Student Riddled with HIV Anxiety: Should I go for a HIV Test? (VISIONS AND FEARS OF BEING SEXUALLY ASSAULTED WHILE SLEEPING, 2010)
May 16, 2010
Respected Dr Bob
You are God's gift to us who are riddled with HIV anxiety, and wish to have a peace of mind. I am yet another such person who desperately need your valuable advice.
For the past 6 weeks, I have had 'visions' of being sexually assaulted while sleeping naked because twice I had stupidly left my front door open. My room overlooks a busy street. 2 weeks ago, I think I have developed symptoms similar to those early HIV symptoms. My face is filled with white flakes all over together with a sudden outburst of large pimples. My skin is extremely dry. Both my armpits, my groins, and the sides of my neck below my chin ache terribly. I have had a terrible sore throat, and my body aches all over. I have a sore neck as well. I also have scattered red rashes on my front chest and back. My body is very warm and my chest feels like it is burning. I do not know what to do right now. I have never done any HIV test as I have never been sexually active except from kissing my girlfriend. I do not know whether I should take a test now because of my symptoms, and also because I could have had a risky exposure on two occasions in the past 6 weeks. Dr, please help this desperate 22-year old student. What should I do? Should I do a confidential HIV test or see my school counsellor?
Thank you soooo very muchhhh!
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Student Riddled with HIV Anxiety,
It's important to realize that having "visions of being sexually assaulted while sleeping naked" and actually being sexually assaulted while sleeping naked are two very different things! HIV testing is not warranted; however, counseling (psychotherapy) definitely is!
You are not alone in having such fantasies; see below for another example.
In The Middle of the Night Jan 30, 2010
Dear Dr Bob
I need your advice. I am a heterosexual male, and I live alone. A couple of weeks back, my house was broken into in the middle of the night through a window that was smashed. This was a window in the room that I was sleeping in. I was under very drowsy medication and so I was in very deep sleep. It appeared what was a dream in which this burglar had sexually assaulted me (anal sex specifically as I was naked on the bed). I woke up thereafter, and heard a loud bang on the front door. I ran to the front door but the burglar had escaped. Funnily, nothing was stolen. I thought what appeared to be a sexually-assaulted episode to be just irrational fear so I let it go. But now I am running a high fever, feeling dizzy, having large red rashes on my buttocks, a bad sore throat, moth ulcers, and swollen lymph nodes. My irrational fears are getting the better of me to the point that I am convinced that the sexual assault actually did happen and I now have STDs especially HIV and Syphilis. I need your advice on what I should do. Should I go for STD/HIV testing? Or should I see a psychiatrist? Or should I just let it go? I am in constant worry now so will be very grateful for your reply. Separately, I am happy to make a modest donation to your foundation.
Thank You LostBoy
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Lost Boy,
You are a heterosexual male and you think someone smashed the window in your bedroom and you didn't notice because you were "under very drowsy medication," and the burglar sexually assaulted you by having anal sex with you, because you were "naked on the bed." You woke up when you heard the bang of the front door, ran to it, but the horned-up burglar had escaped. Do I have that right? And "funnily, nothing was stolen." And now you think you have HIV and syphilis. Oh my! You're wondering if you should get HIV/AIDS tested or see a shrink? Definitely see a shrink! Lost Boy, you have issues bigger than the September issue of Vogue! I can assure you STD/HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. But you do have a problem! Show this post to your psychiatrist on your first visit. It will help him focus your treatment and speed your voyage of self discovery. Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated.
Good luck. Be well!
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