traceybyfire, believe it or not, what you’re describing is a very common mental health phenomenon known as AIDS anxiety syndrome or AIDS phobia. Though it sounds like you had a very mild case of it, as cases go.

In some people, it can be debilitating!

As an HIV counselor and educator, I often ran into cases of phobia that were really distressing. Mental health experts think that irrational fear of HIV can sometimes be a form of transference. In other words, people who feel guilty about sex experience the guilt as extreme anxiety about AIDS.

Unlike you, though, many people don’t resolve the anxiety, and end up not coping well at all.

I actually wrote a column about this not too long ago — in response to a woman who had gone to Thailand and had sex with a stripper in a club.

You might be interested to see how a really bad case of AIDS phobia presents itself!

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Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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