Anxiety Community
23.1k Members
Avatar universal

HIV Anxiety

All, I have guilt and anxiety about a possible HIV exposure although the HIV forum here said I was not at risk. I still can't get over this. It's been a month and I will test when possible, first one taken today = negative but still need more testing after 10-12 weeks.

Is pain in just my left arm common? I feel like I have mucus in my throat and a lump in my throat, hard to swallow at times, feel tired, etc. It's affecting my daily life.

I'm already on fluoxetine 10mg a day, not sure if I should ask for more? If so, how? My doctor was anti doing it in the first place but felt she had no other choice.

Any help is appreciated... Hurting here.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
As per Dr Handsfield and ibase, a 4th gen at 4 weeks would pick up 95% of infections.
If you did a 4th gen and a RNA PCR test at 4 weeks, that combination would be conclusive (as per Dr Handsfield).

I had very bad HIV anxiety. Had 5 tests but still felt muscle aches, spaced out/light headedness and i just knew something was wrong with me.

I live in a country where if you test positive you would be deported, and my visa renewal was last week. I thought my 5 tests before that were wromg and docs/labs just did it to collect money from me. I spent nearly $1500 on tests.

The government test i was sure would pick it up and i would be deported. But i was fine, and since the reassurance of a neutral government lab giving me the all clear, the pains have gone, the spaced.out feeling has gone. I used to feel horrendous and flu like after exercise and just knew it was because of my weal immune system. Though worked out this week and felt fine.

My point is, the mind is an incredibly powerful thing. You can convince yourself something is wrong when it genuinely isnt.

I was also told my exposure was no risk.

HIV a month on wouldn't just cause an arm ache. Absence of fever is a really good sign.

Test now if it will put your mind at ease. But believe the results! Ive wasted 4 months of my life worrying about something and its affected my work, fitness, and drank far too much.

Anxiety is horrible and I genuinely thought it would never happen to me.

I wish you all the best.
Thank you for all of that! That isn't the test i used but I will consider it.
Avatar universal
I have headaches, pain in my arms and at the base of my neck. My legs feel weak at times. As i said, I plan to take tests when they are effective but I was told no risk but I can't get over that.

I've discussed with my friend and he said he is - and tests twice per year but I can't accept.
Avatar universal
If you did something with no risk and you're worrying yourself sick over it, that's a bout of anxiety.  Now, the question is, are you like this about anything else or just about HIV?  In other words, do you have this one phobia or is your life full of anxiety?  I ask because it sounds like your doctor was right about not wanting to give you an antidepressant but wrong that she had no other choice.  The other choice, obviously, is therapy.  Or, if this is the only thing you've ever worried about like this, just to let time pass, you'll see nothing is going to happen, and that you need to chill about HIV and make sure you take the necessary precautions not to get it.  Almost everyone has one or a couple of things they are just terrified to do or think about but that doesn't mean they have a mental disorder, it means they've fixated on the negative aspects of something and so they don't do that thing.  Think roller coasters and motorcycles and heights.  That's not the same as chronic anxiety that affects every aspect of your life and makes it hard to live.  You haven't said, so I don't know, but antidepressants are very serious medicine and only those who need it should take it.  As for your arm, you've probably had aches and pains before.  It could even be sleeping on it wrong or leaning on it too much.  Could be anything.  Not HIV.  But this is an anxiety forum, and again, you have to distinguish between chronic pervasive problems and being terrified about one aspect of life.  For the latter, taking an antidepressant isn't really worth the cost.  But you might have a lot more going on that you haven't said yet.
Wow, thank you for your detailed feedback. I wasn't sure what to expect here but I'm really happy just to hear from people and discuss.

To be honest, the forum here says no risk but for me, I felt that it is and CDC says it is even if very low. After that I was literally sick for a week or two and that is what I can't tell is actually a sickness, HIV, or what. That is where I'm at. This is the only thing that has driven me this far in life.
Then you don't need an antidepressant.  It's like swatting a fly with an anvil.  You have an HIV phobia, which has become very common since this disease broke out.  It's hard to avoid worrying over it as we're all going to engage in activities that might cause it, meaning sex.  But worrying yourself sick over it doesn't change anything so that's something you want to avoid doing.  The forum here isn't an expert forum, it's just folks.  The CDC is an expert forum.  There is a policy on MedHelp not to mention potential but never realized risks of HIV behaviors -- some things that are theoretically possible but nobody has ever been found to have become infected that way.  All you can do is protect yourself when you have sex, and get tested, but do know, people don't get sick quickly from HIV.  It takes time to get full blown AIDS from the virus to a point you'd notice anything.  And although I don't hang out on that forum, many HIV fearful folks come on here and swear they have it after doing things that just don't cause it.  That sounds like you.  Peace.
This discussion was closed by the MedHelp Community Moderation team. If you have any questions please contact us.
Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428176748
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?