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Symptoms storry of an EX-worried Well

May 10, 2001

Dear Ryan,

I would greatly appreciate if you could post this story for others to see and realize that they should really NOT base any assumptions on any symptoms they experience. Only and only a test can tell. Here is my story....

About 4 months ago I pricked myself in a finger with a syringe in an Airplane...REALLY...It was hidden in the waste bin in the bathroom and so I couldn't see it, until it pricked me. Anyway. When I was pricked I didn't even think of HIV and forgot all about it, until I suddenly got sick about 2 weeks later. I had high fever, swollen glands and a sore throat. I was prescribed Antibiotics against the flu, but my symptoms wouldn't want to go. In addition I discovered a rash on my upper left chest. I started reading in the internet about the possible side effects of my Antibiotics and when I read that a rash might happen, I was OK. Why I continued to further investigate into my rash and other symptoms, I don't know, but whatever I was looking for, it was somehow related to HIV primary infection symptoms and then (!) I went completely out of my mind and I remembered the needle. The more I read in the Internet and the more I found out about symptoms, the more symptoms I developed. I had numerous sleepless nights with Headache, diarrea, Muscle & joint aches, sore throat, difficulties with swallowing, fever on and off, etc.. I guess I had more symptoms then people who are really HIV infected. I did a test after one month and it came back negative. I felt a little better, but still I had 2 month to wait to do the next test. It was hell, as most of you can imagine, but when this test came back negative again, I suddenly had my life back. Even this test I reconfirmed it with another more advanced test 3 weeks later. I am fine now. All is back to mormal and if I never had read about HIV symptoms, I would probably never had been worried. So I guess that is it true that the mind can really mimic any symptom. Please listen to Ryan and never diagnose yourself or try to base your status on symptoms. Only a test can tell. Live long and prosper!!

The ex-worried well

Response from Mr. Kull

Always pleased to hear people's success stories! Thanks.

Hopefully stories like this can help others in distress. It is important to remember that, if you consider yourself a "worried-well", it is crucial to look at the depth, severity, and duration of your worrying (usually referred to as anxiety). Anxiety disorders are one of the most prevalent mental health issues in this country, and there are treatments available for problematic anxiety. If you consistently worry about HIV despite being at low-risk or having negative tests, and this worrying is causing impairment in your day-to-day functioning, try talking with a mental health professional.


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