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Thread: OCD about HIV worsening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    217

    OCD about HIV worsening

    Hello all,

    I am middle aged woman, not sexually active for many years now. I have been posting in the Health Anxiety Forum often, but decided to share my problem in the OCD section, because, that is what I basically suffer from.

    I have had OCD for years, but my worse OCD is mostly about HIV. Needless to say, I have been tested numerous time ( and I really mean "numerous" - probably 7 or 8 times by now), although I have not been sexually active for years now, and before that in a monogamous relationship ( my husband of 25 years). I never used any drugs. However, I suspect HIV from literally anything: touching inanimate objects while having a small cut or abrasion on my hand; from being at the hairdresser; even from food that I find suspicious. I am also severe germaphob. But, I realize, this is no life. So, I am asking knowledgeable people on the Forum, and also fellow sufferers, for any tip or piece of advice on how to get rid of this. I tried therapy for my anxiety and OCD many times, spent thousands of dollars on it, was on various medication. Nothing helped long term. Any good intended suggestion is highly appreciated. Also, I think my OCD worsened due to this whole Covid isolation situation, as well as my mother's recent death, that I am still trying to stomach due to my feeling of guilt.

    Also, on a separate note: a person basically cannot get infected from inanimate objects in everyday situations, right? I educated myself that only exceptions in terms of inanimate object are used syringes and needles, because they are basically airtight. Now, I know many of you will scold me for in this time and age asking log ago scientifically answered question again, but reassurance helps OCD person, at least temporarily.

    Again, thank you for reading and your tips & replies are welcome and appreciated.

    Lana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    114

    Re: OCD about HIV worsening

    Quote Originally Posted by Lana View Post
    Hello all,

    I am middle aged woman, not sexually active for many years now. I have been posting in the Health Anxiety Forum often, but decided to share my problem in the OCD section, because, that is what I basically suffer from.

    I have had OCD for years, but my worse OCD is mostly about HIV. Needless to say, I have been tested numerous time ( and I really mean "numerous" - probably 7 or 8 times by now), although I have not been sexually active for years now, and before that in a monogamous relationship ( my husband of 25 years). I never used any drugs. However, I suspect HIV from literally anything: touching inanimate objects while having a small cut or abrasion on my hand; from being at the hairdresser; even from food that I find suspicious. I am also severe germaphob. But, I realize, this is no life. So, I am asking knowledgeable people on the Forum, and also fellow sufferers, for any tip or piece of advice on how to get rid of this. I tried therapy for my anxiety and OCD many times, spent thousands of dollars on it, was on various medication. Nothing helped long term. Any good intended suggestion is highly appreciated. Also, I think my OCD worsened due to this whole Covid isolation situation, as well as my mother's recent death, that I am still trying to stomach due to my feeling of guilt.

    Also, on a separate note: a person basically cannot get infected from inanimate objects in everyday situations, right? I educated myself that only exceptions in terms of inanimate object are used syringes and needles, because they are basically airtight. Now, I know many of you will scold me for in this time and age asking log ago scientifically answered question again, but reassurance helps OCD person, at least temporarily.

    Again, thank you for reading and your tips & replies are welcome and appreciated.

    Lana

    Hi @Lana

    Nice to hear from you and your story. And I am sorry to hear what you are going through - OCD and anxiety and all of that.

    Have you tried talking to a professional counselor or therapist? It might help you ease how you feel and probably overcome it.

  3. #3

    Re: OCD about HIV worsening

    Quote Originally Posted by Lana View Post
    Hello all,

    I am middle aged woman, not sexually active for many years now. I have been posting in the Health Anxiety Forum often, but decided to share my problem in the OCD section, because, that is what I basically suffer from.

    I have had OCD for years, but my worse OCD is mostly about HIV. Needless to say, I have been tested numerous time ( and I really mean "numerous" - probably 7 or 8 times by now), although I have not been sexually active for years now, and before that in a monogamous relationship ( my husband of 25 years). I never used any drugs. However, I suspect HIV from literally anything: touching inanimate objects while having a small cut or abrasion on my hand; from being at the hairdresser; even from food that I find suspicious. I am also severe germaphob. But, I realize, this is no life. So, I am asking knowledgeable people on the Forum, and also fellow sufferers, for any tip or piece of advice on how to get rid of this. I tried therapy for my anxiety and OCD many times, spent thousands of dollars on it, was on various medication. Nothing helped long term. Any good intended suggestion is highly appreciated. Also, I think my OCD worsened due to this whole Covid isolation situation, as well as my mother's recent death, that I am still trying to stomach due to my feeling of guilt.

    Also, on a separate note: a person basically cannot get infected from inanimate objects in everyday situations, right? I educated myself that only exceptions in terms of inanimate object are used syringes and needles, because they are basically airtight. Now, I know many of you will scold me for in this time and age asking log ago scientifically answered question again, but reassurance helps OCD person, at least temporarily.

    Again, thank you for reading and your tips & replies are welcome and appreciated.

    Lana
    Hi Lana,

    HIV has been one of my biggest fears with my OCD for years so I really understand how awful it is. It’s actually gotten a bit easier for me in the last couple of years for some things although not for others. I have no idea why some stuff is easier to be honest, maybe just therapy over the years has worn the edges off of it for me. I’m sorry that’s no help to you.

    I don’t feel I’m in a place to answer your question about inanimate objects directly as I’m not medically trained but reading your question it sounds to me like you have researched this thoroughly already and you know the answer. You just have the “what if?” And the “ah but have they thought of this?”.

    Im sorry you have to go through this, you aren’t alone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    268

    Re: OCD about HIV worsening

    Hi Lana, I used to have a massive fear of HIV that was quite severe when I was around 14-18 years old. It made me wash my hands before and after going to the bathroom (to make sure nothing got contaminated), try not to touch anything that is in a public space (door handles, bannisters etc.). The thing that made me less worried about this was honestly just listening to science as difficult as that can be. If I remember correctly I read that HIV is near impossible to get from surfaces as it does not remain active long in the air. I have a bad habit of biting my nails quite badly until they bleed and this was quite a lot worse for a few years where it was embarrassing as all my fingers were constantly bleeding or wounded however I never got HIV (not tested but I have not had any issues so far). Additionally (and this is probably the biggest thing that curbed my anxiety) modern medicine has improved so much that there is now medicine which can keep HIV dormant and pretty much leave you in the same state you are in now except for the fact you have to take medicine every so often.

    Lastly, there is a vaccine also currently being tested for HIV which uses similar methods to some of the COVID vaccines so this can be a new hope for the future but as stated previously even at this point I don't believe HIV is what it was several decades ago.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Posts
    20

    Re: OCD about HIV worsening

    I have a friend with hiv. When she was first diagnosed I was abit scared like secretly throwing out cups she had used in my house scared. Then I educated myself. I havenít seen her for a few years now but we used to have a cigarette together and we used to share the cigarette her smoking some first then me, I have also been around her blood when she has chopped her finger with a veg knife, I have also kissed and hugged her hello/goodbye. I have never caught hiv off her. The thing about hiv is you arenít even likely to catch it off unprotected sex if their viral load is low enough. Some peopleís hiv is undetectable with medication and good lifestyle. Their chances of passing it are basically zero. There is actually a lot to someone having hiv. Itís not a case where it hid a highly transmissible disease. You donít have hiv and if you arenít having sex or using used needles you definitely arenít going to catch it.

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