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Anxiety and STD's
An_252668 posted:
I was going through a tough time in my life and made a mistake in having an affair with a coworker. It was a one time, alcohol induced unprotected sexual encounter.

I was (at the time of the incident) and currently am a virtually sexless relationship in which I'm trying continue a relationship with someone who was the victim of sexual abuse as a child (and per our therapist has recommended that we refrain from sex during this portion of the therapy). We're both adults in our 30's. I obviously love this person a great dela in trying to make this work and deeply regret my mistake. Our relationship has been without sex for over a year. Needless to say this has been a tough year. My girlfriend doesn't know of the affair (I use the word affair even though we aren't married) and I was scared that if I told her this (or if I had an STD) this would crush her as she already going through a lot regarding the issue of sex.

After the incident I had with my female coworker I had a rash on my inner thigh that triggered a major panic induced frenzy that lasted almost exactly a year. Between a crazy job in which I was constantly traveling and not sleeping, the stress of the relationship, the guilt of the affair and the rash I was beginning to have panic attacks.

I was completely convince that I had herpes at first and then later thought I had HPV induced genital warts. I was constantly examining myself (sometimes every 20 minutes). I paid over a $1000 in the amount of blood tests I ordered online for STD screening. I went even went to three different medical facilites in determining if any abnormality was a genital wart. I would stay up for hours every night in reading posts on this forum or any piece of research or literature I could find on STD's.

After all of thisI have determined that I do not have any STD's and that the stress of my own obsession wasted a year of my life. (the rash was fungal and the bumps I had once were so sure were warts are benign)

You can take what you will from this story. It was a tough year and I didn't handle things very well. However, what I hope my story can help with is these 3 things:

1) No matter what your results are- don't waste your life in worrying/obsessing about these things. If you find yourself doing this- try to talk to a professional.

2) Get the facts and get tested. The healthcare system in the US isn't always the best at dealing with STD's. Especially, HSV and HPV. Medically these really don't have much risk with them, but many doctors and some STD clinic's can forget the mental/emotional toll that goes with these conditions. I recommend you talk to someone about this who is willing to help with this element of the situation. For the facts on HSV look up Terri Warren's posts. For HPV (warts)... if possible- get it biopsied.

3) Don't blame yourself or feel guilty for your infection. Almost all of us has made a bad decision. This is a waste of your time. Focus on the positive.

I hope my ridiculous, obsessive story helps someone.
An_252350 responded:
you could have easily gotten a STD . Even if you saw no sores. Even if he didn't ejaculate.

Not all STDs need fluids to spread. Herpes, HPV (the virus that causes warts and cervical cancer) and syphilis are all spread by skin contact without fluids. Moreover, ejaculation doesn't have to happen for fluids to be exchanged. Pre-ejaculate can contain bacteria and viruses, too. That means you could have gotten Chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis or HIV.

You only option right now is to get tested. First, get tested for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. That can be done one or two weeks after the incident, and it's a urine test. Then you can get tested for HIV one month, three months, then 6 months after the incident. You have to test at these intervals because it can take up to 6 months for HIV to incubate, but the test is more than 95% accurate at the 3 month mark. As for HPV, you can get a Pap smear, but they're not great for locating a problem after a particular incident. HPV is notoriously slow (it can hide up to three years before it starts to cause problems), so it is recommended that sexually active young women get tested annually no matter what. One week after sex is way too short, and heck, even a month afterwards is short. Just stay on a steady schedule of annual Pap smears, and that should suffice.

To prevent STDs, it is imperative that you use a condom from start to finish. Being selective of partners and limiting the number of partners you have will help you avoid STDs.

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