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Author Topic: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!  (Read 2286 times)

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Offline confusedabouthis

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Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« on: March 01, 2009, 11:51:32 PM »
Here is my situation.  I am male in a relationship, subject to this: 

1 --  Unprotected Oral Sex on a man without ejaculation.  Tested negative after 10 weeks.

2 -- Then, Mutual masturbation and received brief unprotected oral sex (licked tip of penis for 10 seconds).  Not tested.

I have an appointment to have a quick rapid oral swab test tomorrow.  I am thinking about canceling this though.  It seems that my risk of a false-positive is much higher than any actual risk of a real positive.  What should I do?  If I get a false-positive, I will be devastated!  Help!!!  I have had so much anxiety about having HIV and passing it to my partner (even if no risk), but then now I have this anxiety about being tested and the rapid oral swab being a false-positive.   I think a conclusive negative will make all of my anxiety go away.  But a false-positive is scary, especially with this low-risk behavior (I think) ... Dont know what to do... anyone help?

Thanks. 

Offline confusedabouthis

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2009, 01:55:42 AM »
Let me add that I have had these anxiety bouts before about the same issues -- and I realize this I need to seek counseling for anxiety.  I've had three HIV tests in the past for similar behavior (oral sex without ejaculation, masturbation).  I freaked out because I have a girlfriend and didn't want to put her at risk.  But I realize that although I should not stray, these activities are very low risk.

In the present case (above), I would prefer to cancel this appointment and get on with my life and focus on managing my anxiety.  I don't want to quell irrational fears through testing every time I have an irrational fear.  I am just asking for a false-positive, or just more anxiety.  I should test when I need to test.  Moreover, I have had non-intercourse relations with both individuals before (they are friends of mine) and I have always tested negative.  Although I am not sure when the last time they were tested, both assure me they have been tested in the past and have not engaged in any high risk activities since that time.  Even if they had, I still did not engage in high risk behavior with them. 

So, if anyone could provide a risk assessment, I would appreciate it.  My preference would be to forgo this test tomorrow, since I think it will only cause more anxiety leading up to it and the small chance that I get a false-positive will harm be dearly (and my present relationships).  I also fear that giving into my anxiety
by getting a test for a low-risk encounter (and thus refusing to identify and treat the anxiety) is harmful. It seems that the chance of a real positive, although I am not afraid of it if its real, is quite low or even non-existent, given the advice the moderators have given in the past.  Avoidance of a false-positive, and treatment of generalized anxiety disorder seems to be my best bet -- anyone?     ???

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2009, 05:01:38 AM »
At no time were you at risk of contracting HIV.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2009, 07:42:14 AM »
Nothing you did put you at risk for HIV transmission. So there was no need for testing in the first place.

With the negative result you received at 10 weeks, even IF you had a real risk, which I hasten to say you did not, a negative at 10 weeks would mean that you'd be virtually guaranteed a negative at 13 weeks.

The question is if you don't take that test tomorrow can you really let go of your anxiety about this recent incident or do you need a negative result to be able to do that?

Whatever your decision about testing, you would do well to see a professional about what's going on with your intense feelings.

This is not an HIV situation.
Andy Velez

Offline confusedabouthis

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2009, 11:12:23 AM »
I think a negative result would help me get over the anxiety - especially because I am in a committed relationship. BUT, wouldn't you agree, that based on what I've said, that my risk of a false-positive is higher than a real positive?  I don't think I could handle that --- i would literally break down.  Just the thought of a false-result makes me want to cry. 

So, since this is likely a no risk event, wouldn't it be better to just manage my anxiety and not run to get tested for every minor exposure?

And is this really a zero risk event? 

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2009, 11:50:05 AM »
You were already advised that you didn't have a risk, you don't need testing. Nothing more to tell than what has already been. We can't help you with your anxiety and guilt issues.

Offline Ann

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 12:02:18 PM »
confused,

If you're having sex outside your relationship, then you're not actually in a committed relationship. If you are drawn to having sex with men, perhaps you need to rethink your relationship with a woman. It's not fair to her and it's not fair to you either.

