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Why can't I cure HIV myself?
Jan 12, 2011

Dear Doc,

I have been a constant reader to your forum and constant donor to your concerted foundation as well. I am a male, 33 years old, married with two beautiful kids in a comitted relationship living in Mumbai, India. There has been no incident in the past which I would consider risky for HIV transmission.

I will Give you a brief background. I got myself tested in April 2010 for HIV because I felt a needle exposure had caused it (previoud blood draw). It was just a sudden thought which cropped in my mind and from there this whole roller coaster ride started. The test ofcourse came out negative! Then I thought I was infected by this phlebotomy procedure so I waited 3 months and got myself retested for HIV along with HBSAG on July 1, 2010. Test came out negative. This time I even saw the phlebotimist opening the needle from needle pack! I even smsed him later that was the needle new and he replied in the affirmative. I was relieved but this crazy thought keep pestering me what if I am still infected??

So finally after 6 months again that is on January 5th 2011 I got myself tested for HIV, Hbsag and HCV and this time I held the needle packet (TOP brand, winged infusion needle set) to see if it is sealed or not. After that the phlebotomist opened th packet and worked in such a fast manner that beofre I realised, the blood was drawn. I again smsed him asking whether the needle set was opened from the new, valid, sealed pack infront of me and he replied in a single word YES. Ofcourse all the tests were negative.

Doc why do I keep thinking this way? Do I need help? I am restraining from having sex with my wife should I continue.

Doc please give me your advise as I value them a lot. I have all these reports lying infront of me stating my negative status and just want this thought to go away? I know you are not a therapist but please your assurance in any way would be appreciated.

best regards,

your Fan from Mumbai, India

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Fan From Mumbai,

Your multiple negative HIV tests are definitive and conclusive. HIV is not your problem. No way. No how. Your problem is fear of HIV, not HIV itself. In other words your problem is psychiatric, not virologic. You are correct: I'm not a therapist. I'm an HIV specialist. Since you don't have HIV, there really isn't much I can offer you. You state you "just want this thought to go away." Consequently you need to seek the help of someone who can help you with your irrational fears and unwarranted worries and illogical thoughts. I'd suggest you see a psychiatrist. They are the "thought" doctors!

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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