Jan 5, 2002
Dear Dr. Bob,
Yes, I guess we worried well do enjoy a sick sense of twisted humor but your answers seem to be more straight forward and less open-ended. That is probably why we come to you. I know there are many who are pos and really need this forum and I am sorry for taking this time from them. IM FEELING RATHER DESPARATE THOUGH. I "borrowed" another woman's vibrator.(We did not use it together.) I have had one cold, sore-throat, fatigue, and many other "illnesses" after another. I shared my fork with my seven year old and he had a cut in his mouth. My two year old is constantly sharing food and many other things with me and she bit my 5 year old. My husband has a strange, almost eczema rash all over his legs and I have it in the crooks of my arms. To kick it all off, I am pregnant. Now, my panic all started when I read some disclaimer when a service group I am in went to donate blood. It was about HIV. Since then I have been panicked. I counted the weeks and it was 11wks 2-4days from the day I used her vibrator and the blood bank called me back to donate 8 weeks later. Would that mean I DO NOT have HIV and I am freaking myself out? Was that long enough time for them to pick it up? Could the virus have lived for at least a couple of hours(maybe more) on the Vibrator?
I would also like to know how someone like me could help others. Are there groups via the internet because my state out here in the west is fairly backwards and still thinks HIV is only in "the big city".
I am sorry for asking you this and taking up your time. I just need a clearer, perhaps, blunt answer to these questions.
PS. How do you cope with HIV? I can't even seem to cope with the thought of it?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Do you gals really "borrow" each other's vibrators? What was the matter with yours? I knew you might borrow each other's earrings, dresses, or perhaps boyfriends, but vibrators? OK, never mind. OK dear, "the clearer, perhaps blunt answer" is that you are not sick - except perhaps for that "sick" twisted sense of humor. I, of course, admire that in a person! Your HIV test was negative at 11+ weeks. Your exposure risk was minimal at best. Most likely, the other woman was not even positive and hopefully she cleans off her sex toys after every session. Although, I still think you should each play with your own toys from now on, OK?
So with your frequent colds, sore throats, fatigue, your 2-year-old biting your 5-year-old, and your 7-year-old with the cut in his mouth, your rash-ridden husband and not to mention your pregnancy, I would say you have your hands full and don't need anything else to worry about. So you can stop freaking yourself out about this non-existent problem, OK?
As for how you can help others, there are a wide variety of AIDS service organizations, often even in "fairly backwards" states out west. Start by checking with any local (or nearest big city) groups, as it's vitally important to let everyone know HIV is not "only in the big city!"
Finally, how do I cope with HIV? I hope I cope with it well! Life is often measured in the wrong dimension - length. I feel it should be measured in depth. My life, even with HIV, is deep and meaningful. Life, even with its challenges, is a gift that I enjoy immensely. It's true that in the game of life, you can't choose your cards. However, you can choose how to play those cards!
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