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OCD needing help
eduOhio posted:
I am a 23 year old female that is planning on attending medical school. I am extreamly informed about disease and STDs. Unfortunately I have OCD, my obsession is HIV. I am obsessed and have convinced myself that I am dieing of HIV. My last HIV test was before I started college when I was 18, I got to college, practiced safe sex and dated my college sweetheart on and off the 4 years we were together at school, always having safe sex. ALWAYS. I am an advocate for safe sex to my friends. After my sweetheart and I broke up, I dated, always having safe vaginal intercourse. However, I did not with one man use a latex barrier when giving him oral.

In the past two years I have been diagnosed with OCD and have been recieving treatment. Recently, the last two weeks, and I have been FREAKING OUT to the point where I cant work, sleep and all I think about is HIV. Ive convinced myself I am dieing of it. I understand my risk factor is low, but Ive studied disease, I know theres always a possibility. I need help, I need advice, I need someone to tell me its okay. I really dont want to go get tested because I dont think i could possibly handle the results if they were positive. My health is great other than my anxiety, I get my annual with my gyne every year, I get my annual check up with my PCP every year, nothing has caused any concern so far. But Im scared to death that I have HIV, that my life would be over and I would never become a doctor. Someone please give me advice. PLEASE.
Elle0317 responded:
Being tested will be the only thing that eases your mind, the only unprotected sex you've had is the oral sex. Oral sex is very, very low risk in term of HIV tranmission even if he did ejaculate into your mouth . Think of it this way, being tested will not change the fact that you are positive or negative. But, IF, by some freak chance that you are positive, you can at least get the medication and treatment you would need. Just think if you are negative just how much energy, time and worrying you wasted over nothing. Life is too short to worry about the what-if's, go and be tested to know that you are not in fact dying and move forward with your life.
Nieciedo replied to Elle0317's response:
Are you currently in treatment for your OCD? Do you have a psychiatrist or psychotherapist that you see for counseling?

The irrational HIV phobia is just the symptom of the real disease, which as you know is the OCD. Treating symptoms may help temporarily give you comfort but you're not going to get anywhere without getting the root cause under control.

The odds of you having HIV are about the same as the apocalypse happening tomorrow.
eduOhio replied to Nieciedo's response:
Nieciedo, I appreciate your concern. And yes..yes I do have a psychiatrist I see for my OCD. He knows about my irrational fears and says that its actually a very common phobia for people with OCD to have. Through the help of my friends and family I hope to overcome this. I will however talk to my doctor about HIV testing, and what my risk factor is, or was. I think the best thing Ive read about preventing HIV is this statement "Its not a matter of sex. It's a matter of WHO you have sex with and HOW you have sex." I hope this brings someone else the same relief that you two have given me.

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