Hi Bob and thank you for reading this.
2 years ago I had a low risk exposure but high risk anxiety attacks. After waiting for the window period to pass I read everything I could HIV and how it is transmitted. Well after waiting 200 days my test result came out negative. It was made me a better man and improved my marriage. I know can move on with my life right ?
This past week a family member confessed to me he has been diagnosed with AIDS. How long has he had it ? How he got it ? all mysteries to him. It could be he is just lying to protect his privacy. Of course our entire family is in shock and I was actually able to calm many of the fears they had from the many things I learned from this very web site and from you Dr. Bob
However, I am not having the same success with myself, all my anxiety has returned along with my fears. There have been so man times that both my family and his have been together, to many to recall every little cut on his hand or my hand. To much sharing between all involved to completely rule out every risk other than the sexual ones.
I look for symptoms everywhere, my wife has come done with a terrible cough and x-rays showen puss in her thoat that looks like they might be related to sinuses.
Myself I feel light headed and dizzy all the time, loose stool and brown spots on my body. Also what looks like red tiny blood vessel on my body. As I type this I am noticing what looks like the beginning of a wart on my finger.
Tell me Dr, are these HIV symptoms or anxiety comming back at me with a vengence.
I can't shake the thoughts out of my head and I look at my wife and kids helplessly for signs.
Thought I learned a lot two years ago but I guess in reality I havn't learnt a thing.
So you wonder . . . "are these HIV symptoms or anxiety coming back at me with a vengeance?" The answer would be anxiety with a vengeance, unquestionably!
As for thinking you learned a lot two years ago, I believe that is true. You were able to calm many of the fears of your family using the information you learned right here. That, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing!
There is a difference, however, between learning and truly accepting what you have learned. That seems to be your major problem. The best way to cope with these unjustified worries is to confront them for what they really are irrational fears. The most effective way to do that is through counseling. Seeing HIV everywhere and living in a state of constant anxiety and fear is a condition that can be treated effectively. The chance you or your family contracted HIV from casual contact including "every little cut" with the HIV-positive family member is nonexistent. There are nearly one million Americans living with HIV (and 40 million people worldwide). Transmission routes for infection with HIV have been studied closely for over two decades. HIV is not transmitted by casual contact. If it were, the planet would have been wiped out long ago.
Get some counseling. How and when your family member contracted HIV is really not relevant. He deserves not only his privacy but also your support and compassion. Do advise him of this Web site if he's not already familiar with it.