I am posting the same post I did in the HIV forum so you know the whole story ...
Married to the most wonderful woman on the earth. Before we were together for the first time, some 3 years ago, we were both tested for HIV outside of any window period. All negative.
We have been trying for a baby since last year.
At the beginning of May 2008, since starting my new job, I was notified that a HIV test would be done for work insurance purposes.
A normal person would not stress about this since they know they are negative ... I, however, suffer from paranoia about HIV having always believed it would happen to me when I am happiest.
I managed to, barely, keep my thoughts under control for a while, during which time I suffered from tension headaches and was unhappy all the time.
I relented to my irrational thoughts on 27th May and went for a rapid test at a local clinic. (I live in South Africa).
The test was of course negative but this turned out to only fuel my fears.
My mind first led me to phone the clinic the next day and question whether new lancets etc were used. They assured me (the same lady that did my test having already seen how paranoid I was during the test) that everything was 100% okay and I am absolutely fine.
However, now my paranoia screamed that I was at risk just after the test, and subsequently going shopping, because I did not put a band-aid on my finger where the prick for the test was made (open wound).
The finger was bleeding shortly after the test because I made marks on the receipt when I completed payment for the test. This was done while I waited for the results (10 minutes).
I had stopped when I left the clinic and I remember throwing the tissue paper in the bin leaving the clinic. My finger took about a week and a half to completely heal.
After this, at the beginning of June, I went for another HIV test (Elisa) along with sperm analysis for fertility reasons since we were battling to conceive.
This was of course also negative but my mind screamed 'Window Period' since my 'Rapid Test Exposure' :-(.
We have since discovered that my wife is pregnant and I should be ecstatic but I cannot be as happy as I should be because of my 'guilt' at having put myself and my family in danger by not putting on a band aid.
I don't know when the work insurance HIV test is going to be done (waiting for the insurance nurse to visit the offices to do the medicals) and I get petrified just thinking about it.
We have been trying to have a family for so long and this should be the happiest time in my life ..... In my irrational nightmares HIV happens when I am happiest ...
I have spoken to the wife, who thinks my thinking is pure craziness, and even posted my questions on WebMD, MedHelp and JustAsk.com where all the forum users and HIV Experts have told me in no uncertain terms 'NO RISK'.
I have been having intermittent sweating (twice this week and once last week) at night and when I wake up I cannot get back to sleep (logic points to anxiety doesn't it ?).
During this week I fixated on lymph nodes (ARS symptom) and have been digging in my neck for the past two days where I was able to find two lymph nodes, small and hard. They are definetely no larger than a pea/bean but I found myself constantly checking since nowhere on the internet does it stipulate exactly what enlargened lymph nodes would be like. Noticeable to be naked eye ?.
I have always had a 'fat' face so to find the lymph nodes in my neck I had to literally push my thumbs into my neck and then trap the lymph nodes against my jaw to feel them.
They are definetely not noticeable at all to the eye and are hard and small, not tender or sore at all.
I cannot find any other lymph nodes anywhere else on my body, despite searching extensively.
I am so tired of all this, what everyone else says is irrational worry, and just want to let go of my fear.
Of course, my paranoia tells me that if I let go of the fear then that is when it will happen.
I feel so stupid for having gone for the rapid test and not using a bandaid which has now fueled my irrational fear.
EVEN THOUGH THERE WAS NEVER A RISK, WAS THERE ?.
Quiet times, even now, are the worst, because that is when I constantly worry which leads to horrible headaches and tension in my shoulders.
I have stopped myself from checking my neck today though ... a small victory.
If I allow myself to worry before bed then I have nightmares and wake up sweating, get up and then cannot get back to sleep meaning I am tired all the time.
I could never live with myself if I have put my wife or our unborn child at any risk at all.
I would appreciate the advice of HIV experts and forum experts in assessing my risk and whether I can, without any doubt at all, let go of this fear and be there 100% for my wife and soon to be child.
That was my post on the HIV forum.
Of course the replies were that I am being totally irrational and what I imagine would never happen since it is impossible.
I feel like I should be ecstatic about us having our first child but how can I possibly do that when my mind is screaming that I may of destroyed all of our lives ?.
By testing (rapid test) I really thought I could just put it behind me and any subsequent tests would prove no worry since I know I am fine but it has done the opposite and now I cannot look at family or friends (especially my wife) without being terrified and terribly ashamed.
Can anxiety or a phobia like this be so real to me yet so totally implausible ?.
Can I really let go of this fear and live my life ?.
Can I do this by myself ?.
I do have moments when I let go of the fear and then my headaches etc disappear but my anxiety/phobia keeps telling me not to let go because then it will happen.
This is exhausting and not fair to my wife, who I love so very much, and I need advice on what to do.
I appreciate any replies and your time.