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If the risk is non-existence, why am I scared shitless?

Aug 17, 2011

Dear Dr Bob,

I am about to get tested tomorrow and I am scared out of my wit.

I have never had any anal, vaginal or oral sex in my life protected or otherwise(no really!). At most, I only went to erotic massages a few times. Although my skin was dry and cracked, there was no active bleeding when I went to the massage parlours. I do not think I had any cuts in my hands when that occurred. As far as I can remember, there was no cuts either in the girls' hands. I have read this forum backwards and I am under the impression that the risk was pretty much non existence. So why do I feel like I am about to get executed? Is this a normal reaction?

My brain is telling me I should be fine, but I am still scared shitless. Are human brains really this faulty?

I am up to the point where I am actually losing my appetite. By the time I receive the result, I probably would have died from a malnourishment.

Dr Bob, how do you eliminate this unwarranted fear?

Regards, Chris

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, Chris.

You're wondering if it is a normal reaction to feel like you're about to be executed, because you're going to get your HIV test tomorrow? Well, um, no Chris, I wouldn't call that exactly normal. Certainly HIV testing can be an anxiety-provoking experience, but generally it's not quite as bad as standing in front of a firing squad or having your ears removed with a cheese grater.

I agree with what your brain is telling you: "nonexistent risk; you'll be fine."

I'm quite confident there is a "WOO-HOO" with your name on it just waiting for your test results to return, assuming you don't pull a Karen Carpenter on us first.

Dr. Bob

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