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Getting Past Negative
Mar 26, 2009

Dr. Bob, I just can't shake this feeling. My boyfriend (now ex)came up positive 1.5 years into our relationship. As a precautionary, I got tested every 4 months for ease of mind. He had gotten tested twice during the course of our relationship, one as far out as 1 year since his possible expousure. He insists he was faithful and I believe him. I'm 5 months down the road from my possible exposure and can't fight the anxiety. My test are still negative but I can't shake the fear. Is it possible that he was faithful and his test didn't show until 1.5 later? Does this fear of HIV subside or is counseling a must? I can't even kiss a guy anymore without running the fear of HIV through my head! Since my exposure was significant, am I still in the dark until my 6 month mark next month?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

The chances your ex did not test HIV positive until 1.5 years after an exposure are extremely remote. If indeed he was faithful and had no other risk factors, I would recommend he get retested to ascertain if his positive test was actually a "false positive" test. That would be statistically more likely than not seroconverting for 1.5 years.

As for your status, you will need a repeat test at the six-month mark. If you remain negative, which is highly likely, yet still can't accept the good news, then counseling would indeed be warranted to help you accept and believe the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence that you are HIV negative. If you "can't even kiss a guy anymore without running the fear of HIV through (your) head," counseling may be warranted for that reason alone. You seem to have developed an irrational and totally unwarranted fear of HIV. This, as you probably have already noticed, can really screw up your social life! Sex is supposed to be (and can be!) fun, not anxiety provoking.

Good luck to both you and your ex.

Dr. Bob



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