TERRIFIED MY LIFE IS OVER!!!! PLEEZE HELP

Question

Dear Dr Bob

I am terrified that I have contracted HIV, and havet slept in a few days. I don't know how I will be able to live if I have!!! I am having extreme anxiety & suicidal thoughts. About 4 weeks ago I had sex with a CSW in Thailand. We were having protected sex until the condom broke. I felt it break & pulled out immediately and went to wash. I have been monitoring any ARS symptoms. I had a sore throat after 10 days, took some antibiotics which sorted it out. However 4 week later I started getting a burning sensation on my penis which looks like small cuts. I think it is Herpes it is extremely uncomfortable & I am convinced that it is.I don't have any fever, and my lymph glands are normal. I don't have a headache, but I have a white dry mouth with an ulcer. I have had a few hot night flushes, which could have been caused by the stress and I have lost my appetite. I have gone to the local clinic and they are doing a complete STD check. I am going insane that I have contracted HIV if this is Herpes. I know that the risk of contracting HIV is increased if herpes is present. I get the results back in 3 days which feels like eternity. How will I face my family, friends and employees? I have read much of the information on your website, so know the answers, but I suppose I am looking for some kind of comfort from you and good luck Karma!! I know that 4 weeks is too soon to get a confirmed result, but I suppose I am just looking for some kind of comfort!!

Answer

Hello.

I have a tendency to skip questions that threaten suicide and that are filled with comments like "I don't know how I will be able to live if I have it!!!" You do realize I'm HIV positive, don't you? I and 34,000,000 other folks worldwide struggle to live with HIV day in and day out. You, on the other hand, are having suicidal thoughts just worrying about the possibility of having contracted the virus! It's fascinating that you are looking to me for "some kind of comfort"! Don't you find that the least bit insensitive? If I had decided to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge when the virus found me in January of 1991, I wouldn't be here today answering your question.

Your STD screen is underway. You'll have results in a few days. You'll need an HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark from the date of possible exposure, as negative HIV-antibody tests taken before the three-month mark are not considered to be definitive.

If you're requesting my good-luck karma, you'll need to write back, leaving out all the histrionics and having a better appreciation for wanting to live rather than considering throwing your life away.

Dr. Bob