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Anxiety or a real concern

May 21, 2001

About 10 months ago I had a classic one night stand - and the condom I used split during vaginal sex. I didn't know the woman and wasn't overly concerned as in the UK the chance od transmission by hetro sex is very low. Now I have been experiencing some sypmtoms that I can't understand and am VERY worried - they are permanent tiredness/sore throat and a tickly cough/itchy skin and itchy red spots on my back. I am worried sick - especially as I am now seeing someone and we are at the point where we may mant to sleep together. What is the likelihood that these symptoms are of concern? I know they are all also symptoms of anxiety/stress and I do suffer from this - but I am now extremey concerned and its affecting me big time.

Response from Mr. Kull

Well, like you said, the likelihood that these symptoms are related to HIV is very low. The best thing you can do is get an HIV test at least three months after your exposure so that you can feel more comfortable in your relationship.

Many people begin to worry more about HIV and other STDs when they become more seriously involved with someone. HIV and all of its meanings can effectively embody and contain the anxieties, doubts, and conflicts we experience in relationships in a much more manageable and concrete manner. With that in mind, maybe you can find a way, preferably with a mental health professional, to address the anxiety that you experience as you become more intimate with your partner.

RMK



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