Posted 3/21/2018 9:45 AM (GMT -6)
For about 10 months now I've been suffering from an HIV phobia. It all began when I saw a guy who was my ex boyfriend but also remained a long time friend that I've known for many years. I knew I could trust him when we were together, but I took things a little overboard and freaked out after simply kissing him just because I knew he was with two girls not long before we started seeing each other who he met online. It was so silly because I am aware that kissing is not a risk unless both individuals have bleeding gums or sores. It never once crossed my mind to freak out the way I did after kissing. So, that's when I spiraled. I had him get tested because we kissed. He did it for me although it ended our friendship because of how paranoid I became. Even though he went to test, I didn't trust the results because I kept thinking well what if he's in the window period. So I knew I had to wait before I could test, so I spent literally every single day having ruminations about the moment I kissed him and trying to remember whether he had any bleeding gums or sores. It turned into an obsession and affected my every day life, sleep, just everything. Eventually I got tested and I was fine. But, then my OCD came back and I felt like I needed to test again for certainty and instead of going to the doctor I ordered an HIV test online. I’ve never done that before and during the time I didn’t think much of it. More specifically, I bought a test kit on ebay from a private seller. Now, the test is called INSTI rapid by the company Biolytical Laboratories. If you google it the image would come up of how it all looks like. I know these tests are all over the world now but this specific kit (with red labelling) is only available at non-profit organizations and medical clinics. Now there are actually two new sellers from the US selling them. So when I saw it I figured oh well he must work at one of these and decided to sell to make money. He was selling one for HIV and then a blue one that was meant to test both HIV and Syphilis. He had reviews and reviewed some buyers too. Also, he sold about 75 of the ones I bought. So here is the story. It comes with a single-use safety lancet, alcohol pad, pipette, 3 vials of liquid one of which is where your blood goes, and then this thing that you put the liquids into. Once the test came in (which took 9 days to get to me) I took it and then about a day later my OCD kicked in and started questioning whether it’s possible the lancet could have been used before. Looking at facts I knew it couldn’t be because that’s the purpose of safety lancets, so being who I am, I purchased 2 more from the same seller just to prove to myself that you can’t. Once I did that, my mind went to the worst case scenario, what if this person purposefully put HIV positive blood inside the lancet and somehow re-sealed the kit to sell it to me. Then, moving forward is when I tried to rationalize. First, these kits are made from mylar bags, they look exactly the same like the ones I’ve seen in clinics, nothing about the kit was any different. Also, mylar bags are heat sealed in the factory and the plastic melts together so the only way to open them is if you cut under the seal with scissors or you tear it open (they have a slit on each side to do that). Even going through all that my mind stayed at what if. I tested out after that up until 7 months. Then I tried stuff about how let’s say someone is exposed to Hep C and HIV then it can delay production of HIV antibodies out to 12 months. So, yes, now I thought omg well if he had both then now I have to make sure antibodies wouldn’t be delayed in my case. Even though I tested out negative for everything my mind stayed on the idea that I need to do it out to 12 months to feel satisfied. There were only about 5 people in history who had this happen, all of whom were nurses after needlestick injuries. I honestly kept beating myself up over it and telling myself it’s my fault for buying it and giving myself the anxiety and why didn’t I just go to the doctor like the average person would. Then I question why would I think somehow would even contaminate something on purpose. I know I don’t trust people easily and my therapist keeps going back to my mistrust in people cause of past experiences. Also, with all the stuff on the news and the fact that everything is so fear-based, I think I’ve subconsciously learned to believe people are more bad than good whereas I’d like to believe they are more good than bad. We just never hear the good stories. How many times has someone done a good deed that went unnoticed.
I would appreciate some feedback on this.