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Severe Hypochondria on HIV/aids and ashamed of past mistake

Apr 22, 2011

Hi. I found this website really helpful and i want more help. Recently i am suffering from severe Hiv hypochondria. The country i am living in has very HIV prevalence rate and all the migrants have to go through HIV test to ensure their fitness. 5 years ago when i was 15 years old i had gay anal sex with another 14 year old boy. I am not gay neither i did anything before or after it. I did that act because at that time i had sexual urges. I know it sound gross but i was a victim of that environment. I didn't had idea about HIV. Later when i came to know that HIV was found in homosexual i got afraid and felt terrible. I thought may be 2 HIV negative can develop HIV by themselves and was really worried. But from the body forum i learnt that it can not transmit from HIV negative. The guy whom i had sex is living now in other country normally. But i have developed a hypochondia recently and searching about HIV time all the time. I am currently 21 years old student.

Because of HIV hypochondria i can not study and live my normal life. I am really ashamed of my past and hate my self. Now i have a girlfriend(i don't do any sexual activity to ensure her health) and beautiful career ahead of me. I can not take HIV test here because if i the result comes bad than i will be disported to my home country with my family. Everyone will be ashamed of me.I feel like killing myself nowadays. I just want to know what is the chance of hiv if i was on top (the one who penetrates)

Response from Dr. Frascino


I agree your problem is "severe HIV hypochondria" and not HIV itself! Your HIV-acquisition risk is extremely low, considering your experience was just two young (and presumably HIV-negative) teenagers experimenting and satisfying "sexual urges." This is quite common, completely normal, and nothing to be ashamed about! I should also point out that HIV is not a gay disease! It's caused by a virus and that virus could care less whether you're straight as a lawn dart or gay as the Christmas windows at Macy's.

It's unfortunate there are still countries that treat HIV as a sin rather than as a viral infection. These judgmental attitudes increase HIV/AIDS stigma and drive HIV underground. When folks do not get HIV tested out of fear of repercussions (such as being deported), HIV has the opportunity to spread rapidly undetected and untreated. We are now 30 years into the pandemic and over 33,000,000 of us are currently living with HIV. Over 25,000,000 have had their lives prematurely snuffed out. I remain shocked and appalled that countries continue to perpetuate HIV/AIDS stigma and some even treat it as some type of crime or "sin". HIV is a virus, not a crime or a sin.

Your feelings of shame and self-hate stem from guilt and fear. Your comment that you "feel like killing myself nowadays" is concerning. I would recommend you see a psychiatrist to help you cope with your irrational fears, guilt, suicidal ideation and hypochondria. Should you choose to get tested, I'm confident the result would be negative.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

Embarrassing question !
Coming out of closet, but need help, HIV risk! Will make donation.

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