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Dealing with Stress from Waiting for Test Results?
Jun 25, 2008

Dear Dr. Bob,

I was tested 2 & 1/2 weeks ago , and I still haven't gotten my result. The stress of waiting is really upsetting me. I can't concentrate at work, and I'm crying at different points throughout my day.

I've called my health provider to ask for an ETA on the test result, and I haven't heard a thing back. Do you have any tips for people who are just trying to make it through another day of testing stress?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Sure, I have a tip. Next time, get a rapid HIV test. Results are available in as few as 20 minutes!

It seems to me that 2 weeks is excessively long to wait for a routine HIV-screening test. If your doctor can't even provide you with an ETA for the result, ask him why not. If you don't get a satisfactory answer and the results of your test very soon and if the anxiety is becoming uncontrollable, just go and get a rapid test. Alternatively, a good way to keep your problems and stress in their proper perspective is to refocus your energies by volunteering some of your time and energy for those in desperate need. Perhaps visit an AIDS hospice or a children's cancer ward, for instance.

Dr. Bob



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