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    Dear Nurse Nettie,

    I am a very worried female and would very much appreciate your help. Hiv has caused me a lot of stress and anxiety over the last year. My risk was kissing and fingering, but it was very brief, one off, in/out for couple of seconds. Nothing alerted me then as i wasn’t educated how hiv transmits. After few months I started reading about STIs because I had some strange things happening with my body. I then got worried that this guy could have had blood on his finger, which I didn’t see and this is how he’s infected me. Since then HIV became a phobia for me. I was spending hours reading online. I was so scared to go and test. Finally, after months of agony, I went to test – exactly 8 months since the fingering episode. I went to a clinic and had a rapid test done – Insti. Then they also drew blood from my arm for normal lab testing. The Insti was negative. Few days later i called the clinic, the other test was also negative. They tested me for syphilis, Hep B and C – all negative. This was back on April. I calmed myself for some time but now the fear is back and the questions…What if I am one of these people who serocnvert later than 6 months, even a year…What if the tests weren’t done properly…..What if they gave me someone else’s results…etc. I don’t want to live like this anymore. 
    Please, tell me is there anything that can cause my tests at 8 months to be false negative. I did one rapid test – INSTI and one where blood was taken from the vein. I was told it was IVth generation test, Abbott Architect Combo Ag/Ab. Both came negative. 
    Please, just spare me a minutes and tell me what you think. Thank you! I am terrible worried I could have not been identified as positive and have also infected my 3 years old child, who’s been on and off sick for 3 months now. My life is hell and I can’t stand living like this anymore. Thank you all for your help and thoughts in advance. 


    Hi @Poppy15, it’s great that you’re reaching out for help. It sounds like you’re having a difficult time. Many people are anxious about HIV & STIs. You’re not alone. If you think you can’t go on living do call Life line on 13 11 14. 

    It’s important to know that you & your child don’t have HIV. I can say this with 100% confidence for 2 reasons:

    1. Since we’ve known about HIV no one has ever been infected with through kissing or fingering. Not one person.

    2. You tested negative for HIV Ag/Ab after 8 months.

    Is it likely to be false negative? The answer is no. The test result is accurate.

    Many people feel really anxious about HIV when they search the internet. Googling HIV symptoms can result in over 10 million really common symptoms that are not specific to HIV. The bottom line is that the internet is not an effective way to diagnose symptoms. Visiting a doctor & getting tested is the only way to know for sure.

    If you’re still feeling anxious & worried after reading this I’m encouraging you to seek help. Anxiety is really common & may be triggered at any time. Counselling and/or medication for anxiety is effective treatment. The next step is to talk to your doctor about how you’re feeling & ask how it can be managed. Get back to me & let me know how it goes. I’m here if you need any more support.

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