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I reached my limit with worry!
Sep 25, 2009

Hello Robert,

First off, I must thank you for the work you do. You provide so much hope, information, and support for so many. You are a wonderful individual and the world would be so better off if there were more like you. THANKS!

Well, I am an admitted worry-wort. I was diagnosed with OCD and it is so apparent in my daily routine. About two years ago I had a sex with lady and came down with flu symptoms about two weeks later. Of course, I immediately convinced myself that I had contacted hiv and sought information on the internet. Well, self diagnosis through the web strengthened my reslove that I was hiv+ and I worried about it everyday. Thankfully, I found this site and it would calm my fears for a few days but the panic would return. Two weeks ago, I decided to go get tested and today it came back negative. I guess there is a lesson for me to learn from this.

The internet is a get source of information but when it comes to health issues, see your doctor to get tested and leave the diagnosising to the professionals. I wasted two years and so much energy on irrationale thought. I just wanted to let the other worry-worts that they are not alone, and to go get tested.

Hiv is a disease like so many others, we need to look past our fears and the social stigma and lend each other a helping hand.

Thank you for all you do, John

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello John,

Thanks for your kind comments and for taking the time to write in and share your story. Hopefully it will help other worried-wells who are still stuck in their self-induced worried-well hell to wake up, get tested and and smell the Starbucks!

Testing makes sense for so many reasons. (See below.) So worried-wells who are reading this forum, listen to John. Man-up and get tested. You'll be glad you did. Trust John; he knows from first hand experience. And trust me; "I'm a doctor."

Be well John!

Dr. Bob

Is it better not to know? ( IS IT BETTER TO GET HIV TESTED OR NOT TO KNOW, 2009) Sep 16, 2009

The mind is powerful. When people think they are experiencing ARS a lot ot times it is attributed to their psyche. Would a person who is HIV positive but thinks he is negatve be better off not knowing since the stress of knowing could cause a host of illnesses by itself. I have tested 3 times. non reactive antibody at 32 days, non reactive antibody at 16 weeks 6 days and less than 50 copies RNA by PCR at 37 days post. Do I need further testing?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

"Is it better not to know" you are HIV positive???? No, absolutely not. In fact what you don't know in that situation could kill you. Delayed HIV diagnosis is still the number one cause of HIV morbidity and premature HIV-related mortality. Knowledge is power! If you test and find out you are indeed "virally enhanced," you and your HIV specialist can better plan early treatment and intervention, improving your chances of slowing down the progress of HIV disease while protecting your immune system from begin silently decimated by the virus. If, on the other hand, you test negative, you will feel less anxious and be able to yell WOO-HOO! Also, by knowing your HIV status, you will better understand your risk of possibly infecting others. And clinical studies have shown those who know their HIV status are more likely to use precautions to protect their negative status or to prevent infecting others. Regardless of the HIV test results, testing tends to increase one's commitment to overall good health habits. Also, if someone is considering starting a family, knowing one's HIV status allows her to take advantage of treatments to dramatically decrease the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Now, let's have a practical example of what I discussed above, OK? You have tested HIV-antibody negative out to nearly 17 weeks and have an undetectable HIV plasma viral load by PCR RNA quantitative analysis (less than 50 copies) at day 37. Your test results are definitive and conclusive. You are HIV negative. Now are you glad you know your HIV status or not???? Sir, sir, could you please stop doing cartwheels and yelling WOO-de-frickin'-HOO long enough to answer my question? Sir, sir, thanks for the hug and kiss, but could you just put me down and answer the question??? Oh, never mind, I rest my case!

Dr. Bob



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