ZocdocAnswersCan my boyfriend have OCD? If so, how can he treat it?

Question

Can my boyfriend have OCD? If so, how can he treat it?

He is obsessed with having hiv, even though he has performed two home tests unaid approved, and both have come back negative. He is worried about an incident where he performed oral sex on a woman years ago, and now every ache or pain, or anything you can think of, he attributes to hiv. He refuses to see a dr and it's killing our relationship and I'm struggling to deal with the situation it puts me in mentally. He is obsessive and we fight all the time over it and any minor issue I have, such as a headache after work, he presumes to mean I must have it also. I don't know what to do because he has become depressive and obsessive and refuses to do anything or go anywhere and I'm at the absolute lowest trying to deal with it! What can I do? Any advice at all? Please help!!

Answer

Wow, it sounds like this is a very tough situation. Generally speaking, one incidence of oral sex with a woman is not very likely to result in HIV transmission. Nevertheless, he should be tested by a doctor at least once. Assuming that he still believes that he has HIV or could have HIV, he should definitely be examined and interviewed by a mental health care professional. I cannot tell from your question if he has OCD, or another mental health condition such as a psychotic disorder (ex. schizophrenia) with obsessive features. I actually think the second is possible, but less likely. Either way a combination of medications and behavioral therapy is needed to overcome these obsessions if that's what they are. I think this issue is best handled by a psychiatrist, after he has an in office HIV test with his primary care physician. He or she can prescribe the right medications and begin him on the right type of therapy. Most likely, he would benefit from an SSRI and cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a good combination for obsessive compulsive disorder. If the psychiatrist finds that these are not obsessions, but rather delusions, a different therapy will be needed.

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