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Worried about HIV

Apr 10, 2012

So I had a one night stand - my first one ever. I don't usually sleep around. I am a dude and it was vaginal sex. It started with a condom but it slipped off because I couldn't get fully erect, so for a bit I was having unprotected sex. It wasn't much though, maybe 2-3 minutes of actual intercourse. The next day I wake up with crazy anxiety fearing I caught HIV. In my head I swear I have it. I don't even know if she has HIV but the way my mind works she does. I always tend to think the worst. It's been four days now and I can't stop worrying about it. I do have an anxiety problem, but these "what ifs " about HIV is killing me. I know to get tested but I have to wait a month or so. I don't know how I'm going to be able to wait that long. This was my only time having unprotected sex and now I'm scared to death. Any advice?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and anxiety it has produced. That period of uncertainty and waiting is one of the most difficult times simply because, as in your case, it gives our minds a wide-open space to imagine the "what-ifs." The key is to really try to stay in the present moment to the best of your abilities. If your mind drags you into some future scenario that hasn't occurred yet, gently bring yourself back to the moment. You might also find that you slip back in time and worry about what happened or what could have been different.

Don't let yourself get hijacked. Follow your plan for testing and, to the best of your ability, stay in the present. It's not a bad idea to distract yourself with work or some activity. Share your fears with someone you trust it helps to talk about it. Finally, try deep breathing or physical exertion to release the tension from your body.


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