Tips for overcoming irrational fears

Question

About a year ago I had a low risk exposure to HIV at work - it was a blood splash all over my face. I was wearing glasses. I tested negative at 3 months. And thought I'd test again at 6 months - negative. Now a year later I was worried so I had another test - also negative.

I should be celebrating, but I keep worrying that I will contract HIV. Obviously I use universal precautions at work but still worry that they may fail or I will get a needle stick. Or that someoone else will splash me with blood. I know my fears are irrational - but can't get the worrying thoughts out of my head. These obsessional thoughts are becoming increasingly obtrusive.

Can you advise me of any relaxation techniques or things I should think about or do when I get these anxiety attacks?

Answer

Your HIV test have conclusively shown that you are HIV negative. The fears you have are irrational and out of proportion to the circumstances. I would recommend getting some psychotherapy from a psychologist with experience in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, or consulting a psychiatrist for an evaluation and opinion on medication treatment.