Anonymous
1) If you test negative at 3 months and are still having symptoms and think its from hiv can you worry yourself into thinking you have hiv from the ongoing symptoms, 2) also can stress/anxiety make all the symptoms your expericing worse? 3) How long does it take for symptoms related to stress/anxiety to go away? Because I have been worrying so much that my 3 month negative isn't correct and these symptoms keep occurring, even when I don't worry that much I still have symptoms. 4) Since I've been so stressed lately can it take my body awhile to go back to it's normal state? Also I need to stop thinking about hiv but it's hard to especially with these symptoms that seem to be linked to it
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Anonymous
Hello and thank you for contacting the AIDS Vancouver Helpline. I will try to answer your questions as best I can.

1. Please note that results after 3 months are considered conclusive. If you need further reassurance, you can get another test to gain confidence in your results, but other than that you just have to trust your results. It is possibly for your worry to increase the severity of your symptoms, but your worrying does not make you acquire HIV. You cannot get HIV from worrying.

2. Stress can weaken your immune system and tire you out. For this reason, it can make your symptoms worse.

3. I do not know how long symptoms of stress will take to go away, but the first step is to reduce your stress. Symptoms of stress cannot go away until the stress itself does. Keep in mind that here at AIDS Vancouver we don't go by symptoms to determine status. This is because some people show them, others don't, and they are often confused with other illnesses like the flu and exacerbated by stress.

4. Yes, it can take your body time to relax and fix itself. It may be in your best interest to visit a doctor and discuss options for yourself. Please do not rely on your symptoms to immediately link them to HIV, because they essentially do not mean anything. HIV is a virus that is only detectable through testing. Since you have had your test at the appropriate time, I cannot give you any advice other than to trust your results or go get further tests to reduce your stress. Repeat negative results should help to assure you.

I hope I have answered your questions. Note that HIV is actually difficult to transmit, and if you didn't have a true exposure to begin with then there is no reason to worry. There are lots of factors that affect HIV transmission, and remember that you can only require HIV from an HIV positive person. If your partner in your original exposure was HIV negative, then there is nothing to worry about in regards to HIV transmission.

Please visit our website or other forum posts for more information.

In health,

Caroline

AIDS Vancouver Helpline/Online Volunteer

Monday-Friday 10am-4pm PST

604-253-0566 ext 299

Private and Confidential
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