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Transmission Risk and Testing Anxiety

Dec 16, 2012

Hello. I have extreme anxiety about being examined and have not visited a PCP in 5+ years. I have never visited a gynecologist for a baseline pap smear or pelvic exam. At 28, I have only had anxiety-related health complaints (sweating, inability to sleep, diarrhea). That said, I've had unprotected sex with 3 men; total unprotected encounters less than 8. None ejaculated inside me. I never explicitly asked about HIV/STI status, but 2 partners were physicians with frequent exposure to HIV/HEP-C+ patients. I am seeing a PCP and Gyno/getting tested Monday, but I haven't been able to sleep/am a wreck worrying about testing positive. How worried should I be?

Thank you in advance for any input. I realize I deserve what I get, and I could easily be the "1 in 1000"...but I'd appreciate a rational assessment.

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your questions,

I'll be honest with you, unprotected sex with a partner of unknown status does put a person at risk for HIV/STDs. It's helpful that they didn't ejaculate inside you, but since pre-cum can transmit HIV there's still risk. It is important to say though, just because you had risk doesn't you got infected, but it does mean there's a chance!

In the future, it's important that you try your best to practice safer sex to make sure that you and your partners stay as healthy and safe as possible!

The biggest thing that's hitting me in your story is your extreme anxiety. Many people have trouble seeing a doctor on a regular basis, but if you feel this is more extreme than that, visiting a mental health professional can help. Even talking openly with a trusted person can help you get to the point where you can build some skills to move forward in a positive way.

Hope this helps!


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