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anxiety is eating me alive!
      #16592 - 03/14/01 07:32 AM

I have read several posts on this board and I feel so stupid for waiting so long to test for hiv. So many of you got tested as soon as you could and I think that is so impressive because I am shaking right now just thinking of it. It has been about 3 years since my first risky encounter, during my senior year of highschool. It was with a boyfriend that I was together with for 3 years and we were very young and inexperienced, but you never know... Then I went to college and in the past 2 years I have had a few incredibly stupid drunken nights and had sex without a condom, but my partners did not ejaculate in me. By the way, I am a 20 year old female, about to turn 21. I regret every sexual episode and have felt so disgusted with myself ever since then. How could I be so stupid? And more than once?? I feel so ashamed and have no really close friends that I would feel comfortable to confide in. And I am so terrified that my parents would be angry with me for being so irresponsible because I have always been smart and self-driven to succeed. This secret has been eating me alive slowly for the past few years. I actually have developed the worst case of acne ever in my life, probably due to the stress this is causing me. I take good care of myself now, but I am just soooooo scared of getting tested. I don't think I could handle the results, if they were positive that is. I am so young, I want to graduate with an engineering degree and marry a wonderful guy and have a family, but hiv could end my life short, or send me into deep depression. I wouldn't be able to contain my emotions around my family or my roommates or anyone if I tested positive. AHH, can you see how this is tearing me apart?? I want to know if I am negative, but I don't want to know if I am positive. The longer time goes by, the more terrified I get. I don't know what to do, but I wish I could face this. I panic when ever I get a blood test, terrified that they are going to check the box next to HIV on the blood test form. I want to ease my mind, but I don't want to deal with what could be.
I should wrap this up, but I just really needed to get that out. Thanks to whoever is out there listening.

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Re: anxiety is eating me alive! new
      #16594 - 03/14/01 09:26 AM

Lovely girl, we are listening. Get tested and control yourself next time whenever there is chances of sexual episode. I fully understood your problem. However, you have to face it and deal with it. We are all human and human makes mistake. Don't beat yourself up too much.

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Re: anxiety is eating me alive! new
      #16601 - 03/14/01 02:16 PM

I understand your anxiety well ...... wanting to know you're negative and move on, but too scared to find out you might be positive. Well, from reading your post, it definitely seems like you are going through major guilt over your few sexual episodes. If you're like me, then you may think you deserve to get HIV over your behavior. However, I'm tending to think that's not how HIV works ...... it's not a punishment; it is quite simply, a virus. Now, your chances of contracting this virus through your few episodes are most likely slim, but you need to get tested in order to put your mind at ease. Worse case scenario (which I doubt will happen), if your pos., you'll be in a better place than you are now. Testing is scary, but it's also a good thing ..... think of it as a personal act of courage - you are doing a "good thing" by being tested. With the feeling of knowing you're doing something good, you may be able to put down that fear, and walk in and get tested. The TRUTH of this matter is, that years of this anxiety is probably just as bad for your body as HIV itself ..... you need to know that! You can do this ...... and we are here for you. Get tested; you'll be grateful you did. God Bless.

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Reged: 11/21/00
Posts: 139
Re: anxiety is eating me alive! new
      #16602 - 03/14/01 03:17 PM

The anxiety that you are feeling is completely normal for this situation. Taking an HIV test is an extremely stressful experience but honestly, the "what if's" are worse than knowing for sure.

Alcohol is a dangerous thing. It lowers inhibitions and we are willing to do things under the influence that we would not do if we were sober. Believe me, the reason I found this board was due to a night of druken stupidness.

Take a deep breath and gather up the courage to get tested. Regardless of what happens, you will be glad that you did. If it is negative, breathe a big sigh of relief, count your blessings and learn from this. If it is positive, you will be armed with the knowledge and power to take care of yourself and others.

Remember, you are not positive until a test says you are. We are here for support. Take care and stay strong!


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Reged: 01/31/01
Posts: 33
Re: anxiety is eating me alive! new
      #16605 - 03/14/01 06:19 PM

I understand your feelings precisely. The reason I came to this board was due to an act of stupidity resulting from a night of drinking. I was inconsolable during my window period. I blew off getting tested twice because I was too scared to find out the results. It was people on this board that snapped me back into reality and reminded me it was the responsible thing to do.

You need to get yourself tested. You said yourself the longer time goes by, the more terrified you get. This isn't going to go away. Anytime you catch a cold, get the flu, develop aches and pains - HIV will forever be in the back of your mind. Also, in the unlikely event you are poz, wouldn't you want to know so you don't put anyone else at risk? Also, the key to getting this virus under control is early detection. Don't compromise your immune system by playing the waiting game.

I understand your apprehension for getting tested. Which is why I'm a huge advocate for anonymous HIV testing. Check for clinics near you that do anonymous HIV tests. You do not have to give your name or any personal info. You will be issued a number and you use that number to get your results. Nobody knows the results except you. Additionally, most of these clinics have professional counselors on staff that can help you understand the importance of being tested and help you deal with the results - good or bad. It may be worthwhile getting some counseling from someone versed in HIV issues before you get tested so you are better prepared to deal with the testing procedures and the results.

You are definately not alone out there. We've all been down this road and understand what you're going through.

Stay safe.


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Thank you all... new
      #16609 - 03/14/01 08:33 PM

I just wanted to thank you all for responding and being so supportive. I am still extremely terrified of getting tested, but you all helped me put it a little more into perspective. I also wanted you all to know that I am no longer sexually active because of the fear that I could be positive and the thought that I could give it to someone else disgusts me. Basically I avoid guys and I don't drink anymore. If I do drink, I don't drink as much as I used to. I think what I really needto be able to go through with the test is someone to confide in, and I don't really have that. I think the idea of getting councling from someone that deals with these situations before I get tested is a good idea because I am going to have to tell someone if I am positive, and if I am negative I will tell the whole world. I would be so greatful to be negative, I would feel like I was given an second chance at life. Thank you all so much, your support, it means so much to me, I'll keep you posted on what I decide to do with myself. As for right now, I am about to start finals week at school and really don't need the extra stress, but after finals I will check out some testing places. Thanks again.

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