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HIV & obssesion
      #7782 - 07/30/00 02:16 AM

Hi there everybody,

I thought I would share some of my thoughts with you.
I have lurked on this forum for quite a while and the site in general for nigh on 2 years now so I think I understand to some degree the issues surrounding HIV and the hopes and fears of those who frequent this and other parts of this site.

Please forgive the erratic nature of this post -- late night ramblings are never safe...!

First a little background on the perspective I am coming from. I am a religious man. I suffer though from an almost uncontrollable sexual urge which
"necessitates" the regular solicitation of the services of sex workers.

The H.i.v. issue was not something that I had been too worried about; this however never kept me from practicing safe sex. I visited a prostitute in mainland europe two years ago and precisely 3 weeks later (after receiving a hand job believe it or not...) developed
"symptoms". I just "knew" this was ARS. I had a test at 3 months which came out negative. (surprise surprise...)

I found this very difficult to accept as I had all the "right" symptoms. I had another test sometime later.. again negative results.

The stress I underwent in this time was almost unbearable; It almost cost me my job and a long term relationship.

I still occassionally visit the ladies of the night always however practicing safe sex-- i.e. only receptive oral sex and only with a condom.

I still however find myself visiting this site frequently.

What I am having difficulty with is my rational recognition that I am not infected nor likely to become so if I continue my current practices on the one hand , and my irrational fear of HIV evidenced by my frequenting this site and worrying that I in fact may someday become infected on the other.

The issues are not helped when one has to reconcile ones religious beliefs and the accompanying "moral" burden that accompanies them with ones sexual conduct.

I would be grateful if anyone out there can relate to this strange situation that I find myself in.

Some, I am sure, will react and say " whats your problem man?It's psychological.. your not infected .. so buzz off and get a life." Would that it were that easy.

HIV can have a very profound and shattering impact on ones life even if one does not actually have it.

I wonder what it is that is so unique about HIV that inspires this life destroying fear and anxiety. How many of us who don't eat right sit up wondering if we have a tumour growing in our colon ? What about obesity amd blood pressure ?

Maybe its the fear of rejection by friends and family or by society as a whole that worries us - as if the actual disease itself wasn't enough to bear..

I would be grateful for any constructive commentary on the above.

Thanking in advance,

Take care and be safe


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Re: HIV & obssesion new
      #7792 - 07/30/00 07:59 PM

Hey, Mike:
I'd like to email you about this...I'm in the exact same situation you are in!!! I'll talk to you more later...thanks.

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Re: HIV & obssesion new
      #7956 - 08/04/00 02:47 AM

I think that the reason for this obsession is due to the public perception of AIDS. It is thought of as a death sentence. An example thought: "If you test positive for HIV, then you are going to die!". Well, I got news for everyone. We are all going to die at some point. However, the knowledge that you have AIDS makes it very real. I think a similar situation is when someone is in a very bad car accident. Even though they didn't die (corollary : you don't have HIV), they are usually very scared when it comes to riding in cars. A brush with death (even if only imagined) can be a very strong and powerful experience. If it is combined with a pre-existing perception (prejudice?), it can consume you.

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