or get sick, i'm always thinking "what if?" even though I've done nothing to warrant another HIV test. I've had three bouts of strep throat over the past 4 1/2 months, and of course my mind goes crazy again thinking it's HIV. My HIV fears are ridiculous, yes? Do I have anything to be concerned over here, other than my brain needs to stop dwelling on things so much? Any suggestions or words of encouragement would be very much appreciated. It feels like I've let a 2004 incident rule my life for more than three years. I just want to really live life again.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

Your multiple negative HIV tests are definitive, conclusive and excessive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. Your problem is psychological, not virologic. Guilt, anxiety and irrational fear of HIV are the root of your problem, not HIV. Counseling may well help. More HIV tests and additional worrying over common nonspecific symptoms will certainly not help. Take a read through the archives (yes, all of them!). You should find the information and testimonials there reassuring.

Stay safe and you'll stay well. Stop being so hard on yourself. We are all human. We all make mistakes and have lapses in judgment. The important thing is to learn from our indiscretions and you have! You've also dodged the HIV bullet, so stop worrying and start WOO-HOOing.

Dr. Bob



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