It sounds to me like your anxiety stems more from being in the closet - and you worry about hiv, even when you've had NO RISK, because you think hiv would blow the closet door right open. There's NOTHING wrong with being sexually interested in other men, but there is a lot wrong with living a lie.

As long as you're using condoms for any intercourse, you're protected where hiv is concerned. Please read through all three of the condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use them with confidence.

You don't need to test over this blowjob, but you do need to take a good, hard look at your relationships and your life. I hope you sort yourself out soon. Good luck.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline confusedabouthis

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2009, 12:22:51 PM »
I assume by this blowjob, you mean both that I mentioned?  And even the mutual masturbation, with some pre-cum and fluid on our hands while we touched eachother all over? 

And yes, I think you hit the emotional issue on its head -- that is the source of my anxiety, and certainly something I need to work out with myself and a counselor, perhaps.

I am relieved to know that I have zero risk.  Do you think that my fear of getting tested in my situation (that a false-positive is more likely than a real positive) is a fair reason not to test? 

Thanks for your understanding.  You all are very helpful. 

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 12:33:54 PM »
confused,

NOTHING you brought to this forum was a risk for hiv infection. Unless you've been having unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse, then you haven't been at risk at all.

The odds of you getting a false positive aren't all that high, unless you've got an underlying autoimmune illness. Any positive antibody result must be followed up with a Western Blot test and you will not be diagnosed with hiv unless both the antibody test and WB are positive. BUT... there's no reason to think you'd get a positive result as you haven't been at risk. You will have to decide for yourself whether or not you need to test for peace of mind - because peace of mind is the only reason for testing in your situation.

You might want to contact your local GLBT group to fiind a gay/bi-friendly therapist in your area. Good luck with that - living a lie is stressful and no fun at all. And remember, there is NOTHING wrong with being sexually attracted to other men. It's normal and natural and part of life's rich tapestry.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline confusedabouthis

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  • Posts: 6
Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 01:17:01 PM »
Two things:

1.  Its weird because I think the ONLY thing that brought me to this forum was HIV fear.  Why is my anxiety about my sexuality manifesting itself in HIV?  I realize, as you say, that this is something I fear could bust down the closet door  But I don't want to be concerned about infecting my partner.  And I don't want to be driven to test every time I have an irrational fear, and then subject myself to a false-positive possibility!  Do you think talking to a therapist is my best bet?  I just want to drive my anxiety somewhere else, away from HIV.

2.  And your risk evaluation of me -- isnt there some evidence to suggest HIV is transmitted through other sexual avenues than just intercourse?  Are these just too negligible to worry about, and your assessment is geared to the most general audience painted with a broad brush?   Can I really say that my exposure risk was zero, based on what I told you?  And did my 10 week test effectively negate the oral I performed? 

I am sorry to follow up with you again.  This is a wonderful thing for me to be able to ask someone as experienced and smart as you. 

Offline RapidRod

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  • Posts: 15,280
Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 01:41:27 PM »
No there iis no other sexual ways of transmitting HIV other than UNPROTECTED anal and vaginal sex. PERIOD.

Offline confusedabouthis

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 01:46:41 PM »
I appreciate your advice - but is that based on science or experience?  It seems that science says it is. 

And any thoughts, maybe Ann?, about how to channel my anxiety away from HIV?

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 01:56:52 PM »
Science.

Online Andy Velez

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Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 02:18:10 PM »
You need to stop dragging your situation around here. You've been told repeatedly what our evaluation of your situation is in terms of risk.

It is beyond the scope of this site to advice you about dealing with your anxiety, your sexuality and other emotional matters. As for working that out by yourself, you're talking about complicated and deep issues which are often best addressed with the support of a professional.

Bottom line as far as you returning here with question after question that don't change anything and only possibly temporarily aleviate your anxiety ... bottom line is you didn't have a risk for HIV. Period.
Andy Velez

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Anxiety - Rapid test with low risk? Help!
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2009, 02:51:07 PM »
confused,

There have been long-term studies of couples where one is positive and one is negative. In the couples who used condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, but no barrier for oral or any other activities, not one of the negative partners became infected with hiv. Not one. This has proven that the only real sexual risk for hiv is unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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