CDC's definition of 'exposure'
Apr 11, 2009
Hi Dr. I feel I have been living in the 'window period' for the last two years of my life. I am a straight male. Everytime I get a test and feel I can be satisifed with the results, something else happens. For example, I went out with some friends for drinks and I had a cut in my mouth and I can't recall if I drank out of another girl's drink or not. After that I began experiencing lethargy and am becoming obsessed that perhaps there was blood on her straw which got in my cut. This happened days after I just got a negative result HIV test. Now I feel like I have to wait again for this 'exposure.' I've tried turning to the CDC but it becomes and general as "if you've had contact with bodily fluids in an open cut/mouth etc. then you should consider a test." There is no way for me to know if there was blood on that straw and I've had over 15 HIV tests in the last 2 years. I feel like avoiding contact with women is the best way to handle this situation. Any thoughts? I'm tired of living my life in the "i need to get tested zone" and all my 'exposure fears' aren't even sex / drug use related, it's all via kissing and me having a small cut in my mouth or something of that nature.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Fifteen HIV tests within the last two years are highly excessive and completely unwarranted.
Your current fears are not justified. Your HIV risk from sharing a drink, even with the cut in your mouth, is nonexistent. Testing is not recommended. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. However, you do have a problem: irrational fear of being infected with HIV. Take a read through the archives of this forum. There you'll find many stories very similar to yours. All of these folks eventually accepted their HIV-negative status and stopped testing unnecessarily. I would suggest you consider counseling to help you confront and conquer your totally unwarranted fears and to break your HIV-testing vicious circle.
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