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hiv and PTSD
Sep 3, 2011

Hi Robert, First of all, thank you for all the good job, the advices and the support you give us in somme tough times for most of us. In 1993, i had unsafe sex with sex worker. I got sick in september of that year. I went to my local doctor who gave me antibiotics but my condition got worse. My doctor ask me if i was gay. It scared me to death because i knew he suspected me to have hiv. At that times, it was a death sentence. That's why he was reluctant to order a blood test.This situation was emotionnaly horrible. especially in 1993. i guess i was wathching everyday Philadelphia. Eventually, i was negative. non eighteen years later, the trauma is still there. I am scared to death with almost sexual practises, even the very low risk ones like bj or protected sex (too scare that the condom might break and send me back in 1993). I guess i suffer from a kind of PTSD. Robert, you're the best. What can i do to go through with that and live a normal life. thanks Franck. NY.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, Franck.

I probably wouldn't characterize your irrational fears of HIV as PTSD, but you certainly do have a psychological problem. Sex is supposed to be fun, not anxiety provoking!

I'd recommend you consult a licensed mental health professional to help you confront and conquer your completely irrational, totally unwarranted HIV-related fears. Cognitive-behavior therapy (counseling) with or without anti-anxiety medications can be very effective.

By the way the virus found me in January 1991; consequently, I, too, remember the bad ol' days of the pandemic! But it's no longer 1993 and HIV is no longer a mysterious killer. It's a very well-studied and understood virus.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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