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Anxious about a situation I encountered on the weekend

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by NameK, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    Speaking of anxiety around HIV so I have a cut on my thumb it happened Wednesday or Thursday I think maybe even Tuesday it was from sheet metal so it was pretty deep. But it hasn't fully healed it's still open if you still but its starting to close.

    Any who I shaked hands with someone who might would be considered at risk if you will (it's unlikely they had it per say ) and I doubt he had a fresh cut on his hand so it's likely I'm fine. And my cut wasnt fresh either and again it's very unlikely he had a cut on his hand so I'm fine.
  2. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I know quite a bit about HIV and many people who have it (including a few dudes in my city who were diagnosed in the 80s/early 90s and are still kicking even after years without meds in the earlier days of the epidemic). It is utterly impossible for you to have been infected this way. There is absolutely ZERO risk.

    I'll give you the long version just this once so you can never worry about this again.

    HIV is actually a very difficult virus to catch. It's rendered unable to infect within a fraction of being exposed to the air (people like to debate whether it's technically still alive or dead after minutes or hours, but it doesn't matter because it literally cannot infect anyone within a fraction of a second). Scientists have a very difficult time studying the virus in even the strictest laboratory settings for this reason. I used to live 0.1 miles away from the biggest testing/educational center in one of the largest gay communities in the world where statistically 1 out of 5 had HIV. They pushed this information hard and often had free testing buses on the streets. I saw many risky activities occur (your situation is not considered even the slightest bit of a risk) without PrEP or PEP antivirals to prevention infection; if it were this simple to get HIV, we'd all have it by now. Why don't we? I'll quote the HIV forums I've referenced before:

    HIV is a fragile, difficult to transmit virus that is primarily transmitted INSIDE the human body, as in unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse where the virus never leaves the confines of the two bodies.

    Once outside the body, small changes in temperature, and pH and moisture levels all quickly damage the virus and render it unable to infect. For this reason, even if he did have a small amount of his own blood on his hand, it would NOT be a risk to you. In adults, HIV is transmitted through:

    • Unprotected anal intercourse.
    • Unprotected vaginal intercourse.
    • Sharing drug injecting equipment.

    And that's IT.

    This is because biologically, four conditions need to be present for transmission to occur: The virus must be present in an infectious body fluid from the HIV positive person, it must be present at sufficient levels to cause infection. There must be an effective route of transmission, and it must reach susceptible cells in another person.

    Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to HIV testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

    If you keep reading online long enough you will find people who think ET an alien from out of space is a true HIV risk [​IMG] ... catch my drift. Stop looking online for an issue you do not have.

    Now, @NameK, you do not want to develop a phobia of HIV. You aren't going to get it unless you have a serious exposure that's included in the bulleted list above. Anything else is either not a risk or a theoretical risk that's of no concern to you. Example = you are certainly not going up to a man who just chopped his finger off and instead of going to the ER, he directly inserts his bloody stump into a deep gash on your arm that is actively bleeding large quantities of blood and requires stitches because it ripped down to your bone. And if for some reason you lost your mind and did just that, you'd be given PEP antivirals within 72 hours of infection, which is highly effective at preventing the contraction of HIV when a legitimate risk has occurred. And believe it or not, even this isn't a guaranteed transmission, as both of your wounds would be outpouring blood so quickly and intensely, it's not 100% certain enough of that other person's virus would be able to enter your bloodstream. It would also depend on their viral load; if they are undetectable from medication, there is zero risk.

    What this means is that if you ever touch a spot of blood in a public bathroom stall, it can't infect you. There is no risk for a number of reasons, as stated above. Also, kissing isn't a cause of HIV, because saliva renders the any blood from another person's mouth unable to infect (unless you hit their mouth with a hammer, removed all their teeth, and sucked on their bleeding mouth while you had a deep, open, and bloody oral wound. Again, this will never happen to you).

    Your situation met none of the biological requirements for transmission. The science behind HIV transmissions has greatly changed since the epidemic's early days when people believed it was much easier to contract. Do not Google HIV. Fortunately, the awareness around HIV transmission is much better these days, but the internet is not your friend when it comes to looking up HIV because there is still so much hysteria around it (and people aren't always honest about how they've contracted it due to shame, sometimes people were under the influence and can't clearly recall important details, etc.).

    I never understood why the moderators on the HIV forum would say stress can cause all kinds of serious symptoms, including fevers, chills, swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, etc. As a member of TMS Wiki, I get that now. ;)
  3. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    Thanks for the reply recently the only thing that has been bothering me is tinnitus it was previously only in my right ear but recently when I'm stressed or super anxious It sounds like wind is going into my left ear now has been for the last 4 or 5 days. I'm afraid it could be from when I got my ear flushed or from using the antibiotics that are known to be highly oxotoxic.

