Negative AIDS was called AFRAIDS (Acute Fear
Regarding AIDS) in the late 1980s - The worried well produced just about all
of the symptoms that were once part of an ARC (AIDS Related Complex)
below documents HIV-negative people who present AIDS-like symptoms
simply because they believe they are infected with "HIV". Is this
not evidence of the very real possibility, at least in some cases,
that it is the anxiety and depression in people who are not really
at risk for developing AIDS that causes them to actually develop
AIDS after testing positive? And what does this tell us about its
"AIDS Spawns New Hypochondriacs"
psychologist Larry Harmon says a new kind of hypochondriac has been
spawned by AIDS: people who are convinced they have the AIDS virus
despite medical evidence to the contrary. This problem is known as "AFRAIDS,"
which stands for acute fear regarding AIDS. Symptoms of anxiety and
depression, such as weight loss, fatigue, or reduced resistance to
disease, are interpreted by AFRAIDS afflicted people as signs of AIDS.
Even monthly blood tests for as long as a year have failed to ease the
fear in some of these people, who are so terrified they often avoid sex
with their spouses and lose concentration at work. Harmon reports that
the problem often is rooted in guilt over an extramarital affair, a
visit to a prostitute, or a homosexual experience.