[Question #2850] My fears of hiv are debilitating

43 months ago
Hi doctors 
Thank you so much for this forum. It’s so helpful. 
Last summer I tested positive several times for hsv2 igg now this summer my test came back negative it was a low result number last year 1.25 to 1.45ever since my result last summer I have become so paranoid about getting hiv.  I have tested nagative for hiv and have been abstinent since last summer  June 2016 I’m scared as I feel that is the biggest lifelong diseases after hsv2 and I’m so anxious and scared  it’s Debilitating 

I have become so sick it has caused me to obsesss about testing for hiv and this disease I have no control over it. I am so worried about diseases and especially hiv that I have Become paranoid about everything from people coughing around , me contaminated food, touching things.  For the past year I have tested myself with the at home oraquick test like once a month.  I go through  these events ( I know that are no risk events for hiv like coughing near me sneezing or other things or thinking I have been contaminated  ) I call them . I start counting 3 months from to see if I have hiv with  oraquick test. I feel better for a little bit after I test this way.  

My latest “ event”is that 
I purchased a fleshlight masturabation toy at the end of September and about 16 days after so last week I developed a cold runny nose minor coughing low grade fever that is gone now. Now I’m obsessed that I could have caught hiv from that event. Toy was in  box sealed and store assured me they don’t accept returns. I didn’t use it until 12 hours  after purchase and befor use I poured 90% isopropyl alcohol to it but I dunno if I left it soaked enough.

Was this a risk event ? Is it possible to get hiv from a toy ? Could it be accidentally used and returned ? 

I’m really miserable and this anxiety and obsession and fears are taking over my life  and want to feel normal. 

I saw a psychiatrist for a little early this year and I didn’t get any results. He was really judgmental and I don’t think helped. 

Apprecira 







43 months ago
Appreciate your response 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I'll be pleased to comment.  Before I do however, just to be clear and FYI, with values of 1.25-1.45, there is a les than 50% chance that you really have HSV -2 unless you have had recurring lesions, a positive PCR or culture for HSV, or a positive Western blot from the University of Washington.  I will not say more on this topic as such questions should be directed to Terri but you may be over-reacting to a false positive lab test. 

Irrespective, I urge you to directly address your anxieties about HIV through not only seeking information about the disease and your risk from our site but more importantly addressing your psychological issues- HIV is a RARE infection here in North America, present in less than 0.003% of the population which is not easily transmitted (following an unprotected exposure to an infected partner the disease is transmitted less than 1% of the time and often far less often, depending on the nature of the exposure.  It is not transmitted through touching, through masturbation of any sort, or through non-penetrative sexual contact.  It is also NOT transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food, by being coughed at or by environmental contact.   The symptoms you describe are not suggestive of recently acquired HIV infection.  There is simply no conceivable way that you could have become HIV infected through use of a sex toy which you purchased new and which was used by no one other than yourself.  There is no need for concern, no need for testing. 

I hope this unequivocal assurance that you could not have caught HIV through the event you describe is helpful. EWH
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43 months ago
Thank you doctor so there wouldn’t be any risk whatsoever also given that I used new toy 12 hours after purchase or used 90% isopropyl alcohol to rinse prior to use.  Are those enough to mitigate any risk of hiv if there was any ? 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
43 months ago
Correct, no risk whatsoever.  A word of caution- sometimes the isopropyl alcohol can harden the material that such toys are made of.  EWH
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