    I still have it in my right ear and I feel like its gotten slightly louder but that could be my perception of it due to heightened anxiety and stress.

    I also still have sinus pressure and pain but its alot better then it was a week ago as well as the ear pain I've been having since I got my ear flushed. Not as frequent and less pain as well.
  4. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is where you need to manage your health anxiety. You've been afraid of tinnitus for quite some time. Have you been working with anyone to reduce reassurance seeking and feelings of discomfort when dealing with symptoms and/or uncertainty? I've seen you fear multiple conditions, which is why the HIV question concerns me. You don't want to get stuck in the pattern of fearing every condition out there.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  5. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    Yes I've been seeing my therapist more frequently to work on trying to reduce reassurance seeking I've found myself on fourms I shouldn't but I've only been reading the success stories and one of them gave me hope that this thing is all in my brain creating it out of constant fear etc.
  6. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Thank you Dorado for your caring, attuned support for NameK.
    Andy B
    Dorado likes this.
  7. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    @NameK, I'm glad you're reading success stories. That said, those forums can make it very easy to click on a headline that sounds appealing but ends up making us doubt ourselves. This can happen when it the story itself turns out to not be a success story, or the story turns out to still be rooted in some sort of biological nature and false placebos where the mind-body connection/TMS isn't considered despite it being the cause (example = "taking 60,000 mg of fish oil, drinking crushed red roses mixed with kale, and giving up chocolate cured my tinnitus!), or some of the comments to an actual success story were negative. This is why even though some of those forums may have some instances of positivity, they're still a dangerous place for a reassurance seeker and someone with health anxiety to be.

    My advice would be to email the success stories you've found to yourself and then stay off any forums where multiple horror stories are likely to be found. This way you can read them at a later time and avoid headlines and comments containing horror stories and negativity.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  8. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    I'm made a promise to myself to not go on those sites anymore regardless of the success stories I would much rather speak to people who have gotten rid of their tinnitus on here as they are probably still active and more helpful. Because most people on tinnitus fourms have had it for 20+ years or 5 years etc and that's what scares me.

    But also reading about how someone overcame it gave me hope. He literally said to just ignore it and it might take time but it will eventually fade away.

    From my new understanding tinnitus is like an alarm bell and the more stressed and anxious you are the more you'll hear it. And being constantly anxious ramps up hearing and makes it extra sensitive.
  9. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I received the link to the success story you're referring to. Even though it took that person a certain amount of time to improve, remember that you're an individual and won't have the same experience as this person! Your improvements won't be at the same pace or in the same direction consistently. I would email that dude's post plus his comments throughout the thread to yourself so you don't have to look at other parts of the tinnitis forum again.
    That's why those forums, even when success stories are posted, are a dangerous place to be.

    You're going to be just fine!
  10. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    I know the timeline will be different and is for everyone but the key is to simply ignore which is easier said then done when hearing it causes me to get anxious and stressed but I guess u just need to try my best and move on with my life
    Dorado likes this.
  11. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    You got it! For people like you and me, we have issues with obsessing, seeking reassurance, and dealing with uncertainty. It is critical that you work toward breaking this pattern. I've been through some traumatic events in life (not even realizing it until my neurologist, psychologist, and mother all pointed it out to me in my mid-20s), and I could sit here and go through all of them, but I know that still won't resolve my mind-body/TMS symptoms. It's about breaking that pattern.
  12. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    I know the timeline will be different and is for everyone but the key is to simply ignore which is easier said then done when hearing it causes me to get anxious and stressed but I guess i just need to try my best and move on with my life and not let it bother me like my other tms symptoms that have significant improved or dissapeared
  13. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    That's all very good! You know, I spent so much time wondering why I had mind-body symptoms. Was it my childhood and certain things my parents did? My ex who cheated on me because their family didn't approve of same-sex relationships? My job and the constant high stress environment? A few traumatic events that occurred in my life? I could go on and on and on. I had many reasons to be stressed out.

    Ultimately, I realized the obsessive behaviors and patterned thinking were what kept getting me stuck. The obsessive thinking made the above situations feel significantly worse as well - I wasn't able to deal with them in a productive or healthy manner. You can unstick yourself - just keep working through it and know you are OK.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
  14. NameK

    NameK Well known member

    Yeah your right I need to break the cycle of negative and obsessive thoughts as well as the anxiety around it. Tinnitus is no diffrent then any other tms symptom it creates fear and anxiety around it which keeps the cycle going.

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