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Anxiety took over my life

Nov 29, 2017

Hello, In may 2013 I had condom protected vaginal sex . I took EIA test at 7-8 weeks- negative At one year another EIA test -negative At 23 month rapid finger prick -negative At 24 month rapid finger prick at the hospital,test negative At 3 years one more finger blood test (4 Th generation) negative. In your opinion is it enough testing? Dr who did 3 rapid tests is hiv specialist, she told me no more test. After 4 ,5 years of exposure I have pneumonia. In your opinion should I test again? Thank you, Best regards Al

Response from Mr. Jacobs

Hi Al, If you haven't been sexually active since May, 2013, then there would be no medical reason to be tested for HIV. Most tests will give you accurate results within 28 days and nearly all HIV positive results would show within three months.

When I was growing up, Stevie Nicks was one of my favorite singers. I loved her mystical lyrics, her witchy dresses, her elegant mysterious style. What I didn't realize in the pre-Internet era was how much I related to her private struggles with doubt, fear, insecurity, and hearbreak, all of which contributed to her nearly fatal cocaine habit throughout the 1980s. She eventually kicked cocaine, but then had a very public battle with the drug Klonopin, which led to the strange blank-stares and weight gain the media viciously attacked her for throughout the 1990s.

In 2011, Stevie was embarking on an unusually small tour in major U.S. cities. She was healthy, strong, sober, energetic, and wanting to play intimate venues where she could feel connected to her audience. It just so happened that her first new solo album in 10 years was going to be released at the same time I was turning 40-years-old, and she was going to be appearing in a very small theater close to where I lived. I was going to turn 40, buy her new album, and see her live and up-close, all in the same week! A lifetime dream come true!

But Stevie never made it to New York City. And why not? Because she, like over 400,000 Americans, was hit by pneumonia that year, causing her to cancel all her tour dates. Pneumonia is a very common and brutal infection that kills over 900,000 children per year (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs331/en/). It is not synonymous with HIV at all, and easily spread from casual contact with saliva or mucous.

I know that some people may associate pneumonia with AIDS, since many people with AIDS died from pneumonia when exposed before we had treatment. But that doesn't mean that having pneumonia now is a sign of having AIDS. Stevie Nicks sure doesn't, and neither do most of the children who are gravely afflicted with this infection each year.

Although "AIDS Phobia" is not an official clinical diagnosis, it is often used to describe people who believe they have HIV even though they have had no exposure, and don't believe the medical tests that come back as "HIV negative." Often times therapy and medications can help with this condition. I'd encourage you to check out this article to learn more, and consider talking to a therapist in your area (https://www.verywell.com/understanding-aids-phobia-48745).

I hope this helps you begin the process of prioritizing rationality over terror, placing facts over fears.



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