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what is the impact of delaying a test?
Nov 15, 2008

Hi Dr.Frascino

For past 2 years i been reading your forum, i have seen that you been dealing with people panicking about getting tested. I am one of them, my reason being the fact that am doing Grad school and will be done in a year and don't want to know my status because if I know I won't handle it properly now. Mean while I had a big behavioral change, I completely stopped my sex life, for fact that I don't want to go out and date because am not sure about myself. Past 2 years been painful every day I wake up in morning and see my self in mirror, wondering if every little change in my body is related to HIV in anyway. I check my tongue for sores, any swollen armpit and that muscle at my knee or elbow if it is getting wasted, I know one fact is that my observation (self check up) is useless but better than doing nothing.

To make long story short here is my risk level, I been going out with many escort girls (for 2 years), I have always used a condom, the riskiest of all is having sex with a drug addict escort still using condom, and another occasion where I had a girl that I met in club giving me head with out condom.

Based on those risks I have convinced my self to have contracted it some how, you know while changing condom, fluids in contact any thing of that sort. ever since I have kept my self healthier, stopped drinking, eat well and I go to gym, my weight was almost constant around 210lb.

My question is, assume am positive and what would I miss in terms of early treatment if I dont get tested now? what is the impact of delaying?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

You don't want to know your HIV status, because you "won't handle it properly"??? WHAT???

You state: ". . . The past two years have been painful every day, I wake up in the morning and see myself in the mirror wondering if every little change is related to HIV . . . ." Dude, you're not handling not knowing properly either! You have "convinced" yourself that you've contracted HIV despite only having protected sex! Your problem is not HIV itself, but rather fear of HIV. In other words, you have a psychological problem, not a virologic one!

If indeed you were HIV infected (and I'm quite confident you aren't!), what you don't know could indeed kill you. I'd suggest you get some counseling to help you confront and conquer your irrational HIV fears. If you're concerned about HIV infection, I'd also suggest you stop procrastinating, grow a pair and get tested.

Your anxiety over not knowing can cause both physical and psychological damage.

Dr. Bob



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