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I’m really struggling with some awful anxiety related to health. For context, I’m male 25. In short, I have been constantly worrying about the thought of having HIV. This first occurred last year around August time. I just started to have this panic of ‘what if what if what if’ that drove me into complete fear. So with everything happening, in September I decided to order a fully certified 15min self test kit to put my mind at rest.

I have always had protected sex and the most recent occasion was around March of 2020 prior to lockdown so this was a full 6 months with no intimacy with anyone. As I had told myself, I tested negative. I was very relieved.

Now this is where my anxiety is really testing me. It’s now months after that test which I know is 99.9% accurate when testing negative. But my fear has crept in again, I’m back to worrying and constantly thinking what if. I know deep down I do not have it yet my brain just won’t let it go even though I have done the accurate test. I don’t want to keep scaring myself into purchasing these expensive tests just to prove it to myself. It isn’t hypochondria because I don’t have or look for symptoms, it’s just this constant phobia of imagining the worst. Why do I keep torturing myself, I’m exhausted 😞

Edited by LostStranger
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20 minutes ago, LostStranger said:

I’m male 25. In short, I have been constantly worrying about the thought of having HIV. 

I have always had protected sex 

It isn’t hypochondria because I don’t have or look for symptoms, it’s just this constant phobia of imagining the worst. 

Sorry this is happening. The best thing you can do is go to your doctor not only for complete blood borne ( HIV, Hepatitis B and C, etc) and genitourinary STD testing, but for covid and a general evaluation including blood tests, etc.

Illness anxiety disorder can be disabling, but is highly treatable, when the underlying causes such as OCD or anxiety disorders are treated. There are medications and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, both of which are very effective.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/illness-anxiety-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20373782

Edited by Wiseman2
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I have (or had) extreme anxiety due to fear of Covid.  I needed medication in addition to therapy with a psychologist AND a psychiatrist, plus seeing a medical doctor.  I was so fearful that I ended up getting tested SEVEN times over the past 9 months.

If this fear is impacting your life so strongly I would recommend seeking professional help.  I would have never gotten any better on my own.

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One reason why working with a therapist who specializes in Nosophobia may be especially valuable is because your fear relates to being infected by intimate contact. So a professional can walk you down that road to learn the sources of your mistrust, which are far deeper than your surface fears of physical transmission.

This isn't a simple 'snap out of it' thing, and while you may believe that it's limited to HIV, without expert treatment, you may find this fear expanding and spilling over into other (normally benign) areas of your psyche and your life.

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